Blogging

Who Are These Bloggers?

October 23, 2013

I know, I know… This news has already hit the internet like a hurricane and yet, the waves continue. And of course, these types of things always hurt the most when delivered from someone with whom you have the ultimate girl crush on. If no one cared about Martha Stewart, no one would care about her comment, right? But since so many do and it is understandable why, some have asked me – Do I think she was right or wrong? I think she was voicing her opinion and you have to be ready to hear both the good and the bad from others in any field that you’re in. It’s not always going to be rosy, glowing and dripping with sticky sweetness. Sometimes we have to listen to criticism in our communities, not blame the source, but really THINK about where this is coming from. One thing I learned from my favorite psychology professor that stuck with me for years, that I try to teach to my own students today, is the value in criticism. Most people RUN from it. Don’t. This isn’t to say that someone calling you lazy or dumb is valuable because often, people tell you what they think about themselves – you are just at the wrong place at the wrong time. And other times, maybe you were being dumb or lazy about something and that’s good to consider because you may need to learn more about something or work on your tendency to flake out. All constructive things that, although came in a very ugly package, can still be a gift.

Who Are These Bloggers?

I thought that for all of the bloggers out there who felt offended by the recent comments made by Martha Stewart about bloggers, that we could think about ways to become even better at what we do. Because as my grandmother always told me, “That which doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger”. Self-reflection can be an invaluable tool of growth that can literally transform you along with your blog and your business.

Another thing I thought about it that maybe we can, as a community, answer her question, “Who are these bloggers?” through our own blogs – you know, writing better bios on our sites, speaking more openly with others about our backgrounds, having more courage. I’ve met thousands of bloggers through my e-courses and I try to challenge them to think about who they are and what their intention is, what they’re best at and how they can really showcase that online. So many bloggers are way too shy in their bios. I remember a workshop that my adorable friend Steffi Luxat and I taught together in Hannover last winter and one of the students was terrified to write in her bio about the ribbons and things that she designs that are sold ALL OVER GERMANY. I couldn’t understand this and Steffi asked her WHY and she meekly replied that she didn’t want to make others feel jealous or like she was showing off. In speaking with many bloggers, this hasn’t been so uncommon. Lots of women, especially, tend to devalue their work. Do you?

Maybe it’s worth considering for your own blog to have a stronger bio on your site, a better About Me page, that says who you really are. No need to be vague. What’s your mission? Here’s mine. I believe that bloggers have some amazing stuff to share and tell about themselves if they’d just demonstrate more confidence and go for it.

Why does this matter? Lots of reasons. It’s good for you first because it can help you value your own work more. It’s great for your current readers because you may reveal some things no one has known about you before, giving them more respect for what you’re doing online. It’s also good for the reputation of our community because it’s a way that we can all answer a question that not only Martha, but people active in magazines and even television often ask – Who Are These Bloggers? They know what we’re doing and how popular we are but trust me, more than Martha asks this question. Hundreds of people in the media ask and often, they don’t really know the answer. Why do you think so many of them approach bloggers to work for free – to write for their websites, to use their photographs at no charge, to attend their events and report on them without pay… They don’t know most of our backgrounds, our value, that some of us are really working very hard to produce our content and test our recipes, author books, design products, etc. When people KNOW you then respect is the next natural step if you’re good at what you’re doing. So take time to tell your readers today, or this week, just SOON — who you are and what you do and a little bit about how you got to where you are and you can do that by writing a better blog bio.

Am I upset at Martha? Nope. Does she owe bloggers an apology?  Nope. In fact, if she came back to apologize I would lose a bit of respect because there are too many people in this world who say what they mean then back-peddle just to save their skin and who needs more of that? One thing I’ve learned living among Germans (and Europeans in general) is to just call a spade a spade and move on. No sugar coating needed. It’s healthier to just say how you feel than to constantly live one way to the public and another way at home. Many of my peers sent me the video and when I first watched it, I honestly only felt surprised because I know how supportive she has been in the past to bloggers including me – I was on her radio show (proof!) as a guest when my second book released. I didn’t really understand where her comment was coming from. Then I thought that perhaps she is just frustrated for whatever reason and most likely, that reason comes down to not understanding the big picture. We all get frustrated in business – especially when we’re being forced to work with and understand people who are self-publishing online at remarkable rates who are changing how people digest information. Ten years ago, everyone ran to magazines for the latest content and trends but today it’s a different story.

One thing Martha said that was particularly interesting to me was a point she made about how bloggers are not experts. I want to speak to that point for a brief moment. I don’t think most of us really go online to hear what the experts think when it comes to the hottest new color for Spring, we’d rather see what our favorite fashion blogger is predicting because it makes us feel like part of something larger and we can contribute by commenting with our own predictions. There is this friendship thing that makes the expert thing not so valuable these days (to me, at least). I don’t need an expert to help me find a dress for a party or to recommend a lipstick. I need experts to give me medical advice and to help me with my taxes. See what I mean? Decorating isn’t rocket science, nor is fashion or art or anything else that most of us in the creative community share online. We mostly just want friends and support, people who care about us, not experts, to give us opinions so we can walk away with some new ideas that “our blogger friend in New York found”. I’m not online to learn expert opinions on topics that are so totally subjective anyway – I’m online to see what Sania is up to and what Bri is wearing and what Joy’s daughter Ruby is up to over on Instagram and whether or not Garance has posted any more of her fabulous Pardon My French videos. What do you think?

So bloggers, who are you? Maybe if you want to answer that question on your blog you can – and then link your BIO below. That way, I can learn more about you and so can my readers but mostly, because it’s just good that you do it for yourself.

Keep your chin up, my friends. Often criticism is gold in disguise.

xo

Holly

(image: holly becker)






101 Comments

  • Reply Lesley Myrick October 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Love your thoughts on this, Holly. It’s to true – “That which doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger”. Bloggers don’t necessarily have to agree with everything Martha has said, but I do see real value in using her criticism to improve our blogs and propel us further.

    Here’s a link to my bio: http://www.lesleymyrick.com/p/about-lesley.html

  • Reply Debra October 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Well said Holly! And a great reminder to not be shy of our accomplishments. It’s been on my mind to put together a bio that really answers that question. Thanks Martha for the reminder ;)

  • Reply decor8 October 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Lesley Myrick,

    Oh my goodness Lesley it’s so nice that you commented because I’ve been thinking about you and your pregnancy lately – you are 30 weeks now or something like that, right? I’m 26 weeks and wow, it’s the sweet spot! I love it. Thank you for sharing your bio, really, it means a lot to see it – I just read it and learned something new about you too. :) xo

  • Reply Giulia October 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Holly, I really like this post for several reasons.
    Yes, I’m not looking for experts on subjective matters. I don’t claim to be an expert – I am blogging to follow my passion of food, travel and photography. To learn more every time I post, to see a progression in my work and most of all to have fun.
    I was also surprised by her comment, but it didn’t offend me – I’m not defined by her opinion
    I do find it was probably not the best move to make from a PR perspective, but that’s not really my business.
    Explaining to the media what you do as a blogger is hard – explaining it to your grandmother, mom or dad is hard, but I think that will get better with time. And yes, my favourite part of discovering a new blog is reading the about page.

