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Tip: Maybe Don’t Let Your Trust Capital Situation Get This Bad

Tip: Maybe Don’t Let Your Trust Capital Situation Get This Bad

Some of you have been asking me to write about MckMama for a while now. (If you’re not familiar with MckMama, she is a blogger named Jennifer McKinney who blogs at MyCharmingKids.net, and who is most notable IMO to outsiders for the fact that she has inspired a huge following that is only surpassed in size by the legion of people who despise her.) I’ve shied away from it because I don’t feel like I’ve ever reached a sufficient understanding of the MckMama situation to provide any valuable insight.

That said: this is really interesting (if by interesting you mean “bad”), and I thought it might be an instructive point about the illusive nature of trust capital. Recently MckMama was hosting a giveaway involving Lansinoh breast pumps. In her posts on the topic, she had made reference to speaking to people “from Lansinoh” about the giveaway. Somehow (and when I say “somehow” I mean, one of MckMama’s detractors probably told them, since Lansinoh stated that the tweets were “address[ing] consumers’ questions about our involvement”) Lansinoh’s official Twitter account was informed of this and set about making it abundantly clear that Lansinoh had NOT been involved in any such giveaway, that they had never worked with MckMama in any capacity.

Well. That’s odd. And some confusion followed, which was kind of cleared up when Lansinoh posted on their blog that they had not run the giveaway, and in fact what had happened was that some PR subcontractor had given MckMama the pumps for a giveaway on her blog:

Late in the day on Feb. 7, Lansinoh was informed that Ms. McKinney was in fact part of a sampling effort carried out by a third-party service provider. Due to an unfortunate breakdown in communication, Lansinoh was not informed that four Affinity® Double Electric Breast Pumps were indeed provided to Ms. McKinney. Lansinoh is taking steps to address the breakdown in the approval process that contributed to this misinformation.

Well, I guess that PR subcontractor won’t be hired again, since Lansinoh wants nothing to do with any of this, reiterating “Lansinoh does not support or endorse the blog My Charming Kids or @MckMama.” Jennifer McKinney’s response is here, if you’d like to read it.

The takeaway for me is this: attention and trust capital are sneaky bitches. The whole thing reminds me of the story about Snooki from Jersey Shore getting gifts of competing designer handbags sent to her by companies who didn’t want her carrying their own bags. In other words: endorsement seems like a great idea until it doesn’t, and the audience turns on both you and the brand that you’re pimping.

Now listen: I’m an outsider, and I don’t know what the “true” story is here, and I’m not really sure it even matters. Both sides of the MckMama equation are pretty vehement about being right. But the only thing I know for sure is that when you have companies trying to absolve themselves of any kind of association with you, I think it might be time to reassess your personal branding message a bit. All bloggers have critics, and whether the criticisms are correct is really not relevant: if you get enough critics after you, they will become a market force of their own. This is why you cannot just ignore all of the critics and hope they will go away — what you might actually lose is all of your credibility.

Comments (48)

  1. Anne
    Feb 9, 2011

    This is what Lansinoh tweeted this morning…..”We thank you for your continued support surrounding our latest giveaway. We are retracting our original, inaccurate tweets.”
    I would really like to know the whole story. I WILL not go by the drama filled blogs!!

  2. Feb 9, 2011

    I’m just cringing. I am. I’m cringing. This is horrible! And though I shouldn’t feel this way, I just … oh God, I feel bad for everyone involved, really. It sounds like MCKwhatserface DID think Lansinoh gave it to her, and what the hell is Lansinoh doing distancing themselves from her? Regardless of the whole thing, that’s a tacky, tacky way to handle it, via public tweets. It’s a breast pump! One that might have gotten them decent PR/attention/a happy user.

    But yes, to have that many people think you’re crazy, and have a company come out against you? OH GOD OH GOD.

  3. Feb 9, 2011

    Whoa. That is one hell of a trainwreck. I don’t know anything about her, but man, what a mess.

