In March 2009, Blair Koenig started the reader submission-based blog STFU, Parents as a way to mock parents who overshare on social media. Koenig refers to her blog as "an entertainment destination" and as a "guide for parents on what NOT to post about their kids." Koenig says her blog is also a "forum for non-parents to vent about their TMI-related frustrations."
Posts include parents giving details of their kids' bodily functions, potty-training progress or regression, and even pictures of the alleged events. It's oversharing at its worst or best, depending on whom you ask. Koenig has even categorized the blog entries of the parents: Sanctimommy — the "better mom than you" moms; Woe is Mom — the nonsleeping martyr moms; Mommy Jacking — the "every thought turns back to my child" moms; and Gross Out Factor — devoted to the too-much-information-providing parents.
On average, STFU, Parents receives more than 1.5 million visits a month, and with its growth in popularity, it has also received an increase in scrutiny. A number of parents have voiced outrage at Koenig for criticizing something she knows nothing about, sending her emails and voicing their dislike on Twitter and the STFU, Parents Facebook page. One person wrote, "Just took a look @stfuparents for the first and last time. Minutes I will never get back." Koenig, 30, does not have any children of her own. She does have two cats, Agnes and Duke, but critics don't think that's close enough to understand what it's like to be a parent.
Koenig hopes that conversations will be started from the posts on her site. She stresses that the philosophy behind the blog is quality over quantity, so fewer posts result in more engaged discussions and a real sense of community for the readers. She insists that the blog is not meant to be mean-spirited, but humorous. Next April, Koenig's blog will be launched in book form: "STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare."
Koening was our guest today in studio for "Trending Now" and joined us for a two-part sit-down interview about her blog and its popularity.