  • Reply decor8 October 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Debra, Yeah being shy isn’t so great online!

  • Reply Angela @ The Decadence Project October 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    “They’re not trained editors at Vogue Magazine…” my assumption is that Martha is lumping all bloggers together, rather than weeding out the well-researched, well-written pieces from internet junk floating around cyber space.

    No, most of us aren’t trained journalists or editors or “experts” (in whatever capacity makes one an expert). But many of us have a passion for what we put out into the world. And most of us enjoy writing and sharing ideas, which is what makes the blogging community great.

    As for me, I love publishing The Decadence Project!

    Who am I? A well-traveled New York-based interior designer who decided to combine my two passions: sexy spaces and exotic places. I’m sassy, classy, and always drink a few too many martinis. I love sharing ideas and observations. I love faux fur. But most of all, I love inspiration.

    And inspiration can be found anywhere, dear Martha, even on blogs. Scratch that: especially on blogs! :)

  • Reply Marilyn October 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I must be in a cave because I had no idea she said this. It doesn’t bother me too much and I love the idea of using this as motivation to show that we do matter in what we share on our blogs. What I do find kind of funny (ironic?) is that she lets Alt Summit have their NY events in her office space! What?? lol!

    And yes, bios are so hard to write. I’ve been tweaking mine forever (this is what it is now http://www.pulpsushi.com/about-me-.html). It’s hard to ever be satisfied with what you say about yourself.

  • Reply Cathy Penton October 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    That was so wonderfully written Holly….I think blogging is really about the joy isn’t it ;)…take care and thank you x

  • Reply Cat October 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to say, I have somehow managed to miss the whole Martha thing – but interestingly I recently read on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride blog how one of the (crucial!) things bloggers often neglect is their bio/about page! So all very timely I suppose. It certainly prompted me to address the drafted version I had kicking about and *finally* get it sorted: http://catameringue.blogspot.com/p/bio.html

    I definitely recognise in myself the dendency to “hide my light under a bushel,” as it were! It takes a bit of bravery to do it (for me anyway) but I actually feel really proud now that I have done it. Time for us all to shout about our achievements and talents, since if you can’t do it on your own blog, where can you do it! :)

    Kat’s blog post for anyone interested (makes good reading!): http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2013/10/the-five-biggest-mistakes-youre-making-with-your-blog/

  • Reply Cat October 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Cat,

    Ooops! That should have read, “…I definitely recognise in myself the tendency to…”!

  • Reply Angela @ The Decadence Project October 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Cat,

    Love Rock n Roll Bride’s blog – as well as her friend’s blog, Gala Darling. Both fabulous insights into the wild world of blogging. http://www.galadarling.com

  • Reply Monica Stolbach October 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Holly it is such a relief to read your post on this topic! I’ve been a lifelong Martha fan(atic), and it was almost crushing to watch her interview literally one day after I hit ‘publish’ on my very first blog post. Especially since I had been delaying starting the blog in the first place because I had the exact same doubt: “who am I to be doing this? I’m not an expert…” I agree with you and the bloggers above – we just have to work harder (which, really, is what Martha would do!) So I’ve enrolled in Blogging Your Way for Nov 1. :D
    My bio: http://www.abarcartinbrooklyn.com/p/about.html

  • Reply Amy October 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    This is the best post I’ve read on the whole Martha thing.
    You nailed it with “Decorating isn’t rocket science, nor is fashion or art or anything else that most of us in the creative community share online…..I’m not online to learn expert opinions on topics that are so totally subjective anyway”. I also think you can learn from criticism and negativity. Hopefully Martha will learn a little bit from all this too! ; ) Don’t bite the hand that feeds you Martha!

    My Bio: http://amymillerdesigns.com/about/

  • Reply Studio8940 - Thomas October 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    My bio; http://studio8940.blogspot.be/p/about-studio8940.html

    Not yet great, but already a small start. Any tips are definitely welcome!

  • Reply Sonny October 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Yes, thank you! I’m so sick of the bloggers angrily claiming that Martha Stewart ‘hates’ bloggers. She said that they aren’t experts and that no one is vetting their material the way traditional media is vetted. That’s the whole POINT of blogging – it’s open to everyone. There are huge pluses and minuses to that, since it opens the media up to alternative viewpoints and more accessible writers but it also makes bloggers responsible for really proving their skills and knowledge before getting the same respect that a published author does.

  • Reply Michelle October 23, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    So many great thoughts here Holly. As ever I admire your ability to turn a negative into a positive!

    I often wonder why so many women are reluctant to properly value the work that they do? I know I am guilty of it.

    But I will update my bio today!

    http://www.hugoandelsa.com/p/about_5.html

  • Reply Lisa October 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    SO well written. I enjoyed this.

  • Reply Lesley Myrick October 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    decor8,

    Aww, thank you so much for your sweet reply, Holly! I’m 28 weeks right now (although my GIANT baby is measuring closer to 30 weeks, and has been measuring large throughout my whole pregnancy!) and yes, it is definitely the sweet spot. What an exciting time!

    Also, I can’t wait to see what magic you whip up for your little dude’s nursery. We’re not putting together our nursery for a while – baby will just be in our room for a few months, since we need the extra bedroom for family and friends who are coming to visit. But OMG I am dying to get started on it… :)

  • Reply Sarah October 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Holly: I haven’t seen the Martha piece yet, but, I agree about the ‘experts’ – design is definitely not rocket science etc. and we enjoy this because we have created our own community. The magazines are very threatened as they should be, since blogging has become an extremely popular and viable way to get all kinds of information. So, here is my ‘About Us’ from my blog:

    WELCOME TO MONACO INTERIORS!

    Philosophy:

    “Eclectic mix of interior style, with a dash of Europe and a pinch of color.”

    I am an Interior Stylist, Writer and Blogger who was inspired to start a design/lifestyle blog four years ago after I got hooked on all the design blogs out there in cyberspace. I currently offer online design services and have a tiny decor shop that has just a couple of items right now, but, I hope to expand it in the future. I will be bringing back my column, ‘Gotta have these’ in which I highlight three trendy decorating accessories and items for your homes and/or clients, and ‘Saturday in the kitchen’ highlighting a gorgeous kitchen. I am also available for local design work here in New Jersey and writing for other blogs and/or magazines.

    I have recently undergone profound changes in my personal life and I find myself in yet another state. I was working full time in a Kohler kitchen and bath showroom, which allowed me to learn and understand this specific design aesthetic. I am now in another state and am trying to build my interior styling business through my blog.

