blogging

Blogging with Lemon Lime & Bitters

Last night as I was doing my usual blog trawling, I was perusing the lovely Margaret Zhang’s blog, Shine by three, (check it if you haven’t, she’s aces) and came across a post she wrote regarding investment pieces and what’s worth spending your hard earned dollars on and what isn’t. Now while this was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed, it was the comments after the post that actually got my mind ticking. You see, like most big bloggers, Margaret has plenty of lovers, all sending her positive vibes and happy thoughts, but there was one commentator, who was fairly sharp in her disdain for the post. She basically said Margs should reference her position of privilege in getting free stuff and stop pretending she doesn’t use a credit card. (see the post here)Kinda harsh I thought, but it got me thinking, do we as a collective blog browsing society, really just have the lemon lime bitters towards bloggers these days and if so, why?

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Margaret Zhang at MBFWA

As a blogger myself, I can see the two sides of the coin. Most people wouldn’t realise that there are many a blogger out there who don’t get paid for their posts, who don’t jump at the chance to receive free goods and more importantly, who don’t ask for them either. (Me) Seriously though, there really are these peeps out there and they fork out the money to pay for their own flights to events or fashion week and legitimately buy most of the new clothes they post. Yes, they may get show & event invites but generally, an invite doesn’t equal flights, accommodation and spending money with a cherry on top, unless you’re a particular celebrity or the highest level of fashion blogger, and we all know who these guys are. So before we get too comfortable on our soapbox, maybe we should ditch our assumptions & try to see whats really going on, because remember kids, Instagram isn’t the real world, having lots of followers is like being really rich in Monopoly, it’s not real. Which brings me to the other side of the coin, and this side is Xtina dirrrrty.

Unfortunately, the volume of less sincere bloggers seems to seriously outweigh that of the aforementioned and these guys are seriously damaging to the world of blogging. Why? Because when social media & blogging came about, the reason for it’s rapid success, was because it provided a platform for everyday people, you and me, to communicate and share our ideas, images & thoughts without motive or incentive. Amazon is the perfect example of how the peer recommendation program took off and is living poof that we peeps, prefer and trust a recommendation from a real person, a friend or someone we know as opposed to a paid advert and you know what, companies and advertisers also know that, hence the inadvertent next step, to mix advertising with blogging. It was always going to be the eventual outcome, because where there’s opportunity there’s usually a business dollar driven strategy not far behind. And thats ok, but the bigger problem is that for many, this unabashed lack of integrity is quickly turning people/readers, viewers off and thus making them bitter toward the blog world, claiming it’s nothing more than paid advertising space, which sadly isn’t that untrue. Now see all this could be avoided with some disclosure, a concept lost on many.

Is this maybe why there are some ice cold commentators out there? Possibly. Most likely. Ironically though, at the same time as the trust fading, the blogger rise to fame is continuing and reaching new heights everyday. They now face campaigns for just about anything, from clothing businesses to electronics to even car companies and it would be remiss of me to say that building a business out of your blog is a sell out, because it isn’t, it’s incredibly smart, as long as integrity remains paramount and by this I mean, ensuring that your ventures remain in the realm of what ever it was that brought you to your fame in the first place. Too quickly, bloggers can jump at the sight of gifts, payments or free things, despite a lack of meaning or relevant connection to them, hustling and bending themselves over backwards in a desperate overkill of daily instagramming, spamming their followers feeds, all in the name of ‘blogging’. We all know these people, they’re the ones shamelessly ‘loving’ & mentioning a new brand everyday without any form of disclosure, the simple little word that could change everything, because in the world of social media despite what some people think, honesty & openness is still highly valued. Now this might sound harsh, but sadly it’s these people who are taking blogging to a nasty place driven by endless endorsements and faceless two way deals, “Hey, we’ve never met but I’ve got heaps of followers, so you tell everyone how much you love my blog and I’ll tell everyone I’m dying over your style”. Um, No, it’s transparent, desperate and ruining it for readers/viewers/followers who are more interested in genuine content or the actual blogger as opposed to the products they’ve been endorsed to promote.

Now this is starting to sound a bit ranty which was definitely not my intention, so Dan, pull your head in and lets look at some pictures. Seriously though, as you can see, it’s a very two sided story when it comes to blogging, and I guess you never really know who’s being paid what or if they’re the ones actually paying, but what I do know is that for me, as soon as I get a whiff of meaningless narcissistic advertising, sorry I mean Blogging, I’ve hung up. Mentally. And hopefully increased your bounce rate. No thats just mean, I don’t really hope that, I wish you happy thoughts and leave quietly…

If you’re interested in reading more about this sort of stuff, then check out the following articles:

Fashionista – How Personal Style Bloggers are raking in Millions

News.com.au – How Fashion Blogging has become big business

Buzzfeed – Fashion Bloggers make tons of money from brands, so what?

