I’m Disappointed in you, Martha Stewart

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Recently Martha Stewart gave a controversial interview to Bloomberg.com. During the interview she made a comment about bloggers that really pissed me off:

“Who are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine. There are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of what really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create a kind of a popularity but they are not the experts. We have to understand that.” -Martha Stewart

If the video isn’t working you can watch it at Bloomberg.com.

Personally, I’m hugely disappointed. I’ve liked Martha’s crafts over the years, but I have to call her out for making incorrect assumptions about bloggers. What makes HER a professional expert? She went to school for History and Architectural History. Does that make her a expert in cooking? Did her modeling career make her a professional expert in arts and crafts? I don’t think so. She learned cooking from her family and may have a natural talent for crafting but she became a professional in those fields by starting a business in those areas and being successful at it. Many of these bloggers she so rudely dissed are doing the same thing with their blogs. They may not be huge money making businesses, such as Martha Stewart Living, but they care about the products they produce and many work hard to provide great recipes that have been tested over and over again until they’re perfect.

One thing I love about blogs is you often get to see the process that goes into testing recipes and crafts and finding out what works and what doesn’t. It’s a much more personal interaction between the baker or crafter and the audience, more than Martha ever has had with her audience.

I wouldn’t consider myself a professional baker by any means. I’ve never come up with a recipe myself and often use other people’s recipes in my blog posts, but I don’t think that makes what I do invalid. I’m new at baking and usually spend more time decorating a cake than baking it. I’m an artist and like to use my artistic skills in the food world. It’s fun! Blogging is fun.

For the past 12 years I’ve worked in theatre. Eight of those years were specifically in prop making. I don’t know if I’m a complete expert at prop making, because I learn new techniques for crafting props every day, but I would consider myself a professional in that area. The only thing that got me to that point of professionalism was getting out there and doing it. I didn’t go to school for years of theatrical education although my process of learning the job was in an educational environment. Life is full of education, whether you spent tons of money for a degree or not.

I think Martha Stewart is threatened by the Rise of the Blogger. Blogging is a simple way to gain a following and possibly a business. Martha may be concerned how quickly these bloggers can share their ideas and become a genuine professional in the field that she’s reigned for years now.

I know there are bloggers out there that don’t create anything new or original and take credit for other people’s ideas, but most of the bloggers I come across are nothing like that. Some of my posts don’t showcase a new design, but when I borrow from other’s ideas, I always give credit to those designs that inspired me and I built upon.

Martha should embrace the online blogging culture and encourage those who have a knack for cooking, baking, and arts and crafts to get out there and share it with the world! What’s so wrong with that?

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