Category Archives: Social Media

Do You Want To Write A Dad Blog?

Do you want to write a dad blog

Do you want to write a dad blog?
Write a blog about your kids?
And maybe write about the things you do
Like cleaning up the poop and finding a clean bib?

I know it’s kind of crazy
That a dad might care
Enough to write these things down
Do you want to write a dad blog?
It doesn’t have to be a dad blog…

When it comes to parenting blogs, those written by mothers outweigh fathers by a ratio of lots more to not as many (source: trust me, I know these things). When I joined my writer’s group on Facebook called Dad Bloggers there were a little over 300 in the group. Almost 12 months after joining we are a few short of 800 and the group is still growing.

The thing that I like about this group of writers is that whilst we are all chest beating alpha males (not true but) men all the same, with opinions of our own, and arguments about whether Star Wars is better than, well, life itself, we can basically agree on one thing and one thing alone; we all want to be great dads and we want to encourage each other to be great dads and we want to have a dragnet effect over all fathers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike and promote being a great dad as an important part of a man’s life ***and breath***.

Well, one who is a dad that is. But it’s more than that.

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Do 4 Year Old Kids Really Ask 437 Questions A Day, Or Is That A Myth?

toddler asks 437 questions per day 7

I’ve written many times about the memes that get shared on Facebook by parenting pages1, mothers who blog2, and mothers who have their own business and sell online from home3. I have pulled many of these apart and criticised their rampant sexism towards or exclusion of fathers, or the need for every mother to share their love of wine, coffee and bacon.

Around Oscar time, this was shared by almost every parent I know

Around Oscar time, this was shared by almost every parent I know

I have even made reference recently to the fact that the same memes get shared by every single page, over and over again so that the same meme keeps popping up in my news feed on a regular basis. I’m a little like Rain Man in the sense that I have a pseudo savant syndrome with the ability to remember the most inane things. The reason I mention this is because I have this crazy ability to remember that certain pages I follow share the same meme semi-regularly and I often wonder if the person or people who administer that page know this themselves.

Just this week however, a meme that I have seen shared many times over the years that I’ve been on Facebook has been shared by what seems like a dozen pages in the last few days. When a new meme is created and it goes viral, no doubt, like me, you see it get shared by everyone (like the one about Frozen I have shown here). But the one that has been repeatedly shared this week isn’t new and isn’t related to a recent news story or viral blog post.

And today I saw a new variant of this which inspired me to write about it because I believe that the fact suggested is a myth, or at the very least, it’s exaggerated.

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The Mummy Blogger Wars Have Just Jumped Genders

Have you read the newspaper today? Well not the paper newspaper, the online version. Who reads the paper version still except for those who have it delivered to their hotel room, or those who have visited a tourist attraction sponsored by a newspaper where they’re giving them out for free. Anyway, I digress…

At about 4am Sydney time this morning after watching Australia in the FIFA World Cup I had trouble getting back to sleep so I jumped on Facebook where I saw a story shared by one of my fellow Dad Bloggers. It was the story about that Mommy Blogger in the US who has been charged with poisoning her son using salt to overload his sodium levels so she could blog about it and achieve clicks via sympathetic measures.

Last night before the State of Origin (yes it was a big nine hours for Australian sport last night), I was tipped off about a, let’s call it “shit fight” happening between two of Australia’s biggest Mummy Bloggers by one of my loyal followers and readers; This evening as I checked out the online news I saw that the fight moved from off of social media and has hit the traditional media outlets. Yes those Mommy (US)/Mummy (AUS) Bloggers are making international news headlines, and some for all the wrong reasons.

Katrina Springer who blogs under The Organised Housewife was surprised to find out that another parenting site had bought some domain names similar to hers and had them redirected to their own website so that they could pick up readers who had entered the wrong URL or simply typed “Organised Housewife” into Google without prefixing it with the word “The.”

Of course the owner of the (I hesitate to call it this but) rival website produced an apology video and the offending similar domain names are now redirected not to the rival site, but to random Wikipedia pages. I’m not going to mention the other site because as of today they are ranked as the 132,486th most popular website in the world and are run as a big business enterprise whereas The Organised Housewife which is currently ranked as the 198,441st most popular site is still run by an individual mum who blogs.

It’s funny, but the most popular Dad Blogger in Australia currently is Clint Gregan who writes under the title of Reservoir Dad is currently ranked as the 620,587th most popular website in the world and yet I don’t believe that he’s gunning to knock those Mum Bloggers of their perch by joining in on this. In fact, it would seem that he, like many other great bloggers who are also fathers (yes Oren Miller, I’m talking about you), Clint is part of a conglomerate website called Aussie Dad Bloggers which is made up of 20 bloggers who write about being fathers, each having their own website but sharing through this site.

