Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Other Enthusiast Blogs

The peer review of the enthusiast blogs was a helpful experience and surprisingly gave me a lot to think about.

First, there was the response I got from others on my blog, Rock and Vogue. The people in my peer group were two dude-bros. Like the opposite target audience for my blog. However, they were really into it! They liked my About Me and my point of view, they liked my design. One of the guys told me to include my inspirations for why I like to write about what I write. I added that and I think it was a great observation. I don't know of they fully appreciated my posts but they liked my writing style. Hearing that from people who wouldn't automatically love what I do is a good sign.

Reading their blogs was also interesting. I like helping others think about this sort of thing because I think I'm very good at not being ethnocentric when it comes to others. I can keep a very open mind and try to understand where others are coming from. I enjoyed reading what I normally wouldn't, a basketball blog and a blog from the POV of the college male.

Something that came up in our review session was whether or not to write for ourselves and the (possible) audience it might attract. On the other hand, should we be more inviting to our potential readers and make our posts easier to understand for a wider audience? We decided basically that we shouldn't limit ourselves, but do keep in mind that some readers might not "get it."

Rock and Vogue is Tricky

I've run into a few small issues in this blog.

Post length worries me. I don't want to ramble, but I have a very overly-descriptive style of writing (and speaking) that concerns me. Summarizing or just scratching the surface in my posts is something I really want to avoid, because if I do that than what's the point of reading Rock and Vogue? I feel it's important to give insight, show the back story, and really set the tone.

I want to create an ambiance, a mood for the readers. Like they're coming to my apartment and we're looking at clothes and records and pictures together, and I'm giving you the dirt, a lesson in fashion, pop culture and rock music. But that sounds like reporting, which is no good. Should I leave room for commenters? I want people to comment. I want it to be fun!

Sometimes I worry that my choice of vocabulary is ... a turn off. I tend to use big words. I like big words because they are specific and significant, they help make the points I'm trying to convey. David Bowie isn't great, he's magnificent. The clothes aren't ugly and weird, they're obscene and outlandish. I wonder if it makes me sound pretentious. I wonder if it's something readers will like or dislike.

Ultimately, my greatest concern is that since I'm no expert on my topic, I might get the info wrong, or miss out on something I should have included and I'll find myself being disregarded by readers. That is, if anyone ever reads this blog and is able to make that accusation.

Anyways, those are the main things I've learned from this blog project that concern me a bit.

Rock and Vogue is Awesome

I love writing this blog and I'm having a great time with it.

I thought at first that having a specific topic would be constricting, but I realize now that it just requires more creativity on my part to come up with interesting post ideas.

I like doing the research that is involved with my subject matter. Since I need to back up my analyses with information and facts, I find myself scouring the internet, asking people their opinions and hitting up my mom and dad for info on the decades in which I was not alive. Since I love surfing the internet and love learning new information and love learning about topics of interest EVEN MORE, I find this process enjoyable, if a bit tedious.

I love my web page design and have received a lot of positive feedback on my formatting. My description blurb does jump around on each computer I view it on, though. I helped remedy that by omitting the border around the header. While I miss the color it added, it helps make the description look less fumbled and it's less distracting without it.

I really love reading blogs and I like using what works for me as a reader in my writing. Hyperlinks are awesome and a must for me. I reference other things a lot and it's not only helpful to hyperlink an explanatory web page, it's hella fun to click around and see more stuff (it is for me, anyways). Including videos and images is essential for my type of blog and I think it's really fun to watch and listen to the music I write about. I've also realized that videos can also be newsreels, interviews, and more.

Fun things I could do in the future are add a playlist section at the end that could highlight a few songs, selected by me, that I want readers to check out. They'll correspond to the genre in the post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Enthusiast Blog is Screwed

I'm having some issues formatting my enthusiast blog.

1. I manipulated the html code to change the layout. Now, every time I look at my blog on a different computer, the layout is royally screwed up.

2. I added an About Me section and it will not show up on my page.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rock and Vogue - About Me

Why should you take my word?

