Post mortem

A number of us read many of the same things, and I think most everyone is aware of a couple dust-ups that took place on a pair of popular blogs earlier this week. I'm not about to open either of those cans (you're welcome) so I won't name any names, but I do think that the first case especially gives us something we can all talk about. It was something I hoped the author herself was going to give us her views on, but then she, uh...didn't.

The post began with a discussion of that 13 year-old girl (Style Rookie) who was seated in the front row at some fashion shows because she blogs about fashion. I think that asks some interesting questions:

Does a blog, no matter how well written, entitle a child to sit in the front row when said front row is a place normally reserved for editors and the like?

Further, does writing well about anything make one an expert? Is the “expert” label even relevant any more?

I could probably argue any of those questions either way. For myself, I’m not taking fashion tips from kids.

What I’m more interested in was who’s idea was it to put her in the front row, and why? It feels a bit desperate, and a lot like a stunt, a stunt the kid isn’t in on.

I'd love to hear your opinion.


Raina Cox said...

Agree 100% with you.

Happy New Year to you, the Hubz, and the Pups!



Toad said...

As I recall Marc Jacobs started it. Unsaid, but probably as a stunt.

Yoiu are absolutely right though. When we start listening to children the gig is up.

Karena said...

I thought I might hear from the originator. There's just no need to have a hateful vengeance. Soodie is an expert for example. You are also an expert in your field David. I am simply an artist ,I do not pretend to be an Arts Dept Head or professor. Most of the blog world is about just having fun, and a little commerce.

David said...

Karena, it's interesting that you mention Soodie, because I think she's an exceptional example. Generally I'm not expecting any type of "expertise" from the blogs I read. It's just not what I usually come looking for. I read them because the writer and I share common interests or tastes, or because I like their tone or point of view.

But with Soodie's blog I get all that and something else. Her training and experience are known and she writes authoritatively on topics that fall within her chosen genre. It's a more scholarly approach to the decorative arts, softened and made compelling because it's filtered through her life and experience.

I read design oriented blogs because of my interest in design, architecture, and for lack of a better term, the 'decorative arts.' But I read blogs in general because I'm interested in knowing, at least on some level, the people behind them.

ChrisToronto said...

Does writing well about anything make one an expert? I'm leaning in the "yes" direction on this one. Writing well means doing your research and connecting the dots in an incisive way, something the best blogs invariably do. You can't blog about something week in and week out without becoming something of an expert. There are millions of blogs, most of them horrible, but the few really great ones are great because their authors have definite opinions and a strong enough voice to deliver them with style.
Thanks for a terrific year of Malaise David, you're one of my faves!

home before dark said...

Nice way to seque from dustup to what just happened here? I think the child blogger was a stunt, not unlike the adorable under 12(?) reporter who wanted to interview Obama. I think the dustup about this was a little over the top. I'm not one to shy away from controversy, but the way it played out seemed unfortunate. Get it out in the open, defend your position, take your knocks and get over it.

I read Soodie (and so agree with your comments) and Emily Evans Eerdmans for both content and style. Some I read because the images are so beautiful, some I read for great writing or interesting book reviews, and some I read to challenge me in directions I might not go by myself. I admit I am a sucker for anything with dogs in it. I think all of us are intrigued by how other people live. Blog world is the cyberspace equal to walking in a neighborhood and looking in houses that have their curtains open.

As I mentioned earlier I think it is time to do away with Anon comments. This hateful, vengefest needs to end. I do, however, wonder who it is and why a person feels the need to behave this way.

Last night was a blue moon on a new year's eve. I taking that as a good sign for the year ahead. Best to you and your family.

David said...

Chris, I'm inclined to agree with you. Writers do gain knowledge through the process. I think that's even more true when there's some sort of personal involvement in the process.

For example, I could find someone who blogs on upholstery, and I could ask them a question and perhaps get a good answer. But if I ask you and Mike, who actually do upholster things, I'm likely to get better information because you not only talk about it, but you do it, and I think that's where expertise comes from.

HBD, there may be a whole other post coming on anonymous commenting. I was so bothered by what happened that I need to digest it for a bit, but I've got plenty to say.

Mrs. Blandings said...

It was a good week to be "off" for sure. There seems to be a movement afoot that proclaims that all this "honesty" is so great. We're all "free" to express ourselves through these anonymous comments that the blog author does not moderate. But really it's just rudeness. Displaying your most unpleasant thoughts in a public forum doesn't make you brave or clever.

To imply that blogs that don't dish aren't "honest" isn't true. It's a public forum. As I said in an email last week, "I may think the woman standing next to me at the grocery store has horrible hair, that's fine. If I turn to her and say aloud, 'Your hair is horrible,' it's just rude regardless of the state of her hair." It's bad form to behave that way in public; it's bad form to personally criticize someone and hide behind anonymity.

The child blogger was a publicity stunt. I have to wonder if the bloggers who let all that nonsense play out in their comments don't do it for the numbers. Shamefully, I was clicking back all day long to see what what was new.

The whole thing left me with a sense of "ick" and made me question blogging altogether, though that comes upon me every now and then anyway. Look forward to your thoughts.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Yes, the young blogger in the front row of the fashion show is a pure publicity stunt, as everyone has said, but could lead to a professional career for her and is a great opportunity.
But, I think it reminds the fashion community at large of an important fact -they are in the business of visual pleasure and art (fashion shows) and maybe it takes a child to make them realize to have a little fun with it all sometimes? Just my 2 cents.

soodie :: said...

David, wow thank you!!!... pardon my severe delay in thanking you for your fantastic belief and support... (i've been sick with that virus thing going around...)