Martha Stewart, who was quite the charismatic and humorous speaker at BlogHer 2012, where she said that she was honored to share her birthday with us, had some choice words to say about bloggers this week.
Really, you absolutely must watch the video to fully grasp the fantastic derision in her words. But let’s review.
Stephanie Ruhle: “Is there an argument to be made that maybe social media is in poor taste?”
Martha Stewart, interrupting excitedly: “Oh – oh I DO have a minor gripe about that too. Because WHO are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine! I mean there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. So, bloggers create a kind of um, a, um, popularity but, they are NOT the experts! And we have to understand that.”
So Martha, I would like to say that you are correct.
At least about one thing.
We are NOT the trained editors at Vogue Magazine.
We are better.
And here are ten ways we treat our readers better than Vogue Magazine does theirs, or you yours for that matter.
1. Instead of finding child models for our photos, we use our own kids. And sometimes, those kids are angrier and/or dirtier than our reader’s kids, giving them hope that perhaps they’re not the worst Mom out there.
2. Sure, we tell them about our crafting projects gone right at times, but they can get that kind of overdone perfection in any doctor’s-waiting-room-copy of an old Martha Stewart Magazine. So we’re also willing to show our projects gone very, very wrong.
3. Half our content isn’t ads. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
4. We assure them that they are not weird or slowly going insane. Did you know that in fact everyone’s breast pump talks to them? It does. And I bet neither Vogue nor Martha ever told them that.
5. We show them what we really let our kids eat – and that they lived through it.
6. Speaking of food, anyone can put together a perfectly coifed tablescape. But will anyone show what a typical toddler tablescape looks like? I’ve never seen this in Martha Stewart Living, but I bet they’ve seen it in their home.
7. We all know that if you have a test kitchen and 20 professional chefs, you too can make gorgeous, identical, intricately decorated, picture-perfect anything. That’s why you need bloggers – to show you what they’ll probably look like if you try to make them.
8. If we do give DIY instructions and our readers can’t figure out how the heck to make that chevron pattern line up, we actually answer their questions. Good luck getting tech support from Vogue or Martha.
9. Vogue shows you how to dress using size negative 4 models. If we give you advice on how to dress, we use actual female human beings.
10. We properly warn of the nasty underside of attempting crafts with children. I am positive that if Martha even allows children in her magazines, they get scrubbed between shots.
So Vogue can keep their trained editors and we will keep our bloggers. And Martha might should reconsider using her most repulsed tones and grand sweeping generalizations about an entire people group. If for no other reason, so that her PR team can create a bit more genuine retraction.
Update: Martha had another non-apology attempt to save face with this tweet:
So let’s do a quick recap of Martha’s words:
a. Bloggers are not the experts,
b. Bloggers are stealing the expert’s ideas,
c. Bloggers inspire Martha the most.
Therefore, we can clearly deduce that Martha is stealing our ideas.
64 thoughts on “Dear Martha: You’re Right About Bloggers.”
this is so full of awesomeness!!!!
I’m on my feet cheering!! Thank-you!!
Oh great… Now martha gonna block you like adam…… :)
Oh I hope so! She would be such a lovely addition to my club. Assuming Adam Richman will scoot over a little to make room.
What Heather said! ;-) Ha!
This post is fantastic and very true. Bloggers are real people, not a large group creating false perfection in magazines. I love this so much!
Thank you! Yes, I think creating false perfection would be an endlessly dull task.
I love the ending tweet. Martha Stewart loves most bloggers… Who? The ones turned professional or promoting her products?
I love all the qualifiers too. She loves the ones that are her allies. So the rest of us are *clearly* not the experts and are horrible people trying to rip her off.
I especially love the warm tones in her 3rd person reference to herself in her tweet…
I know! And that she changes back and forth from first to third, as if she can’t make up her mind whether she’s her or a PR person.
**stands on desk and claps and cheers**
Thanks for keeping me sane!
Thanks! She looks so sophisticated eating her own feet, doesn’t she?
I’m cracking up that she loves twitter. Loves, loves, loves, it. Haha! Because we all know THAT social media is so professional and they are all experts! Well I won’t be buying anything with her name on it again!
I just hope she has another Expo Booth at BlogHer next year. I want to videotape the blogger’s reactions!
Who’s Martha Stewart?
Can you believe the nerve of some people – to posts recipes that haven’t been tested by paid staff?! I bet most of the recipes in her magazine haven’t been tested by such critics as I have fillings out my table every night.
