Saturday, July 4, 2009
Frockwriter launched a year ago today. And as I noted in the very first entry on July 4 2008, embarking on an independent blog on Independence Day, following two years of paid blogging for mainstream media outlets, seemed rather appropriate. In that first post, I said that I found the prospect of doing an indie blog a little daunting. I still do. What can I tell you about the past twelve months? That - as with every other blogger I personally know - I have pumped an enormous amount of time and energy into this blog. That roughly 200,000 visitors checked into it, generating approximately 400,000 page impressions. That roughly one fifth of those page impressions were generated within the last month by almost 40,000 absolute unique visitors. So the pace is picking up. Bad time to pack it all in, then. I have contemplated doing so on more than one occasion.
Your interest keeps me going. Thanks for the clicks, tips, links, comments and feedback.
In addition to those mentioned in my Christmas thank-you who have linked to FW in their blogrolls, posts and stories, a couple of new additions.
Frockwriter is now listed on the blogrolls of The New York Times’ The Moment and Fashionologie. In addition to this regular blogroll link, Fashionologie also links regularly to frockwriter’s stories. Given that Fashionologie is, in my opinion, one of the fastest fashion blogs in the world – if not the fastest - I feel particularly honoured. And realise that the links stop when you fail to deliver news.
Last week, Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast linked to two of FW‘s menswear posts within the one story, with BlackBook picking up a third. I have not traditionally written a great deal about menswear, but I must admit, I quite enjoy it. In terms of a runway season, it’s a lot easier to cover than the behemoth women’s version. There is also a sentimental factor there in that my late father – who died when I was a toddler, and who I never knew – was a menswear manufacturer.
Having show coverage linked by mainstream outlets when you’re not even covering an event on the ground, demonstrates just what role the online community could potentially play in runway reportage. As a former tv news/current affairs researcher/producer, I know only too well that you can have teams out in the field, who are often less au fait with the global overview of an event than those back at the HQ, simply because they may be too close to the action and unable to see the wood for the trees.
In twelve months, together with other blogger mates, I have covered eight major fashion events: two ready-to-wear womens' seasons, two menswear seasons, one haute couture week, Swim Fashion Week, New Zealand Fashion Week and RAFW.
Each time, we all learn better ways of covering them.
I have been on the ground in the four fashion cities and yes, I do miss being there. But it’s an interesting challenge to cover remotely for an online audience, especially with the advent of Twitter, which has played such a huge role in runway reportage this year. Participating in the RAFW component of that was exciting – complete with all the accompanying controversy.
I look forward to the next seasons. I also look forward to introducing new elements to the coverage. This year I experimented with Qik live streaming video and also Cover It Live - later hooking up with Matt 'Imelda' Jordan and Bryanboy for some live runway show coverage, which proved to be a lot of fun.
As for the content, it’s still a work in progress. When I look at the top 15 most popular posts of the year, model stories account for the greater percentage. Sure, that’s partly because there have been so many of them. Also up there however is the Michelle Obama dress controversy – when I had the good fortune to catch that nascent brouhaha and found myself being linked by US and UK media outlets. This was only after, I should note, Paul Hayes asked me to ID the dress - and I set about locating the designer.
For some reason I was surprised to also see the RAFW schedule thread in the top 15 posts – which suggests that it proved to be a valuable resource for the local fashion community.
Not everyone has liked everything on here. Of course that’s only to be expected.
More than one has complained that there are too many model stories.
Some have complained that there is way too much gossip. Others, that there isn't enough of it.
Some have slammed my journalism - others have praised it.
One party threatened physical intimidation.
You can't please everyone. And you certainly can't dish it out, as they say, without expecting some of it to come back. You have to weigh the pros with the cons. The good, with the bad. Try to not to take yourself too seriously. Develop a thick skin. Listen to both your audience - and your news judgment.
To my partner, family and friends, thanks for the support and encouragement.
To my comrades, strength and honour guys, onwards and upwards.
To my detractors, you are perfectly entitled to your opinions. And it's those opinions which keep the dialogue moving.
To my readers, once again, thank-you for checking in.
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