    I am based in New Jersey, but have lived in Maine, Montana, Los Angeles, London, Florida and New Hampshire and all of these unique places have influenced my design aesthetic, especially living in Europe. I love fabrics, wallpaper, color, chairs, and refurbishing old furniture. As a child, I was constantly rearranging my room, which drove my mother crazy.

    Please contact me for design services, my shop, advertising on my blog or questions and comments: monacointeriors76@yahoo.com.

    Thank you for visiting Monaco Interiors!

    I would love to know your thoughts, if any!! Thanks!

  • Reply Jolene K October 23, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    So eloquently stated. I was curious to what your thoughts were because I believe you are a pro blogger and I respect what you have to say. I am just beginning to pay some attention to my own blog and hearing this made me shake my head at Ms. Stewart. I am a professional interior designer but on my blog I plan to discuss more lifestyle topics and not just décor like I originally intended. There’s so much more to designing ones life and I have an opinion and want my voice to be heard. When it comes to food, art and living, I don’t ever claim to be an expert but just an individual who is a bit curious and fascinated with what beautiful things life has to offer. And yes, I do or did have a girl crush on Martha. I think it was just more hurtful and discouraging to some of us who are just starting out to hear her say that. I totally agree with you that I do not want to hear an apology. These are her thoughts and her own opinion. We all knew that she was a spicy cookie!
    My bio: http://www.wise-times.com/p/about-me.html

  • Reply Jennifer October 24, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I can’t thank you enough for writing this. I’m a blogger who was pretty upset after watching that video. I wasn’t upset that she had an opinion, I was upset because she seemed to be missing the point of blogging altogether. You’ve managed to hit that nail right on the head with your paragraph about the “bloggers aren’t experts” comment. Thank you. I needed to hear this perspective!

    Here’s my blog bio: http://www.peopleandplacesandthings.com/about/

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine October 24, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Love your post and agree with everything you say!

  • Reply Katrin October 24, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I don’t care what Martha said, but maybe it’s more acurate to say some bloggers are experts, some bloggers are not. I read blogs that are written by people with a passion for something. That’s why I read them. Not beause I want to get dry expert advice.

    I am commenting because I am struggling with my About-Me-Page. I’ve recently updated it, but still think it’s not quite there. There’s so much more, I find it really hard. Too modest? Not modest enough? How much of yourself do you want to expose? Will other people get it wrong?

    I’ve just added 20 facts about me as I’ve been recently doning on instagram.

  • Reply Laura / The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles October 24, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I’m so glad you weighed in on the Martha comment, as I was curious what your take was. Thanks for your words of wisdom! For me when I first heard about her comment, I just felt a huge amount of irony. You see, I’m one of several craft bloggers who’ve done paid campaigns to promote her craft products in tutorials on my blog…more than once. So I just couldn’t square away why she would ask who we are? She knows! LOL

    Here’s a bit about who I am: http://petscribbles.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html

  • Reply Katrin October 24, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Oops, forgot the link: http://katrinfreitag.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-me.html

  • Reply Rita October 24, 2013 at 1:12 am

    I just started my blog but I gave it a lot of thought for some months before to decide to do it. I really wanted to have a clear view of the things I wanted to do with it and specially what I didn’t want it to become…a short bio was one of the things I really wanted to include and did! :)
    About Martha’s comments I think she is right if we think that there are people who just want to have a blog and don’t spend the time to define an objective…
    I like your vision that we should use this to improve our blogging skills and show who we really are :)
    You can read about me and the reason why I started my blog here:
    About Rita
    Thanks for your post, it was very nice to hear your opinion on this.

  • Reply Alex October 24, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I’m not a blogger, but I have long followed Martha. I think Martha has made references in the past to bloggers that have not been “trained” in certain arts – namely cooking – and more recently, to celebrity lifestyle bloggers – not the kind that became celebrities because of their blogs, but the opposite. Martha has also referenced blogs and blog ideas many times in the past, so she is a supporter as well. I think Sonny nailed it above, her point is that traditional media “fact checked” and proofed things, whereas independent blog media may apply a different publication standard.

    I have to say, however, that while I follow and enjoy so many blogs, I have sometimes been taken aback at posts on blogs with huge followings – recommending chemical reactions that can kill, recommending practices that are considered unsafe and are outlawed in some regions, recommending DIY-jobs that are literally illegal and unsafe. These types of issues – errors, really – are present in every profession. But when I look to a blog for a style or idea, I am not looking for an “expert” but often, a different take, a fresh perspective. After all, it is a caveat emptor world, and that applies to blogs and experts.

  • Reply imdb October 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I love reading blogs! Like a puzzle, it gives me insight into so many lives and homes and joy, and yes, sometimes heartache. If Martha has said anything negative against bloggers, well shame on her! Also, she’s probably feeling the pinch because most of us don’t need her anymore, all because of bloggers! Blog on and stay strong! Thank you.

  • Reply Sarah~Lou October 24, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Really lovely response and I do think being open and truthful, even when the truth may sting, is always valuable…how else do we learn and strive to improve if we’re always told everything is great? That being said though, I think it was a somewhat sweeping comment. Every blog I read is written with care and passion about whatever makes the writer tick. They might not be “technically” an expert, but I often trust the opinions or recommendations of a shared and friendly, open and honest community than I would the “experts” and tastemakers selling magazines or products. I also find, in general, bloggers to be incredibly brave, real, creative, and inspiring people, which I kind of think is more important. This all comes back to your own, very well put comments, so I’ll leave you with with abit about me (hope you’ve got a cuppa! ;0) http://www.lapinblu.com/me-mine/ xx

  • Reply Kara October 24, 2013 at 2:28 am

    What a great and well-balanced post. I agree that I think Martha may have been caught on a bad day as I know she’s generally very supportive of bloggers.
    Over the past few years I’ve started following a lot of bloggers and I buy their books not from an ‘expert’ perspective but from a ‘shared’ perspective. I feel a lot more connection with someone that’s attempting to renovate their bathroom on their own than from a glossy magazine. I think most bloggers come from a place of encouragement rather than from education. We want to help each other out rather than expound wisdom.