  4. Allison
    Feb 9, 2011

    Jennifer Mckinney is a master scam artist. She is a deceitful, lying human being who markets herself to a known loyal audience as a “Christian” which, in and of itself is a joke because the woman lives like a heathen. All one needs to do is Google “Mckmama” and read the cliffnotes. Jennifer Mckinney is nothing but a user. She will use anything that breathes to get what she wants all for the sake of greed.

  5. Laura
    Feb 9, 2011

    It is my understanding this blog gained some level of popularity during and following an EVENT. I think it would be a fascinating case study of handling an EVENT on a blog. I think the readership exploded very quickly, and it turned into a situation of having a tiger by the tail. Do you (or anyone) ever notice a pattern to the EVENT phenomenon? I’m just curious if they all follow the same narrative (event, sympathy, popularity, backlash) or if it depends on the author and how they fold the EVENT into their overall storyline? When you make your life your living, is a loss of trust capital just one of the possible pitfalls? I hope this develops into an interesting and informative comment thread because I think there is a lot to be learned/explored in this rather sensitive area of blogging.

  6. Feb 9, 2011

    Yes, this is absolutely what happened. I was not following her blog then (I don’t now, actually), but it had to do with her son being sick, I believe. She got an enormous amount of support during that experience, as is often the case, and it’s my sort of uneducated viewpoint that the way that she handled that EVENT and the stuff that came afterward is part of (if not all) the reason people have unified against her. They feel something was dishonest about that — the allegations are many, but a lot of them have to do with a sense that her misfortune was parlayed into a huge amount of traffic and lots of free stuff and perks from her readers and from companies.

    Not all bloggers with an EVENT of this type have a backlash. Heather Spohr, for example, has a similar story, but has not had that kind of a backlash. Personally, I believe it’s because she did things like set up a foundation and a charity in her daughter’s memory — people tend to look kindly on that and it suggests sincerity. A blogger could be totally sincere, and still getting all kinds of free stuff, but it just doesn’t tend to look that way, if you know what I’m saying. There’s more room for doubt.

    After MckMama’s initial EVENT, I think that some of the supporters were further disillusioned by how she handled the income and how she dealt with criticism (allegedly there are a lot of pages that have been deleted, etc.). But at this point it is kind of irrelevant whether she is right or wrong, because so many of these people just don’t believe anything she says, and this is leading to problems with sponsors, etc.

  7. Feb 9, 2011

    OK, I get that many people believe this. Like I said, though, I’m not really interested in taking sides here — I really don’t feel I have enough information to do that. I’d also like to steer clear of ad hominem attacks if possible.

  8. Feb 9, 2011

    Yeah, I guess they have found out that it was a giveaway sponsored by them through some kind of PR subcontractor. I would guess it was just an ill-advised response by somebody running the Twitter account, but there’s a lesson in itself — go ahead and do all the checking possible before you make a public statement like that.

  9. Lisa
    Feb 9, 2011

    and one of the things I’ve seen mentioned a lot about MckMama is that it’s not just the one EVENT, that she seems to be manufacturing more events to keep sympathy. The one baby had a heart problem which got a lot of followers, then she was pregnant again and hospitalized for all kinds of things, and then had a suspiciously large looking preemie.

    It’s like Jack Bauer and 24 – how much bad shut can happen to a person in a day? How can one mommyblogger’s life always be in turmoil?

  10. Feb 9, 2011

    I agree, everything involved here is astoundingly unprofessional. I tend to agree that MckMama probably had no reason to doubt she was actually dealing with Lansinoh. I think it’s just that she has zero credibility at this point, and her detractors are really vehement. They really WOULD be upset by her representing Lansinoh in any capacity. But maybe train your twitter person a bit better next time!

  11. Feb 9, 2011

    Yes, it was a continued dependence on that kind of thing, I remember them talking about it when I’ve tried to look into this before. I do think that the original EVENT and how she handled it colors everything, though. I think that the seeds of discontent were sewn then, and every subsequent thing that happens seems to make it worse.

