Martha Stewart’s (Not So) Blog Show Special!

NEWS | | January 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

A few weeks ago I saw some tweets going around about a Martha Stewart Blog Special. Since a few months ago I overslept and missed my train to another show, I felt this was like a calling. I mean anything that spells blogging has my name on it, right? After muddling though my wardrobe trying to find something that would qualify for being in the audience, oh not because I am fussy (one look at me and you would know I am no fashionista) but because we received a big list of what not to wear for being in the audience. Anyway after driving my 2 kids down to New Jersey from Boston the day before the show, I woke up bright and early and dragged hubby along with the girls to a train station to get there on time. I was really dying for a cup of anything but one look outside the address to the already forming line told me to banish that thought.

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I had decided, against my better judgement, to wear a skirt so I was freezing to the bone. I began to wonder if it was worth standing in the line in the dead of winter while the blustery wind cut through my clothing (oh, why oh why did I not wear leggings?). I was thrilled to start seeing my bloggy buddies (Thanks to Jen – Savor The Thyme for some of the pictures) drop in and glad to meet new ones too (check out Sophisticated Gourmet and tell me you are not amazed this dude is 17?)  but honestly the chattering of my teeth would not allow a coherent thought to form in my head. When we were finally allowed in and made it past the metal detectors and obtained our ticket (I was #5) we were led to a holding area. Sounds like a prison right? Here we could mingle, take restroom breaks and purchase merchandise. I got an apron and an autographed book (no need to get excited, a few were pre-autographed), and I am still debating whether to give the book away in a contest (shipping for the huge book would really suck though).

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I was relieved when they started calling out tickets numbers to seat us. Lo and behold Mommy Niri got a seat right in front row on the floor itself. My frozen numb toes were clapping in glee. I was awestruck but all the mechanics that went into setting up a stage (and re-setting after each very small break). The climax was rising for Martha Stewart to appear but not without some work from the guy (sorry his name evades me and if I take time to search for it this blog post may never make it out) telling you how to clap, when to clap and what exactly to do (even when to say Yum).  I know this is how live television works but honestly makes it too clinical for me, know what I mean? They also kept nagging about keeping our devices open to “blog” since this was a special show. In fact we had to show our laptop before getting our tickets. Not sure how to tell them that we don’t just blog, we may tweet etc but not just blog (especially when the wifi was wonky).

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I kept wondering who the guests would be and wondered of some famous blogger would be in attendance. I even wondered if Dooce would be there. I was so disappointed by her choice of guests. I think they were fabulous in their right but for a blogging show they really had nothing much to do about blogging. Her daughter and friend, co-hosts of the “Whatever Martha” show certainly did not qualify as what I would consider mainstream bloggers ( their show which I think just recycles Martha episodes) . That just sounded to me as a marketing gimmick. I admire Martha Stewart oodles. I mean the woman is (deservedly) an icon. She has built an empire and though she has faltered along the way she has done her time so I have no beef with her.

I was also disappointed by her lack of warmth. She featured a blogger sitting next to me with a blog called Hire Me Martha”. I have to add though that I was lucky to be seated next to her since I got some face time on television and by the comments of my awesome buddies I looked good (I know, I have the kindest friends). Though once the camera stopped rolling and the cameraman asked the blogger to take a picture with Martha, she never once made eye contact with the blogger.  Minor details to some, and some may cry out that she is a busy woman.. but too busy to smile without a camera asking for it? We were each given a book authored by one of the guests and ushered out, without even being offered to taste the orange cake they just iced. I do think that the missing the mark of featuring bloggers was not so much intentional but more of a misunderstanding (of the blogger world). Heck I guess everyone is trying to figure out this bloggy world, but I would hope the next time someone decides to host a “Blog Special” they do some homework before!

46 Comments

  1. 1

    I saw you when she was talking to that girl next to you!!! You DID look good and kept a nice smile on the whole time. ;)

    You’re right, though. The guests were bloggers, because they have blogs, but the show didn’t even focus on blogging.

