I Heart Blogs Follow-Up

So many of you left lots of lovely comments on my I Heart Blogs post earlier today. I was about to leave this as comment to all of you at the end, but I decided to make it a full post instead, because I really wanted to make sure you all saw it.

You want to know why my blog reading list is so huge (and still growing), and why there are bloggers—from newbies to experts—on it? Because I believe very strongly in making the fashion blogging community a more inclusive environment.

Don’t we have enough air-kissing and airbrushing in the print world? Do we really need to take the negative aspects of the fashion industry and perpetuate them online too?  I think not. We all know women come in different shapes and sizes, and that the average woman cannot afford to stock her closet with piece after designer piece. It’s wonderful that fashion bloggers have infiltrated the industry. But let us not forget where we come from, eh?

Jennine of Independent Fashion Bloggers and The Coveted is the one who deserves credit for pioneering this mentality, and for helping foster a nurturing and dynamic community of fashion bloggers. I’m just doing my little part. I know that I would never have achieved what I have in my life without mentors and people who were willing to share their knowledge. So part of my approach and reasoning is that this is my way of paying that kindness forward. When I leave comments on a blog and actually have them acknowledged, it feels good. You can tell which bloggers are just too busy to respond or get too many comments, which ones comment disingenuously, and which ones have totally bloated egos. The last thing I ever want to be perceived as is a stuck-up, self-righteous, delusional fashion blogger.

We all have to start somewhere. Plus, you never know what your words—a simple, positive comment and example—can do to influence a young blogger or bolster someone going through a difficult time. What’s the point of blogging if we are not doing that? Uh, yeah. That is narcissism. That’s just putting a whole bunch of pretty pictures of yourself online, then waiting to be worshiped and adored. Uh, no. This is Grit and Glamour. This is a celebration of both the reality and artifice of fashion. My Gucci—or Old Navy—still goes on one leg at a time, just like the rest of you.

Anyway, in the South, we all know you catch a whole lot more flies with honey.

Go forth and go blog.

♥ V

45 comments

  1. Truer words were never spoken, V!! The biggest advantage for me is meeting so many different bloggers from different countries, ages,cultures and backgrounds. We are so different yet so similar that we can talk like old friends through a blog. If that isn’t magical tell me what is? Thanks for including me in your list, V. I’m glad the blogging community is alive and kicking.

    1. I agree…that’s the most fun part. I am seeing photos from bloggers in faraway places, talking to them about their experiences. It’s fascinating. I actually have a guest post coming up from a blogger of another ethnicity I am so intrigued by. So yeah, that is indeed the beauty of this medium.

      Thanks hon!

    1. Julia, thank you. I agree. Although I follow some biggies, that’s exactly why I didn’t include them on my list. They have their masses, and that’s not to say it’s not well-deserved. But other people deserve some face time too.

  2. V – And that is why I love you!
    Well said! Like Porcelain Complexion, I’ve actually lost interest in the really popular fashion blogs… although I will visit from time to time just to see if there is any good content.
    I love that you have always been true to yourself and not some label drippin’ sell out!
    p.s love what Jennine has done! Oh and there’s also a fashion wikipedia – so all you fashion bloggers get yourself on it now!!!
    Filakia doll.
    x.o.x.o

    1. Aren’t you so very sweet?! I’m glad you appreciate me as I am, faults and all. Thank you so much.

      I have been on Wiki fashion…need to tidy that entry up. Thanks for the reminder!

      Filakia to you too, and a fantabulous weekend!

    1. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

      You’re the same as I am Jemina. We can all see the level of engagement you have with your followers. It’s awesome!

  3. Totally agree with you, V. I feel like you can make much stronger connections with bloggers if they take the time to actually connect with you, in the form of commenting on your blog, reaching out to you via e-mail, or tweeting with you. I know that some bloggers have full time jobs and receives hundreds of comments a day so they really don’t have TIME to comment on everyone else’s blogs, but I still feel that they make themselves more inaccessible than they really should be. Magazines often say bloggers are changing the fashion world because they’re so “accesible,” but there are a certain few that WANT to be put on a pedestal and have no intention of communicating with the rest of the community. I think we mustn’t forget that this *is* a community (and a HUGE thanks to Jennine for her inclusive and extremely helpful site) and we are all people; we are all equals; and we should treat each other as such.

    1. Leia, you are so right: “Magazines often say bloggers are changing the fashion world because they’re so “accesible,” but there are a certain few that WANT to be put on a pedestal and have no intention of communicating with the rest of the community.”

      I recently stopped following a very famous Melbourne-based blogger that I loved, because she never responds to a single comment, and never follows you back on Twitter, Google Friend connect., etc. It felt like unrequited love, you know? And on her blog, above her friend connect widget, she actually has “Love Me, I Love You Back”. Yeah, right. There has never been any love coming from her directly to any of her readers. So on principal, I have stopped supporting her site. I know my absence doesn’t matter one bit. But why spend my time on her when she’d not spending it on anyone else but herself?