  12. Lisa
    Feb 9, 2011

    My phone apparently hasn’t figured out that I use “shit” waaaaaay more than “shut”…

  13. hahaha…this situation is hilarious…not only the cluster fuck about who sponsored who,but the mere fact that so many people give a shit!

    I don’t know…I’m new to blogging and do no giveaways or endorsements but some people are crazy!

  14. drhoctor2
    Feb 9, 2011

    Yeah…she is not credible in many large and small ways..I think Cecily teeters on the verge of this kind of crisis bailout burnout. I’ve paid vague attention to MckMama since Stellans medical situation was everywhere. I don’t care for her blog, don’t care for the writing style, do NOT agree with parenting styles and just ..I’m not her audience… I have npo animosity towards her and am interested in the business she is building/blowing up as she goes on without the Event being important. Her credibility problems, however, are completely her own doing..she does get busted frequently for out and out lying and overly calculated postings to pull page views.. this isn’t a case of trolls terrorizing her for some simple mis statement…she is pretty regular with the bullshit. And her detractors are pretty regular with busting her on it all.
    MY problem with her and something that hasn’t been brought up..her speech at a conference that dealt with Birth defects, major illnesss and baby loss …(paraphrasing here) wherein she played the “God saved my baby because I prayed so hard” or a variation of that line and insulted, demeaned and enraged a vocal bunch of women who had lost their children.who didn’t care to be seen as women who didn’t “pray right”. They had a hella good point from my perspective.
    She has been interesting to watch. Her marketing, her content .her various campaigns.her utterly polarized audience… all of it. A lesson in what not to do if nothing else.

  15. Feb 9, 2011

    That’s right — there was a big outrage about the praying thing. I had forgotten about this. I can see their points, and if you believe in that stuff I can see it would be really offensive. But it’s hard for me to get all worked up about this stuff because it all sounds like bullshit to me, as an agnostic — bullshit that she prayed enough to make him better, bullshit that people would even take that as a suggestion that they hadn’t prayed enough for their own kids. It’s all equally absurd to me.

    But then, I can see why constant lying or traffic grabbing stunts would bug people — the problem for me has always been that many bloggers are accused of these things. It’s tough to know what you should believe and what you shouldn’t.

  16. Feb 9, 2011

    I read her response out of curiosity and reminded once again why I don’t really follow her. I was never around for the scandals that seem to plague her so that’s not really an issue to me. I read bloggers who can write. Trying to follow her thought patterns down a page gives me a serious headache.

    What a trainwreck for Lansinoh. Too bad they didn’t invest a little more time in sussing out the actual events before Tweeting their denials. It makes everyone look bad.

  17. Blogreader
    Feb 9, 2011

    What stands out to me about McKinney’s blog is that she went from being able to basically support her family on her blog to having her BlogHer contract pulled — FOR PLAGIARISM (photography how-to’s or something along those lines). As much as she seems to have detractors, she doesn’t seem to disappoint them and keeps them in fodder. NO ONE made her plagiarize articles; she did that all by her own mckmama self. Did she really think she’d get away with it (and you can’t tell me she didn’t know what she was doing as she was doing it!)? And interestingly, her supporters either found nothing ‘wrong’ with lifting others’ writings (comments also include things like they don’t care if she lies… everyone does it…) -OR- they blamed the loss of her ad income on her haters.

    It’s rather difficult to feel badly for the blogger; she admits to her foibles but then is aghast when things like the breast pump giveaway go so horribly wrong. Lansinoh will recover, but it’s probably just another nail the mckmama blog’s coffin.

  18. drhoctor2
    Feb 9, 2011

    I’m semi impressed by her ability to rebound. She has a huge loyal audience as do several event heavy bloggers..there appears to be a fairly large amount of people willing to…in essence…becomes patrons to support the bloggers they choose for themselves. The bloggers become..may I say..a name brand to their readers. Their content is a product. This phenomena is a revolution for direct marketing.