    You can see who I am at: http://www.winkinteriors.com/calgary-interior-decorator-about/

  • Reply anne joyce October 24, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I really appreciated your take on this although I haven’t a bit of knowledge about the “Martha” thing. I often wonder myself “who are those bloggers”?
    When I was in High School My dad used to take me to auctions every Friday night and Saturdays..I hated it but loved my dad. He then set my sister and I up with a booth in a weekend flea market again I’m 16 I’d rather be doing other things. I then went to school in NYC (FIT) fashion Institute of Technology because I wanted to be an editor of a fashion magazine. After a stint in Paris
    I came home and joined my dad in the now flourishing antique shop he opened while I was away. I had 2 great years before he passed and have been
    doing this thing ever since 1984. I have had to become an “expert” in everything just to stay in business. Now my expertise doesn’t matter and my shop is not the same since the online shopping thing.
    Maybe Martha is feeling a little obsolete? I’m trying to find out where do I fit in now? I love my shop and so do most people that stop “like a refreshing surprise” so I’ve heard. So staying viable and relevant is the next challenge and if blogging helps keep the shop open than I’ll be one of “those bloggers” too! My shop has been one long visual blog anyway. Thanks

  • Reply anne joyce October 24, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I really appreciated your take on this although I haven’t a bit of knowledge about the “Martha” thing. I often wonder myself “who are those bloggers”?
    When I was in High School My dad used to take me to auctions every Friday night and Saturdays..I hated it but loved my dad. He then set my sister and I up with a booth in a weekend flea market again I’m 16 I’d rather be doing other things. I then went to school in NYC (FIT) fashion Institute of Technology because I wanted to be an editor of a fashion magazine. After a stint in Paris
    I came home and joined my dad in the now flourishing antique shop he opened while I was away. I had 2 great years before he passed and have been
    doing this thing ever since 1984. I have had to become an “expert” in everything just to stay in business. Now my expertise doesn’t matter and my shop is not the same since the online shopping thing.
    Maybe Martha is feeling a little obsolete? I’m trying to find out where do I fit in now? I love my shop and so do most people that stop “like a refreshing surprise” so I’ve heard. So staying viable and relevant is the next challenge and if blogging helps keep the shop open than I’ll be one of “those bloggers” too! My shop has been one long visual blog anyway. Thanks

  • Reply Carrie Hampton October 24, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Hi Holly — I’m so thrilled to read your editorial on this topic. I would have expected nothing less than what you expressed here.

    As a student in a few of your e-classes, you’re constant drive to make us self examine our own voice, POV & contribution is truly one of the building blocks of your philosophy. You also made me realize that there is room for everyone. Just because there are exceptional bloggers with thousands & thousands of readers doesn’t mean that my much smaller blog isn’t just as important in my own way. My experience is just that, mine. And, the day that I stop striving to make it better and more worthy is the day I should pack it up & find something else to do.

    Thanks for the {always valuable} pep-talk.
    XO,
    Carrie Hampton
    My Bio: Lifestyle Files

  • Reply Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine October 24, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Oh wow! Such a fresh, new perspective. I love it! Thanks for seeing the brightness on a cloudy day. You are so right! We all should be who we are and do what we do.

  • Reply rae October 24, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I love this. I am so sick of the outrage on this when we really should be asking ourselves why it pisses us off so much? There IS truth in what she says, which is why it hurts and we get defensive. Time to up the game, I say!

  • Reply Lucy Chen October 24, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Holly, your post comes just in time for me, not because of what Martha Stewart had said, but because I have received a few harsh private messages as more people start to visit my blog.

    I totally agree with you on learning something and seeing things with a different eye from criticism. But when it becomes a personal attack, I have to handle that differently – which I will show what I mean in a few days.

    This thing about “experts”… who are they? For me, you are my expert on interior decoration. I wouldn’t have any idea about my own personal interior preference had I not read your first book!

    When I started to share my paintings online, I get an email, asking me what credentials I have to show my work

  • Reply Lucy Chen October 24, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Holly, your post comes just in time for me, not because of what Martha Stewart had said, but because I have received a few harsh private messages as more people start to visit my blog.

    I totally agree with you on learning something and seeing things with a different eye from criticism. But when it becomes a personal attack, I have to handle that differently – which I will show what I mean in a few days.

    This thing about “experts”… who are they? For me, you are my expert on interior decoration. I wouldn’t have any idea about my own personal interior preference had I not read your first book!

    When I started to share my paintings and 3-minute speed painting videos online, I got an email, telling me that I was younger than her daughters, and asking me what credentials I have to show my work, and what credentials I have to “teach”.

    I thought those people who cared so much about “credentials” were extinct, but apparently not.

    But as long as we are being true to ourselves, we do our best to fulfill our dreams and mission, at the end of the days, that is what counts.

    Best,
    Lucy

  • Reply Shannon October 24, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Thanks, Holly. I agree on all points. Love the idea of “friendship.” For me, blogging is like talking to a bunch of friends – “Hey, everybody, let’s get together and talk about what we love.” Plus, bloggers like you have so much to share–a sense of their own style, wisdom gained from experience, and fresh ideas. Not all bloggers are experts, but great ideas can come from anyone!

  • Reply Simone October 24, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Long time reader (since 2007!), first time commenter. I love what you said about experts – that’s exactly how I feel too.

    Here’s a link to my bio: http://skinnydip.ca/about-me

    Keep up the great work! xo

  • Reply Kerry October 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

    One thing I think that Martha Stewart and a lot of other “experts” have missed is that people like me – novices – can open any magazine or website and see what Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, or India Hicks are doing right now. That’s great, but you know what? I don’t have the budget of India Hicks. I don’t have the contacts of Ralph Lauren. Nor do I have the art degrees of Martha Stewart. I am in no way begrudging them of their knowledge, but I want to see what people like ME are doing in their space, in the real world of either pay the electricity bill or buy the groceries, because you can’t afford both this week.

    I want to see what people who shop at Target, and Masters Home Improvement Centre are doing, and how they put their finds from those places together with the vases inherited from Mum, and the rocking chair inherited from Granny, and that cool wooden bookcase they found one street over on council clean-up day and gave a coat of paint. I want to see ways of putting that together with the stuff you already have, and the rug that’s been gathering dust in the garage because you just don’t know what to do with it. I want to see how that all goes together with that one expensive piece we all bought because the “experts” said to spend the money and invest in one really great item that you truly love (and you did really love it – 10 years ago, but now you think it’s kind of “meh”, but you can’t bear to part with it because it cost $600).

    I don’t *need* bloggers to be experts. I need them to just be real!

  • Reply Natalie October 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Thank you. Well said and so inspiring! I don’t have a blog, but I love reading them! Your blog is LoVeLy!

  • Reply Gwen. The Makerista October 24, 2013 at 8:00 am

    This is so well said! I really appreciate you sharing your heart and thoughts on the matter. As someone who used to do PR for a magazine and newspaper publisher, who is now a blogger, I certainly feel saddened by this but I know where she is likely coming from. That industry continues to take hits, and it’s somewhat due to the blog world and the information people can get through that world.

    I feel like this interview was all business. When asked about companies, she mentions companies that carry her lines (Home Depot and Macy’s), and her saying that bloggers weren’t experts is an attempt to tell the general public “so you should pick up a copy of Martha Stewart Living because we know what we’re talking about.”

    I don’t take it too personally. At the end of the day Martha is a business woman, and you don’t get to where she has gotten without fighting for your brand.

