Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Blogger vs Socialite

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photos courtesy the Evening Standard Magazine

I was reading an article in the Evening Standard magazine the other week (ok, ok, I was looking at the pictures!) about Olivia Palermo and a bit of a crazy thought struck me. Bloggers are compared to journalists in nine out of ten articles, but actually a better comparison would be that of the blogger and the socialite.

Hear me out before you get too offended. Yes journalists and bloggers both write, but when I read a magazine or newspaper article I usually don't even know who the author is, let alone care what they had for dinner last night, who they're bffs with, or what they wore today. But the world is endlessly fascinated by where this or that socialite went last night and who they were seen with, much like following your favourite blogs to see what they're up to. The professional journalist is selling their writing, but the professional socialite, and the professional blogger are selling their personality, and their lifestyle.

The modern day socialite usually has a finger in every pie going - they're selling interviews, acting as muse to various designers, they have a perfume, a tv show, a clothing line, it's endless! The modern day blogger often sells advertising space, writes sponsored posts, has an etsy shop, offers styling advice, public speaking and has a myriad of other potential income streams at her fingers.

Plus both are regularly seen at any event offering free champagne and cupcakes!

What do you think? Am I way off the mark or is there something to be said for the comparison, and maybe even something to be learnt? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

28 comments:

Kb said...

Wow what a great concept, this is sort of what i'm looking at for my dissertation, whether bloggers are the new brands, but this is also an interesting conclusion.

Steph0188 said...

Great post :)
and right on target I'd say.
When I started blogging, I never thought about the writing aspect, as such. In the way of a journalist. My blog is fun, easy & about me and what I did- I never claim to be an amzing writer, I am def not & will never be. But people still seem to (hopefully) enjoy me blog, and at least pretend to like what I say and do.
So I think this is true. I couldn't give two hoots about most writers, but being nosey & getting involved with bloggers lives, I like. As I do of celebs or socalites
xx

Zoya said...

What an interesting comparision.

janettaylor said...

Amazing photos!

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little rambling rose said...

this never occured to me until I read it, but you are so right! There are blogs I like to read regularly because the girls have great outfits or funny stories etc.

just found your blog whilst blog surfing, Its great :) X

Krissy ♥ said...

Definitely food for thought there, and an interesting comparison, indeed!

Christy said...

That actually makes sense to me. I don't think my blogging is especially journalistic and while I'm not exactly socalite status I think that my blog is more about my life than my writing.

interesting thought...

Christy of Dress Rehearsal

Sherin said...

This is a genius comparison. I've never thought of it like this, but it's so true! Bloggers, like Socialites, are really pampered by PR companies, most of the time, and I definitely love seeing what my favourite bloggers are upto.

Leia said...

Harriet, I think you are SO right! As bloggers our calendars are filled with social events, we are telling the intimate details of our lives to strangers (who actually CARE!) and spend a lot of time eating nibbles and asked to attend parties. Very interesting!

Leia

tanvii.com said...

I think you are Bang on the Mark! Here via Leia's tweet and glad I clicked! Such an apt comparison. I have been saying the 'exact' same thing to my husband ... now I know someone else thinks alike!

Kate said...

I don't think you're off the mark at all. This is the Gossip Girl era after all! It's a very good point to be made & I'm glad somebody brought it up, something never quite sat right with me, thinking of bloggers as 'journalists'. Fair play, there are a few style bloggers out there who do actually practice journalism & you can see that in their writing, but for the rest of us (myself included) it is just a great social opportunity. And I don't knock it in the slightest.

Though whenever I think of the word 'socialite', I think of Tara Palmer-Tompkinson & Tamara Beckwith & the like, haha. Not a good image!

EilidhPie said...

Clever point, I would never have thought of it in this way, but what you have said makes complete sense! xx

Jess Q. said...

Wow I guess you´re right! Here in Brazil are this discussion about bloggers x journalists and I neve read a opinion like this... loved!