  19. another reader
    Feb 9, 2011

    The fanatical support of bloggers by their readers, even in the face of many outright lies, is of great interest to me. Have there been any (official or unofficial) studies done on this? Two of the greatest offenders are Crystal at Boobs Injuries & Dr Pepper (www.mcknob.com) and Nic at My Bottles Up (www.mybottlesup.com). About 15 months ago, Crystal blogged about trying to kill her dog, and when readers went apeshit, she backpeddaled and said she dreamed the whole thing. She went away for about a year, came back, and her fans rabidly defend her. There’s no proof she DIDN’T dream it, but it seemed rather believable at the time. Nic, on the other hand, claimed TSA agents separated her from her baby for a LONG time while passing through airport security, and that she had a panic attack as a result. The TSA posted videos of Nic’s travels through airport security, blatantly refuting Nic’s version of events. Despite the proof, Nic’s supporters poo-poo her detractors and their request for answers. It’s so very strange how people will go to such lengths to defend the honor of bloggers they love.

  20. drhoctor2
    Feb 9, 2011

    The breast pump give away going wrong is not on Mckmama, tho. . that’s the PR agency go between, the company twitter poster and Lansinoh’s own account execs. The REASON there was a problem for Lanisoh is that one or several of her detractors made it known that they, the consumer base for the sponsor, had a problem with her. Since her monetizing missteps are many and documented.,someone at Lanisoh jumped a gun and didn’t bother fact checking. i can’t feel sorry for a company that brings that on themselves.
    This absurdity is an issue of a Blogger’s business completely running out of trust capital, yet still retaining an audience large enough to tempt a major business. It’s kind of amazing.
    That being said, I doubt a coffin is in order.

  21. Feb 9, 2011

    I saw the incident that led to MckMama being kicked off BlogHer, and I thought it was a little reaching, honestly. She summarized a handout she had gotten in a photography class, with some phrases that were, admittedly, a little too close for comfort. I’m not saying this was a great practice on her part, but . . . let’s put it this way: this would not have resulted in being kicked off a network for many other bloggers, in my opinion. I would say that it is possible there were other reasons they wanted her off that network — the “plagiarism” gave them an out, but not even the author of the original work cared about it. The whole thing was very stinky, IMO — on every side of the equation.

  22. Feb 9, 2011

    Ayi yi. Is this going to be a big dump of anonymous allegations against bloggers here? Because it’s one thing if you are posting under a real identity, but I’m not really interested in fielding all of the complaints that are likely to land in my mailbox over allegations made in the comments.

  23. Feb 9, 2011

    Agreed. Lansinoh messed up, and one of the reasons they did is because they don’t (or the people they hire don’t, anyway) understand social media. They are still caught up in the old model of a lot of eyeballs=good. A lot of times, a lot of eyeballs *does* mean good, but not always. You have to do your due diligence before you decide to partner with a blogger.

  24. drhoctor2
    Feb 9, 2011

    That is not the convo I’m interested in having, either. I am wildly interested in watching where self publishing ..all publishing really, is going via the internet.
    I have no doubt people have event heavy lives. if your content is what you wind up selling as a commodity and that content is “naked” blogging about your personal life, when is your commodity damaged ? When do you start fictionalizing your non fiction episodes? How much marketing can you do before people resent the manipulation of your page views? AND,,what happens when you have an Event..ie very sick baby and start racking up page views that lead to money that supports your whole family and the event resolves ?
    If your niche is that unintended and you can’t find another identifier….what, then ? Sell the drama.
    This give away certainly has not hurt Mckmama. It’s a positive for her at a time when she really needs to start being seen as a more reliable person. This is redeeming for her “brand” and makes her look somewhat victimized by a corporate bad guy….

  25. Feb 9, 2011

    I will say the faithful fans that follower bloggers when it’s been brought to light that someone has outright lied or has been skivvy is no different than those people in the church of scientology. You can show them the evidence to their face that it’s an undeniable load of crap, but if they’re committed, they’re committed, period.

