Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fashion Bloggers

Here is a blog post I did for I researched fashion bloggers and used some of the blogs that I follow personally. If you like this post, please go to and  follow me there!

Some common habits of mine are to: shop online for purchases I know I cant afford, check out celebrity gossips sites for juicy details, and check out fashion blogs for trends, pictures, brands and the individual experience with fashion. There are millions of blogs devoted to fashion but I wanted to show you all some of my top favorites.

Fashion Toast
This blog is written by Rumi Neely and exemplifies her passion for fashion. Rumi shows her own style and will post many pictures so her readers can have a visual of her experiences and ideas. I like that she will explain her personal stories wearing the clothing and the events she attends. Reading this blog allows the audience to get to know Rumi and see her as a go-to-girl when it comes to fashion.

Sea of Shoes

I find this blog to be one of my favorites. The content is about new fashion finds and the daily life of the author Anna Magnani, The layout is very original and I like the essence she puts in her pictures. Her style is something that I admire about the blog and how she incorporates other bloggers with in her posts. The blog's accents and individual flavor make it a popular read in my book.

The Sartorialist

"Elegance" is what I think of when I look at this picture perfect blog. Scott Shuman takes pictures of women and men that he sees in New York City that influence his interest in fashion and style. I enjoy this because it showcases real people on the streets wearing their outfits instead of models that have been primped and premed to look a certain way or match the clothes. It portrays the reality of Fashion.

I am Fashion

This blog is collaboration between two bloggers, Barneys Girl and Harrods Girl. They started the blog in college together back in 2004 and have been blogging ever since. I enjoy reading their posts because they give two different perspectives on styles and trends. The reader can feel for their individual styles with each blog. Their posts are diverse as one day they will discuss certain fashion items they love and the next they will indulge into the financial tips and current sales.

The Bag Blog

This blog was created when the author, Sara Piaseczynski, realized she spent too much time thinking and researching about bags and clothes. She wanted to publish all of her information she recovered on a daily basis so other fashion lovers could take advantage of her productive obsession. I love this blog because it helps readers know what the good products or items are and if it is worth buying them. I was looking for a good moisturizer a couple days ago and found the answer through this blog. Sara used the Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer and loved it, so the next day I was off to Saphora ready for my new moisturizer.

Who What Wear

This blog is a widely know and read, as it publicizes celebrity styles, trend watches, and has its very own stylist. I like this blog because it incorporates my love for fashion and lets me see what my favorite actresses are wearing. The blog published the styles of NYC fashion week "What they Wore", where I saw Irina Lazareanu in a perfect sequined Shirtdress. After seeing this, I thought to myself, "I must have that shirtdress", so I kept reading and found that it was 3.1 Phillip Lim ($995). This is a great blog if you adore the clothes because the site also offers places to find clothes resembling the one’s described in their blog.

Style and the City

This blog is another look at the real street style. The blogger focuses on style of people on the streets and also the highlights of fashion week. This blog is international and incorporates the style news from Paris, New York and London. I like this blog because it showcases the style from across the world. This aspect has let me realize new ways of dressing and made me want to move to Paris even more then I did before! C'est la vie!

Fashion Canvas

This blog is like entering an art exhibited. The blogger, Francheska, uses pictures of fashion and editorials throughout her blog. This is more of a statement, without using words. I love that she uses the pictures to express her ideas and emotions. She is located in Spain but travels allot. She blogged about her travels to Bangkok and explained her time there with vintage clothes and plenty of Pai Thai. I like this blog because it inspires me and it is formatted like a personal journal.

Fashion Pirates

Fashion blogs do not have rules, and Arabella proves that with her personal blog. This 17 year old fashionista enjoys the fashions of old. She loves the vintage styles and incorporates them nicely within her posts. She is an eclectic writer and it is very fun to read her blog. Arabella has inspired me to search in my great grandmother’s jewelry trunk and find pieces to make an outfit. Last week I wore an embellished long gold necklace that was very noticeable and loud. The piece basically shouted "Look at me!"as I walked by people on the street. Normally I would not take the risk with an outrageous accessory, but this blog fueled me to take a chance. Thank you Arabella!

PR Couture

This is not just a fashion blog. It is the Mecca of fashion and public relations. PR Couture is a website devoted to the bloggers that are within the fashion and public relations world. It showcases many different bloggers and has a wide variety of information for people within the industry. Today I found strategies on how designers use PR in their business and how blogging is an essential part of marketing for a brand. The blog is a great place to find ideas and answer tough questions.

These blogs are some of my favorites to indulge in. They are a great way to keep up with the fashion industry and showcase new styles. I feel that blogs are a place to portray yourself to the world and these fashion bloggers inspire people to do the same. I encourage all of you to look at the blogs and see what they inspire in you. Today, I contemplated buying some chucky platform boots after reading Fashion Toast. I looked on SeeWhatWear to see if they were something the celebs were wearing and found that Chloe Sevigny rocked these boots on a regular basis. Lastly, I looked at I am Fashion, and they said “They are mighty tall, and I walked around them for a while thinking that I should probably return them because they're so tall. Except they're so awesome so I'm not going to return them.” So, because of the blogs I tried a new interesting boot outside my style comfort level, found information about the boots like who is wearing them and how they feel, and now they are some platform boots in a little cardboard box on the way to my apartment. Thanks bloggers!

