Angie Tempura was a recurring character on SNL’s Weeknd Update played by Michaela Watkins. Angie ran a blog called Bitch Pleeeze. She always wore pyjamas, always had Starbucks, and was always congested.
That’s how a lot of people perceived bloggers. That’s still how a lot of people perceive bloggers. We’re losers who live in the basement. When we have to fill out forms, we always have to check the “other” box under the Employment category. We’re just a bunch of complainers who don’t know snark from snot. It’s not a real job.
Until Gwyneth Paltrow says it is.
G was the key note at the BlogHer 2015 conference this weekend in New York. Is Gwyneth Paltrow the poster woman for the female blogger now? Well, her blog story is not unlike many blog stories. My blog began as an email in 2003 to two girlfriends that they sent off to their friends, so that it ended up being a newsletter for hundreds and then thousands of subscribers. The newsletter became a blog in late 2004/early 2005, way before most people knew what a blog was. This is how Gwyneth started GOOP:
“It really kind of came about in a very small way, with me in the kitchen, with my girlfriends talking about ideas. I didn’t think larger at first. They said, you can’t start a [private] website! It will be public! Then I just said, ‘Oh well, I’ll just do it and make it public.’ I look back and I think, ‘what was I thinking?’ They suggested I put it in a newsletter form.”
So who’s G’s target audience? Who is the GOOP reader. Here’s how G describers the GOOPer:
“It doesn’t matter what the income is, but she’s a really engaged forward-thinking person, and she wants cutting edge information and interesting options.”
And my hope for LaineyGossip is that the people who visit this site are curious gossips with an advanced gossip background and appreciate that “gossip is a buffet” – interesting options, as Gwyneth would say.
For G, blogging isn’t just a hobby though. She wants you to know that it’s a proper JOB:
“It’s my whole day. I basically get my kids to school, and I go into the office, and it’s really my focus right now. It’s an actual real job.”
So Gwyneth is not Angie Tempura. Since she’s not Angie Tempura, does that mean I’m not Angie Tempura? Well…. no. I’m totally Angie Tempura. Because, according to her, I’m “in pain”:
And Gwyneth has feelings about her site's reception in the media, of course: Responding to (the moderator’s) question about whether she reads her own press, she said, "I only read [the] nice things!" Calling much of the press about her "incendiary" and "about pageviews," she continued: "I've been in the public eye my whole life. It's a bizarre learning curve. You really have to find a way to separate the words of a person you respect … from people who are just in pain and are projecting their own sh-t on to you." (This comment earned a few whoops from the bloggers in attendance.)
Oh that’s rich, coming from Gwyneth that’s f-cking rich.
You know where the Conscious Uncoupling announcement showed up?
Not through a rep’s statement, not even on Twitter or Instagram, but on GOOP.
HER PLACE OF BUSINESS.
You want to talk about pageviews? What else would she have been after when she posted her very personal, very private DIVORCE ANNOUNCEMENT on her lifestyle blog? Exactly.
You can’t join the community and at the same time pretend to be above the community. You can’t cherry pick from a community that was here before you and that’s here to save you because your own business, show business, hasn’t been as welcoming. You can’t embrace only those in the community who like you and not the ones who point out that your brand is inconsistent when the entire community was born in the first place from a spirit of sharing – oversharing, bitch-sharing, fawn-sharing, all of the sharing! Blogging was never supposed to work like Hollywood where people only say yes and those who say no are blacklisted. You can’t come in here, cross over into our lane, impose those rules, and expect people WHO WERE HERE BEFORE YOU to abide by them.
So do me a favour, go visit Michael K, the Queen of Snark at Dlisted, and his post on Gwyneth today – click here. Click on it 10 times. Then follow all the other Gwyneth Paltrow links he has on his blog and click on those 10 times. If you feel so inclined, maybe you could stay on my site longer than you normally would too.
You know why? Because if Gwyneth says that we’re “in pain”, that’s how you could help alleviate it. Thank you.