  26. Laura
    Feb 10, 2011

    I don’t know if this is addressed at blogger conferences or not, but I think there really needs to be more thought or deeper conversations going on about Events. Most bloggers do not have a professional writing or public relations background, so when an Event happens and it is part of your life, how do you package that on a blog in regards to:
    1. The blogger is (many times) dealing with a personal tragedy in real time.
    2. That may result in a loss of income or mounting bills.
    3. All of a sudden, the blog fills the gap regarding the the need for extra support and replacing some income. This comes at a time of personal chaos in many cases.
    4. How does a person/family balance a tragedy/their new reality and an explosion in readers when they are destroyed by an Event? This is not like a packaged storyline where there are writers and editors and agents and handlers — ie: a reality show. I can’t imagine dealing with something terrible happening and then fielding contacts from public relations companies or brands themselves.
    Of course, this is (again) a little off topic from the original post, but I think it builds into the question: If you are living your life on line and an Event happens, how do you keep your trust capital for the long haul? You made a good point in your previous response, though, that I have been giving some thought to — perhaps it has to do with returned goodwill on the part of the audience. Maybe that is the key, maintaining a strong take and give so your audience doesn’t feel like it has been “taken”?

  27. Feb 10, 2011

    Ugh. This whole EVENT “thing” is precisely why when my FIL committed suicide last year, I did not talk about the manner of his death. A few weeks ago, I did come out about the suicide, but only because I did not want there to be a perceived element of shame surrounding it (i.e. if my kids are reading my archives and they notice that I never mentioned the suicide.)

    I’ve joked in the past that the only way the traffic on my site would increase is if a huge tragedy befell me. And I am only half joking. Because I have seen too many folks attempt to capitalize on their own EVENTs.

    Yes, an EVENT can be used for good, not evil. Absolutely! However, the line is such a thin one and is all too easily crossed.

  28. Feb 10, 2011

    I can’t be the only one who feels like capitalizing on an event is … dirty? I realize I’m not exactly the target here, seeing as I don’t really use my blog for any kind of income unless it happens to fall in my lap, but I can’t really imagine taking a really awful event (and I’ve only had minor events, on the scale of things) and thinking, well, NOW is the time to start making some cash from this puppy! GOOD TIMES!

    I just don’t see making that leap. For me, I don’t want to LIVE my events. As soon as they are over and I have worked through them, I don’t want to keep revisiting them as a means to an end — or worse, figuring out how to extend them or create new ones. That feels so disgusting to me, I can’t really even let my mind go there.

  29. Robin
    Feb 10, 2011

    The big problem here is the utter disregard for FTC guidelines when doing a blog giveaway. Full disclosure is necessary, as are fair entry and disclosure of how a winner is chosen. None of those guidelines were followed here. On a blog where commenters are openly banned for a myriad of personal reasons and the winner selection process is hidden from readers, the rules for things like this appear to be being bent by the blogger to satisfy her. Jennifer McKinney still hasn’t gone through the proper channels to correct her posts and make sure that they follow the new and strict guidelines for bloggers. The lack of straightforward truth in her writing is unnerving. Her unfortunate wording of “Lansinoh gave me” is as if she were given some sunglasses from the mall and claimed that Ed Hardy sent them straight to her. It’s unethical and it’s hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t see it as such. When given opportunity to clear things up, instead of doing so, she dangled the carrot of “I have the proof but, I’m not gonna show it”. The logic completely fails.

    I think those with any amount of true common sense who aren’t clouded by her charade and bible quotes while touting herself as a martyr, will see the truth here and realize that Lansinoh isn’t evil and is extremely smart for wanting to be certain they aren’t endorsing the blog of a plagiarizer. BlogHer wasn’t evil to drop her from their ads and any other company that makes sure to distance themselves is simply doing smart business. Sometimes it’s not about how much money you can make but, about keeping your ethics. Lansinoh has kept their ethics. Jennifer McKinney has not.

  30. Feb 10, 2011

    holy cow. I’ve never read her blog before, and my first reaction to that entry was “what a fucking martyr!” I really don’t think she’s helping her case by being so ostentatiously The Bigger Person. She came off so awfully holier-than-thou, and that (to me, anyway) made her REALLY unlikable, and less credible than she would have been had she been more straightforward about it.

