Ron Mattocks

Ron Mattocks
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Birthday
April 17
Title
Author / Social Media Professional
Company
Clark Kent's Lunchbox
Bio
Author, comic nerd, history junkie, social media professional. I have 1 wife. I have 5 kids. We have issues. Therefore, I write.

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Salon.com
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 7:00AM

Country’s Top Dad Blogger Dead at Age 31

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-by Jerry Thompson

News of Kane's Death spread quickly via social networksHOPE, Florida—The country’s leading dad blogger, Charles F. Kane, creator of the site, Citizen Dad, died yesterday at his trailer home twenty-five northwest of Miami, Florida. The official cause of death is unknown pending autopsy results. Those close to Kane, including his second wife Susan Alexander Kane, claim his sudden passing may have been due to extreme exhaustion.

In a statement to authorities, Mrs. Kane said she found her husband’s body slumped over his desk in the living room of the double-wide Kane often referred to in his writing as Xanadu and may have been abusing 5-Hour Energy drinks.

Raising Kane

Kane, a green sheets media mogul Kane, the newspaper mogul whose area green sheets dominated the Florida county region where he lived, started the site, Citizen Dad in 2008 to share his experiences as a father, and thus joined a growing number of men on the Internet following in the path laid by the already popular mommy blogger demographic. Citizen Dad and other blogging fathers began gaining notoriety in early 2010 after industry experts dubbed it “Year of the Daddy Blogger.”

Stories by Kane of his exploits centered around his two children, Charles Jr. and Samantha, resonated with readers as did his thick luscious head of hair, propelling him to the upper ranks of the dad blogging community. As a result, Kane soon became a regular speaker at parent blogging conferences around the country where he talked on a variety of related issues.

Speaking at another conference
Kane’s writing popularity continued to take hold as he accepted invitations to be a featured contributor at a number of nationally known parenting sites that included among others. E!’s Family Hype, BoysToMen (BoTM), GoodPops, and drivel.com. Success continued to come Kane’s way in the form of corporate sponsors looking to partner with the Citizen Dad creator. Yet, despite such notoriety, Kane remained unaffected.

“I think this is a great opportunity to present ourselves as the real picture of fatherhood,” Kane said in an interview with Obscure Parent Magazine. “The key to this is good content—not seeing how many product pitches you can get,” he added in a subtle reference to recently being named brand ambassador for AquaNet hair products.

“The guy just seemed to be everywhere back then,” said one time friend, Dell Harper after learning of Kane’s death. Harper, who also blogs at Hairy Father & the Prisoner of Diaper Rash, went on by saying, “It really is sad. I thought the guy was one of those bloggers who didn’t have to chase the ‘golden carrot’ anymore like the rest of us do.” Harper then inquired as to whether there was an opening for the AquaNet brand ambassadorship and how he could get hooked up with Kane’s many PR contacts.

Rank Sentiment Among the Ranks

Kane on top of his gameBy all appearances Kane looked as if he had attained “golden carrot” status, achieving unprecedented success that garnered him spots on every known top daddy blogger list published since 2010, but such successes didn’t come without controversy.

“Those lists are such crap,” argued fellow dad blogger, Luke Mattel of Cool Hand Puke. “They’re so arbitrary—there’s no solid stats backing anything up, and the rest of these so called rankings are based on getting people to vote for you. It’s nothing but link bait.” These assertions dulled the luster of such accolades. Still, many long-term dad bloggers agreed, including Kane, who referred to it as “measuring dicks.”

The subjective issue behind rankings changed, however, in the spring of 2011 when Forbes Canada released its list of "Top 25 Daddy Bloggers" based on blogging income, on which Kane took the top spot with annual earnings of an unheard of $773.11. The honor lead many to refer to Kane as “the number one daddy blogger in the world.” Others though, particularly fellow dads, were less than congratulatory. One person wrote in the comments section of the Forbes article that, “all this did was just make Citizen Dad a bigger dick.”