Podcasting- The Tips I have Learned

This week we learned about the wonderful world of podcasting.  I never really understood what podcasting was until about a year ago. To be honest, I thought it was having a video or the visual content of a radio show.  This is completely wrong. Podcasting is like a radio show but anyone can do it. We played around with the software to create podcasts and my class and I were surprised how much work went into this. There are many tools and techniques for editing the podcast and making it sound professional. Some classmates and I rented the microphone and recorder to play with how to start a podcast. It was interesting how we felt comfortable messing up our words because we knew we could edit them out. We also talked in a normal speaking volume but also knew that we could adjust our volume with the click of a button. I wanted to learn some tips of the trade before our group did our first podcast. Here are some tips for doing a great podcast:
  1. Get a good Microphone: This can make all the difference from a good podcast to a great one. Kevin Yank, a highly respected technical author says, “Good podcasting microphones are directional, which is to say they capture sound from directly in front of them, and not the various hums and echoes in the rest of the room. A really good microphone can make your voice sound more pleasing than it does in real life!”
  2. Pick a good space, Quiet room: This is essential to the recording of a podcast because background noise is hard to cut out on podcasting software. Blank walls, big windows, large tabletops, and hardwood floors all create echoes that can completely ruin that “up close and personal” sound you’re going for. Look for places with thick carpets, drawn curtains, and soft furniture, as they are all excellent echo absorbers.
  3. Prepare, but do not read your script: Make sure you are prepared but when you are recording, act as if it is a conversation. Your audience does not want to hear a boring monotone interview or broadcast. Make it fun!
  4. Keep it simple: I thought of this tip because when I listen to podcasts I do not want to be overwhelmed with too many sounds and jingles. This takes away from the content of your podcast and is distracting to the listener.

I am excited to make my first podcast this week with my peers Ally Hugg and Courtney Medford. Hopefully following these tips can help us on our way to becoming professional podcasters.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Phishy Business

Reimagining Internet Studies: A Web Ecology Perspective
As my classmates and I become more familiar with social media, and our own blog and Twitter accounts, there is more information we must know to protect our online accounts. Phishing has been a frequent way to get into personal accounts of Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.  Phishing is defined as "the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication." Phishing works by sending out emails or messages to grab people’s attention. The messages  are usually something you would see from a friend like “Hey someone told me this about you”. The scammers do this to catch your eye and draw you in. If you fall for the scam reset your password immediately. If you have trouble logging in after resetting your password, contact the support team of your site.
This week, the website Mashable reported that there was a Twitter phishing attack spreading through the system. This attack comes  in a form of a direct message and has been spreading rapidly. The message will show up with a casual “lol, is this you” which links to the site “bzpharma”. If you click this link, spammers have hold of your account and will send the direct mail to all of your friends and the cycle will continue.
The famous CNN news anchor, Rick Sanchez was voted once of the most popular bloggers on Twitter, with nearly 40,000 followers and ranking 20th on Twitterholic list. Sanchez was also a victim of a phishing scam in the beginning of January. The scammer tweeted on behalf of Sanchez “I am high on crack right now might not be coming into work today". 

Though this may be humorous to some, Sanchez was not amused. The tweet did not last lost and Sanchez announced the invasion of his Twitter account.
 Here are some tips to avoid phishing scams:
·         Watch out for “phishy” emails- This could be an email from someone you have never heard from before, or even a made up company name. They will try to temp you with the illusion that you have won a prize or to claim your winnings.
·         Don’t click on links within emails that ask for your personal information- Hopefully we all know not to give out our personal information unless it is a verified and safe site. Do not be fooled by “copy cat” sites.
·         Protect your computer with spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall, and keep them up to date.
·         Know that phishing can also happen by phone- scammers may also call you and pretend to be a company looking for your information, never give out your information over the phone, unless you are 100% positive it is safe.
·         Act immediately if you’ve been hooked by a phisher- If you provided account numbers, PINS, or passwords to a phisher, notify the companies with whom you have the accounts right away.
Follow these tips and we should all be safe from those nasty phishy scammers.

Twitter Study

Reimagining Internet Studies: A Web Ecology Perspective
This week I read an interesting study called “Analyzing the Influence on Twitter”. This study was conducted by the Web Ecology Project, based in Boston, Massachusetts. The authors, Alex Leavitt ,Evan Burchard, David Fisher, and Sam Gilbert, focused their research on the influence of the social media website , Twitter. They decided to focus in on a large scale of data to analyze the system  and understand the flows of culture and communication online. To go through this study they used a qualitative method and based their data on the content and responses of 12 popular users. These factors, would measure the influence of Twitter. They chose a wide variety of users from “THE_REAL_SHAQ” TO “CNN”. They examined 134,654 tweets, 15,866,629 fol­lowers, and 899,773 followees. The research showed that over a 10 day period of time,  the 2,143 tweets published, had responses generated by 90,130 other online Twitter users. Their findings came from a number of aspects surrounding Twitter. First they examined the “following” aspect of Twitter. When a user has a large amount of followers they have more of an impact on the Twitter environment.  This is a place where the perception is warped between the platform and the user. When the user has a concrete following community they have a successful broadcast system. 

