Thanks for stopping by. Before you start reading, a few points of clarification.
First, we don't review ANYONE without a request that we do so, and a rather intimidating site submission process which you can review here.
Secondly, we'd already reviewed one of Jessica's sites, Sue Doe Nim, and it was given a positively glowing review. We do not have a built in bias against Jessica.
Thirdly, NO ONE here in these comments has ever attacked Jessica's children. WE DON'T DO THAT.
For the record, three of the five full-time reviewers here are moms. One is a wanna-be dad. We can be absolutely scathing to mommybloggers, but that's ironic given that 3 of the 5 ARE, in fact, mommies who blog.
Fourth, I am quite protective of my personal identity. People can react in fairly extreme ways when they aren't loved quite as much as they believe they should be here. I'm sure that won't be Jessica's response to the review she requested, but some bloggers are, unfortunately, not quite so mature. Some might even stoop to real life harassment. I personally find that shocking, but then, nothing should really surprise me anymore.
I hope you can understand that the anonymity allows all of us to be both blunt and fair. At least, that's our shtick, and we're sticking to it. I'm quite certain that Jessica understood our shtick when she nominated us for two awards on blogger's choice this year.
Lastly, the review delivered to Jessica, THAT SHE REQUESTED, was scrupulously fair, and quite meticulous, and was written by a guest reviewer who did not know her, had never visited her blog, and did not realize that she was, in fact, Sue Doe Nim.
We hope you enjoy it.
I personally stand behind every word, as do, I'm quite certain, the other reviewers.
A guest review from Posol'stvo the Medved.
Ah. Into the minefield I tread. Stepping lightly today folks, as one of the first things I learned about Jessica Gottlieb – is that she is an unabashed Mommy Blogger and she doesn’t get mad, she gets organized. To hear her tell it, she single handedly (well, her and a bunch of other Mommy Bloggers) brought down the great and powerful giant, Johnson & Johnson and their horrific and evil Motrin ad. They call themselves the Motrin Moms. (I personally viewed the ad. I didn’t think it was too terribly demeaning to new mothers. I’ve certainly seen worse. But who cares what I think? I’m a middle aged man.)
She gets organized, and she talks the talk. She's been on national TV. She lists all the different ways that she knows to attack someone else’s website. She even has a disclosure statement on her blog. This Mommy Blogger means business.
So folks, I’m being nice today. Purely out of self-preservation.
I think that it’s fair to say that Jessica and I are like stripes and plaid; like a pseudointellectual who can’t wait for his kids to grow up, leave the house, and become human beings, and a Mommy Blogger; like someone who recently ranted about his disdain for the use of the term “baited breath” and someone who uses said term; like a registered independent and a registered republican; like someone who is not enamored of self-promoters and someone who is clearly trying to make a living promoting herself.
In other words, I am not in her target audience. But she asked for a review, and I am going to give her a review. An impartial review. A fair review. So here it goes.
Jessica – you claim that your blog is a mommy blog, but I would argue that point with you, as you do relatively little talking about your progeny, and much more talking about the commerce of Mommy Blogging itself. Or posting of context lacking photos forwarded by your mother (A picture may paint 1000 words, but at times, a little setup goes a long way). Or linking us off to the several other sites that you are a part of (Why do you keep pushing us away? Was it something we said?) rather than writing something yourself, or about yourself.
As I read, (and I did read about half of your output here) I was struck with the feeling that about 1/8 of the posts had what I consider real content, content that resonated with me, content that made me care and want to keep reading. The rest? I sorta slept through. I could tell that they weren’t there for me.
A couple of hints: That thing you do, where you post a couple of lines and then have a “Read the rest of this entry” link? Yeah, I followed maybe a handful of those. But too often, the >rest of the entry wasn’t enough to keep me looking for more. Your posts are short enough as is – all these links do is annoy your readers. And since you make no bones about the fact that you get revenue from ads on your site, they seem to be a transparent ploy to increase page views.
I’m also baffled by the fact that in one post, you blasted Walmart and their 11 Moms, and then two posts later made a big announcement that you are now one of the 11 Moms. Just days apart. This made it clear to me that it doesn’t seem as if you care if I read anything you’ve written as long as I cough up some page impressions for you.
And that’s a shame. When you put your mind to it, you can write really well. That post you did about slow roasted goat and urine? Brilliant. Beautiful. This post made me want to know you in real life. (Of course, then I read about how you have no use for male friends, so alas, I see that it shall not be.)
What else? Watch the spelling and punctuation. (Yeah, I know. But believe it or not, it matters.) Edit.
About the template, design, etc. The layout and template are clean, but you ruin it by filling that right column with all that excess crap (Resume Bucket? I’m a character? Social stuff? Stuff you can buy me?) that I suppose is doing something for you. But it does little for your readers. And I assume that you want readers. Yes?
[Aside #1: I am coming to the conclusion that I hate Wordpress. I am going to sign up for a Wordpress account now to see if I can’t find a way around the horrific 10 posts per page limitation. This is the only reason I didn’t read your entire blog – too many damn clicks!]
Overall rating? If I could do half a “Meh”, that’s what you’d get. No stars. No fingers. Just a half a Meh.
Write more about you, your hopes, your dreams, your loves, why you blog. Stop telling us how brilliant you are, and just be brilliant.
You appear to be up to the task.
[Aside #2 for all of you AAYSR regular readers – check it. Betsey Booms made a guest appearance in this blog.]