This week on Dad Blogs Exposed, I am talking to Jeff Bogle from the blog, Out With The Kids. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff this past January in Houston for Dad Summit and immediately appreciated him for his sense of kindness. I have also been finding inspiration in his journey to live a healthier lifestyle and have even started my own regimen because of it. He is a great dude and I hope you enjoy his answers and his website!
CD: Why did you start blogging?
Jeff: I began blogging in the late 18th century, to document the early stage development of our fair nation to your south, but didn’t backup anything (Carbonite wouldn’t be invented for centuries, unfortunately) so there’s no record of any of those dazzling quill-typed blog entries. My modern day blog, Out With The Kids, was launched in May of 2006, when my oldest was still a toddler, to document the early-stage development of her and also myself as a first time parent. The idea was to document the ways in which my wife and I were parenting on the edge of the mainstream. I wasn’t going for pompous, but fear I achieved it often. I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t have a content strategy or SEO keyword plan to attract readers – still don’t, really. I simply felt and continue to feel a need to put things down, to record them without having to ever read back my gnarly handwriting.
CD: What can people expect from your blog? Do you have a specific goal or do you write whatever you feel?
Jeff: Readers can expect to discover a number of new media goodies — music, books, apps and more — that will hopefully assist them in elongating and enhancing childhood for their kids, and parenting/life reflections that are a mixed bag of wistful, funny, and heartbreaking. In any given week, a reader might cry, laugh, find their kid’s new favorite song and discover a killer new recipe for tomorrow night’s dinner.
CD: What has been your biggest challenge as a father?
Jeff: Managing my perfectionist tendencies and expectations. I struggle, less now than before, but still, with remembering that my children are just that, and that despite being bright, thoughtful, and cultured, they are young kids…young kids who I’m not in a rush to have grow up. Because they, and I, only get one shot to enjoy their childhood.
CD: What one piece of advice can you give to a new Dad?
Jeff: To share your passions with your children, without force feeding them, but not ever at the expense of their right to experience a pure, innocent and long childhood. Don’t rush them or yourself as a parent through it! So if you love Pulp Fiction, like hard core love it, maybe give it a few more years, or decades, before you sit down aside your boy to watch it together. That’s an extreme example, but the point remains: children deserve experiences and media that honor their viewpoint and has context that doesn’t force them to grow up faster than they want to.
CD: Do you have any long term goals for your site?
Jeff: On one hand, I’d like OWTK to become the Rolling Stone Magazine of kid culture, but that would involve covering media and characters that disgust me and seem to operate with a mission to soil childhood for both my kids and me, retroactively. My only real goal is to get better at storytelling, at finding a narrative thread in everything we see and do together as a family. And to get one of my children’s books published someday!
CD: What is your social media weapon of choice and why?
Jeff: I’ve grown to love Instagram the most mainly because it feels the most artistic or at least the platform with the most artistic possibilities, without being spammy (Twitter) or overtly sexual (Vine). I’ve got a bit of a filter fetish.
CD: How has blogging affected your life?
Jeff: Since starting the blog, I now process every occurrence through a narrative viewfinder. I see stories where before I saw only facts and dates and happenings. Oh, and I also got to race a Ferrari in Las Vegas thanks to this crazy profession. The saying ‘Only in America’ has seemingly been replaced with ‘Only on the Internet!’
Huge thanks to Jeff for taking the time out of his schedule to answer the questions! Please feel free to leave a comment for Jeff and ask him any other questions you think I missed. See you next week with a new Dad and a new Blog!