Seriously, Raqchel, this may be my favorite post yet. I appreciate magazines for the fun ideas they have, but I despise the false sense off reality they promote, creating feelings of discontent and failure in women across the world.
Fun story – years ago my dad installed a counter for her. He came home and asked my mom, “So, who IS Martha Stewart, anyway?” Totally made my Mom’s day!
I know! We don’t need magazines to make us feel discontent and less-than anymore. That’s what we have Pinterest for!
Ha! Yes. Pinterest.
How arrogant and elitist of her, especially from someone who was in Prison. Bravo Rachel for telling the truth. I have learned more from you and other bloggers than I ever did picking up any of those magazines. I have never bought a copy of Vogue because their models are in no way like me. How can I relate to someone who is a size 2 and doesn’t have to deal with everyday life. I have learned more about how to make tasty Gluten free food from bloggers who have kids that require the diet, and we all know they are the hardest to please, than Martha Stewart. I don’t think she has ever even addressed such a topic. I will continue to read blogs that show real life and inspire me over anything she has to offer. Plus I never really liked any of her stuff. Highly over-rated.
I have personally tried about a half dozen recipes from Martha’s website. Not one of them has turned out well. All were for baked goods and all were flops. I made brownies for my son’s valentines day party and ended up having to turn them into cake pops because they were so dry and bland only adding copious amounts of sugar could save them.
I made quiche from Parent’s magazine once that was absolute garbage. After research, I discovered that two eggs to 2 cups of milk is nowhere near what a quiche should be. I thought it seemed off but I had never made one before and thought it was a trusted source (Well, for recipes. We all know they are mostly just selling stuff).
That said, I have made recipes from bloggers that were great. I’m annoyed when someone blogs about their own version of a recipe and it turns out they just changed a few amounts slightly and it ruined the recipe. However, most of the time I use trusted blogs like Smitten Kitchen, who test before posting. I myself do create my own recipes but I will not post them until I’ve made them at least a dozen times the same way without making changes. Because of this, I have only posted one recipe.
Excellent post! I find that retraction by “Martha’s people” to be a joke. Really? I mean, she said what she said. You can’t take back your words. Once they’re out there, they’re out there! Martha is consistently alienating fans.
I think the retraction made it worse – it wasn’t an apology at all – it was a dismissal, like “what are you guys even talking about? Geez.”
Wow!! That is rude, Martha.
This post is great, Rachel. I would much rather read about real life mom’s, recipes, etc, than the fake stuff of Martha’s world. Thank you for sharing real life with us!
Thanks! I would find myself rather boring and narcissistic if I only ever showed my finest moments. Maybe Martha started believing that she was only made up by her finest moments.
(Even though I have not commented in a loooooong time, I do still read everyday.)
I had to comment here bc I do NEED your posts for exactly the reasons you listed!
Thanks so much! I’m glad you’re still hanging around. :-) I’ll try not to chase you off…
That is awesome, Rachel! Love your list and the pictures.
What I don’t get is she got her know-how from other people. She learned gardening from her father, canning from her grandparents, and cooking and sewing from her mother. Then she just turned what she learned into something she “mastered” and passed along to others. What does she think bloggers do? You learn and hear about things from other people and turn it around and make it yours. Or sometimes you just post hilarious stories and experiences for all of us to get a good laugh at. Where is the harm in that? I love that you give us a glimpse into your life with your family, makes me feel a little less crazy knowing other people deal with the same situations I do! Martha is just so not personable, not to me at least. She is dry and bland on all levels and her voice is so monotone it kills me. BORING! and obviously pretentious!
I think if she’d just added one qualifier in, like “SOME bloggers”, it would have been fine. Because there ARE some bloggers that probably steal her recipes and fake it. But I really thought the days of generalizing an entire set of people based on the bad apples were over – apparently not in Martha’s house.
This deserves a standing ovation! Excellent! I never did like Martha Stewart- always called her ms. Dolly domestic, and that wasn’t meant as a compliment.
Very well said! I check out Martha’s site from time to time for recipes or craft ideas, but I read several blogs religiously (and get sad when there are no new posts). To me, reading blogs is like having a little peek inside lives that are very different from mine–and, since I’m incredibly curious about people and what makes them tick, I love having the opportunity to do that. Where else would an early-40s secretary from Kentucky with no kids get to read about what it’s like to be a homeschooling mom in Alabama? Or a double-lung transplant recipient with Cystic Fibrosis in Scotland? Or a couple restoring a Victorian house in Philadelphia? These people’s lives are fascinating to me. Much more so than anything I might read on Martha Stewart’s site.
