So I have been thinking a lot about this post by Catherine at Not Dressed As Lamb questioning why articles on Over 40 Style bloggers are not more varied. Why do they list the same “seven or eight bloggers” every time?
As Diane at Fashion on the 4th Floor says “in 2011, there were over 173 million blogs & most of them were fashion blogs”.
I know that Catherine’s main point is that it is unfair that it is the same 7 or 8 people in every list. We all have seen how lazy internet journalists are. Can you even call what they do journalism?
But her post also lead me to think more about the ideas of exclusion versus bullying versus expressing an opinion – in particular in relation to my list of Over 40 Style bloggers, which gets a fair amount of traffic.
If I exclude a blog from my “list of blogs that I like” is that nasty? Or is that expressing my perfectly valid opinion which I have a right to do? (Loaded question, much?)
Obviously I don’t go around hating on bloggers – like GOMI. That, to my mind, is clearly bullying. But I know from the playground that sometimes exclusion can be just as hurtful as in-your-face insults.
On the other hand, how valuable is an opinion if you try to include everyone? Would you read a restaurant critic who said nice things about every restaurant?
Using Catherine’s example, should the “best” kid win the lead role in the school play? Or should everyone get a turn? I say, after a certain age, you should have auditions. Some kids might be great performers but terrible at maths, so why deny them their opportunity to shine?
Another factor to consider is that there are different reasons why people have a blog in the first place, in particular a style blog….
- Some people are all about the community and engaging with like-minded individuals.
- Some people are in it as a job (we all gotta eat), so increasing traffic and sponsorship is very important.
- For some, their blog is just a hobby. They like to write or take photographs or dress up and model. They would do this whether their blog was public or not.
- For others their blog is a “commonplace book” (this is me). I just post things when the urge strikes me as a way to record things that I like.
… and so depending on why you blog, these “Blogger Lists” are either very divisive or no big deal, a great opportunity to build traffic or a useful shortcut to find more good sites to read.
The other consideration for me is that frankly some blogs just aren’t very good.
There I’ve said it.
I get a bit annoyed when someone links to an alleged style blog, and I waste (whole seconds of) my life having a look at some pathetic site. Seriously? I know they are doing it to be friendly, or because they are too scared to say no, or they don’t want to exclude the person. But, seriously? How about some consideration for your readers? How about building some trust with us?
Sure, some people have different taste to me. Fair enough. But some sites are clearly dreadful and I think it is disingenuous to pretend that you like them.
What makes a style blog great for me is when people tread that fine line between boring, stylish and stupid.
I don’t want to look at someone wearing jeans and a t-shirt. You’ve seen these sites.
I don’t want to look at someone wearing unflattering, silly, over-the-top, insanely expensive, mismatched fancy dress fashion (i.e. the people outside fashion week shows).
I loooove sites where they wear flattering, different, clever outfits. Interesting colour mixes. Unusual, but flattering shapes. Inspiring but realistic.
I think it is worth calling out the 10’s of sites that manage to deliver great style, amongst all the millions that don’t, and to make it easy for others to find these great sites.