Blogust: The Father of All Blog Relays

Filth, slurs, expletives, graphic mixed metaphors and similes oozing with slime. I’ve had them all hurled at me in comments over the last seven years. And some of them were even spelled correctly.

People that visit the Lab know that while we love to blog and to hang out in our forums, our primary work is video — over 800 episodes to date. As a result, our main source of comments is YouTube. There we get cursed at from time to time. An experience that can lead not only to despair about the civility of today’s youth, but also optimism regarding their creativity.

So while I appreciate your viewership, MerkinTime666, I’m left feeling a bit bemused when you characterize me as “retarted.” I don’t even remember being tarted the first time. And when you, goatmilk44, opine after viewing our experiments with a pregnancy simulation suit that, “I have fallen into a den of f@gs” (a personal fave), I wish you luck entertaining your diverse house guests.

The biggest problem with the YT trolls is not their grammar, however. It’s the fact that I sometimes allow them to take up way more mind space that they deserve. The vast majority of comments we receive on YouTube are kind, thoughtful, encouraging and even inspiring.

Most of the time it’s moms. Which is great. Sincere thanks, moms.

Less often, it’s a dad.  And sometimes, it’s a dad that isn’t even part of the “dad blogging community.” Those are the gems.

Every time one of those dads leaves a comment, I’m proud because to a greater or lesser extent, when that guy enters into a public conversation about parenting, he is challenging accepted stereotypes. Am I hyperventilating when I assert that a comment on a YouTube video is a form of courage? I don’t think so.

That’s why I think that it’s crucial that we support dads every time they face down the trolls (external and internal) to join the online parenting conversation. Moms, goad your partners. Challenge them. Taunt them. Withhold sex. Okay, maybe not that. But nag them through forwarded posts and Facebook blog bombs and reward them richly when they follow through.

This re-enforcement is justified because every blog and video comment a dad makes is like an immunization (transition alert!). Every public comment becomes, in part, a tiny public pledge to be an engaged and active dad. Every word, even if it’s just to joke, hassle or kid the author — we’re like that — is another fortifying dose of immunity against detachment and the debilitating male gender roles of the past.

And speaking of immunizations (see how I did that?), why not start here and double down on goodness. By commenting here, dad not only gets a booster on the way to a healthy career as paterfamilias, but also automatically generates a $20 donation for Shot@Life, an initiative saving the lives of children in developing countries.

All he has to do is comment and the donation, enough to cover the cost of four essential vaccines, will be made by the United Nations Foundation and their sponsor partners. That’s because this post is a part of Blogust, a month-long Blog Relay for Good. I’ve taken the baton from Gina Carroll and will pass it on to Randi Zuckerberg. Your comments on those posts raise money as well, so I highly recommend you visit.

Shoot, why not give yourself a full blown NGOrgasm by commenting on every single post and raise over $600 in the process. Great posts have been cropping up daily and there are more to come.

By the way: MOM COMMENTS ARE WELCOME, TOO. Because we need a bunch, and  like I said, brave and pioneering Dads are still a bit scarce.

And when you’re done with all that, kick back and watch a video or two. There is even some independent opinion that our videos aren’t that bad.


A NOTE ON COMMENTING: Oh, the irony.  A post on commenting and our guest commenting module blows out. If you would like to comment without joining the DadLabs site, you may do so on my personal site here. And those comments will count for donations!

Categories: DadLabs, Fatherhood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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33 thoughts on “Blogust: The Father of All Blog Relays

  1. sean

    I am overwhelmed with temptation to post an offensive YouTube style comment here….but I’ll resist, and be “bigger than that” :)

    In all seriousness, I can’t imagine the emotional energy required to read and discard/digest YouTube comments! Ugh!

  2. Oh, you thick-skinned bloggers. When someone looks at me cross-eyed, I die a little inside. But you carry on anyway. And yes, we need to focus on the positives. And not the retarted commenters out there. Tarted is bad enough ;)

  3. John Farrell

    Very insightful! Thanks for the opportunity to support a great cause.

  4. Seanonymous

    Ka Ching!

    Does that count as a comment, or does it need to be longer? How’s this? A little more? Sure, here you go: Keep up the good fight against interweb trollery!

  5. Alli W

    Kudos to you for encouraging dads to speak up too! :)

  6. first off, that was such an entertaining read, it wasn’t even funny. well, actually, it was funny. hence the great entertainment i derived from it.

    extra points for the immunization segue. which, i’m afraid, is countered back down to zero for the NO SEX comment. (bro, seriously?)

    BUT, that zero soars to a gajillion for the incredible worthiness of this cause. may you get a million comments posted here in this “den of f@gs” into which i seem to have fallen.

    keep up the great work, my friend.