Sorry for my bad english :)
xox

ellio100 said...

For me the most important thing about blogging is the discussion in the comments, and that's what I find exciting about the process (usually!) I like the way you focus on the significance of lifestyle and personality, but (and I've never seen gossip girl) my idea of the socialite is someone a bit removed from reality, who only moves through certain circles, usually defined by more powerful people. I like blogs because they seem a bit more d.i.y., less controlled and more accessible... but i think you're exactly right that the blogger/journalist model needs work!

lauramorgan said...

I completely agree with you. The whole reason I got into blogging was through reading a models blog. Blogging gives people the platform to share what they want to where magazines dont always give that, models are just for pictures not their story. Writers only get to talk about specific things and not be totally creative. Blogging lets people do it all or as little as they want. Viva le fashion/beuty blogs!
x
Ps - Anyone who read that, i know its a total ramble. Im on a bit of a sugar rush..

vint junky said...

Ah, you are right, there's definitely a connection that you feel with blogs (and some celebs) that you don't feel with most journalists. After all a blogger is letting you into their world and you will find aspects of their life that you relate to, as opposed to a journalist just reporting or reviewing.

xx

Bea said...

Hey this was such an interesting post to read. I would even say maybe more like celebrity than socialite. Though there are bloggers who get invitations to different events in different countries...a lot of famous bloggers are just paid to sponsor companies and pieces. It seems less fussy and more business like than a socialite. I'll think about it some more. GOOD COMPARISON :)

Bea from A plus B

Stéphanie said...

Very very great post !

beingdena said...

I think you are right on.

Very well written Harriet. You were missed the the Christmas market.

Dena x

and flowers pick themselves said...

hmmm, very interesting! for me your describing one type of blogger + one type of journalist, though. just my opinion.

:)

xo Alison

MJ said...

It's pretty interesting! I see what you mean, although I would compare them more to a kind of fashion socialite like smaller-scale Kate Lanphears and so on. However, the comparison goes pretty far, I think. There are blogs I tune into because they're always kicking up drama, like a Lily Allen or a Girls Aloud, and there are blogs I read because they're beautiful and untouchable, like a model-socialite type person or something. Great thought!

kirstyb said...

amazing pics xxx

Sarah said...

That's a really interesting comparison, especially when you bring up that a blogger is using their personality. As a journo who blogs, I definitely find that my blogging is much more personal that the stuff that eventually ends up in the newspapers.

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* Reena Rai * said...

I've kind of been thinking a similar thing, but you've summed it up much better than I could! Great post

Saumirah said...

I love this comparison. Posted a link to this on my blog's Facebook page!

...love Maegan said...

I do think you are very right here ...I personally don't do the social thing - though if I lived in NYC, I might because it would be much much easier. {however, I'm really no good at ass kissing}

It's mind blowing to me how bloggers who get little to no traffic on their blogs, show up in photos at extravagant events toasting champagne glasses with "brands" and/or being sent loads of designer swag. I mean, who tells these "brands" that these specific bloggers are going to do them any good? If no one is going to their blogs, how can they have any influence {or make the brand any money? - which is all it ever boils down to} It's a very strange phenomenon really.

thestylesoup said...

Ha! So funny that I randomly found this because I was thinking about this the other day as I was reading an article in the fashion section of The Chicago Tribune. As I read I realized that I had no idea who the author was, nor did I really care. But then I thought to myself, this person probably acquired a formal journalistic education, actually knows how to write property or received some sort of formal training in something fashion related. Same with all of the other writers of the big papers (or any paper really), so why are they not as famous as random teenagers from random places? What's funny is that many of my friends who majored in journalism and have a keen interest in fashion care more about getting a job at a fancy magazine. It shocks me that some don't even have "fashion blogs." Interesting how the system works. Thanks for writing this.

Britney said...

What a lovely article/post! I love how you have related it. So very clever