Sunday, 21 February 2010

LFW: Bloggers take it in the neck again!

It all started with this article on the global herald. (Not sure how much sense this will make until you read the article!) I think that there are some interesting and valid points in the article, but there are also many that seem so wrong to me. It's them I want to address.

Firstly, I don't like the suggestion that there should be a fixed hierarchy of blogger or press types that all PR agencies should follow. Yes there is a hierarchy and rightly, big publications and buyers come first but the hierarchy of bloggers is more difficult to define. So why should there be just one? I'm sure this would make things "easier" but easier doesn't mean better Why should there be unity? Some deisgners are ready to accept bloggers and some aren't. Some designers want as many blogs as possible to cover their shows. Surely that's up to them!

There also seems to be a bit too much focus in the article on Danish pastries: if all the bloggers promise not to eat any baked goods will they leave us alone!? Its a difficult situation. I'm sure there are some bloggers who do turn up to take as much as they can but it hurts to be tarred with the same brush.

Regarding these "bliggers" everyone is tweeting about today: I kind of resent the idea some people have that all bloggers are only attending LFW for the "freebies": i'd like to point out that I haven't had a free glass of champagne or so much as a cup of coffee all week. I've also only received one goodie bag, and I usually save the stuff from them for giveaways for you guys!

I go to watch the shows, I head to Starbucks to write up my reviews, and then I go to the next show. Repeat until tired and ready to go home. I work hard and i'm proud of the coverage I post. I'm also prepared to accept that it doesn't compare to the coverage from Vogue!
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I agree there does need to be some quality control, and the best way to do this would be for the PRs to take two minutes and look at the blogs they're thinking of inviting. If somebody decides that this blog isn't good enough or doesn't have a large enough readership to warrant my attending the shows then that's fair enough: I would be prepared not to go if the powers that be decide to bring some order to things. But please don't treat us like second class citizens. This sentence in particular made me angry:

Either that, or create a different ticket for bloggers, and create a “bloggers room” which is full of computer terminals and tap water.

I mean really? Separate tickets and tap water? It seems to me if anyone is "blagging" its the chap writing this article who's scared someone is going to take the cup of coffee he's so entitled to!! I mean are we really reigniting this debate again because "real" journalists dont want to miss out on a cup of tea?!

This debate isn't going to go away until the blogger versus 'real' journalists issue is resolved.
LFW is an overcrowded event as it is, and I can see that people would be worried about it only getting more crowded: but there has to be a way of handling this constructively without alienating the bloggers that are there to work, and do the best job they can.

Love, Tor xx
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8 comments:

Harriet said...

I read that article and that like about the tap water really annoyed me too! I think a lot of 'professionals' are just worried that they're secret special world won't be so secret any more, like they're the popular girls in some American high-school drama and suddenly everyone joined the club!

They really need to get over it already - like you say, the designers and their PR peeps should actually take the time to read the blogs for a second or two, decide if they want that person there and the rest of the journalistic world should shut up!

The Style PA said...

I think it's a real shame, I sort of feel guilty but like you I've been given a bag of shampoo (which I'll review) and not seen 1 danish pastry - what's that about.

It has cost ME money to go to fashion week. I haven't been paid I'm doing it for the love. That's got to count for something.

That said, there are lots of things us bloggers can do to make it clear they can be valuable. I've just posted something on my blog which is a slightly different angle on things.

KD said...

"Why should there be unity? Some deisgners are ready to accept bloggers and some aren't. Some designers want as many blogs as possible to cover their shows. Surely that's up to them!"
So true!
And there doesn't need to be a "versus"; its completely up to the designers, and whoever is invited is invited. Rather stupid point of mine, but I think you get the idea.

daisychain said...

This whole thing has been made in to a far bigger issue by some people than it needs to be (I dont mean you, nor other bloggers). But the constant attacks are just..un-needed.

Retro Chick said...

I'm reading a lot about this, but I feel loath to post about it on my blog as I think we're just fuelling the fire maybe?!

I got a bag of shampoo, but that was after I'd queued in the cold for an hour for PPQ, been shoved around, treated like a gatecrasher then been turned away. I'd have stayed home and watched on live stream if I hadn't been promised (out of the blue) a ticket last minute on Friday. Frankly I'd rather have bought the shampoo.

At the end of the day getting press accreditation and the possibility of a free pastry and a bottle of water is only half the battle. It's the designers and PRs who decide who gets tickets to the shows and if they want it covered on lots of blogs/no blogs/a few very specific blogs then that's what will happen!

Claire said...

Definitely agree with this! It seems a little unfair that the journalists seem to think that bloggers are only interested in freebies. I really enjoyed looking at the exhibition bit too and I didn't get anything from it. What's the deal with the whole "tapwater" thing? Surely, there are blogs with wider readership than some magazines (e.g. I'm sure Style Bubble has a huge readership compared with smaller physical publications). It is indeed up to the designers (well, their PRs) to invite people, and if that happens, then it's as good as anyone else's.

rob said...

The tap water sentence was intentionally inflamatory - making a wry point about the feeling coming from the PRs I meet: that bloggers are somehow second class. I wrote that article. I am a blogger. Do you see the irony.

The focus on pastries is also an intentional device: of course it is absolutely irrelevant that there wasn't enough food, but it is true that there is a limit to everything else too (such as space in shows; on the front row seats; and in the share of target audience, too, space is limited).

The main problem I faced was that I couldn't get any work done, and I went to London Fashion Week to work. That's irritating. The primary source of this was certainly time spent queuing and the intermittent access to wifi.

So it is important that we assess the role of blogs and fashion journalists at LFW for the future to avoid these problems in future. That's why I wrote the article, because I had just finished probably the most frustrating day of my life, wanting to work, and being prevented from doing so at every turn.

Despite the latching onto the tap water comment, many who have reacted to my article seem to forget that also point out that the attitude towards bloggers is outdated and arrogant - most particularly the attitude with which journalists treat them (and they all have their own blogs too - hypocrites?!).

My only issue (which I was painfully aware of when I hit the publish button on The Global Herald - a blog powered by Wordpress btw) is that bloggers are, as ever, quoting me out of context, then people are commenting on this out of context quote without engaging with my original article whatsoever.

Many people who comment here clearly did not read the whole (or any) of my article before making their comments, for example, as they raise questions I answer in the latter part, such as, that I KNOW fashion (and other) blogs get more readers than most mainstream journalists, because I run more than 30 blogs myself, pages of which are loaded tens of millions of times every week.

Robin Scott

Natalie said...

The article in the Global Herald didn't bother me so much as the bloggers who think they are top of the hierarchy. I don't see the difference between a blogger getting into a show and a fashion student tbh, more often than not they are one and the same anyway.