While many may run a blog just for fun, for those trying to communicate a purpose, it can be serious business. “The Digital Approach” was about me trying to show how fashion can be embodied not only in print, but in the digital media, especially in the genre of the blog. Every blog has strengths and weaknesses, and mine is no exception.
Tumblr was my chosen platform for this particular blog: it allowed for the easy postings of images, text, and videos, and for a professional, yet personal look. One of the strengths of the blog include the easy navigation. The layout includes an actual space for the posts and a separate “sidebar”. This sidebar includes a disclaimer and a quote dealing with fashion (by Yves Saint Laurent). It also includes a hyperlink to the “about” section, as well as hyperlinks for posts and responses. Along with the tags (which can be seen by “hovering” over a post), these allow for an easier navigation of the blog that could save a reader time in scrolling thought all the posts. Other links can be seen in the upper section of the blog. These include a “home” link that takes the reader to the main page (in case they are on a particular post); an “ask” link that leads a reader to an ask box where they can leave any questions or short comments; an “archive” link that takes the person to the archive page, which displays small visuals of each post; a “submit” link where readers can submit photos, longer responses, videos, quotes, or links that I can choose to publish or not to publish to the blog, creating interaction; and a “theme” link that serves as credit to the maker of the layout (it is frowned upon to remove them). Another strength is the use of a color scheme for the theme. Red, white, and black/grays serve as the primary colors in the blog and I tried to show them not only in the layout and the sidebar image, but also in the posts themselves. I feel that this adds cohesion and is very visually appealing. I also find the different uses of media to be a strength of the blog. I incorporated “spotlights”, images, text, and video in order to add variety and keep the blog more interesting. The “spotlights” are my reviews on particular fashion blogs that show how one can be successful in blogging (for example, thesartorialist.com). I also used outside sources by quoting articles written by other people interested in fashion and presenting my views on these opinions. A weakness could be seen in the fact that, by using tumblr (and with tumblr’s new response length restrictions), I had to “reblog” responses to my peers, which appear on my blog and can be distracting from the purpose of my writing. I tried solving this problem by the creation of links to “responses” and “posts.”
I love my blog. While it only has 8 followers, my posts have gotten “likes” and few “reblogs” (where people make my post appear on their page). I feel that my blog presents a different view on fashion blogging, actually considering what it is that sets it apart from printed journalism. I talk about how blogging allows for a faster transmission of news to a fashion-savvy audience. I learned how to communicate with this particular audience better by creating this blog. I had to think about what I wrote and how my readers would perceive this information. My thoughts had to be articulated so that they could be easily understood by people outside of the English major. I had to include visuals, which is different from what I learned in high school through writing essays. Creating this blog in a digital media permitted me to use videos and links to communicate the idea that fashion blogging is a great innovation and opens doors for many writers.
I think this blog warrants a B+ or A-. I didn’t include as many sources as I could for writing about fashion in the online world, but I feel that my blog presents a clear point in showing how beneficial the blogosphere has been for a quick and clear communication of the importance and beauty of fashion. It takes a positive view on technology and how easily-accessible resources are due to this progression. After all, if fashion wasn’t online as well as in magazines, this blog wouldn’t truly have any purpose.
P.S.: To anyone who has taken anything new and intriguing from this blog, I thank you for your time and hope I could help open your eyes to the wonderful world of fashion blogging.
The poll may provide beneficial knowledge on how today’s society uses different mediums to get their fashion news and show which medium, print or web-enable, is preferred.
Edit: out of the 12 votes, 10 say that they find their fashion news and advice on blogs (that’s 83%!), while 8 % (one vote each) find their fashion news in magazines and websites of magazines. I guess it goes to show just how important the blog has become to the fashion-savvy youth culture of today.
When one starts a blog, as I’ve stated previously, they usually don’t expect much. It’s strange to think, then, that some get just the opposite. As in printed work, advertisements are becoming prevalent in fashion blogs. Notice those pesky “Shop here for the latest trends!” ads on the sidebars of many popular blogs? It’s because brands and stores have come to realize the potential that this attention-drawing business of blogging receives. I have stumbled upon an article called “Fashion Blogging Grows Up: Why Advertisers Want a Piece of the Action” (which can be found here ). It’s an interesting read to say the least.
Karen Robinovitz, co-founder of the digital management agency Digital Brand Architects (which was co-founded with Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, formally of Ralph Lauren) states that “There’s no difference to Hollywood in that someone might be worth a lot of money because they know how to open a movie. If [a blogger] can convert 14,000 people in a week for you, that’s worth something. We believe that if someone is providing a service you would normally pay someone for — a model, photographer, stylist, designer, etc. — then the blogger should be compensated appropriately.”
She’s not the only one to hold that opinion. A source quoted off the record adds to the argument, stating that
"There’s a relationship between editorial and advertising, and there are ways of building relationships with a site through advertising."
This is one of the ways that the blog is different from the magazine. While, in a magazine, it is the publication that profits from the advertisement, in blogging, it’s the actual blogger- the writer, who profits. Writing, and especially writing in blogging, is a talent that is becoming recognized by the people with the money. Advertisers are turning more and more to the internet- the bloggosphere- to hook new clients. And why shouldn’t they take notice? Millions of people on the internet “tune in” to these bloggers and take their word for all that they can. It’s the bloggers who start the trends and their readers follow them. Why not take advantage of that?
Reading this brought me back to reading So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld when I was younger. In the novel, there was a kind of hierarchy: an Innovator creates the trends, they’re the ones who tie their shoe laces in a certain way first; the Trendsetter passes on the trend (and get paid to do so at times- the characters in the novel did by sitting in a focus group for commercials); then come the normal people- the ones who consume the trends after they hit the store fronts. The bloggers today make me think of these characters- the Trendsetters. They may not set the trends, but they do well to copy them and popularize them on the web. So why shouldn’t they get paid?
Much like the fashion magazine, the blog reaches many and provides a perfect platform for brands to make themselves seen. If magazines get paid for it, the fashion blogs should as well. After all, in this day of communication and technological advancement, it is the fashion blogger that many turn to.
This is tumblr- the newest platform for bloggers to express and impress. When one signs up for this site, they usually don’t expect to hit it “big” (and those who do don’t seem to get far). Tumblr has become a kind of home for hipsters, writers, sports fans, and (of course) fashion bloggers. During the last NY Fashion Week, tumblr sent twenty four of their own to the events. They got passes to the shows and an opportunity to network with fashion’s elite. It was a way to connect the world of the internet with the “real” world, a way to form a kind of union between tumblr and the fashion world in a way that seemed unheard of before. I remember, I used to track a girl on this site that was one of the 24 bloggers selected. Before NYFW, she was popular on the site, but she was struggling in her life outside of the internet. Then this opportunity presented itself and she posted all about her experiences, from the events to the clothes to the people and so on. Now, she runs a successful blog (including sponsors) and seems to be doing rather well in her actual life. It’s strange, one wouldn’t think that the internet could open doors, but it does. Making connections online and through blogging can allow for connections outside of the internet. While there is the issue of safety on sites like these, there are also a plethora of open doors for those who try (or are simply lucky enough to have exquisite taste and make it on someone’s radar). This is the internet age, and it’s time that we, society, accepted it for all that it can give us.