Top Blogger Spin Offs - Pioneer Woman Spawns Pie Near
How to Make a Blog in the Genre of Niche Bloggers: Haters
The mark of a great blog might not necessarily be a gaggle of likes and followers, or the celebrity blogger status you receive, or even the motorcade of blog traffic because you are oh-so-popular. Nope. A clear signal that you could be a top blogger is the number of spin-off hate blogs that you cause. Case and point: Pioneer Woman.
Years ago, I was so deeply involved with my blogging niche (all things related to adoption) that I was literally oblivious to the larger blogging cosmos expanding in every direction. When I eventually came up for air and began working at DragonSearch, I was pretty impressed by the widespread players in the blogosphere. My earliest days as a dragon were spent combing Technorati and making lists of "Top Blogs" in vertical categories. The visitor numbers alone to some blogs like Pioneer Woman, Dooce and The Bloggess were staggering to my little niche blogger self.
Blogging for Money, Fame Fortune and Free Gifts!
Here I was so thrilled to actually have landed a real job because I BLOGGED (something I have yet to let Mr. D'Arcy forget), only to discover that I could have been making a whole lifestyle enterprise out of blogging and becoming a household name. Actually, come to think of it, I should have just branched out then, four years ago, but then there are always those pesky bills to pay. So I remained on with my DragonSearch team and taught other people how to blog. I have blogged A LOT in the past four years, not for my personal brand, but for our corporate clients. By definition, then, I am still a niche blogger, though not a famous blogger, not a celebrity blogger and not even a blogger that gets lots of free stuff.
I'm ok with that. I have kept true to my own personal brand and the spirit of my own blog. Really. Believe me. Yeah.
Now, I will admit that a few months ago when I spotted a listing on my TELEVISION channel clicker thing that said "Pioneer Woman" I immediately reached for my iPad to see if really? Truly? She went from BLOGGER to TV SHOW? I was both impressed and a wee bit jealous to see that yes, it was one and the same blogger Ree now listed on the Food Network. Yes, I will admit that the thought ran through my head, "See, you should have expanded your own brand four years ago and now you'd have a TV show too!!", but that's ok. Really. Yeah, maybe once upon a time I was an interior designer and dreamed of my own show, but I really don't LIKE the whole process of filming. So really, it's ok. I have read that the show is not very good, so I feel a bit bitter better.
Knowing that, I will confess that today, when one of my original blogger buds posted a link to Pie Near Woman, it might have been the insane Lucille Ball Barbie image that originally caught my eye rather than the play on the blog name. Even as a person who doesn't really read many other blogs (shushhhh…don't tell!) much less ever been a real reader of the uber-popular blogs (and probably a good reason why I never could expand into that blog genre…I yawn), I got a good chuckle over the great amount of detail and thought that was put into this satire. I had to question: Was mocking of the beloved Pioneer Woman pure brilliance? Was this mock blog created out of real hate or revenge as the tag line eludes? Is it funny or is it mean? And the big question: would the satire of the blog become bigger than the real blog?
Is the Pie Near Woman Mocking of the Beloved Pioneer Woman Pure Brilliance?
Yes, yes, it is. It's also dirty and nasty and there is a lot of action with food porn and Ken dolls and an often scantily clad aforementioned Lucille Ball Barbie. Did I mention that I was not and am not a frequent reader of the real Pioneer Woman? I spent more time on the mock blog today than I ever have on the real one and I laughed. I shared it on Facebook, commented on the original post, had a conversation about it, and laughed some more. Did I already confess that the Barbie thing already appealed to me? And I do actually have a strong snarky side? So maybe I am a better target audience for the mock blog, but, I also had to wonder…..
Getting Screwed Over by a Famous Blogger is an Honor Goddammit?
What's the back story here? I was more than slightly intrigued and felt especially curious, as a running Facebook conversation of late has been about dealing with various forms on hate online. I even had the occasion to share with some friends my own personal social media policy rules such as never delete and don't ever let someone shut you up or they've won. Now granted, these are my adoption buddies so the issue *we* are dealing with are a bit more…weighty…than who stole whose Red Velvet cake recipes, but then again, it's all a matter of perspective. Anyway, I do see that for someone to go through all the effort of ripping Pioneer Woman down, then it's a form of flattery or at least that's what it would be in Adoptionland. It means you are getting to people and making then think, but again, what are we thinking about here on the prairie? Stolen crafts? KitchenAide giveaways that might be fake? So I Google thinking that someone must know why this one Barbie blogger really hates our now celebrity blogger Ree. Yeah, I was looking for celebrity blogger gossip. Where is TMZ when you need it? (Blogger wars TMZ, hmmmm??)
I had to stop digging because there is just so damn much HATE on Ree!
Blogging: When Hate is Funny and Perfection is Photoshoped
Pie Near Woman is NOT the first anti-Pioneer Woman blog which you might know if you haven't been living in the SEO-ADOPTION-SMM sandwich that is my life, when you are a normal person who reads blogs for entertainment or whatever it is that you normal people do. I knew this too, but I forgot. Really. I did.