As far as recipes go, I would much prefer to read a recipe that was prepared in a home kitchen, by someone who probably doesn’t have a Sub-Zero fridge, $8,000 JennAir commercial stove, or army of prep cooks to do the bulk of the work.
Insatiably Curious people are my favorites. Just for the record.
Great post. I will rather read blogs than magazines any day. One of the main reasons is because as you listed through blogs you see real situations and you can actually identify yourself with the writer or the particular experience.
Yes. If anyone can identify with the photos in magazines then I am positive that I cannot identify with THEM.
Personally speaking, another reason that bloggers are better than Vogue is that I actually read blogs, whereas Vogue has no draw for me.
Love reading your blog, Rachel, and when I miss a post make a point to go back and read it. But, I have never gotten upset over missing the latest Martha Stewart magazine. Never!
But she’s the professional!! ;-)
My mind keeps going to the’ Vogue trained editor’. Is this a college track? Do you come right from high school to the hallowed halls of Vogue. Can you put that on a resume? Is there a manual?
Ha! I know, right? Where do you major in that? And if someone did major in that and became a blogger, would Martha still hate her?
Found you via Twitter, and this is one of my favorite posts on this topic. I just shared on my Facebook page. :)
Thank you so much for sharing!!
Well played, Rach! Well played.
Haha, too funny! The retraction definitely made it worse! Oh and the pump thing…I was pumping the other morning when the girls spent the night at my moms and T was laying there trying to sleep and suddenly looks at me and said, “Does it sound like that is saying ‘and pull, and pull’??” I started laughing SO hard! Then a few minutes later he said, “Now it’s saying ‘Call the police!'” So so funny. I told him I was going to tell you that men can hear it too! The last time I heard it, it was saying “right away”.
Yours is very creative! I’m glad it tells you different things every day – that’s a good pump right there.
It’s no surprise to me. Martha had a show about 3.5 years ago and invited a bunch of local bloggers to sit in the audience. She was openly rude to them! Maybe she’s that way to everyone…
Bizarre. You wouldn’t think that would be very good business sense, but it seems to be working for her…
Love it! Thanks to saying (and writing) what we all are thinking!
I’d take my blogs over Vogue or Martha any day. Also, I just followed your link to the talking breast pump post and I was laughing out loud. My kids had to keep asking me what I was laughing about. Glad I’m not the only crazy one around here!
Thanks so much! And I’m glad to inform one more person in the world that it’s not just their breastpump that does all the talking.
Thank you for sharing the un=varnished, un polished, un perfect pictures of your kids. I am so tired of every magazine making me feel like I am a failure because my house is not perfect, i didn’t have a dinner for 400 people last week and I am not a size 2. I am a 16/18, I hate to dust and I adore crock pot cooking. Bloggers help us feel normal. Thank you.
You’re welcome! I can’t look at magazines for fear of a total complex and a frenzied purging of my household.
Great post. And really, what makes Martha Stewart such an expert, anyway? Didn’t she get her start crafting and doing her own projects and cooking? If I’m remembering correctly, she started out as a stockbroker. Furthermore, I’ve tried a lot of her recipes (that I’m sure she had help developing) and they didn’t work, either.
I guess she’s the expert because she has the magazines and tv shows? I’m not sure. I think she just generally disrespects industries with which she’s not familiar – and that are cutting into her profits.
Keep thinking that way, Martha. Martha who?
You are hysterical. I love your models:-)
Oh, and the picture with Martha and the rolling pin. Holy Cow! Adorable!
Thank you so much!
Anyone else notice that the companies she LOVES are the ones who sell her line? This post is hilarious!
Needle and Hay, Needle and Hay, Needle and Hay. Thank you Madela breastpump for that phrase that is forever etched into my memory.
My personal favourite part of that is her saying “bloggers are not the experts”. I’m sorry who are these all knowing experts that all knowledge comes from. I was unaware that you have to be famous to be an expert. What a load of horse crap. Anybody can be an expert and be skilled in anything. Blogs are great fun. Oh an not to mention FREE. When was the last time all the blogs made you buy their content just to read a load of recipes or crafts you can never afford/ have time to do.
I think therein lies the problem – who wants to buy the Martha Cow when the Blogger Milk is free?