To cut to the chase; Dad Bloggers do not compete, they join forces, much like Voltron and tackle this world of parenting blogging together. Well, that WAS until now. Let me explain…

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How Teaching Children About Sports Is The Same As Teaching Them About Religion.

different types of football balls

The World Cup is currently underway. Oh sure, there’s many of them (world cups that is), but in many parts of the world those two words are interchangeable with FIFA World Cup.

I’m sure that just like my one, your Facebook’s news feed is filled with friends, family, acquaintances, companies, and pages you follow sharing quips, memes and links about this quadrennial sporting event. There’s plenty of memes being shared by passionate followers of the game, many paying out on their opposing teams, many singling out a player whether he’s on an opposing team in their pool, or just a player of note worth “bringing down.”

And then there’s those other memes. The ones shared by those who are not fans of the World Game (yes, that’s seriously a title given to this sport). And there are distractors of this event who will inevitably start or join in on what might be one of the greatest debates in the modern history of this planet…

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The 5 Reasons Why Mother’s Day and Father’s Day International Dates Need To Be Aligned

mothers-day-fathers-day-funny-fallon

Today is Sunday 15th June 2014. Seeing this month started on a Sunday, today is the third Sunday of the month of June which means in 76 countries around the world today is Father’s Day. Here in Australia where I reside, it’s not. We have to wait until the first Sunday of September to celebrate along with our neighbouring nations of New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The four nations involved in our little collective do not make up the second most recognised date for Father’s Day; that going to 11 countries who celebrate it on the 19th March which is also known as St Joseph’s Day, although for two of those countries, it is celebrated within a small region whereas the rest of those two countries celebrate the day later on in the year on two separate days.

Mother’s Day is celebrated by 82 countries on the second Sunday in May. Those four nations who I mentioned celebrate Father’s Day later in the year join in on what is the most recognised date to celebrate Mother’s Day and they are joined by two further nations who recognise that date too.

There are two other dates that are both recognised by 19 countries each; that being the 8th March and the 21st March. Surprisingly, the United Kingdom celebrates on a completely different date to everyone else basing their date on the 4th Sunday in Lent.

But I think the time has come to align the dates on an international scale, and here’s my reasons why this should be done. Read more

The 5 Things All Successful Mummy Bloggers and Mumpreneurs Do On Facebook

The 5 Thing All Successful Mummy Bloggers Do On Facebook

I’m using the UK spelling of Mummy because that’s what we do in Australia, but to help out my own SEO opportunities I’m going to interject this with the US spelling of Mommy so that when people google Mommy Wars, Mommy Bloggers, and questions like “how do I become a successful Mommy Blogger” guess where they’ll land? (Please Google, be kind to me).

But enough about me and my self-confessed shameless approach to getting more readers to this blog, I’m going to get the the point (or should that be bullet points?) Long before Facebook’s new algorithms came into practice, Mummy Bloggers have been trying to get more reach on Facebook by whatever means they can. Having involvement (or engagement as the marketing industry calls it) by means of their followers liking, commenting on, and better still sharing their status updates is paramount to getting more reach.

So how do the successful ones do it?

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I Hate Cancer, That’s a Given. But I Don’t Want To Rape It…

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I always have about 30 draft posts behind the scenes in my blog at any given time. Further to that, I have about a dozen ideas running through my head with me forever searching for the angle to write about because often the idea has been written about before, and you know me, I need to have some element of my own take on it that can only be seen as a "Darrell" piece. This is an amalgam of half a dozen I have been planning to write inspired by a few recent events.

I hate cancer, I really do. That is a given. But the thing is, I don’t want to rape it.

“What the? What are you on Darrell?” I hear you say.

Let me explain;

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Have You Already Photographed Your Child’s Future Partner?

Back in 2010 a photograph was the focus point of a “news” story that reported a fateful moment when Alex and Donna Voutsinas had been photographed together, about 20 years or so before they actually met. They are calling it a fateful moment due to the fact that one of them was living in the United States, whilst the other grew up in Canada, so being in the same place, at the same time was not a common occurrence.

Our eldest son was not even 2-years-old when I read the story, but since then, and being the over thinker that I often am, I have wondered where and when it will be that his moment of fate will occur. Will he be getting pushed on a swing at a park only to have the little girl he will one day marry throw a tantrum because she wants a turn?

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Should Male Airline Passengers Be Subjected To This Sort of Treatment?

paedophiles on a plane

This post was pretty easy to write because for the most part, I didn’t have to write it. This morning I was tagged into a stranger’s status update’s comment by a mutual friend. I clicked on the link provided which brought me to another status update by this stranger which was an open letter to Tracy Spicer in response to her “I don’t want my kids sitting next to a man on a plane” article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.

The stranger goes by the name of Craig Mack. I sent him a private message through Facebook asking if I could publish his open letter here and he expressed to me that I was more than welcome. If you haven’t already, please click on the link and read Tracy’s article first. Then I want you to read Craig’s response below. At the end of this post I will chime in with my own tale as I can relate to this story personally.

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Are Fathers The New Minority Group?