    And then, of course, she brought up Debi Pearl and I checked out completely. Admittedly, that isn’t really related to this issue, but I have trouble taking anyone seriously who takes that book seriously.

  31. Feb 10, 2011

    Off topic, but I’m surprised she brought up Debi Pearl, because isn’t MckMama an attached parent? Doesn’t she breastfeed, co-sleep, practice gentle discipline, cloth diaper, etc? That is how I initially began following her on Twitter. Of course I quickly unfollowed when I realized how Jesus-y her twitter feed was, but I find it bizarre she would look up to the Pearls when their parenting books have been so villified (and rightfully so, IMO).

  32. Feb 10, 2011

    That was a surprise to me too! Just from glancing over her website, it looks like she’s definitely into attachment parenting, which really seems to conflict with her admiration of Debi Pearl. Maybe she likes the marriage book but has decided to ignore the child-abuse book. (harsh, maybe, but IMO accurate.) Of course, the marriage book also defends spousal abuse and basically says that it’s the woman’s fault for not being a good enough wife, so who know what Mckmama’s deal is.

  33. drhoctor2
    Feb 10, 2011

    Her fans ARE faithful. and willing to underwrite her production. It’s a business model. I’m interested in the business and sociological aspects of internet communication. This, clueless business move of Lansinoh’s should help her, really. Her patrons have an extra story arc and her detractors load up, again. so, ya know, everybody wins..except Lansinoh .

  34. drhoctor2
    Feb 10, 2011

    I’m mostly with you on this..and plagarizing makes me rage it up..so she is getting a pass from me. .
    Some of that felt a lot like retribution for the first wrong move..the dust up over the entitled religious attitude. Mommyblogs made a big noise over that. but, you can’t pull her ads becos she offended a mommy now can you ?

  35. drhoctor2
    Feb 10, 2011

    I give bloggers nearly limitless passes on what they write about and when and the rest of it…writing is an art. I come at almost every issue from that mindset. YEZZZ, but is it art ? I’m all, yup, t’is.
    I see your point clearly and have a list of my own unreadables, the grasping and profane. Still, that is subjective no matter what.
    I’ve written my “way” out of every hard thing that ever happened to me. I don’t think I have it in me to make “that” leap either.

  36. NetM
    Feb 10, 2011

    I don’t know about that Anna. Writing sites like Demand Studios would’ve flagged her post for plagiarism. It would’ve come up on Copyscape and other plagiarism software so, from my perspective, your interpretation of plagiarism is lax.

    I have been following MckMama since the uproar over her conference speech about how God saved her son because she prayed, which offended a lot of people, as you know. She’s very inconsistent. One day she’s an attachment parent, the next she’s smacking her kids with a wooden spoon.

    If the plagiarism wasn’t enough for Blogher, the ever changing story of working with her was probably enough on its own.

    M

  37. Feb 10, 2011

    Yeah, I think that I get turned off from things because there’s a lot of god and prayer and other stuff, and I just find myself tuning out before I can wade through any of it.

  38. Feb 10, 2011

    I also think this because there have been some other situations in which people with a lot of traffic have been taken off the BlogHer network for reasons that seem . . . reaching. I’m not talking about my own situation here, mind you — there are some other people (and it’s ALWAYS people with 75,000, 100,000, or more page views per month) who start getting hassled about meeting the 760 pixel requirement and other nitpicking and then get kicked off. My take on the MckMama situation was that they wanted her out. So, plagiarism or otherwise — if it had been another blogger I just am not sure that it would have been handled the same way. This is obviously 100% my own opinion and I have absolutely no evidence to support it. It’s just a hunch.

  39. Feb 10, 2011

    Well, since I had to bring a former student to a disciplinary committee for plagiarism in the UC system, I feel pretty confident about what I’m talking about. Once again, I am not saying that she’s innocent here — I’m saying she summarized a handout and left a few phrases in that were too close. Would it have been flagged by a program trying to find identical phrases? No doubt. But people with the ability to think critically can look at that and be like, “OK, I would not have done this myself, this was a bad idea, but there is a big difference between this and ripping off Dickens and saying you wrote it yourself.”