The Other "We Hate Pioneer Woman" Anti-Ree blogs are:
- The very originally named "The Pioneer Woman Sux", However, I give her this, she's right. Not the sucking part, but as we tell clients at DS, buy ALL the URL versions of your name, especially the sucks: "All the cool kids get a Sux. Rachel Ray, Survivor, you name it and they’ve got one." (Note for my little niche ego: I got a sux MSN message board dedicated to me once. It was before blogging took off, so it's almost like I had my own suxs. .. now I'm embarrassed, trying to be all cool, forget I mentioned that.. damn my never delete policy)
- Then the simple, yet effective completely anti-anti -ree- as in no frills very little Photoshop The Marlboro Woman. I don't get a personal vendetta vibe here, more like inspiration for some snark. "Join us as we reveal what's really behind the Guru of grease, cow patties and fairy tales. We offer hope, recovery and the truth…There’s no hate and no jealousy, but we do value integrity in blogging." I sense a moral affront to Pioneer Woman which inspired this blog.
The More Famous The Blogger, the More Hate for You!
There are many, and I mean, many, various blog posts calling out dislike and distain (often based on disillusionment with PW (see, I'm on casual terms with her already). I understand that plagiarism is not appreciated in the blogosphere, while sharing is. The PW recipes and crafts get a lot of flack. Then, there are the many conversations where bystanders call out “Sour Grapes” to the Ree haters. I do appreciate that the issue with these famous bloggers, and Pioneer Woman in particular, is the illusion of perfection which is written about quite intelligently and I appreciate these conversations even more than the Barbie induced snark, still this was not what I was looking for.
Ever determined, I do find what looks to be the originator of Pie Near, who might or might not really be Rechelle? And she might or might not be truly unpluggedor, possibly brilliant? Here it depends on what is the back story, which I still can't really find, and it seems to be eluding me still! Let nothing stand between my curiosity and a googled search! I need to ask Google the real meat of what I desired to know " Why does Rechelle hate Pioneer?"
Ah, Google, have I told you that I love you.. (today! don’t get cocky!).
I found the backstory!
The War of the Re-Rees
Rechelle was not always "Unplugged" but was simply blogging on "My Sister's Farmhouse" and then it seems that the BIG war stemmed from a BlogHer advertising favoritism thing in early 2010. I like the coverage of it here best on BDPBT (which I think is the TMZ of blogs; damn, someone beat me to it). From what I gather, this is one of those things that I do remember hearing about peripherally, but not caring too much about. I needed the Barbie to pull me in.
Then, there was a face to face visit at the Pioneer Woman Ranch that went all weird and now I know that I am just sucked in and why I DON'T READ THESE KINDS of BLOGS! After all this went down, it does seem like Ree-chelle went all anti-Ree. So is it hate based? It still might be brilliant. I am kind of guessing that this big old war made both the Re-Ree's ( Danielle is going to make me edit this out - I know it! And while she might be PC and right, I am not calling anyone the R-Word. ) traffic go a bit nuts. Since Rechelle was trying to be a big lifestyle blog enterprise like P-Dub (that's what those in the know call her) this "war" got her a whole lot of attention. Like this blog post might have also contributed to the online bickering except this all happened two years ago and probably no one cares at all anymore. For the record, I am not trying to get all linkbaity and on a long gone bandwagon, I am.. ahem.. “Observing”.
From a Marketing POV; I Have to Rule Pie Near as Brilliant
I refuse to read any more about a two year old grunge match held on blogs that I don't really read. It's almost 11pm and I first shared the post at like 2:30 this afternoon. I won't be getting back the hours of my life and I don't have a staff to write the blog post I wanted to write about for MY blog tonight. (sorry non-profits.. bumped again for lack of $$) but I will say this: I think Rechelle found her niche and she will get the readers and attention and traffic she craved. I think she found that ripping Pioneer Woman was much more lucrative than emulating and trying to BE Ree. This Barbie thing, it's pretty funny. I noticed she did a Dooce, too, so maybe one can become a famous blogger by ripping celebrity blogs? It is kind of the Perez Hilton model. Ah, controversy, when in doubt, you always sell!
The Real Pioneer Woman? I am hoping she takes my advice and just laughs her way to the bank. Yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and if any of those accusations are slightly true then you are giving back to the blogosphere. A true win-win.
Me, I'm always thinking: I could do rip off of the mock blog with the Barbie idea but maybe use the Bloggess? What if I use kittens instead of Barbies? I could call it The Adoptress and just do everything The Bloggess does, but not, since I would use it all for nonprofit goodness and to save civil rights (no really, that's what I do for fun. Ok this is fun, but my off time fun..I also like to paint.. walls. Did I mention that I used to be an interior designer in a former career?)
Oh forget that. I'm not nearly as funny and I am afraid Jenny would kick my ass. Sorry, non-profits.
Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy
Director of Social Media @DragonSearch