Usually, when I write a response, it’s a response to a response. I mean, what do I have to respond to GQ Oral History of Menswear Blogging? A silly response for a generally silly article? No thanks, I try to keep my stupid to myself.
Vanity Fair wrote a piece that pokes fun at GQ and their Oral History. The piece is warranted, as the GQ piece is most certainly a circle-jerk. But the Vanity Fair piece itself is a circle-jerk and falls short of really “sticking it to those self-aggrandizing menswear bloggers”. The “nobody cares” logic doesn’t really apply to something like menswear blogging because it’s such a small circle. The menswear community doesn’t care that it doesn’t have a large enough cultural influence to sway a monumental event as huge as Vanity Fair does - like the 2008 election (because everyone knows that Vanity Fair convinced everyone to vote for Obama). I also happen to know people who have never watched a Meryl Streep movie or a listened to a Celine Dion album. Tell that to the Vanity Fair editors.
On second thought, don’t. They’ll just use a big word and snub their aristocratic noses at those silly bourgeoisie men buying Alden’s.
Not that what I just wrote will change anyone’s mind as the minds that I am addressing don’t need to be changed. People are still hitting reblog on tumblr and menswear bloggers are still not caring about what goes on outside of their community.
Warnett did a (portion of a) post about how he disliked the GQ piece. Warnett is all about blogging for fun and being an all-star silly blogger; which I can sympathize with. But where the analysis falls short is that he appears to differentiating two different types of fun where there is no need for differentiation. Warnett is all about subjective, creative, unique fun; which is great because those are the type of people who drive industries into the future. He calls cliquey, snarky, foot-step-following blogging douchey because he sees these people as insecure and unable to find their own turf. I would agree with him that this type of blogging is not terribly creative and does not push menswear into new spaces. However, I see nothing wrong with this type of blogging as long as it does not try to exclude others. This exclusion is where Warnett gets his idea of “douchey” bloggers from. Filling your write-ups with crap may be warranted (though I probably will only look at the pictures, I like pictures) but excluding other bloggers is not.
Surprisingly, I don’t believe that it’s the bloggers who are doing the excluding, it’s geography and web publications that create barriers. Journalism and curation of menswear blogging makes blogging exclusive. It funnels people towards certain blogs. It creates “blogging dollars” that are not actually based on merit. Traffic ought to be based on things like the “quality” of the content, not your plugs from publications. Many publications are great at keeping blogging democratic and making sure that quality gets featured. Some are not. As menswear blogs get more attention, keep in mind that blogging will become more exclusive. If you were lucky enough to be featured in a publication (I know I was) remember that you must also to continue to keep menswear blogging diverse with lots of contributing members. Do your best to try and keep blogging inclusive.
(I'm sorry nothing is hyperlinked. Blogger got itself busted up.)