  • Reply Karine Ardault October 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I really like your post, Holly.
    What I find disturbing in M. Stewart’s interview is the generalization she makes. Ms. Stewart should not forget that she is not running her grand, magazines, etc… all by herself and that she has an extended team doing the work.
    Taking about experience, she graduated in History and Architectural History, if I am correct, so she in neither a trained journalist, a trained cook, a communication expert… so why is her voice listened to, it is about her experience more than her training. In the end, what she criticize generally in bloggers is her own reflection.
    And in the end, readers know what is a good blog and a not so good blog. If people a re not interested in a blog’s content, in its voice, and/or expertise, they just do not read it anymore.
    what makes someone qualified to write about washable diapers for example: a journalist? a scientist? a mother using those? a public health professional?… The expertise is vouched by how the readers perceive what someone writes, how it is written, not by how many degrees you have on the subject.

  • Reply Galina October 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Giulia,

    I agree with Guilia.
    I think that don’t need to explain who is blogger.Your blog explains it better.

    I will improve my bio.

  • Reply Moodkids October 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Well Saïd Holly! We Will take a look at our bio when our new site is on! Feels almost like an other baby that will come into our family ;-)

  • Reply Lupin October 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Great to hear your thoughts on this! It is always so much more productive to take criticisms (or any other set backs / negative stuff like being copied or getting customer complaints) and look at how they can be turned into positives – how can we be better / do better?

    This is my about page:
    http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/p/about-me_4.html

    My business and my blog has changed a lot this year and I’m a bit behind in updating my bio to reflect my new direction, this is a great reminder that I need to get on and do that! :)

  • Reply Alexis October 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I agree with a lot of this – especially the experts bit I enjoyed reading the discussion on your instagram about it all too – although being from the UK I don’t really have the same history of feeling about Martha Stewart. On another note: writing my about page on my blog was one of the first things I did on the blogging my way course… I took my self portrait at the playground, multi-tasking mother! Now that about page is nearly three years old and I’ve done a lot since then – so maybe it’s time to refresh it…

  • Reply Tina (Perlen vor die Säue) October 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Du hast Recht !!! Ich werde es die nächsten Tage tun.
    Mein “about me” wird modernisiert…
    Vielen Dank und liebe Grüße…Tina (auch aus Hannover ) ;-)

  • Reply Barbara Cortili October 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I’m glad you wanted to discuss this topic. I wasn’t that interested in the fuss that followed Martha’s declaration because she has the right to share her own opinion on the matter and after hearing her words I didn’t find them particularly offensive since criticism is always appreciated if posed in a respectful way as she did. Your post brought many things to consider and reflect upon, I was asking the very same questions lately.

    My bio is:
    http://pink-like-a-peach.blogspot.it/p/about.html

    (And now that I read your words I want to work more on it)

  • Reply Sandy October 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Thanks Holly, well written as always. Have had a long discussion about this subject with my hubby (he is a consultant for a very big business concern and he totally agrees. He always tells me not to work for free. I do not work for free during my day job and so I do for my blog. I want my blog baby to grow and I have to value myself and my work. That’s hard sometimes and I am not good at self promotion. Sounds strange because I support people during ma day job to do so and to practice but I have to learn and practice as much as they have to. I was working on my media kit the last days and it was really hard work. I want to tell who I am and what I stand for and what I did so far but I couldn’t remember my accomplishments – that’s ridiculous. I am shy when it comes to showing off my strength and successes…
    Well, next week I am off to France to meet the PR lady of a huge winery to discuss a concept for travels and workshops and I hope I’ll be courageous enough to manage it. Cross your fingers ;-) Looking forward to BYW to work on my weaknesses and to improve my strength. Have a nice day, hugs, Sandy

  • Reply Jessica October 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Well said Holly! But what Martha said looked like ignorance to me…. Shame because I love her work!

    Here is my blog with al little bio right under my picture (in Dutch though….) :
    wonendecoreren.blogspot.com

  • Reply Nici October 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Love your post, Holly! Thank you so much for sharing your gentle thoughts with us and giving courage!
    “Lots of women, especially, tend to devalue their work. Do you?”
    Yes I do, absolutely! But Im working on it!
    My bio: http://dekinnerstuuv.blogspot.de/p/about.html
    Nicole

  • Reply vreni_Hamburg von Innen October 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I say: “generalization is always wrong” ;)
    ….these bloggers….

  • Reply Mel October 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Hi Holly – thank you for this post. You are a wonderful guiding light for “us bloggers”. :)
    My about page is new – like my website – and I’ve just added a little animated video of photos of me throughout my life. I’ve struggled a bit with putting myself out there on the interwebs, so this is my way of edging myself out a bit more.
    http://hejmel.com/about
    Love
    Mel.x
    (formerly known as Melissa Jaine :)

  • Reply Claire @ Style Arch October 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I agree with you. Perfectly said. She owes no-one an apology and should say what she thinks – we all are entitled to our views.

    Yes. i do devalue myself – I am aware of that though and am working on it.

    Who am I? I am a woman who loves interiors and decided to write about the stuff I like. Trendy or not. I’m writing about affordable items that are attainable to those without fabulous builds and huge pay packets. I am happy with that.

    My full bio is here: http://stylearch.co.uk/disclosure/ – nice to meet you :)

  • Reply Elisabetta October 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Hello Holly, I’m an Italian blogger but first an architect and interior designer…here in Italy we are so far from having such a debate about bloggers, in my country they are too all tied to conventional communication (magazines, newspapers)! However I’m always so curious to read what happens in other countries, and maybe critics can be useful also fou us :)

  • Reply Amy October 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the debate Holly. I think there are bloggers that have made an enormous contribution to how we communicate on a social and personal level about the subjects we are all passionate about and I think it is invaluable that it is such an accessible and open forum [for just these kinds of discussions].

    Once upon a time so called ‘experts’ lived in a rarefied world that felt entirely unattainable and beyond the reach of most ‘normal’ people, and lived in cities like New York, London, and Paris. So thank goodness there are people like you who offer an inspired insight into design without the Vogue-mystique.

    Power to the people I say. Here is my bio with pride:
    http://simplestylenotebook.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-me.html

  • Reply anne joyce October 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Lucy Chen,

    My Dear Lucy,
    Credentials do count..they show that a person has taken the time and effort to go further into a chosen field and “learn” more than just “inspiration”,” Love that” and crushing on this. There is a difference between decoration and true design. Without the dedication and pursuit of the “Experts” you would have no Photos to pin,websites to share, no fabrics to swap etc..somebody has to pave the way and usually it’s the people who have the “Credentials” that are the trailblazers including Martha. Credentials are earned through time but not everybody who has them is good at what they do so that’s where discrimination comes in. Glad we have a community that helps educate everyone’s eye so they can refine their personal style.
    The one thing no one can ever take away from you is your credentials!
    They still count..you can’t get a job at the style setting anthropologie without them..you couldn’t even get your foot in the door.

