• a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.
verb (blogs, blogging, blogged)
• add new material to or regularly update a blog:
• it’s about a week since I last blogged
While there are some who argue that the nature of blogs is as a basis for community discussion and/or a tool used for mob benefit, the primary use for blogs amongst most active users is as a way of self promotion, or in Geert Lovink’s words “a tool to manage the self.” (Lovink, 2007:28)
In some cases blogs can be used as a tool to generate discussion amongst a particular group of people who, for example may share interest in a particular topic and wish to discuss it further online with others sharing a similar interest in the topic. Blog’s, while in essence being a personal website have the feature of allowing others to comment on a post, which means it becomes interactive and some may argue a thing belonging to the public, allowing “group members to engage in thoughtful dialogue” (Deed, 2011). While this may be true in some cases, as Lovink outlines, most bloggers do not wish to enable readers to comment on their posts as it becomes more of an online message board, which can then lead to time consuming yet necessary actions such as controlling spam or answering questions (Lovink, 2007:28). The defining feature that allows a blog to be catergorised as ‘public’ is this interactivity between writer and reader, yet if most find it too time consuming and annoying to allow public opinion, therefore restricting it back to a private sphere, does this still classify as a tool for active community based discussion?
Although the modern form of blogging is unmistakably used as a tool for self-management and as some believe shameless promotion, this may not always be as sinister as Lovink makes out. Lovink’s view of blogs as a “bad omen” is an extremely nihilistic view and while his arguments may in fact be very relevant to the types of bloggers that are emerging today, it is not always necessarily a bad thing. The overwhelming abundance of teeny blogger ‘day-to-day’ update/ whinge blogs does become somewhat monotonous and undesirable, but for some this apparently soul-eating entity has been a platform to recognition and celebrity.
Rumi Neely, creator of fashion blog ‘Fashiontoast’, model and now designer began her virtual journey to stardom in 2008. I began following Rumi’s blog in early 2009, never having looked at a fashion blog that interested me before, I was attracted to the simplicity of Rumi’s blog, and for months failed to even realise that she was becoming increasingly more famous. I felt like I watched her progression as the outfits she would blog went from being picked up in her local op-shop to being sent to her specifically from world-class designers. Rumi is represented by NEXT modeling agency, but through the power of her self-created fashion blog, doors to higher aspects of the industry were opened for her, by her. Modeling and designing pieces for brand RVCA, as well as being the star of the 2010 ‘Forever 21’ campaign, Rumi made a name for herself.
Rumi recently won two awards at the Bloglovin’ awards in May of this year, this event described as the “Oscars of fashion blogging.” Creator Mattias Swenson announced the first Bloglovin’ awards to be held this year, Independent Fashion Blogers (IFB) website stating “the fashion blogosphere has made it thanks to dedication, phenomenal creativity and worldly influences!” (heartifb.com). Rumi picked up two awards, one for ‘Best personal style’ and the second for the major prize of ‘Blogger of the year.’ Through her simplistic yet personal blog, created with the intention of self-management – Rumi Neely has now become a household name amongst the fashion elite, and has bettered herself in the industry of her choosing.
While Lovink’s argument is becoming increasingly more prevalent throughout the blogging community, the notion that blogs are a tool to manage the self, for some, is not at all a ‘bad omen.’
Rumi at the 'Bloglovin' awards, May 2011.
Fashiontoast – Rumi’s award winning style blog:
Deed, C. (2011) ‘Unrestricted student blogging: Implications for active learning in a virtual text-based environment.’ Active learning in higher education, 12(1): 11-21
Independent Fashion Bloggers By WordPress (2011) ‘Bloglovin’ awards ‘The Oscars of Fashion Blogging’
http://heartifb.com/2011/02/01/bloglovin-awards-the-oscars-of-fashion-blogging/– Accessed: 30th May, 2011
Lovink, Geert. Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture. London: Routledge, 2007