Kane hams it up with the moms at VictoryVag '11But if dads thought Kane a dick, an even larger contingent of mommy bloggers viewed him as something less. “The only thing Kane should be ranked as is a first-rate asshole,” said Kristy Samsung, who many consider to be the mother of all mommy bloggers. Samsung’s stream-of-conscious rants on her site, Broke-Back Mommy have earned her international attention while serving as her measuring stick of entitlement along the way. “Did the Pope hand-pick him to be thee brand ambassador for the Catholic Church? Is the Dahli Lama paying for ad space on his site? Did Jesus ask Kane to guest post for Him like He did me? Hell no!”

Kim Pepperidge of Parent Normal Activity echoed a similar negative sentiment. “I met him once at VictoryVag ’11. I could tell he was a douche just by the hair—Carrot Top and Donald Trump’s love child would’ve had a better coiff than Kane’s douche-do.” Pepperidge rolled her eyes, “Couple months later he DM’d me on Twitter wanting some advice. I totally forgot I’d only ‘mercy-followed’ him because he reminded me of a sad, 40 year-old virgin. UN-follow!”

Not every dad was pleasedDespite these examples of underlying animosity within the community, VictoryVag ’11 marked the pinnacle of Kane’s blogging career. In the months that followed, however, rumors surfaced of Citizen Dad’s waning popularity.

“Yeah, early on, he was really driving traffic our way,” stated BoTM content editor Kent Razor. “Great writer, but around here to keep afloat we need sponsors and advertising, and to get that we need page-views. Kane just wasn’t bringing it anymore.”

Privately, Kane confided that he felt editors seemed lukewarm towards him. “I told him that I thought he was getting stretched too thin,” said Kane’s friend TJ Dearbourne. “I suggested maybe it was time to step back, or even focus on something else completely.” Stepping back is something Dearbourne understands. As a former dad blogger, Dearbourne walked away from his own site, I Skull-F#@ked Mary Poppins, to focus on a novel that won him a Pulitzer-Prize and has since been adapted for film. Dearbourne finished by mentioning, “[Kane] agreed with what I had to say, but he couldn’t let [blogging] go. I think his ego was just wouldn’t let him.”

Kane’s Comment Controversy

Indeed Kane did continue to blog, but signs of his cynicism started to show through in an interview with TheyPost.com. “I think that the dad blog community has grown to a point where a stratification is starting to take place.” Kane elaborated by breaking it down into two broad categories. “There’s traffic bloggers, and content bloggers. Traffic bloggers are popular with big sites like drivel because they can capitalize on the blogger’s huge following. Content bloggers, on the other hand are the ones brands are gravitating to because, even though that blogger may not have a big audience, it’s a loyal audience that the blogger has influence with.” Kane admitted that this was a generalization to a certain degree but added that, “There’s a lot of glory in being a traffic blogger because of the wide exposure, but aside from a few rare exceptions, traffic bloggers overall aren’t compensated as well as content bloggers because these big name sites have much tighter budgets than do large corporations.”

Kane signs a deal to save puppiesIt was Kane’s final remark in the interview, though, that sparked a minor controversy when he said, “The thing about traffic bloggers is that you can be a shit writer, and everybody knows it, but if you can keep bringing in tons of readers, you’ll always have a gig …well, unless they find out you’re a pedophile driving around in an ice cream truck, and even then I’m not so sure. My point is, you just can’t quantify the quality of writing with numbers.”

Despite a firestorm of comments in response to his claim, Kane remained unapologetic, and a week later Kane was invited to partner with Pfizer, LostDogs.org, and Alec Baldwin to promote Project Save the Puppies. Kane told friends and family he was really proud to be a part of this project even though his readership seemed to be in decline. “He liked the idea of a blog being able to bringing about social good,” Mrs. Kane said of her husband’s involvement. “Plus, he’s a big Alec Baldwin fan.”

When asked to comment on Kane’s death, Baldwin had this to say of his fellow humanitarian, “Kane? —with a C or a K?” After being prompted for several minutes, Baldwin expressed his praise for Kane. “Ah, Kane, right, the puppy thing. A doofus—marvelous hair though.”