    BlogHer wanted her out. They were trying to figure out a way to get her out. And they used that to do it. They had the right to do it that way, but if it had been a different blogger (one that is in better standing and/or with less traffic), they wouldn’t have kicked her out. That is my opinion based on a number of dealings both with plagiarism prosecutions and my experience with BlogHer.

  40. Feb 10, 2011

    For EVENTs to be discussed at a blogging conference, they’d have to allow me to speak, and that will never happen. Then again, somebody could just pitch it as their idea and I’m sure they’d sign off on it.

    But to answer your question, it’s very tricky. And frankly, it’s something that is heavily affected by the socioeconomics of the person who is undergoing the EVENT. For example, if the person who has the tragedy befall them is financially OK, or if they have family that can help them out, they stand to be better off in the long term because they will be able to gracefully thank their readership for all of their generous offers but then say, “No really, we are fine.” Again, this is what I believe separates Heather Spohr from some of these other cases (though it’s really awkward to keep talking about her in the comments like this, since I am friendly with her) — I don’t know her financial situation at the time of her EVENT, but I do know that she was able to walk away from it without taking a ton of personal gain from the tragedy, everything was put into the Friends of Maddie charity. And that plays much better than taking personal donations, even if the donations are desperately needed. It’s just another way that you’re better off if you have more resources to begin with.

  41. Feb 10, 2011

    It’s true, and it’s made me super cynical about hearing bad news on blogs. I keep thinking that they are made up when they aren’t — my default assumption is that they are lies now, which is really, really bad.

    That said, as a personal blogger I can say that it’s really difficult to have something major happen in your life and *not* write about it. So I think that you have to assume that these impulses to write are first and foremost a result of that, rather than the desire to capitalize. Although maybe in some cases it’s both? I don’t know.

  42. Feb 10, 2011

    Yeah I understand that, but I think that the problem is that if you’re a personal blogger you end up writing about it because it’s a major part of your life. I think it would be hard to not write about it, personally. But there is probably a range on how you write about it that affects public perception.

  43. Feb 10, 2011

    OK, I’m willing to go along with the idea that giveaway procedures weren’t followed. But, I also think tons and tons (and TONS) of bloggers do it the wrong way. I don’t do giveaways anyway, but I have absolutely no idea what the giveaway guidelines are. I think the reason people are focusing on that is because she already has inspired some kind of distrust, so every little thing she does is put under the microscope. It could be warranted, or not, but I’m just saying people can (and do) forgive other bloggers this kind of crap every day.

  44. NetM
    Feb 10, 2011

    The rubric really should be was the plagiarism actionable? Could the copyright owner have filed a DCMA (or is it DMCA? I always get confused) and prevailed. If so, it’s plagiarism regardless of how anyone personally interprets it.

    As an internet writer, I would have been her worst nightmare had it been my work she used.

    M

  45. Tee
    Feb 10, 2011

    I tend to go back and forth when it comes to MckMama and her blog. She has done/said a lot of things that I don’t agree with and that really bother me. However, I did not know she claimed that Stellan was healed because she prayed a lot. I find that incredibly offensive because I am very “religious” (Mennonite) and terminal. Prayer hasn’t saved me from what I’m dealing with, it has simply given me the grace to deal with it. So thank you, Drhoctor2. Your information just pushed me off the fence.

  46. Tee
    Feb 10, 2011

    In a recent post, Jennifer said she was a recovering attachment parent. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the date but it was about two weeks ago, I believe. It was in a post she wrote giving sleep training advice. Hope that answers your question.

  47. Karen
    Feb 10, 2011

    Sorry, but that was funny. My phone has actually figured that out.

  48. Kelly
    Feb 11, 2011

    I looked at her blog a time or two, but when I made comments that politely asked questions about something she wrote, they weren’t posted. I stay far away from any blogs that keep that tight of a rein on the comments.

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