    Glad you had fun!

    • 1.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Aww, Melanie I need to find a place where I can watch it. The guests were great but I did feel a poor fit for the theme.

  2. 2
    Divina says:

    I love love Martha but I agree the Whatever pair could have been swapped out for more interesting people. I have some cute pictures of you but have been so busy have not uploaded into computer.

    • 2.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Hey sweetie, so sad I bulleted out of there and we did not get to hang. Had it been a show with any other theme I probably would have just enjoyed the ambiance but I expected more here.

  3. 3

    Amen! I was underwhelmed with the episode- it seemed extremely self-serving-but you GOTTA love Alexis- who seems so completely removed from Martha and her perfection… not quite sure why she was on a blogging show tho?!

  4. 4
    Melissa says:

    I completely agree with you. I was there too and think that they really had mistaken tweeting with blogging. What did they think all the tickity ticks in the audience was all about?

  5. 5
    Sheliza says:

    A lot of us at home watchers/bloggers were trying to understand why the show really did not have much to do with real bloggers. Big deal you want Martha to hire you. What about the hard working moms bloggers and normal people?? Hmm, well I was still glad to see your beautiful face and was screaming out saying “I know her!!” to my toddler son. You should have seen the look on his face :)

  6. 6
    Caryn says:

    As a person just getting into blogging, I was really excited for this show. I couldn’t have been more disappointed. I don’t know if I missed something, but Alexis didn’t seem to even want to be there. Overall, bummer you went all the way to be there and it wasn’t what you expected it to be. Hopefully you squeezed some fun in.

    • 6.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was my first live show so I was overwhelmed and impressed by the layout. Seeing bloggy buddies are always worth the trip.

  7. 7
    Kim Orlando says:

    The good news is that you got some face time on camera AND you looked cute (thank you skirt!). MS is not known for her warmth, that’s for sure, and she went to jail for her empire. HOWEVER, even a successful MS has realized the power of the bloggers – otherwise she would have invited some other group. That’s a testament to you. And you gotta respect the marketing. The rest is just showbiz, I guess.

    • 7.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Now I have to find out where I can see the video :-) Thank you! I am impressed at her entire business acumen. I also don’t expect someone of her stature to grasp this blogging concept but I did have to call out how weird and cold it felt.

  8. 8
    c2cmom says:

    I really enjoyed attending The Martha Show, though I was initially disappointed in the quality of the bloggy guests as well (when there were SO MANY smart and witty bloggers in the audience?) BUT – I noticed on my Tivo that the scheduled guest for that show was actually Brian Williams (NBC News), who is dashing and quick-witted (at least in interviews I’ve seen or fundraisers I’ve attended), and perhaps was going to talk about blogging/Twitter and its effect on news delivery? However, with recent events in Haiti I’m sure he wasn’t able to make the show and I was no longer disappointed, figuring I couldn’t complain with last-minute replacement guests if he was busy telling the story and helping to get help to Haiti. I haven’t confirmed that this is really what happened, but it’s what I’m telling myself to explain the blase show. . . ;-)

    • 8.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      That would have certainly kicked it up a notch and totally understand Haiti being (and should be) a priority. I still feel the guests could have/should have been someone from online media rather than have traditional media speak on this topic.

      I spied you in in the “holding” are and am looking forward to seeing you this week.

  9. 9
    Jill Felska says:

    Sorry to hear it wasn’t what you were expecting. I have heard that Oprah is also cold – and find it disappointing. Still glad you got the opportunity to go!

    • 9.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      That would be sad to see, I adore Oprah!

      • 9.1.1

        I saw an Oprah show live…and she wasn’t cold at all.

        Martha is not known for her “warmth” though. A group of my Mom in the City members went to a showing and had a great time. I guess that it all has to deal with expectation. If you go expecting a good blogging themed show and don’t get it, then the disappointment makes sense! Sorry that you were disappointed. :-(

  10. 10

    I was there, too, and in the same area you were. (I was to your left, in the second row.) Just got home from NYC tonight, so I’ve not had a chance to blog about the show yet. I thought the show could have been so much more as well. It was a blogging show, but didn’t really focus much on blogging itself.