I was twelve years old when I became obsessed with rock and roll music. As corny as it sounds, something inside me burst into life when I watched those men and women scream and sing and pummel their instruments. Those artists oozed with confidence. Some of that ooze got under my skin. 

I failed an eye test at school and was sent to get new glasses. I went to the local Lenscrafters. I peered at my mousey face in the mirror, onto the silvery circles that framed my glowing eyes. 

I looked up at my mom and told her I wanted thick, plastic, horn-rimmed glasses. She laughed. I stayed steadfast and serious. "Why?" she asked. "Because," I replied, "I want to look like the lead singer of Weezer." Amused, my mother obliged, and when I put them on, I got my first glance at the girl I was about to become. 

By high school, I added the combat boots, the baby doll dresses, the studded belts, and the slashed t shirts. During 5th period my arms became covered in ballpoint tattoos. I put a few extra holes in my head. 

And without fail, I snatched the "Rolling Stone" magazine that fell through my mail slot each month. I'd run into my room and slam the door with my glossy Bible in hand. I would sit and read the whole thing, cover to cover: every album review, every profile, every artist on the rise, every photo spread, even the Billboard charts. I would tear out the pictures and plaster my walls with rock star style. There was Beck's dapper suit and tie/fuzzy hair and sneakers look, Gwen Stefani's strappy pants with crop tops and Bindi facial jewelry, Alkaline Trio's crisp white Oxford shirts splattered in fake blood and their piercing, dark lined eyes. 

My love of the music and its fashion kept growing and stretching, and I absorbed countless trends into my personal style like I was picking apples from a tree. I went through a metamorphosis every few months, until my classmates were thoroughly confused as to who I was supposed to be. 

And who am I? I'm the same lady I was then, except I'm much more polished than I was with the tattered pants and dog collars. I'm someone who isn't afraid of change, who's always dying to see and hear what's new and what's old, and who lives to be inspired. Read my blog and you'll see what I see. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Enthusiast Blog

I have decided that my enthusiast blog will be about rock and roll music and its influence in fashion.  

I found it really difficult to narrow my topic because I favored a more broad topic. Choosing a more specific topic worries me because I fear that I will run out of things to say, or be forced to pick some theme that does well in a few posts but doesn't hold my interest over time. 

Two of my greatest interests are rock music and fashion, and I personally take many of my style cues from the music I listen to. Rock music in itself created a fashion legacy; the former always tends to inspire the latter in unique ways. Many looks parallel a certain sound of a certain decade, from the 1950s till today and into the future. 

My blog will have equal emphasis on the music and the fashion trends it created. That way, it can appeal to readers that are rock fans who find the fashion parts interesting, or the fashion fans can learn about where the trends started, and the true music/fashion enthusiasts can dig right in. 

People will certainly want to see lots of photos of artists in their element, and I'd like to include videos as much as possible to incorporate the sights and sounds together. Photos of the rock inspired fashions will certainly be a major part of the blog. I'll do part personal commentary and part research-based writing to ensure accuracy. People would probably not want to see a lot of high-fashion, inaccessible  stuff because I'd like the focus to be on the everyday, what-people-wear style. I will also avoid cliches and really analyze what's popular and what has been popular in the past, where it comes from and what it means to dress a certain way. 

The writing style will be a mix of informal slang with polished and well-researched information. I can't help but write the way I write, and that will mean a light, conversational tone but also an analytical effect. I don't want the subject matter to be so fluffy -- I have points to make. Design will be important. I see black playing a major part of the color scheme, vibrant images that evoke the playfulness of the rock and roll aesthetic. It will certainly look good, give off a cool vibe and totally rock. 

Some post ideas:

The Nerdy Glasses Trend - starting from 1950s rockabilly to "nerd rock" or "math rock" bands: is this the antithesis of cool? 

Southern Rock Style: The First and Second Wave - How artists like the Kings of Leon, The Black Crows and others channel The Band and The Allman Brothers 1970s American country fashion.

Chrome - Why is silver the color of electro rock? Why artists are taking the robotic sound of their music so literally. 

