Influential bloggers from boldface names Tavi and Bryanboy to up-and-coming online scribes have unquestionably revolutionized the fashion landscape. Love Blogging explores the implications of this platform with a short series of five films about bright young bloggers along with tips for how to build a great blog of your own. Get a behind the scenes look at anonymous blogger Disney Roller Girl‘s industry influence with a JC Report-exclusive film clip and interview, followed by a film about how upstarts Alice, Letty and Louise combined their independent blogs to create an online fanzine.
JC Report: Why did you start blogging? Did you know your work was going to be impactful then?
Disney Roller Girl: I’ve always been interested in fashion and writing but the publication I was working for at the time had no space for the type of things I wanted to cover. I’m also very opinionated and generally when you write for magazines you can’t be objective, you have to say everything is lovely. So I decided a blog would be a good place to empty my brain and also practice being more analytical with my writing. Of course, when you start a blog, you’re thinking “no one’s going to read this” so you can be really vocal about your opinions. It’s only now, three years on, that I find myself thinking, “Hmmm, should I really be saying this or am I going to end up pissing someone off?” No one knows when they start a project if it’s going to be impactful. You’d like to think it might be, but honestly that wasn’t at all what I was thinking. I was really just playing and also learning how to use the technology.
JCR: How important is blogging? What does it mean for brands and companies? What does it mean for you?
DRG: Blogging is fashionable at the moment so there’s a lot of hoo-ha surrounding it but I really think it has legs, and brands have seen the impact it can have. I’ve noticed especially for brands and designers that don’t have a big PR machine, word of mouth (which is essentially what blogging and tweeting is) can achieve phenomenal results in brand recognition and perception. For me as a consumer, blogging means that our voices are being heard and brands want to engage with us. As a fashion professional, my blog has become a shop window for some of my skills and has brought recognition to me that would otherwise have passed me by. Also though, as an anonymous blogger who works in the fashion industry, I am seeing things from two sides, as an insider and an outsider. The view is fascinating!
JCR: How do you think it will change or morph?
DRG: I have worked in online media (among other things) for over ten years and have seen a lot of changes. In 1999, I wrote fashion articles for a website which were 400-500 words long. Then it was decided that people didn’t want to read long articles on a screen, they wanted easily digestible galleries of top ten images to scroll through in their lunch hour. As we started using laptops, it become normal to consume media on screens for longer periods of time. But as we start consuming media on the go with smart phones and tablet devices, attention spans will get shorter again. I think people will want to look at pictures and videos rather than text when they’re on the move, so I see visual blogs like Tumblr becoming more important. I also see video blogging growing as it’s another new skill to learn, the technology is cheaper and easier and it hasn’t been done to death. People want to be able to relate to bloggers, and video will bring them to life.
JCR: Any tips on how brands can engage you? What about people who want to start bogs? What advice would you give them?
DRG: Brands need to realize that bloggers don’t need help with their content, they have plenty of their own ideas. A blog is personal so a blogger will only write about what resonates with them. However if a brand does its research and targets blogs that are relevant to it, then there can be mutual benefits. On the whole though, just sending out a press release saying, “please feature our product” is really misunderstanding blogs. Brands and their publicists should get to know their target bloggers and work with them to create unique content so that you don’t get ten blogs all running the same story on the same day. That’s when it gets boring. For those who want to start blogs, I’d suggest thinking about why you want to have a blog. What do you want to communicate? If you really have something to say then a blog is an amazing communication tool. A blog is great if you’re a creative, as you can really use it to showcase your art or styling or illustration or opinions. It makes a lot of sense from that point of view. But if you do it with the sole aim of becoming famous or being sent free Chanel handbags then I’m sorry, that just ain’t gonna happen.
Love Blogging series is available to view at www.vicestyle.com