Whats what with Fashion Blogs

After reading Amy Odell’s piece about fashion bloggers on Buzzfeed (which you should definitely have a look at, thanks Gabs) it made me wonder how this Web 2.0 inspired fashion fad came about, whats the difference between them all and how sustainable are they. I don’t proclaim myself to be an expert by any means in this area, but I thought Id share my take on whats what with fashion blogs…

Personal Style Blogs

This is a group of people who’s blogs are based on sharing their outfits. They run their own blog which contains images, both professionally & unprofessionally taken, of themselves, in a variety of different outfits sometimes in quite random locations in an effort to make their images appear more editorial. This is also the group hardest hit in Odells article, claiming their shameless narcissism is what makes them so loathed by the fashion elite.

If this group takes your fancy and you want some high end and editorial looking bloggers, then hit up Gary Pepper  or Style Heroine

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Garry Pepper’s Nicole Warne

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Evangelie of Style Heroine

If high street, fast fashion is more your thang, then head on over to We Wore What or Victoria Torenegren

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Danielle of We Wore What

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Victoria of Victoria Torenegren

If you like your stylistas served with a bit more edge then check Fanny Lyckman or Twinfashion or The Black Cape

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Fanny Lyckman

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Nef & Nat of Twinfashion

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Marija of The Black Cape

And finally, if you prefer an entrepreneurial big business blogger who is her own brand, then check The Blonde Salad or Fashion Toast

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Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad

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Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast

Fashion & Diary Blogs

The difference between this group and the above group, is that these sites tend to have a mixture of self outfit pictures, along with fashion recommendations (sometimes advertising) and lifestyle reporting, which some might even call a diary. This group usually get slammed for their aforementioned lifestyle reporting, which some claim is more of a ‘this is what I do everyday in my pretend fabulous life’ involving pictures of travel, outfit selfies and fruit salads. These guys however, are the bloggers Odell refers to as having a means to the end of their blog. Make up your own mind on these guys and check out Shine by Three or Style By Kling or  Sincerely Jules

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Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three

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Elin Kling of Style By Kling

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Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules

Streetstyle Blogs

This is where it gets different. These sites should not ever be confused with ‘Fashion Blogs’ and typically have very little to do with the actual person who creates the site, as the creators are usually street photographers who focus on street style. To be the object of a streetstyle photographer is (sometimes) the secret wish of a high percentage of fashion week attendees, excluding the fashion elite of course. These sites are my personal favourite, as I love a good real street look. Check the original streetstyle blogger, The Sartorialist and while you’re streetstyle browsing check out my personal fav, Streetpeeper. After that, head over to Stockholm Streetstyle, Facehunter and Lee Oliveira.

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Anna Dello Russo by Scott Shuman for The Sartorialist

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Christine Centenera by Phil Oh for Streetpeeper

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Jac Jagaciak by Stockholm Streetstyle

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from Facehunter

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by Lee Oliveira

So there you have it, somewhat of a breakdown of fashion blogs and a few pointers on who to hit up for what. So now with that there, I must ask, where to from here for fashion bloggers? More outfits? More sales pitchs? Who knows! But without sounding like the grinch, I stand by the age old saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’ and if so, what does this end look like and how far away is it. Me thinks not too far unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) but with society’s ever insatiable appetite for bigger, better, shinier, newer, I see the lifespan of some fashion bloggers cut very short, because soon it wont be enough to just post pics of yet another outfit involving yet another pair of denim cut offs or your newest netaporter purchase or a summary of your instagram week, because readers/viewers will want more and someone somewhere out there will be ready to give it to them.

It is well known in the digi world and proven in fact, that social media fads are no different to a simple fashion fad, one minute you’re hot and everyone wants you, but sadly the next minute you’ve been outdone and something else is hotter. Take Myspace for example, or MSN chat (those of you who know what Netscape is will remember yahoo chat and MSN) both highly successful digital communication platforms that quickly died off because something supposedly bigger and better landed, have you heard of Facebook? Anyway I digress, but in the words of the late PM Julia Gills, its really all about sustainability and I just don’t know if some fashion blogs have it in them to develop their own carbon tax, but it will be interesting to observe either way…