The White Stripes are Fashion Icons - their look is just as striking as their sound. From their beginnings as fuzzy-haired garage rockers with a fuzzed-out sound, to their Red and White clothes only rule, to the mutation into country music and the obligatory dress code, to their sometimes Mexican influences sound and style. 

The Power of Leather - the lasting effect leather has had on rock and roll music and vice versa. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ideas for Clubhouse Blog

Some ideas for my clubhouse blog:

1. An entertainment/lifestyle blog with a feminist twist. Possible name - "Femenclature" or some other kind of wordplay. It would include links and commentary on the media, beauty and fashion through the mind of a modern feminist. 

2. A film blog that features reviews, critiques and fun analyses. From my POV, of course. 

3. "That's Rad!" - bites of my own personal style - things I like, things I want, things I have, things that other people have. Celebrating my own aesthetic in apparel, house/room wares, art, music,miscellaneous stuff, style icons, and any kind of cool design. 

4.  A "30 Rock" fan blog. 

5. Clever-titled rock and roll blog. Each post would probably highlight a specific song, artist or something thematic (guitar solos, southern rock genre, cow bell, etc etc.) My take on what I love about rock and roll music. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rebecca Blood on Weblogs

"I strongly believe in the power of weblogs to transform both writers and readers from 'audience' to 'public' and from 'consumer' to 'creator.'" -Rebecca Blood, September 2000

To me, the most stunning thing about this quote is its date. Such an ability to see into the future! Rebecca's statements have held up well, nine years later. 

I basically agree with everything Rebecca said in this entry. I find her opinions optimistic and empowering for a blogger. I can respect her stance since she is practically a veteran in this world of the weblog and has seen the effects of the weblog platform. 

What Rebecca touts as the benefits of blogging - self-awareness, better writing skills, networking of like-minded people - inspire and encourage me to do it myself. 

I have found my own niche in the blogosphere as I read three to four blogs on a daily basis. I lean towards the first style of blogging that Rebecca talks about, linking articles, highlighting points, opening a forum for discussion. My favorite blog, Jezebel.com, is like this. I'll describe it as a "post-modern" feminist blog with posts varying in topics (like fashion, TV, celebrities, news, world issues and everything in between) cast varying in feminist tones and contexts (from the staunch to light-hearted, and even inquisitive or absent entirely). 

When Rebecca said that her blog made her realize what her interests were, I instantly agreed. From the moment I started reading Jezebel, I was hooked. I was interested in what "feminism" meant. I learned about it, I talked about it, I thought about how I fit into this movement. I realized that I was, in fact, a feminist. It has since become a defining characteristic that bonded me with some of my like-mined, Jezebel-reading friends (males and females!). I like the variations and evolutions of "feminism" and how its unique to each man or woman. Blogging is responsible for this!

Blogging is almost a sigh of relief in the massive black hole that is the internet, in the vacuum of our personal environments, in that each person can explore a specific and special portal of information and communication with other like-minded people. Another personal example is when I stumbled upon a fashion blog in the thick of the internet. My heart melted as I devoured page after page of some Californian half-Japanese girl's blog about her life as a buyer and seller of vintage apparel, an amateur stylist and an appreciator of fashion/art/collage/photography. Her style was unique but also totally accessible - she was the style icon for me. I'd be lost in a sea of wackness without her. 

However, I have always remained a lurker in the blogosphere. Even though I read the comments on my favorite posts, I remain silent. I have also desired greatly to write a blog of my own. Even though I love to write and am bursting with opinions and topics of interest, I can't seem to convince myself that anyone would want to read me. That's my own insecurity. My high standards state that if you don't have something truly original to say, than no one wants to hear it.

I suppose this now changes because I do have my own blog and here I am writing my opinions. I agree with Rebecca, I think blogs are empowering and special once you find the right ones. Read what you like, ignore what you don't, and don't forget to appreciate that these web-based opportunities exist! 

Friday, September 11, 2009

What is Writing?

Writing can be defined as any abstract or specific kind of alphanumerical/textual documentation. It can be in the physical form or electronic. Writing is limitless in regard to its content. 

Writing environments which I frequent are:

Text Messages
Instant Messages