Monday, April 8, 2013

Frockwriter Live at MBFWA...and Frockwriter heads to Fellt

backstage at christopher esber SS1213/MBFWA

It’s that time of the year when we gather around the campfire that is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and celebrate – or eviscerate – fashion design from the land down under. Since this journalist’s blogging career kicked off with live coverage of the event back in 2006 at and we have experimented with a number of different live coverage formats in the interim (e.g. last year's Fashion Week Uncut live blog, in tandem with Emma Ashton), it’s also the time of year when we usually try to come up with a fresh format for real-time coverage. Because that's just how we roll. This year it’s a newlook Frockwriter Live, the site we launched back in 2010 through the Posterous microblogging platform. Since Posterous is due to close at the end of April (sad face), we needed to find an alternative and this is it – for the moment. The newlook Frockwriter Live was developed with Johan Bergström and Daniel Kjellsson, aka Sydney Stockholm. Which brings me to the bigger picture Frockwriter news here: yes, we are hooking up with the Swedish house mafia. 

Since launching this time last year, the Swedish duo’s Fellt fashion collective of Australian fashion bloggers has been a bit of a game-changer in the local blogosphere. Sydney Stockholm has hooked some big campaigns (Net-A-Porter and Chanel, among them) that are actually display ads - as opposed to display ad-look affiliate marketing – but more importantly, it has delivered round-the-clock advertising for its blogger network. Two weeks ago, the company expanded into the food genre with a new collective of food bloggers called Servved.

This does by no means represent the end of Frockwriter’s subscription service. 

Frockwriter's premium subscription service continues and indeed, will be developed even further. Since the paywall went live in February last year, we have built a subscriber list of over 100 highly engaged fashion industry insiders in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, who include magazine and newspaper editors, model agency heads, luxury brand representatives, PR agents, models – and, funnily enough, more than one model parent. Thanks once again for your generosity and support. 

I have never been against the concept of advertising. I have just been unable thus far to earn a sustainable revenue stream from it. Hence the move into the subscription service last year. I am hopeful that moving to Fellt will improve things.

And just to clarify, by “advertising”, I mean totally transparent display advertising that is what it is. As opposed to undisclosed advertorial. If other fashion bloggers wish to engage in the latter, that is entirely their choice and their business - their risk as well, I might add. 

It is impossible to keep everyone happy and I’ve got little doubt there will be some who feel I am ‘selling out’. To those people I will ask, where were you in February last year when I launched the paywall and you had the opportunity to support what could have been a totally ad-free Frockwriter for the gobsmackingly outrageous cost of USD1.99 per month? In other words, less than the cost of a Mars Bar. I’ll tell you where you were – looking for every opportunity to disable it so you could access the content for nothing. 

So, ahoy to my fellow Fellters: Nicole, Margaret, Zanita, Mandy and Sara.

And just to cover off the Fellt news quickly – the blog will be moving over in stages, with Frockwriter Live the first instalment. Frockwriter will have its own unique design, obviously very similar in spirit to the current, just a much-needed revamp. This blog remains in place for the time being, with no changes.

But back to MBFWA and Frockwriter Live. The new pop-up, customized Tumblr is not going to be perfect, but it’s the best we could do in the time available. I am going to try to cover as much as possible in a sort of MBFWA diary, as it were, so please check in throughout the day to see what’s new. The latest content appears in the top left-hand corner. The posts will be promoted on my Twitter and Facebook - although updates on the the latter may be infrequent. I will be shooting with a DSLR backstage at as many shows as possible and will put some photo galleries on Frockwriter as soon as time permits. 

See you at MBFWA! 


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