Friday, November 20, 2009

What is Compost Happens all about? My elevator pitch in rough draft

Who am I? I'm Daisy, and this is my blog. I write it, I maintain it, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Once in a while, I make changes. Unless we're professional bloggers by trade (and some are), any of us in the blogsphere will change what we can and spend time within reason to keep our blogs unique and good quality.


Last summer the buzz for bloggers included creating an elevator pitch. For example, if you were in an elevator at the BlogHer conference and you had to quickly describe your blog, what would you say? Here's my first attempt:


Compost Happens is a personal blog: part family, part garden, part eco-consciousness. It chronicles my home life, teaching life, coffee, garden, .... oh, darn it, this is getting too wordy.

Okay, here goes again.

Compost Happens is a personal blog: part family, part garden, part crunchy green eco-writer. I'm Daisy, and I'm the groundskeeper here. I take care of family, garden, and coffee, when I'm not teaching and doing laundry.


That's a little better, but it's still a rough draft. Should I mention A Mother's Garden of Verses or Mid-Century Modern Moms? Maybe. Now I'm thinking and revising, and that can only lead to positive changes.

Any changes, however, need to retain the integrity of the blog. Reviews, for example. The FCC is now regulating bloggers' reviews, calling for clear disclosure of donated items and paid posts. Frankly, BlogHer ads have always required that kind of disclosure; it's not new. Mothertalk/ MomCentral, unfortunately, is getting some negative exposure. I commented on a post related to integrity of reviews, and the emails came flooding in.

When I posted an honest review of James Patterson's Dangerous Days of Daniel X, Mothertalk quoted a select few lines that made my post sound neutral, if not positive.
When I reviewed Return to Sullivan's Island, I was again honest. Mothertalk asked me to change the review. I modified a few lines, but I could not make the book sound good. It just wasn't. In fact, the first Sullivan's Island was so much better I wondered if the author had really written the sequel.
Since then, I've been blocked from doing further book reviews.

Mothertalk/ MomCentral doesn't seem to get it. Glowing sugar-coated reviews are not credible. If I encourage people to read a book, it'll be worth their time. I'm a teacher, published in professional journals, a teacher of reading and writing, an educated reviewer. By telling me to change a review or not post it, they compromise their site's integrity.

Frankly, I don't plan to compromise mine.

Compost Happens is a personal blog; part family, part garden, part crunchy green eco-writer. I'm Daisy, and I'm the groundskeeper, taking care of family, garden, and coffee. I post honestly and straight from the heart. Count on it.
Like it or not.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm with you--what's there to lose by being honest? Especially when it's your OPINION!?! Like your new "elevator pitch."

11/20/2009 3:26 PM  
Blogger Lisa Sharp said...

I'm with you on being honest. I have no idea what Mothertalk is but that is crap! Reviews should be honest. That is why people go to bloggers, for honest reviews.

11/20/2009 8:31 PM  
Blogger Royal Ranch said...

Way to go Daisy! I'm proud of your stand, and hope more people let their opinions be known, that's why we blog from the heart!

11/21/2009 7:37 AM  
Blogger Liberty Rose said...

Daisy,

I am embracing honest commentary in my professional life (which is causing major strife) and applaud your honesty in reviews. You know I love you sister girl!

11/23/2009 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Kori said...

I would be so, so ticked if a book got glowing reviews and the whole sugar-coated pablum and then turned out to be crap. I really would. Granted, of course people have different opinions, likes and dislikes, but the more people are honest about it, the more likely people are to, you know, READ a book!

12/04/2009 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Susan Helene Gottfried said...

As an author, myself, I'm horrified that people continue to demand positive reviews. Fair and as balanced as possible, yes. After all, every book has at least ONE redeeming quality, even if it's only the idea behind it or the concept of a character.

There are a ton of other sites you can review for. Sites that won't demand a basic falsehood from you.

Stick to your integrity and let that site reap the rewards, such as they are, that they're earning.

12/05/2009 6:29 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

I hope eventually this will sort itself out, with organizations who only want positive reviews catering to those who like such things, and other organizations popping up for folks who want more truthful evaluations.

One of the most fun things about book blogging, for me, is politely disagreeing with other bloggers. This week it's Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates, which some folks don't like but I do (often it's the other way around--a mediocre book is being praised and I disagree).

12/07/2009 7:27 AM  
Blogger Book Dragon said...

new reader here, I love your blog name and the elevator pitch. I don't know if I could keep mine from being too wordy, I'm always talking too much


what was it our mother's were always saying? ....honesty is the best policy.


I'm sure sure how else to say what I want to say. I like when you tell me what you didn't like about a book. I like when you warn me about content that might be objectionable. I need to feel the truth in what you write. (you meaning all bloggers)

12/09/2009 3:20 AM  

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