  7. Daddy Clay ROCKS! Great post, great cause, great dads. Thank you for all your fabulous work.

  8. Marty

    Great post. Thanks for doing this!

  9. yimzid

    Glad to be able to help out.Keep up the good work!

  10. Sounds like you’re taking the troll comments fairly maturely. If you can joke about it, you’ve won. I’ve had a few hate filled comments on my site that I’ve had to delete and that’s about money, I can’t imagine the ones you screen about parenting. Keep at it mate and don’t feed the trolls.

  11. Curtis

    Keep up the great work!

  12. As I have said before, the work you do at Dadlabs is a Noble Effort. Keep On Truckin’.

  13. chlsbshp

    Looks like the comment box is working ;)

  14. Great post Clay!

  15. Daddy Brad

    Excellent post Daddy Clay. Whenever I am I feeling blue I head over to YouTube and read the wonderful things that folks say about you (and me) It cheers me right up and I learn some new dirty words. Kudos to ShotAtLife for a tremendous program. Every kid deserves a shot! Awesome!

  16. concretin_nik

    Great post DaddyClay! YT trolls are def. an interesting breed.

    I’m stoked the DadLabs is part of blogust and the Shot @ Life project.

    WKKR, excellent idea. A LIKE button for loyal lurkers!

  17. Great post. Immunizations are more important than a lot of people realize. Happy to do what little bit I can to support this worthy cause.

  18. WKKR

    Love the post and the cause. I think you touch on an interesting point as you describe your experiences with blogging feedback. It seems to me that throwing ones self out there to be criticized may be a substantial barrier to entry for many. Now granted I am not a dude. However, I often find myself reading and not commenting. It’s not that the initial comment would take a lot of time. It’s the potential slamming comments and the amount of energy that they may take to deal with. Sharing your own experiences with this may actually help some dive in. BTW, I personally would like more blogs with “like” buttons. Just so those of us that may not have the time/inclination to comment can show we enjoyed reading the blog.

  19. BLOGUST!

  20. This was such a funny post for such a good good cause! If the Dads ever want to bring their funny over to Aiming Low, let me know.

  21. Vincent DiCaro

    This is great work to help “the least of these.” God bless the children and those who are dedicated to helping them.

  22. BBS

    This is a fine and easy way for many of us to help! Thanks for participating!

  23. KelH80

    Shot @ Life – What a great cause. Thanks for participating. :) I, too, enjoyed the play on words in your blog today. Nice.

    And about your videos: they’re great! Some of them have been really wonderful conversation-starters for me and my husband. Well done!


  24. Daddy Clay

    I am SO SORRY to those of you that are having difficulty posting comments. We are working feverishly on the problem. We should have “Guest Commenting” up and running any second.

    Did I mention we’re mostly about videos? *sheepish grin*

    Thanks for your patience.

  25. Tattict

    I finally found my way in to comment! Yay! This was the hardest blog to navigate of all the Shot at Life blogs this month (I might have missed one or two–can I do it after the official date and still have it count?).

    I agree that your transition about immunization was very clever. I commend you for taking an active role in parenting–the most important profession in which anyone can ever engage. I am so proud of my own work of art, Blaise, who became a lawyer last year at 24 after passing the California (read: most difficult) bar on his first try!

  26. Daddy Clay

    @Chocolate Mom — I hope your hubs sticks with it — we need more good dad bloggers.

    @Dr. Joeff — I appreciate the referrals, and will stand by for that vaccine. I need one, too. An embarrassing admission for a former English teacher.

    @ReneeJRoss — Me, too!

  27. ReneeJRoss

    You are hilarious! I love this post and I am so happy that we get to work together for such a great cause!

  28. Daddy Clay

    Thanks, Gina. I really enjoyed your piece as well.

    CK — I knew you could be counted on to pile on.

    Chrysula — Thanks for the support!

  29. Dr. Jeoff

    I am seeing more and more dads are choosing to stay at home and be the primary care taker for the children. Dad’s Labs provides a valuable resource for both dads and moms on the practical aspect of child-rearing. I often recommend your site- maybe even to one of your hecklers. I wish we had a vaccine for bad grammar, though.

  30. Chocolate Mom

    I am slowly getting my husband into blogging. Right now he writes every Friday on He says he does not have the creativity to be a blogger, but one week he got a great comment from a mom- I told him this is what blogging is all about. Thanks!

  31. Chrysula

    Fantastic post for a fantastic cause. I LOVE the Dads movement — it is the only way we will move forward in the revolutionizing of how work is done and how families are nurtured. Bravo!

  32. CK_Lunchbox

    Sure, I’ll heckle ya’ll for a good cause. I’ve done my good deed for the day. Thanks guys.

  33. GCarroll

    Comment as immunization against detachment and debilitating male gender roles of the past…I like it! I like it a lot!

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