Muses about everything from MECM20003 to hipster glasses and hot chocolate

The fashion blogosphere

We live an age of social media. Facebook! Twitter! Friendster! LinkedIn! Youtube! FourSquare! Skype! Flickr! Blogger!

All you need is an email account to be able to microblog on Twitter, check in to a place on FourSquare, or talk to anyone from all over the world on Skype.

The one thing these social media sites have in particular? They are all participative mediums, demanding our time, energy, and concentration.

How then, has fashion blogging become increasingly participative and spread across various social media platforms over time?

Blogging is, and always has been, an interactive medium: blogrolls, blog comments, and the construction and mediation of an online persona for the rest of the World Wide Web to see.

Let’s take a look at famous fashion blogger (and one of my personal favorites), Rumi Neely, and her blog (http://fashiontoast.com/).

Sporting a clean, sleek look, Fashiontoast hosts a blogroll at the top of the blog headers. The blogroll contains links to other fashion bloggers, such as Bryanboy and Mrblasberg.

Blogrolls help to forge an imagined community of users with similar tastes, forging  relationships with other bloggers, reinforcing the notion of a blogosphere (Gunelius, 2009: 38).

Another thing is the embedded Facebook ‘like’ and Twitter widgets at the bottom of every post. After all, it would be foolish to refrain from using leading social media sites to affirm and strengthen your online presence would it?

Users can also share the post upon clicking the ‘share’ button, resulting in a pop-up enabling users to share the post on many social media sites, such as Google Plus and Hotmail, to obscure sites such as me2day and One View.

Also, Neely provides a list of the threads she’s wearing, which brands they’re from, and for occasional cases, a link to which you can purchase the clothes, or similar ones.

Finally, at the bottom of Fashiontoast, another set of links are included: Neely’s Twitter feed, Formspring, Tumblr, and BlogLovin’ site.

Fashion blogging: as much it is about the clothes you’re clad in, it’s also about differentiating your blog from the blogosphere of white noise. And one way to do that, is through interactivity. After all, without social media integrating into blogging almost seamlessly, would there be any difference between a mannequin clad in clothes, behind a display window, and a fashion blogger?

It’s about the sharing, as much as it is about the displaying: discerning your online persona, the little quirks in your writing, your personal style, your character, and your likes and dislikes.

It’s about grabbing our fleeting attention as we hop from one networking site to another, skimming headlines and sound bites blithely. In an age where there are millions of blogs and webzines and websites, how can a blog stand out, get people reading, keep them coming back?

Frankly, I’m not sure. But while an upshot of these participative networking sites is interactivity, one definite down-side is our subsequent loss of attention.

We have shorter attention spans. So what happens when we can’t contemplate ideas, research issues, or pick up a sport: precisely the things that need time and effort, but things that are arguably more important than social networking and blog-hopping?


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This entry was posted on October 6, 2012 by .


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