Blogging Radio Silence.
Hey folks! It’s been a while since my last post and it’s been a combination of being pretty gosh-darn busy and a little bit of writers block. As a wordsmith I’m not at a loss as to what to write very often, but after years of blogging about Sustainability and Fashion I was mighty bored of recycling the same ideas over and again so I just haven’t written anything! It sounds slack I know, but there’s a rationale behind my laziness. Getting my blogging compass to point true North.
“Blogger… no you mean flogger!’
-Anon audio sales clerk
That quote above?! It was a quip from a sales clerk while I was shopping for some some audio equipment for filming some of the content for my Eco Style Insiders membership space and it was good food for thought.
Blogging was originally the ‘Wild West’ of free speech- where people published what they like and readers really connected with writers because they identified with them. Bloggers were the voice of the everyday and in some ways revolutionaries. Tavi Gevinson is one of the best examples of blogging revolutionaries I can think of. Taking the fashion world by storm at the tender age of 12 with her blog Style Rookie. A blog that landed her front and centre of Fashion Week runway shows altering the fashion world dynamic from exclusive top down, to the street-style-up fusions we see today.
As we start to rein in the vast frontiers of the internet and find ways to make this wild space categorised, profitable, safe, and curated the marketing world has found a way to align products and services with the ‘everyday’ voices and faces of bloggers and social media users.
Social media has evolved from being a map of social connection, to also serving as an online marketing forum where the girl next door can rise to fame as an influencer over friends, family and followers.
Bloggers have in many ways become product ‘floggers’.
Five years ago the girl-next-door-blogger would have had an online voice outside her gallery of images (like a website, tumbler account or livejournal), but now-days an ‘online CV’ can consist entirely of social media platforms.
There is rarely a requirement to dominate a little corner of the WWW for yourself as people now use social media as the Table of Contents for their days reading and agenda for day planning (with access to everything from party invites, to weather and news all on one scrollable feed). Websites, brands, bloggers, and news entities focus more on creating engaging social media content than long winded online documents (like this one). We see so much media in a day that many of us don’t even have time to get to the end of a short news video on our online feeds so it’s understandable why most of us opt for less-is-more with device reading.
Is flog-blogging a bad thing?
The internet is no longer some weird non-tangible electronic place where people have free reign to do and say what they like. While there is no denying that there are still some rogue internet cowboys out there still creating wild frontiers (or trolling YouTube videos making lewd comments). For most part we now have ‘online identities’ that can be arguably just as important to us in our daily lives as our real identities. These identities are linked with clouds and passwords (and IP addresses) and make our online selves less ‘Wild West’ and more advertising target.
Being flogged products on all corners of the internet isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If our online personas and Googling antics are true to ourselves then algorithms tend to suggest products, people or services that fit our personal values. Google ‘Sustainable Fashion’ enough and your social media feeds and web advertising will share great suggestions with you.
Your favourite blogger, if you follow them due to shared interests, will also only flog products to you that you are interested in. If you happen to follow eco fashion bloggers they will likely be sharing products you might be interested in. As long as they inform you that the content they are providing is sponsored/advertising/collaborative then there should be no hard feelings about it. Many bloggers choose to sell you products because blogging takes a long time, a lot of energy, and costs money. It’s unethical to expect people to work for free and blogging (often at some point) moves from hobby to job workload.
Why Sustainability in Style won’t be flog-blogging you.
Ok, lets talk about the elephant in the room. Friggin email spam. Despite all the info provided on the contact page stating that Sustainability in Style doesn’t do advertising/promotions/collabs I still get bombarded with ‘promote my product’ emails. It’s nice to be considered and I try to take the time to respond to every one (which sometimes takes me a couple of months to get to) but it does take a very long time to get through them all!
From time to time I’ve thought about evolving Sustainability in Style as a space for promoting products and sharing news about Sustainable Fashion. But the prospect isn’t really exciting for me (remember I left fashion to study sustainability and environment… not fashion) and many of the eco style bloggers I’ve known and loved over the years have turned their spaces into this sort of ‘news’ and/or ‘adverting’ feeds. We all get sent the same invites, brand media releases and event press. You don’t need to hear it from me as well as them.
I’m not advertising here because I will be using the space over the next few years to conduct the end of my Masters research in Sustainability Education, and possibly use it for my PhD studies. Advertising will screw up the study results. In the next few months I will start rolling out the ‘new’ Sustainability in Style.
It’s foundation will be a Members Site based on sustainable living and conscious evolution through sustainability education, yoga, mediation and research. There will also be a store where you can buy e-books, book in for events (workshops, yoga, mediation, and more), and shop for second-hand goodies. The combination of the profits from these will go towards paying my way through my sustainability education studies because I’ve learnt a key lesson in life. NEVER rely on academic sustainability funding. Garment gratitude will get a front and centre focus as it will likely be the basis of one of my Sustainability Education studies.
The blog will be an additional reading tool and it will still host content but will be moving more to story telling and research. You don’t need another online space to tell you that H&M are recycling coat hangers, that you can buy good things from thrift stores, and that more people are using recycled polyester (or whatever the latest fast fashion news is). Other people have that info covered!
This Sustainability in Style blog space will bring you stories of people who are being Sustainably Stylish Leaders in their own community, sharing eco tips that you need a whole page of writing to fully understand, and bringing you mindful living ideas, tips, and info that’s been found in research or academic literature.
It WILL NOT be a space for sustainable fashion news, products, events, etc.
It’s about celebrating connection with clothing, personal style, nature, self discovery processes, and people who are living their values.
I hope that you enjoy this new focus. I know I’m really looking forward to bringing you unique content and letting it organically find it’s way to you. The decision to not flog-blog is in no way suggesting that advertising is bad (it’s not there are great brands out there who need support). It’s purely a career choice for me! My life purpose is to empower individuals for sustainability through sustainability education, yoga and mediation, and to build a research base that enables me to provide brands and companies with proven strategies to reach consumers with sustainability messages through e-platforms (and to hopefully lecture at Uni’s in this too!).
Can’t wait to share this fresh new Sustainability in Style with you over the next few months! Thank you for the ongoing support.