  4. That’s so true. I really like the blogging community, and Jennine at IFB has really done something amazing with that site!

    It’s lovely when we can really connect with a community through blogging, rather than standing alone.

    1. I agree. And Jennine really, truly is the catsalyst. What an incredible, unprecedented thing she has done!

      Thanks for popping by my dear!

  5. Oh, V, you have touched upon a few key items regarding the blogging communtiy, least of which answering my previous (in a future post) question are you a Southerner? On to more relevant musing: IFB is/was a godsend to me!
    I feel that stumbling onto that remarkable site, and community and joining it, really gave my blogging a focus and very high (and ethical) standards.. And you’re so right, Jennine’s contribution has been priceless in her creation of IFB, and then some.

    Bloggers who are actually engaged with their readers are the ones who in the long run, really interest me. I have to admit, that I really got smitten with the two-way dialogue we can have by bloggings, and I do feel a bit put off when I comment regularly on somebody’s blog, and they can’t spare a moment of a comment, or acknowledgment back. Kinda hushes me up some.

    But the communtiy of fashion bloggers is growing like wildfire, and I enjoy seeing my small world get smaller. Like seeing my Singapore homegirll Jemna, leave a comment, my New Zealand friend from March Musing and me seeing them around town so to speak. Warms my vintage-lovin’ heart, I tell you.

    1. Sorry to interrupt darlng V, but i need to tell Bella that I LOVE U chica, LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE, mwaaaahhhhhhh, XOXO, HUGS n KISSES too :)) ha ha ha 😀

    2. Bella, Thank you so much for your comment—I feel very much the same.

      IFB is indeed priceless, for so many. And nothing rankles me more than seeing weeks’ worth of my comments go unacknowledged on other blogs. Don’t know if you saw my response to Leia above, but now I’m no longer following bloggers who do that. For me, blogging isn’t just visual, it is an intellectual endeavor. Without that engagement, I also lose interest very quickly.

      And to answer your question, I am indeed Southern, and dang proud of it, honey! But to really explain me, I’m going to replicate my About page here:

      Who am I?

      I’m what you might expect, and then not. New Yorker moxie meets Southern hospitality. Northern-born, Southern-bred, from a line of unconquered Greeks I am.

      Once bitten, twice brazen; fashion-obsessed and opinionated. I finally spread my wings to fly and flew too far, I fear. To find my center and just be, I write; this is me:

      I am V.

  6. Wow, what an insightful post! I couldn’t agree with you more. I love how connected we as bloggers can be so someone across the world! It’s fascinating to get a glimpse of the world they live in. I do think that there are a lot of bloggers out there who are doing this for the sole reason to be “somebody” and don’t make the effort to connect with their audience. It Baffles me when I receive a message in my inbox on IFB from a fellow blogger asking me to follow them because they really need the followers for this reason and that reason. I’d much rather have a smaller pool of followers that I’m actually connecting with and communicating with and who genuinely enjoy my posts and I theirs, than 1000 readers who I’ve begged to follow me. It goes beyond the point of narcissism.
    Wow this might have been my longest comment ever! haha I couldn’t help it the post was such a good conversation topic!

    1. Monique…every time I see your name I smile.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’re right, and I’m with you on the smaller group. Quality trumps quantity any day. The whole follower thing…it’s an ego feed. I won’t say that I never think about it, because I do. But I also won’t follow someone or something I don’t believe in just for the follow back.

      So glad this post inspired so much conversation. I’m loving reading all the feedback and getting to know you all.

      1. Sorry to once again interrupt here, Vahni, would you mind telling Monique that I always respond to her comment at my blog and wrote what I would like to comment from her blog at mine (hope it makes sense) thanks sweetheart, btw both of you ROCK!!!

        XOXO
        J 🙂

  7. You’re such an inspiration to me, V. The more women we can have like you, like Jennine, like the amazing IFB editors and contributors, who are willing to be open, accessible, and friendly to bloggers, of all ranks and sizes, is what makes our community so outstanding and remarkable. When people ask about me fashion blogging…. it’s really NOT about the fashion. It’s the amazing community of women (and men!) who inhabit it.

    1. Wow, honestly Ashe, I am supremely honored by your comments. You have an INCREDIBLE blog, you are so articulate and intelligent, and you have been such a key part of IFB, that this coming from you is just beyond amazing. Thank you so very much.

      I agree that fashion blogging isn’t just about the clothing. It is an incredible community with a lot of power. I am still floored by the fact that Jennine put on the first national fashion blogger conference in NYC in conjunction with fashion week…and that Scott and Garance crashed it! That is a testament to what one can do with heart, drive, integrity, and determination. I hope next time, we’re ALL there together!