Life Behind the Blog

Kane,  Charles Jr, & Susan Kane-happier timesAs a content blogger, Kane continued to appear successful, but the pressure to maintain Citizen Dad’s relevance within the parenting niche started to take its toll both on Kane and his home life. “At first it was all really exciting for us,” Mrs. Kane revealed in a phone interview following the announcement of her husband’s death. “After a while, though, there didn’t seem to be any joy in it for him anymore. I told him I’d support him if this was the kind of writing he wanted to keep doing, but I thought he could do better elsewhere.”

Troubles in Xanadu?When asked about her husband’s financial success, Mrs. Kane agreed that, “Sure, there’s money in it, but we’re talking blogging money here which doesn’t exactly pay the bills.” Kane’s wife then used a recent example to illustrate her point. “Remember that free beagle we got as part of the Project Puppy deal—yeah, it died. We couldn’t afford to feed it. And to top it off, Charles wrote a post about the pathetic funereal the kids did for it in the back yard. Next day, all he could talk about at dinner was how many page views it had gotten him!”

Mrs. Kane also shared how Kane’s blogging affected the family in other ways too. “Charlie and Sam, started walking on egg shells around Charles to avoid his moodiness. I even heard Sam tell her brother that they shouldn’t go into the living room when Charles was writing because it would. ‘just make daddy mad.’ And then there was ‘the scorecard,’” Mrs. Kane said in disgust. “I found it in the back of his desk. Apparently Charles had been keeping score of how many page views each of the kids would get when he wrote about them. That was when I told him he was done, and now, I guess he really is.” Mrs. Kane and her children are left with only a closet full of unfinished novels, and a lifetime supply of AquaNet hair products.

Kane looking tired in his last interviewKane never mentioned “the scorecard” or his wife’s reaction in his final interview published last week on the site, Social Media Nobody. His commentary, though, hinted that the end was near. “People forget that parent blogging exists within a bubble. Others inside the bubble might think you’re no longer chasing the ‘golden carrot’ because you’re making a little money, or getting ranked on a bunch of lists, or writing for tons of sites, but the thing is, all that so-called success is only relative to inside the bubble. There’s a few exceptions, but outside of this little blogging bubble, no one’s really the big deal they think they are.” But Kane was quick to add, “That’s not meant to discredit those bloggers who have attained success—I’ll be the first to say that 99% of them have truthfully earned it. What I’m talking about is busting your hump to get to this place, and realizing it doesn’t mean a thing. And worse, you can totally lose sight of why you were even blogging to begin with.”

Kane concluded the interview with an analogy, “The parent blogging niche is a lot like being a contestant on that show, The Biggest Loser. Shedding weight equates to writing posts, and both have an entertainment element. Both also have a competitive factor, except one’s measured in pounds, the other in page views. And both exist within a self-contained environment, where your fellow losers are cheering for your latest weight-loss/praising your last blog post. The true measure of success, though, is what these people do after the season’s over. They were awesome when surrounded by others who were all doing the same thing, but without that, they’re back to shoving Twinkies down their gullet. So by comparison, were they really successful? Nope. So what good was all that effort for?”

Cryptic Last Word

Apparently, the weight of being meaningless outside parent blogging fat camp was more than Kane could bear, and eventually it killed him as he composed his next week’s post. What’s interesting to note is that, according to police reports, during Kane’s passing he had been holding the framed picture of his children displayed on his desk. Authorities found the cracked frame on the floor near Kane’s body. Still unexplained, however, is the lone cryptic word Kane had typed on his computer screen, Rosebud.

Kane and his famous hair will be laid to rest sometime next week. The event will be live-Tweeted using the hash tag #DeadDaddyKane. He was 31.


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DISCLAIMER: All characters, details, and events in this post--even those based on real people--are entirely fictional. All celebrities, and celebrity bloggers are impersonated ...poorly. Despite the appearance of autobiographical elements, it is in no way intended to be such. It is rather a collections of thoughts, discussions, and opinions from a variety other bloggers and sources to include those voices heard by the author in his Rice Krispies.

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