Warren_Farrell_leads_a_group_of_men_protesting,_1972

My most popular (well, my most read post) so far is the one entitled Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands, followed by What’s The Definition of Parenting? Has The Dictionary Has Got It Wrong? in third spot and the relatively new one 11 Sexist Onesies to Offend a New Dad (and 2 That Are Okay) in sixth place.

When I look at categories that I have chosen for all my posts, Active Fathers is on top of the list with Sexism Against Dads in third spot. I have recently discussed with my writer’s group that my humorous posts get very few hits whilst my activist posts seem to get lots.

And to top it off, the posts with the most comments are the same two that are in the most read as mentioned above. I know why this is the case;

Fathers are the new minority group. Let me explain.

Parents Magazine

Last year Parents Magazine (USA) released 12 issues and 25% of them had mothers on them, with none having fathers on them. Traditionally one might think that a Father’s Day special would show a happy father on the cover, but no, not a single issue showcased dads.

Parents 2013 01 January Parents 2013 02 February Parents 2013 03 March
Parents 2013 04 April Parents 2013 05 May Parents 2013 06 June
Parents 2013 07 July Parents 2013 08 August Parents 2013 09 September
Parents 2013 10 October Parents 2013 11 November Parents 2013 12 December

 

On the magazine’s Facebook page I saw this;

parents magazine facebook 12 signs you're a momNow it says parent in the preamble but mom in the title. And the post itself only has mothers’ comments. Of those “12 signs you’re a mom,” most of them if not all are signs that you could be a dad as much as you could be a mum so the title “12 signs you’re a parent” could easily have been used.

Mamamia Parents

The Australian women’s online magazine, media website, blog post aggregator, and gossip central Mamamia set up individual Facebook pages last year to promote different aspects of their website including the tab they call Parenting. Whilst you can hover your mouse over the Parenting section on the menu and see a Fatherhood sub-header, the display of mums only is rampant on this page.

Take a look at the header of the Facebook page. All writers for Mamamia (and Mamamia Parents) and all mothers. Surely there is a dad amongst their writers who could have been represented here. Even if the page is aimed solely at mothers (but then you have to question why the non-gender specific Parents gets used), the absence of fathers promotes the mindset that dads are not really that important a parent to include, and that their absence is okay.

Mamamia Parents mothers only

iVillage Australia

I have been published twice by iVillage Australia and am very active on their website and Facebook page discussions. Possibly I am the only dad who is a regular reader/commenter, and that might be because of the perceived exclusion of dads on websites and Facebook pages like this.

Take a look at their Facebook page’s header. Recognise anyone in that montage? You should. Some of the photos used for the iVillage Australia are the exact same as the ones used in the Mamamia Parents Facebook page’s header. In fact, most of the writers write for both publications seeing they are sister publications (or should that be non-gender specific sibling publications?)

ivillage australia mothers only

I have brought it to the attention of those who post the updates and memes (like these sexist ones) on both the Mamamia Parents page and the iVillage Australia page that if they are supposed to be for parents, then they need to stop with the (how good am I?) mum only memes and start sharing parenting ones that both mums and dads can enjoy.

One of the pages, I can’t remember which (but I will find it) tagged me in a response and apologised and said that they would be more mindful in the future, and more inclusive of fathers. A pro-dad meme was shared later that evening followed by another a day or two later, but it wasn’t long before they started resorting back to addressing mothers only.

Mamamia (main website/Facebook page)

When the news broke about that mother driving her kids into the ocean in Florida back on the 6th March 2014, Mamamia gave a brief discription of the incident as they normally do on their “news in under 5 minutes” post of the day.

pregnant mum mom florida beach

Fathers killing kids often get caught on these pages before all the details are known. Husbands killing wives are there too. Random men killing random women (that’s not intended in the pejorative way) are headlined too.

But as soon as more details are known, there are endless stories about how we need to end this senseless killing by men. And then we are all tarred with the same brush. All of us men. But not this Florida mum. The fact that a mother was trying to kill her kids is swept under the carpet. It is forgotten about.

Constantly talking about violence against women, especially talking about dads killing mums, without promoting all those balanced stories where modern dads are evolving to be just as active in their children’s lives as how mothers traditionally have been is the driving force behind keeping those dads who are not active in the online community of parenting away.

How can we change this? How can we get dads more active online in parenting communities? Well we could start showing them on the covers of parenting magazines. And not just the one issue every five years.

We can include dads in montages used for headers of parenting websites. We can include dads in discussions and conversations. Instead of parenting pages starting a discussion with “can any mums help with this dilemma?” they could ask if any parents can help, or leave out the salutation altogether and simply ask “can you help with this dilemma?”

Then dads will start to help out with solving problems. Dads will be part of the community of parents, and dads can rejoice in the fact that society is taking them seriously with their relationship and their interaction with their children. After all, Dads Are Parents Too.

To find out more about the featured image, click here…

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