June 17, 2012 -- Parents blogging about parenting isn't new.
It became an official "thing" the usual way: when the New York Times ran a trend piece.
That was in 2005, when, according to Catherine Connors of parenting site Babble, Technorati estimated that 8,500 moms and dads were blogging about parenting. By 2010 there were 4.2 million, Connors said. (Babble and ABC News are owned by Disney.)
Most of them are women, who, as we know, have healthier faculties of self-expression. "Mommy bloggers" have recently exploded in number, becoming a new "thing." But we Dads have gotten into the game.
According to a survey released Wednesday by Euro RSCG, 52 percent of "Digital Dads" – "those leading-edge influencers who are shaping trends and markets" (EURO RSCG is a marketing/PR firm) – and 20 percent of "Average Joes" have written about parenting online via a blog, Facebook or another site.
Dad blogs vary widely, from intimate, when-I-can-squeeze-it-into-my-schedule journals aimed at friends and family to slick, ad-filled sites that keep the family in juice and diapers.
Some increasingly engage in social activism.
In February, Doug French, blogger of Laid-Off Dad , helped spark a "shop-in" at JCPenney to support its partnering with Ellen DeGeneres after a conservative advocacy group slammed the retailer for having a gay spokesperson.
Here is a sampling of clickworthy Dad blogs.
Message With A Bottle is tersely funny in a lad-mag way. In 2010 Chris Illuminati quit his job and became a stay-at-home dad and freelance writer. His posts revolve around photographs of Post-It notes, which he used for work and began incorporating into taking care of his son.
"These are notes to remind myself what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do when raising a child," he writes. "Also, there is random ranting."
A recent post muses on a milestone: his son's first "f-bomb." The boy is two. It involved a remote control.
Jason Good 365 introduces itself thus: "I'm a writer and stand-up comedian. I live in New Jersey with my wife and two small boys. Everything is difficult and awesome. You can read about it here." Difficult and awesome – in every sense of the word – is a good description of fatherhood, isn't it?
A lot of bloggers – dad and mommy – want to convey humor and wisdom in the day-to-day scramble of parenting in a way readers can connect to. Good's comic talent and good writing lift him above the mediocre horde.
"I can't request, suggest, command or order my son to pee — he simply denies the need and continues to wiggle about the room," Good writes. He goes on to extol his wife's solution: "She says, 'Everyone! Silas has to pee! Pause it!' and we immediately become motionless in an action pose as if we'd been working as fruit vendors in Pompei when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. We stay like that until he returns, and then all go back to drawing on a box, making Play Doh burritos or taking DVDs out of their cases and hiding them behind the sofa."
MetroDad is an urbane chronicle of Pierre Kim's journey into and through fatherhood. One fan, Miami attorney Sanjiv Desai, 40, said he found comfort in a kindred spirit: "I was yearning to connect with other men who felt the way I did: overwhelmed but without doubt that [being a father] was what we wanted to do."
Kim also blogs at Rice Daddies, a blog platform for Asian-American fathers, a good example of dad blogs based on specific communities or niches.
DadLabs is a joint effort of two dads in Austin, Texas. It is slickly produced and features fatherhood-centric videos meant to entertain and inform. It unabashedly partners with companies such as Philips Norelco, keen to market to its audience of young, active, wired dads.
"DadLabs is a dad blog for people who don't like dad blogs," said Matt Bucher, 35, an editor in Austin who's a fan. The site's videos "seemed more like 'Saturday Night Live' skits than blog entries," he said.
Daddytypes.com – "the weblog for new dads" -- is a popular blog that admirably pulls off a combination of practicality, community and idiosyncrasy. Blogger Greg Allen solicits tips and questions from dads and returns a mix of well-written posts on everything from Maclaren strollers to Dutch design to Monaco. Good tags and categories let you find what you want and bypass what you don't. And a generous and well-curated blogroll offers a portal to numerous other dad blogs.
Dadwagon's main navigation tabs include "Bad Dads We Love," "Dad + Gadget = Fail," "What Almost Made Me Cry Today" and "Actual Advice." It's a dad blog run by a group of New York City dads who write funny, unflinching posts about the darker, more absurd side of fatherhood.