    We were told outside, by an intern, that Brian Williams was supposed to be on the show, but he was in Haiti, so Alexis and Jennifer were last-minute replacements. Stuff happens, and the show must go on.

    When we were seated on the floor, I thought we were in such a great location, but with the exception of the “Hire Me Martha” blogger, we were totally ignored. No free gifts thrown our way by Joey! :-( And no panning of our section. All the audience attention was behind us, due to the camera location. Oh well, it was sure fun to be there and see it all, wasn’t it?

    I was disappointed too, that I couldn’t purchase a gardening book that Martha had written, since I’m a garden blogger. I really wanted an autographed copy of her gardening book, but they didn’t have any. :-(

    I probably sound like I didn’t have a good time, but I did! I’d do it again in a heartbeat. :-)

    • 10.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      The only great thing to being in front there was that with my crappy camera I was able to take some pictures at least. I mentioned above though that online media should have guests from that arena (and not have/need traditional media speak on this topic.

  11. 11
    tanyettÀ says:

    I like your perspective on the show. Very cool that you were chosen to attend the event. I thought Alexis was rude and even tweeted about it. The responses were, she’s like that all the time. *shrugs shoulders*

    • 11.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      It certainly was a neat experience. It is nice that they allow you the chance by merely applying on their site.

  12. 12
    Liz says:

    Yes, I agree that the topic was not really about blogging, or that it could have been more so. I wonder how it would have been different if Brian Williams had been there.

    We knew Brian was the scheduled guest, and also that he wouldn’t be there. Jennifer Hutt even said something at one point (when she was pulling out the recorder) that made me belief she and Alexis had only been asked to attend the night before, which might explain why Alexis seemed annoyed, tired, and ill-prepared. I’m sure if they’d had more time to find a replacement for Brian, it would have been someone different, but I think they made the best of it.

    Interesting to hear your impression of Martha’s personality being up close. From where I was sitting it really seemed like she was being very friendly and genuine. I don’t know if it’s just different interpretations or if you saw something we weren’t able to see.

    Thanks for sharing your blogging story – feel free to read mine! Leave a comment and it will increase my donation to Haiti.

    • 12.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      That may be true but none of the other guests were really blogging right? All really seemed to fan her ego/show (Hire Me Martha, Whatever Martha and The guy cooking his way through Martha’s cooking school… all seemed to have a common ring.

      I totally adore Martha, seriously but if she was short on space anyone from the audience would be glad to step in – including any of the top bloggers.. they may not look as polished, but then isn’t seeing what bloggers are truly like more important?

      Her effervescence was pervasive but I never saw it after the camera was off. Will be stopping by your blog today.

  13. 13
    Mami2jcn says:

    It doesn’t surprise me to read that Martha wasn’t very warm off-camera. A lot of people in the entertainment world are the same way. I went to see a taping of Letterman years ago, and he was very cold and ignored the audience during commercial breaks. He sat there staring at his desk. George Foreman was one of the guests and he kept waving and smiling at the audience during the commercial. A friend of mine was an intern on Conan O’Brien and she told me he was also not very nice when the cameras aren’t rolling. Yet another friend worked for Montel Williams and she said he had a horrible temper. I guess that’s why they call it showbiz.

    Out of the celebrities I’ve seen in person, the one who struck me as the nicest and most genuine in person was Keanu Reeves. Hard to believe but he was super polite and very engaging.

    • 13.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Wonderful to hear, Keanu Reeves, be still y heart. I love him and and thrilled to hear he was nice. I once saw Rachel Ray and she was so affectionate – no camera on – it was for a book signing.

  14. 14
    Meghan says:

    You’re fabulous! Front row??? Fantastic!

    Did it air already???

    I’ll have to put it into TiVO to see if a re-run happens.