  8. So. True.

    My absolute favorite bloggers are those people that are simply being themselves and sharing with the world. Real people are tangible, relatable, and they, oh I don’t know – communicate! As you mention, there are an abundance of ‘popular’ blogs out there that are manned by an elite that I almost get that ‘Pretty Woman’ feeling when I’m on the that I’m in a place that I don’t belong. That’s so ridiculous and I’m just so over it!

    Thank you for choosing not to whittle down your ‘I Heart Blogs’ list. I, as many others have commented, am truly enjoying your choices! I appreciate that all blogs/bloggers listed are quality individuals from around our world pumping out unique and original content. I haven’t finished the list, but I’ve been checking more of them out each day. I couldn’t believe that you added me as well! I wanted to say ‘Thank You’ so much for taking the time to getting to know me back. I am following you on Twitter and BlogLovin’ as well 😀

    P.S. – I could’ve commented sooner, but I have edited down my little ‘speech’ a lot believe it or not, haha. I truly feel you on this topic and support you 100 percent! Thank you again for your comment! It did truly make my entire day/night!!

    I know all about that South! Here’s to more honey, Honey *wink*

    xo,
    raven

    1. Raven!

      Hello sugar. Thank you so much for your feedback. I’ve also had that Pretty Woman feeling at times…that whole I’m not worthy, I’ll never measure up mentality. It IS ridiculous. Because we all have our own slant, our own personalities, and that is the beauty of it. If other bloggers want to engage, or disengage, rather, in conversations with their followers, so be it. I, like you and so many others here, choose not to.

      I am so glad that you have found these posts to be thought-provoking and relevant to you. Makes my heart sing, honey! I’m sure we’ll be commenting back and forth again very soon.

  9. Right on. I couldn’t have put it into better words myself! If you can’t find the time to follow back your readers and thank them/discover their blogs then you don’t belong blogging to begin with. I am not here to consistently place nice comments about you and never hear back from you. HUGE pet peeve of mine. Anyways, thanks for taking the words right out of my mouth. As always, love your posts!

    xo Lynzy
    http://fromskirtstoskillets.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you for your comment and kind words, Lynzy. I agree. As I said in a recent interview, I’m not here just to blow smoke up some (ungrateful) blogger’s a**! That’s a crude way of putting it, but it’s true. If I want photos and silence, I’ll just read a magazine.

      So when can I come hang out on your fabulous patio?!

  10. What a great post! Is it wrong of me if I say part of the reason i decided to try my hand at this whole blogging thing is BECAUSE of the sense of community I’ve felt just from participating as a reader? I am still checking out all the blogs you posted yesterday and am happy to start adding them to my reads. The diversity and all the different voices that are out there are mind-boggling to me. Who needs fashion magazines when there are so many great blogs to follow? 🙂

    1. Thank you Beautiful!

      No, it’s not wrong to say you started blogging for the sense of community. It actually makes total sense. Otherwise, why on earth would anyone put their thoughts on the Internet? If you don’t want the audience, you scribble it in a journal, right?

      The diversity amongst bloggers is indeed mind-boggling. What I love most is that blogs give people access to so much more than they could ever have access to offline. And unlike a magazine, this is an organic thing, blogging. It trends, breathes, ebbs, flows, and for the attention-challenged (like me), it is an endless source of inspiration and excitement.

      So glad you could relate to this post! Thank you for sharing!

  11. OMG, I know the Melbourne-based blogger you mean. I used to visit her blog daily and leave comments till the realisation that she didn’t reply/ didn’t care came crashing through and I stopped commenting. Now if I visit a popular blog I leave comments 2-3 times, if there is no reciprocal visit/comment I get the message and never go back.
    Haven’t done anything new on my blog , V, so don’t know why you found it neater. But I love neatness so I’m happy 🙂

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who gets her knickers in a twist when she is repeatedly ignored. It took me a while, but I finally gave up on the Melbournista. She’s never responded even when people have commented on vothng for her in a contest! To hell with that.

      Yes, neatness is good…oh well. I’ve been on so many blogs lately, it’s hard to remember who has changed what sometimes!

  12. I just came across your blog after Frockshopstyle tweeted about being featured on your I heart blogs list. This follow up post addresses exactly what I have been thinking/posting lately… there is so much negativity online and I think we should all share a bit more blogger love!

    Bookmarking your list so that I can go through and discover some more amazing bloggers when I have time to do so at my leisure. Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks so much Jasmine, and welcome! I noticed on your blog that you have indeed been thinking about negativity in blogging, and I agree–we need more blogger love, more reciprocation on the blogger’s behalf as well. Following you on Twitter so I can keep up with life in Brisbane!

      Hope you’ll stop by again soon. Thanks much for your comment!

  13. I love your last full paragraph. It’s so true. Honest and genuine comments can really help bolster confidence and is really what creating a blogging community is all about.

    1. Thanks Katy! I think you’re doing great things to help encourage a friendly community of fashion bloggers with Friend Friday. We’re totally on the same page.

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