  • Reply Rukmini Roy October 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I am so very inspired with the post Holly. Very very…coming all the way from India to let you know that you rock. Here’s what my bio looks like and I’d love if you tell me how it is: http://trumatter.wordpress.com/about/

    Rukmini

  • Reply Haikje October 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Well said Holly. Here is my Bio which I updated with your help during your BYW course :-)
    http://blog.haikje.nl/p/about_30.html

  • Reply Johanna October 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I feel like you’re such a New Yorker – you call it like it is. You’re an advocate and leader for us bloggers. I thank you!

    • Reply decor8 October 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      @Johanna – I think it’s the 20 years I spent in Boston (hardens ya!) the 4 years I’ve been in Germany (really hardens ya!) – I’m at the point now to where I think I just could actually thrive and survive in NYC. ha ha!

  • Reply nic {luzia pimpinella} October 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    oh holly, maybe i needed another kick in the butt. so thanks for this posting.

    my ribbons are sold worldwide by the way…;) but i still didn’t make up my bio. it’s hard to tell that kind of story about myself. at least is isfor me. maybe i should ask other people to write my bio.

    would love to meet you again soon!
    XO!
    nic

    • Reply decor8 October 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      @Nic Hello my dear! Yes add those ribbons to your profile. I didn’t even know they were sold worldwide, so now you see how important it is to spread the word! Yes, I agree – have someone write your bio for you. It’s often much easier. xo

  • Reply Dana October 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Everyone should be allowed to say what they think in a free country and not have to apologize for having an opinion. I take people with an opinion over people with no opinion any time.

    Personally, I think her comment is ignorant and arrogant. There are millions of blogs, does she know all of them? Has she tried out all the recipes posted? Also, funny thing is, she has (according to Wikipedia) a Bachelor Degree in history. How does that make HER an expert on things not related to history?

  • Reply Sandra October 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Holly your point of view on this is amazing! completely agree, and I love that your take on it is so positive, I relate to it from the perspective of a small business owner, when we feel threatened by mass retailers, your post reminds me that we have to keep focus on what we do and just continue to work harder, and deliver the message more clearly to our customers everyday about how what we offer is different, your post has giving me a lot of confidence to deliver the message!!
    Thank-you!

  • Reply Kendra October 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    well said! the inspiration I get from my daily “blog reads” was the one of the main reasons I started my blog. I thought if someone stumbled upon one of my posts and was encouraged by a little project I did or interested in something I shared about my own life that would be fine by me! i also wanted to keep pushing myself (since becoming a stay at home mom) and learning and creating and failing while holding myself just a smidge accountable with a (small) audience. ultimately i write for myself to put myself “out there” with the hope of touching someone the way others have touched/inspired/sparked something in me.
    http://sweetmagnoliaway.blogspot.com/p/about-us.html

  • Reply Eppu October 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you, Holly. Very well put. Just like Kerry commented: “I don’t *need* bloggers to be experts. I need them to just be real!”
    My reaction was to raise my eyebrows (“wow, what a blatant generalization”), then shrug and move on. Frankly it sounds like Ms. Stewart might have had a bad day, and let her insecurity (jealousy?) slip through.
    Here’s my About page: http://playfullygrownuphome.com/about/

  • Reply sherri October 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Martha, Martha, Martha!

    http://designdisorder.wordpress.com/about-me/

  • Reply Heidi @ Fabric Mutt October 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Such a great post, and I love your attitude — we can and should try to learn from every bit of feedback out there, even when it’s tough to find the truth underneath the criticism. My blog bio is at http://fabricmutt.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html

  • Reply Dianna October 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    The Marta comment doesn’t upset me either and I love your point of view. I agree with the whole “expert” thing. There is no such degree for parenting (probably the most difficult job out there), yet we go online for advice or to bounce ideas off other parents and spend a lot of time on parenting/motherhood blogs! I also think blogging became something it didn’t even realize it could become. When done well, people can make a living off their blog. Who would have thought that even five years ago? I could go on, but that’s all I have in me!

  • Reply Ellie October 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, Holly, you are a class act!! I love your emphasis on support and community, on building people up instead of tearing them down. Kudos to you! x Ellie

  • Reply Rachel October 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I so agree with your comments, especially ‘ what doesn’t kill you’ which I used only yesterday ( May well have been when my 2 yr old Coco fell over and cut her head!) totally the wrong context! Anyway what you said made me look at my bio and frankly it was rubbish so I’ve gone back and rewritten it, still not perfect, but it’s a start
    Thank you
    Rachel x
    http://ilovecocorose .blogspot.co.uk/about/

  • Reply Michelle October 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Hi Holly,

    This is such an interesting read. I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere and if that´s on a blog regardless of credentials or expertise and it floats my boat so to speak, then great. Blogs inspire me.´Experts´ involved or not. They help me to generate great ideas for my clients. Which helps me to create beautiful weddings (I´m an event decorator) for them. So everyone wins. As you quite rightly said, ´I need experts to give me medical advice and to help me with my taxes´.

    Michelle
    x

  • Reply Ronnie Citron-Fink October 25, 2013 at 1:54 am

    While I wholeheartedly agree your the premise, Holly, I was at BlogHer in 2012 when Martha (whom I admire…covet her mags) courted and praised bloggers for their honesty. Yet, this controversy seems to be because she doesn’t trust bloggers to be knowledgeable enough or “experts” in their chosen niche. This generalization may be true for some, but it is a slap for many. So many of us, you included, have become superior experts in our fields, which is why her statements touched a chord. Love your blog and thanks for keeping it real!
    http://www.econesting.com/about/

  • Reply kylie@townmousecountrymouse October 25, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Firstly Holly- Thks for a great post and turning a negative into a positive. I was actually gutted when I saw this interview. So incredibly disappointed with someone who I have always admired and oozed with great ideas and style. I am very new to the blogging world and will be the first to admit Im not an expert of any particular field. Blogging for me is an escape into a world of knowledge, beautiful things and putting me in touch with people who share similar passions around the world. Martha has done an incredible job building up her empire, but she needs to remember that it’s the little bloggers like me that might ‘copy and paste’ her ideas and forward them onto a whole new world of readers that she never had. I for one have surfed hundreds of blogs and quite often been linked to Martha’s blog or website because of these links. I have even purchased her products because Ive seen them displayed in photos. Without us unprofessional bloggers, she may not have the follower or readership support she would otherwise think she has built up all by herself.
    Holly, your positivity on this issue only makes me want to blog even more and prove to the likes of Miss Martha that we might not be so called experts but we are passionate.As long as we acknowledge in our blogs the source of our ‘copied’ links and ideas, I dont see that what we are doing is wrong.
    Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy…..a very special time especially with your first x

  • Reply Bryony October 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Kerry,

