Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Incorporation of Bloggers Continues


Bryanboy, Fashion Toast, Style by Kling and the Industrie Magazine blogs are all now being hosted by a new platform, NOWMANIFEST.

I happened upon this development by chance when I was following up reference details for an old post and was surprised to see that such successful blogs have combined under the umbrella of a third party. The manifesto (if I can be so bold) of NOWMANIFEST reads as follows

" “The bloggers have moved from commentators to creators; gone from front row next to Anna Wintour to backstage next to Alber Elbaz in but one calendar year. We have entered the next stage.” - MATERIALWORLD @ blogs.ft.com

Gathering the world’s most renowned bloggers in fashion under the NOWMANIFEST name, we aim to inspire and guide readers around the world. Our bloggers are handpicked due to their strong sense of trends and great impact on their readers. NOWMANIFEST addresses the modern consumer with an eye for fashion and style, and the ones seeking to be fashion-forward.
Throughout history, fashion is known to reflect trends in modern society. NOWMANIFEST should therefor (sic) not only enlighten readers alike all over the world, but also act as a diving-board into the aspiring world of fashion today.
It all happens right here, right NOW."

 WEIRD. 
Not least because they called fashion an 'aspiring world', which is probably the polar opposite of what it actually is (an 'inspiring world', n'est-ce pas?)
The positioning of bloggers is also strange to me- "the bloggers" invoked by the opening quote reads like a massive, silent force, one that has been co-opted by NOWMANIFEST into "our" bloggers. "Our bloggers" who NOWMANIFEST had no part in shaping or assisting to their stratospheric positions- what claim can NOWMANIFEST make on the bloggers it now hosts? And why do these "superbloggers" even need a host like this? 
There's something about this I can't put my finger on- I mean, it doesn't really matter, does it? Some bloggers get their sites redesigned and have another portal at which users can find their blogs. Someone call the New York Times
And yet, there's just something about this seamless incorporation of bloggers that makes me uneasy.

8 comments:

  1. Wow, what an interesting development. As you may remember I am also writing a thesis on blogging and have noticed a new trend in PR companies representing bloggers. Who'd have thought? I think it does matter as the very thing which makes the blogger exciting/interesting is their uniquie voice, or take on things - even the aesthetics of their blog. If this becomes part of a 'global' brand strategy then I would be worried, as the blogger, about losing what made them readable in the first place.

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  2. Of course I remember. How's the writing going? (I hate it when people ask me that... what are you going to day "it's really hard and I spend most of my time on twitter pretending 'it all helps'?" But you're talking about it on your blog so maybe it's okay to ask...?)

    I think you're right. The commercialisation of them seems unquestioned, like it's absolutely a positive thing that is all reader oriented ('we're making your life easier by curating what you want to read!') without acknowledging that the blogging platform is getting a lot of cred for not much at all. Though perhaps this is less the case with PR companies who's job is unabashedly to promote their client and match them with advantageous brands. It's an increasing blur with some style blogs- who has supplied the stuff they're wearing, why are they having a competition with StyleStalker and not another clothing company (is it REALLY because they 'looooove' StyleStalker? Probably not.) and so on.

    Yet there are still many, many bloggers who still embrace the 'grassrootsiness' (new word?) of blogging and seem content to just do their thing and enjoy the readership of like-minded peers. It's almost like the style blogosphere is fracturing into subgroups with different concerns, motivations and aesthetics.
    is that happening on indie craft blogs? And have you seen the Sportsgirl campaign 'Make Do and Mend'? I thought it was pretty laughable, but am keen to know what you think, talking about co-opting for commerciality.

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  3. *going to say. Queen of Typos over here.

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  4. Hi, not sure what happened to my replies - I tried three times and each time they didn't post. I didn't want you to feel I was ignoring your interesting points on the commercialisation of bloggers. We are both presenting at Console-ing Passions, would be great if we could meet up and chat all things blogs :)

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  5. That's so cool! I haven't really looked at the schedule yet... or written a word of my paper... when are you presenting? let's definitely steal away for coffee and a blog-chat sometime over the four days x

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  6. Sounds lovely! I'm on Friday in the 3:30-5pm session, talking about indie craft blogs (what else)...coffee and a chat would be fantastic. Also Adelaide and City West is my home, so if you need any help getting around etc, just shout out :)

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  7. Excellent! I'm on Friday too. email me (rfin3042@uni.sydney.edu.au)!

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