Every day is Mother’s Day, especially to the Internet’s mommy bloggers.
“What do you mean she’s not a baby anymore?”
That’s the subtitle of “Burgh Baby,” which is not only Pittsburgh’s most popular “mommy blog,” but also one of the top-ranked mommy blogs in the nation.
Michelle Hammons started writing “Burgh Baby” about two months before her daughter, Alexis, was born in 2006 as a source of info for family in other parts of the country. “It was initially, ‘Stop calling us. No, we haven’t had the baby yet.’” She kept the blog on a private site as an easy way to keep her family updated with photos and stories.
Soon she switched to a public blogging platform, opening it for others to see, and she continues to gain fans and admirers across the Internet with approximately 30,000 hits per month. Last year, Nielsen Online ranked Hammons in its list of “Top 50 Most Influential Mommy Bloggers.”
What makes “Burgh Baby” popular? “People tell me they like that I’m positive,” Hammons answers, “that I want to appreciate and remember these moments with Alexis, as opposed to the breed of mommy blogger who says, ‘Isn’t this awful?’ and points at themselves with pride as worst mothers of the year.”
And then there’s the humor. Hammons' posts are often laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes perfectly snarky and accompanied by luminous photos of Alexis she clearly loves taking. Hammons posts at least once a day, which she considers “a personal challenge,” saying if she didn’t post daily she might procrastinate to the point of stopping altogether. “Plus,” she goes on to say, “I like the habit of forcing myself to figure out something special about every day. It’s a learning exercise for me.”
On the “Quick Review Session” page of her site, she features about half a dozen most popular posts, which she introduces with, “According to Google Analytics, some posts suck less than the others.”
Hammons, who works as a training manager for a construction company, is a New York native who was raised in North Dakota. She arrived in Pittsburgh in 2000 with her husband (whom she refers to as “Mr. Husband”) from Indianapolis. “Sometimes you just know you’re home,” she says about the town that captured her heart.
She and about 40 other local mommy bloggers get together once a month, and when she talks to bloggers in other cities, they’re surprised (and envious) that the Pittsburgh area has such a close-knit network. Besides getting together for social reasons, the group raises money for March of Dimes and collects thousands of dollars in Christmas gifts for kids.
The bloggers’ greatest bond, though, is their love of writing and sharing their appreciation of life as a mom and wanting to remember times together with their child. As Hammons says on “Burgh Baby”: “I use this space to make sure that I don’t forget. Anything. It’s all about us.”