    I think this really hits it on the head for me: and even within the blogging community there’s plenty of strata of what is ‘real’ for different people. A while back everyone was raving about the HATCH-to-hospital box on their blogs: I can’t justify treating myself to that for the price! So I put together a post on how to do it for less money. It’s all about taking inspiration from where you can and sharing with you friends and readers how you make it work in your own real life. That, to me, is the strength of blogs. I can see how other real people with mortgages, houses to clean, kids to chase after, and relationship to maintain still find time to look nice, feel good, and reupholster an ottoman. ;-)

    And here’s the current iteration of my ‘about me’ page on my blog: http://nqwt.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-me.html

  • Reply Nell October 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    This has been probably the most interesting read this morning. Someone in the comments mentioned the possibility that Martha may be feeling “obsolete” — that was my first impression also. Some of the examples she chose as the arbiters of good taste are now, to me, just mass producers of marketed taste (Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Vogue Magazine?). I’m probably older than most of your readers (early 50s) and in my younger days, I was interested in those individuals and companies she cited–but likely because the media available at the time pretty much controlled the images, stories etc…Hurrah for bloggers for expanding and bringing to light other individuals, tastemakers, designers etc… that may not have had a venue to the interested public pre-internet.

    Finally, yes there are some bloggers out there that maybe should re-evaluate, (some I cringe for)–but if they are trying to make money from their blog, the market will (fairly) help them with that “re-evaluation” process.

    Thanks again for another great column!

  • Reply Janet Wilson October 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Very well said, I applaud you :) And, I don’t even blog!

    Oh, I got my copy of “Well Read Women” – BEAUTIFUL book, thank you for the recommendation.

  • Reply kristin October 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I wasn’t really offended by Martha’s comment, because, to some degree, it’s pretty true (as a diy blogger, I know I’m usually just winging it). But I really like your take on it. I DO value and trust the opinions of bloggers far more than experts in these specific areas because it is so generalized. I also trust bloggers a little more because I believe they’ve done it or used that and it worked for them so maybe it’ll work for me. It’s a little more real-world than the opinions some experts offer as I definitely don’t have the money or resources that are available to them and in some cases, I never will. Design experts only give (what I think of as) fantasy inspiration. They’re excellent for giving me the ideas that I can use to recreate looks at a more real-world price. This is the advice and information that is generally supplied by the average blogger and is the advice and information that I want. I am so appreciative of the blogging community and the real-world information they supply. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have that source at my fingertips.

  • Reply eileen October 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I did not see Martha’s video yet, but I loved Holly’s response. I am not a professional writer or photographer but I do have a degree in Illustration. I started my first blog this past Mother’s Day, after my own mother’s passing and my daughter was away at college. I felt alone at home, while my friend’s were celebrating brunches with their families. For whatever reason, while I was sitting on my couch, I opened up a WordPress account and started writing. I have written 41 posts on various subjects, mostly artistic. I love the blogging world, I have made so many new friends, I have something to look forward to every week with my new post and other creative people I chose to follow. It is OUR community, that brings us all together in our livingrooms. It has lifted my spirits and empowered me to learn more. I lost my job on Tuesday after 15 years in a corporate environment. I cannot wait to get back to my own creative world, with all of you to inspire me to reach new artistic levels. Thank you to Holly and all the bloggers professional or not, I love your fashion sense, your food savvy and your generous downloads. Hurray for us!

    http://eileentom.wordpress.com/about/

  • Reply Melissa October 26, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Hello Holly,
    I really enjoyed reading your post until that part: “Decorating isn’t rocket science, nor is fashion or art”. That’s quit a statement and as a fashion designer myself I’m a little offended. There is not a single day when I don’t have to listen to someone explain to me that they could do my job if they wanted. I’ve heard it from my banker, my baker, my friends (oups…)… pretty much everyone. I find it interesting that people can say something like that. I never would dream of telling my banker that I could easily do his job if I wanted because “it’s not rocket science”.
    So I guess the 60 hours of work every week, the first part of my career working for one of the biggest American retailer, my schooling at FIT in New York etc… all this doesn’t count? What about talent?
    I’m just a tiny fashion designer… I wonder what great painters would have to say about they work not being “rocket science”.
    Blogs are wonderful because they a great illustration of how much people enjoy being creative or watching others who are. Let’s value creativity and not assume that it just fun and easy.
    (I apologize to everyone if my English is not perfect… I usually write in French)

    • Reply decor8 October 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      @Melissa – Yes in my opinion, decorating, fashion and art (crafty) bloggers don’t need to be absolute experts in order to offer valuable opinions that make a difference – all based on their natural talent for something. Offering an opinion on paint color and skirt length isn’t rocket science, world changing, absolutely critical information in which life is at stake if you give the wrong opinion.

  • Reply Kreetta October 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Great written Holly! You got me to edit my about page this morning with morning coffee. I’m sure this discussion has been a good starting point to make a better introduction on our about page – who we really are we bloggers.

    And even though we might not always be experts but we truly are who we are. That is a lot.

    xo
    Kreetta

  • Reply anastasia October 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I can see how Martha would feel a little insecure about bloggers – the world is changing and fast!! Technology, the rise of the online shops, the bloggers and social media allowing people to have a ‘voice’ and a true opinion would greatly impact on her many interests especially print & magazines – of course it would mean affect her bottom dollar…
    Her comments were insensitive, after all she was able to reinvent herself from housewife to become the ‘empire’ she has grown to be – she was no ‘expert’ – Its all very confusing because she appears to embrace bloggers in her Martha Stewart circle plus she was a guest speaker at ‘Blog her’ so I don’t understand where she is coming from except that she must feel threatened.
    Ive been blogging for over 6yrs now – I still love it and being part of this blogging community – its time consuming and somedays challenging but I still enjoy it so I’ll keep at it…

  • Reply Melissa October 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Hello Holly,

    I didn’t realize that you were talking about bloggers when you wrote that comment. I view bloggers like critics. Some are fantastic because you can sense how much culture they have but others…

    • Reply decor8 October 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      @Melissa – Oh good, I’m glad I could clear that up! :) xo

  • Reply Nancy October 27, 2013 at 4:10 am

    It makes me sad that Martha Stewart would criticize bloggers recently. Her statement that recipes aren’t tested, that bloggers aren’t professional journalists, is like the pot calling the kettle black. For goodness sake, Martha needs to remember many of her recipes were her mother’s! They were “tested” at the family table, week in and week out. Her mega empire started as a concern out of her home, growing herbs, and vegetables, baking and catering for friends and neighbors.

    There is a plethora of information available on the internet, through print media, radio and tv. But it is the family, friends, work associates who share recipes and tips we take first. Some of those “friends” may be on a blog instead of the neighborhood.

    And WE DO KNOW MORE THAN WE THINK.

