Where is Advergirl? AdFreak investigates

Advergirl_2 On Nov. 20, Leigh "Advergirl" Householder posted an unassuming blog entry about an Orkin campaign. In the six months since then, her once-vibrant site has lain dormant, except for occasional visitor comments like, "What happened to this great blog?" As a fan of Advergirl, I shared this concern. Had she tired of blogging? Had she gone Luddite and thrown her laptop into the sea? I set out to find the answer. Her response raised some interesting questions about the nature of ad blogs. So what did she say? Find out after the jump.

Here's what I heard back from Advergirl:

  "I loved writing that blog. Nearly every day, I'd get an email or a comment from some far-flung ad guy with an insightful or incendiary comment. And, I was wildly addicted to the stats—how many thousands of people were interested in what I had to say today; what other blogs picked up my snarky commentary on work-life? The sum of it was like being back in college—being part of a big conversation, spending hours talking about those 'discoveries' that turn out to really be the well-trod trails of many before us.

  "So—for a while—I probably spent a couple of hours a day researching, writing, tracking, conversing. And then I got hit with a huge Web project for a Fortune 500 retailer at my agency. At the beginning we were very short staffed and even after the hiring, it took forever to get people caught up with the ethic of the agency. I lived in my office. And basically left everything at work. (I was NOT intellectually curious when I got home. I was fried.)

  "I tried to restart the blog when I had the time and curiosity again, but it just never gelled the same way. I didn't so much plan to close the blog as I just wandered away from it…

  "I still think about getting it going again— focusing more on commentary, consumer insight & agency life rather than just creating a collection. But, it's a big commitment. And, for all the personal satisfaction, blogging is really a job you don't get paid for—one that provides value to lots of your contemporaries and drains significant amounts of your personal and professional time.

  "Now, I'm back in the 99%. Reading. Collecting. Hoarding!"

After getting this e-mail, I responded back with some follow-up. I was intrigued by her thoughts on the position of the blog, since a vast majority of mainstream ad blogs are about existing campaigns, not daily life in the industry. She followed up with this:

  "Here's what I wonder about the imbalance between insight and pass-along: If you have—at your fingertips—the combined knowledge, experience & POV of your career thus far, isn't it actually a smaller hurdle to share that than to dig through the vast stores of the Internet for some cool ad that hasn't already been posted on a hundred of your favorite 'competing' blogs?

  "Ok, so you have to find a topic, compose and be brave enough to look at your traffic stats when all you have to hang your hat on is your own story rather than the combined creative resources of CPB, McCann, Goodby, Silverstein Partners, etc., behind you. But, why at least not more hybrids—here's a cool campaign, here's what I think they're saying about the consumer, here's why it works/doesn't and a new approach to think about… (vs. love it/hate it)."

So it sounds like we haven't heard the last of Advergirl. She's just spending some time in her Fortress of Productive Solitude, waiting for the day when her powers are needed again.