verbal croquis

gaping void

Posted in opinions by verbalcroquis on April 5, 2006

So before you think VC is perfect (which I nearly am, heh), go check out the fool of myself I've made over at gaping void

Hugh MacLeod writes:

Here's my schpiel: A lot of the blogosphere's big success stories seem to come mostly from the usual suspects: techies, internet developers, journalists, media folk and consultants.

I'm interested in how we get more success stories from other sources.

There's no one answer to this. But it's an ongoing conversation that utterly fascinates me.

How about you?

Now, regardless of what you want out of your fashion blogging experience, what do you think?  My first comment is a prime example of what happens when VC stays up that extra hour instead of going to sleep, but do you think I'm that far off?  Of course, Hugh shoots back a retort. While I'm a fan of both Mr. Mahon and Hugh, I don't think it's quite the same.

I'm not sure where this is going, but  what do you think of all this? Of both Hugh's original questions and mine?


6 Responses to 'gaping void'

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  1. henri-v said,

    I think MacLeod’s retort was a tad arrogant and uninformed [of the fashion industry and consumer mentalities]. And comparing the techie/media/idea-fields to large scale manufacturing is like comparing apples to oranges. What major design houses provide blogs for their sites? At one point I thought Tom Ford was going to start one, but it hasn’t materialized. Has Nanette Lepore or DVF continued to blog beyond what they did for the NY-Mag Fashion Week specials? I tend to think that already successful fashion businessses won’t lure in greater clientele with blogs, and in fact, the openess and exchange of information typical of weblogs might threaten to mar illusion/image that the brand has worked so hard to cultivate.

    For the smaller scale artisans and fashion-service providers, I think the potential for blogs to increase their consumer base is great. And the revenue generated from advertisors who want a piece of your readership can be an added bonus. But as a fashion entrepreneur, would you want to advertise anybody else’s product on your site??? I wouldn’t.

    I think one of the best outcomes (for a designer) of a blog-designer relationship is for a designer to have a WEB-SITE and to be BLOGGED ABOUT by a discerning fashion community.

    I have more to write but I’m tripping over my thoughts.

    You are not a foolish lass, Zoe! Grrrrrrrrrrr.

  2. lolb said,

    Do blogs work for designers? It’s something I’m starting to seriously question. Showing the back end of the product may work for the likes of English cut because it shows the detail and the bespoke element of his niche, for him it’s a superb marketing tool. He’s an Artisan, his blog educates us on the complex details and technical difficulties involved in creating sartorial elegance, I’m sure Couturiers would also benefit from showing the Artisan nature of their work.The information they could share would help people understand and also help to justify the high prices they need to charge for their labour intensive craft.

    But, every day mass produced fashion design , it’s not so glamorous at the back end is it? As Zoe tells us all the time, it’s hard work, it’s not glamour and people in the industry are soooo not tech savvy. We can however be successful at blogging in terms of sharing information and skills, such as the niche blog Fashion Incubator, Hugh didn’t mention Kathleen’s huge success.This is were blogging for the fashion industry could really come into its own, develop and grow. But, having said that sharing skills and information may not be adopted so easily in this industry as fashion is a very competitive business hence companies are very secretive. Why share all your secrets with your competitors?

    I agree with Henri V about illusions being shattered, indeed again this morning I was starting to question the merits of my ‘thinking aloud” on Zoe’s site, I wondered,am I really doing myself any favours? Or just coming across as a right prat?? I’m trying to launch a label and I’m right at the beginning stage where I’m still formulating my ideas, I’m probably a fool to broadcast my internal dialogue. I thought to myself this morning ‘think before you speak Lol!’ The feedback I’m getting is good and helpful but is it going to devalue my label or help it ? People will see my development warts and all, only time will tell if this proves to be a help or a hinderence.

    I think blogging could work really well for small designers as a way of publishing and editing their own ‘brochure’ in an inexpensive way. It’s expensive to employ web designers and to update web content regularly , so having a blog could help fledglings have a great cheap, easy way of having an online presence, the blog could be almost a catalogue and their need not be a comment facility provided. I’ve been asked by a designer to set up a blog for her, she wants it to be her portal for her wholesalers. This is a different way of using blogs as a tool. It’s not all about discussion.

    To reiterate Zoes point, fashion is not tech driven or tech savvy, I’ve spoken to lots of designers about blogs, and do you know what they say ?
    ‘ WHATS A BLOG ?’, so Hugh, Zoe is right!!

    You didn’t make a fool of yourself, rather Hugh doesn’t understand the nature of this industry.

  3. lolb said,

    Funny, I also started blogging cos my geek told me to!! He’s been nagging me for two years now and I relented till now, just because I don’t like being told what to do!! I caved eventually, evidently, and now he’s like ‘stop blogging’ and come to bed!!

  4. I completely agree about non-geeks saying ‘what’s a blog?’. I’ve taken to calling mine a web site instead, as calling it a blog just results in blank stares.

    It’s easy to forget that when geeks first start taking something technological for granted, it’s still five years from mainstream acceptance, if it goes mainstream at all. I got strange looks when I first talked about email and web sites to non-geeks too… then five years later my best friend (luddite lawyer) gave me her new email address.

    I’m convinced that blogging will become mainstream in the next few years, but like all technologies that have gone before it, being mainstream will change it a lot. At some point I’m sure to start a true geek whinge about how much better blogs were before normal people caught on, like email pre-spam. Mostly I’m just excited to see where it’s headed though!

  5. I tried posting on Hugh’s site but it kept bouncing. Maybe he’s banned me (I’ve made previous comments re: Thomas and manufacturing and I agree that Hugh doesn’t get it on some levels). Here is the comment I attempted to post on gaping void:

    I’m with verbalcroquis. Even 6 years ago, many people in the (apparel) business didn’t have fax machines much less computers. The industry is very backward and traditional (no different from Thomas in some respects). It is the exception, not the rule that a supplier even has a website. 90% of those with websites, use them as business cards with no functionality or interaction mechanisms. I don’t know of one single manufacturer who is blogging. Not one. Verbalcroquis is the only designer I know of who’s blogging. Me? I blog about manufacturing, does anybody care? I think my site’s pretty unique yet I get nobody blogging about my site. Considering the exposure I get when compared to my efforts, I can’t blame other manufacturers for failing to blog. Why would they?

    The apparel industry -for all it’s ubiquitousness- is very techno-phobic. To whit, only 15% are even using CAD programs. I need not say more.

  6. mynx said,

    i’d been meaning to respond here, but kep tripping over my words. will have to discuss in person sometime.

    anyhoo, as follow up, i can’t help but think that hugh’s next-day post “on becoming more viral in the offline world” was a continuation of that conversation– it read to me like “in defense of…” his snap to you.

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