    I prefer fish over chicken, Mexican food before Italian, garlic and lemon on lamb. My husband adores cinnamon coffee cake, I like lemon tea bread. He likes the color blue, I like yellow. He’d rather wear jeans and a pull over sweater, I’d wear slacks, a blouse and a cardigan. Decorating our house is for comfort and welcoming family and friends, not formal and stuffy. We put our feet up, and curl up. We don’t need others to tell us how to do it. But sometimes encouragement or a new idea we can incorporate makes things easier, more productive, more comfortable. That is why martha Stewart’s company has flourished. However, we don’t need Martha Stewart or any magazine, book or show to tell us our preferences. We take the information to educate and inform our tastes. In our transient society, when Grandmothers, Moms and Sisters are no longer living nearby, we can get the tidbits of wisdom not so readily available from a like minded “friend” on a blog. When there is a repair to make, a podcast can demonstrate what tool to use and the safe and simplest way to do so when Father is no longer living.

    I hope bloggers will continue to inform, advise and share information with those who care to listen. There is a lot of knowledge and wisdom available. My mother used to advise me that some information, even something she may advise when we were both adults, I can choose to take in and set aside, or some take in and throw away, and some keep and use. That advise, is a keeper.

  • Reply Amy October 27, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Interesting video! I think there is some truth in what Martha is saying, but I certainly don’t know if I’d lump all bloggers together.

    I’m guessing there are bloggers at every skill level you can imagine. And that does include original content that has been professionally created by people who could very well work at Vogue.

    Expert smechexpert. ;) I agree that bloggers can take this as a challenge and that lots of bloggers can also give themselves a big pat on the back, as they are already doing wonderful work.

  • Reply Eventi e Wedding P. - The Wedding Blog October 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Personally I don’t care about what she said. You can listen, agree or disagree but then I continue blogging always trying to improve my self. Maybe she cared about what some bloggers said about her so she needed to put a distance between her “level” and the blogger’s one? What do you think? Sometimes experts are not experts at all.. A blogger can became an expert. for example: I follow many vloggers for the make up… usually their first videos are frightening! But then… they become “experts”. And, by the way, what does “expert” mean? Martha, I love you, but I think you have a great staff workind on your social networking/blogs ecc… but maybe you don’t know that well this web world.

  • Reply Eventi e Wedding P. - The Wedding Blog October 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    kristin,

    I totally agree with you. I trust much more some bloggers/vloggers than many journalists and “experts”.

  • Reply Aidel.K October 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Holly, I, too, love this post. I like particularly that you tried to see it from someone else’s perspective (Martha’s) rather that immediately becoming defensive. I’ve admired MSL for a long time, but I sort of outgrew it. I cancelled my magazine subscription a couple of years ago and really haven’t missed it. The magazines are gorgeous, and even when they aren’t useful, it’s hard to let them go–more clutter. I found that I was enjoying looking at the magazine, rather than using it. That being said, I’m struck by Martha’s answer to the question; “Who has good taste?”–she manages to name drop the stores where her products are sold. Seriously–Home Depot has good taste?! As usual your heartfelt and thoughtful comments add much depth to the discussion.

  • Reply Kate October 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    First off, I love Martha, but I kind of love her for her complete lack of understanding of the common person. I recognize that she is at a level where she probably has no time to understand anything lower than the top eschelon of design. That’s pretty obvious based on her choices of who has great taste – Ralph Lauren? Home Depot? Amazon? Way to be uncreative, Martha.

    Bloggers are not doctors. There is nothing dangerous about following the advice of non-experts in things like home design and recipes. The proof is in the pudding – if I like their style I like it, if not I’m not going to read their blog. If their recipes don’t work, all I’ve lost is the money I spent on ingredients and a bit of time. And honestly, I’ve made enough lackluster meals from Martha’s “expert” recipes that her comments made me chuckle.

    I think Martha has paved the way for a lot of what lifestyle bloggers do, but bloggers have taken her influence and created their own world. Honestly I respect Martha tremendously but her comments to me prove that she’s more concerned with maintaining the design monopoly among big box creative outlets and ultimately has lost most of her relevance for younger generations.

  • Reply Jackie {York Avenue} October 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Fantastic, Holly. I really respect what you wrote here. I was offended by what Martha said and I thought it was nasty and mean, but you made some great points. It’s a little more complex than just her being mean. I’ve been hemming and hawing about investing a little bit of money to have a designer make a real “about me” page on my blog, but you’ve given me a good push of motivation in that direction. And a good push to think about why I really blog, and what I feel I’m adding to the community-and then to communicate that. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  • Reply kylie@townmousecountrymouse October 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Kate,

    Totally agree with everything you said Kate!

  • Reply Fenny Setiawan October 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Well said and written Holly. I feel constructivist critics is necessary to improve our selves. Thank you for sharing your opinion, because it always matters to me rather than expert thinks about it. I always takes seriously all advice from my fave blogger, regardless about fashion, decorating and tips. I feel I am part of them and easily relate with their advise. You are right, I normally only seek advise from professional about medical or something to do with law and taxes hehe….

  • Reply Jennifer Klementti October 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Holly,

    This is such a great response to Martha’s comments about bloggers and who the heck are we anyway. I thought it was bizarre at first that she made that comment considering she has many bloggers in her Martha’s Circle and has interviewed bloggers such as yourself too. I think it is as you said very well a response to the fast paced changing industry of media and how blogs are making such a huge impact on how people find inspiration on various topics online. I do totally agree with you about creating a better bio and we are going to do just that. I remember that from one of your BYW classes too! My partner Jane Klementti & I are committed to creating better bios on our about page to showcase our backgrounds, talents and accomplishments. At first we wanted to keep the bios very simple, but we realize we need to change that now.

    Thanks for everything Holly! You continue to be a great inspiration in the blogging world!

    Here is our about: http://sundaycrush.com/about/

    Cheers,
    Jennifer Klementti

  • Reply anne joyce October 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Nell,

    Exactly my thoughts too and i am your age so that’s probably why.
    I don’t feel the need to discredit my accomplishments . I still think credentials count. It shows dedication greater than so called “passion”
    you earn them not just blog about them right?

  • Reply Shayna October 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Let’s not forget that there are many bloggers who are also professionals! Of course not everyone is, but her view of the blogging world is very narrow. Heck even “Martha Stewart Living” had a blog: http://livingblog.marthastewart.com/
    To me, her comment just seems uninformed.

  • Reply decor8 October 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I’ve REALLY enjoyed reading your thoughts, everyone! It’s quite good that we all came together to discuss this – so thank you for joining in. :)
    xo
    Holly

  • Reply Heidi's Cottage November 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Ronnie Citron-Fink, I too was at last year’s BlogHer conference when she spoke. Hundreds of women filled that hotel ballroom, all with at least one blog or social media outlet, and she courted us. Even offered us free magazine subscriptions. And so that is why I surprised when all this hubbub happened.

    Basic lesson Martha missed: When you’re on stage, you don’t insult the audience… they will walk out.

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