    Hey, all I can say, is – without any lack of respect for the woman’s taste and empire-building – she has a reputation for being a B-word in real life. Even to her family.

    So glad you had fun.

  15. 15
    Donna B. says:

    Interesting to read about the show from an attendee’s perspective – I thought it was a good idea, but poor execution.

    PS – if you decide to give away the book, it can ship media mail which is WAY cheaper than regular postage. Books qualify as media.

    • 15.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thanks Donna! I will check it out, it really is a super heavy book. If it works out it will be up here soon!

  16. 16

    Lovely recap darling. I am still hoping to get Martha’s book and cleaning supplies in the email. By the way, giveway the signed book. hint

  17. 17
    melissa says:

    i saw you way up there in the front! you looked fab!! i was second from the back, but they shot my laptop over my shoulder, so i still got some ‘facetime’ for ye old blog!

    • 17.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thanks Melissa. I was kind of envious of my bloggy buddies all sitting together way back there. We could have had our own show, right?

  18. 18
    Kelly says:

    Hear hear!
    I didn’t get to meet you but knew who you were as I scanned the audience from way in the back. ;)

    I couldn’t agree more about the choice of guests. Even having to replace Brian I was shocked that they vetted all the audience members, and didn’t think to pull someone from the audience. There were innumerable bloggers with large followings, and TV experience in that audience.

    I also agree the guests were all Martha fans, and the only non Martha fan was apparently her daughter!

    Haven’t blogged about our trip yet, but am making time tonight.

    Next time they have a call for the blogging show I think I will stay home!

    • 18.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Hopefully we will meet next time Kelly. It was too bad that I had to run off so fast (or that we were not ushered into a room we could linger together a bit after. The fact that blogging and tweeting were confused says a lot for how much people don’t know. Next time they call for the “blogging” show, we should all turn up but just go out for coffee. I certainly always enjoy the company of my fellow tweeters.

  19. 19

    I’m not surprised at all to hear about your experience…I simply don’t share a great love for Martha. So she did her time…but doesn’t mean she is a woman of integrity.

    Very telling for me was seeing her on Leno when she (?) first started tweeting. When he asked about her following and communicating with those big numbers, she scoffed and said something to the tune of, “Oh, I don’t have time to pay attention to THEM!’ Good to know even if not surprising; but pretty much sums her up. She wants/needs your attention and your money, period.

    • 19.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Barbara you are so on the button – that “Them” point would have stuck with me too! Not sure if when people get to a certain level they become detached to what got them there.

  20. 20
    Kris Cain says:

    Good write up. I’m sorry that it was not all that you expected! I think you are right though, they just don’t “get it” and were not sure what to do in terms of a blogging show. They should have consulted us bloggers first. :)

    And you did look cute. :)

  21. 21

    Great Post. Too bad for Martha that she missed the mark. They could have really done more research as to highlight some awesome bloggers, famous and not so famous). At least you got some camera time Too bad your legs were frozen.

  22. 22
    Kim says:

    I was supposed to be in the audience too, but couldn’t take the day off from my full time job to go. And after seeing the show and reading all of the blog posts, I have to say I am no longer disappointed that I didn’t go. I have always admired Martha’s talent and her publications, but I gotta say, the show is getting weak.
    Great recap – thanks for sharing!

  23. 23

    Don’t you look adorable in your pink coat! (even though you were freezing!) I am so sorry to hear that the experience was like this. I guess they didn’t know that having bloggers there means they will share their true opinion, not just provide free publicity. I was really hoping she would help recognize what bloggers really do, but alas. I still would have loved to go to NY, though, and see everyone!

  24. 24
    Annie says:

    I’ve never been a fan, myself. Years ago, way before her legal troubles, I read a slew of articles about how she stole ideas from and stepped on others to get ahead. Ever since, I could never accept anything she did or said as legitimately hers, no matter how useful it might be. Plus, she sets off my fake-o-meter something fierce. Fortunately, none of that would take away from the rest of the experience. Thanks for sharing.

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