Shaq is one user that has many followers to broadcast to.

This following community, is not the same for the ratio for the number of user followers to the number of user followees. Users with low followee and high followers may want to focus on material, to publish information to flow through users. A user with an equal ratio of followers and followees is categorized as a conversationalist, someone who wants to become familiar with their followers to create personal conversation.  A user with low follower and high followee is seen as a spammer. The researchers looked at conversations and content, actions and responses, and audience responses as a way of determining the influences.
Their findings included:
mashable is more influential than CNN.
sockington is more influential than MCHammer, while MCHammer is more influential than three ma­jor social media analysts (garyvee, Scobleizer, and chrisbrogan).
Celebrities with higher follower totals (eg., THE_REAL_SHAQ and ijustine) foster more conversation than provide retweetable content.
News outlets, regardless of follower count, influence large amounts of followers to republish their content to other users.
After reading this, I decided to look at my Twitter and apply the theory of the ratios between followee and followers. I am following more people than people are following me. I would be seen as a spammer but I am trying to build my network not be a spammer. Then I looked at Whole Foods and they are following 582,051 and have 1,754,430 followers. 

Whole Foods tweets are not just about the company or new information. The company is retweeting and personally  answering questions of their audience. 
 I have not seen someone with the equal ratio on my Twitter but I would like to see if the study was right about that example too. For the most part, I do not agree with this study when it comes to the ratios. I am definitely not a spammer and Whole Foods is a conversationalist, not just a publisher.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Google Buzz: Another Status Update?

Another new innovation has been born from the Google Family, Google Buzz. On Tuesday morning I woke up and checked my Gmail. Suddenly I was surprised with the alert of a Buzz. I began to play with it and found out it was a little like Facebook or Twitter where you can update your followers on what you are doing. Honestly I do not think we need another one of these social media sites, but I have trusted Google in the past so I too “Buzzed”.  I wanted to know more information about it so I began to do research. I read an article from Telegraph Media Group online called “Google Buzz: social networking for the antisocial”. The author Shane Richmond, explained that the buzz maybe trying to be “Google’s Facebook/Twitter killer”.  He believes this is not the death to the social media sites as Google may have been trying to do.  Richmond finds that Google buzz is easy to use but boring  to view if there is no buzz. You must have a Gmail account to have followers from other Gmail accounts. If you have only 11 other friends with Gmail accounts (As I personally do), then there will be very little buzz. This is what I was presented with when I began to play with buzz. I had one friend create a status about Google Buzz and how it was just another thing to confuse them within  online world. Though this new creation could develop, many people are not finding a use for it. I do not see anything about it that seems better than the other social networking sites. I could see it being a little more personable with your email group but I do not find it as informative or exciting as Twitter. I did find some pointers to the application which let me understand Google's reasons for creating Buzz.
Here is a list of components to Google Buzz:
  • Auto-following: Buzz allows users can auto-follow the people you email and chat with the most
  • Rich, fast sharing experience: Buzz uses Gmail UI and keyboard shortcuts easing the transition for some users. Buzz also focuses on sharing media (video, images, etc)
  • Public and private sharing: Buzz includes both public and private sharing. Some things Google can index, but also private messages
  • Inbox integration: Buzz integrates with a users inbox to keep it the center for communication
  • Noise Filters: Buzz filters noise to keep users from being flooded with too much information
  • Public things are published to a user’s followers and Google Profile
  • Buzz objects are conversations and appear in a user’s inbox
  • Comments on Buzz objects arrive in real-time
  • Auto complete @ replies
  • Recommended Buzz – suggests friends of friends and others as people to follow, and tells the user why they were suggested
The reason I love my Gmail account is because it is simple and it doesn’t stress me out like some of the social media sites can tend to do. I guess I will have to get used to the Google Buzz and welcome it into my little Gmail space. Hopefully by next week, my followers and I can “buzz” about something interesting to help me warm up to the fact that I now have social media in my email.

Citizen Marketers : The Four Fs

After indulging in the first chapter of “Citizen Marketers”, I reflected on how much of an impact we as people make on society and corporations alike.  The chapter focused on how we can influence society more so than advertising agencies and marketing companies. We have the power of speech and how we use that is up to us. We are able to market on behalf of whatever we want and show our dislike or passion for it. There are four types of citizen marketers, which are categorized by  the four F’s: Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Firecrackers.  We as bloggers and citizens can choose to be anyone of these, now it’s time to see which one fits us best.
The Filters: Filters are people who usually produce journalistic work about specific companies, brands and work this information into a blogs or podcasts. These can be in forms of ranting or raving about the item or company and at the same time trying to create a controversy or confrontation. These blogs can be dedicated to specific companies, as Mike Kaltschnee did with his “HackingNetflix” Blog. Kaltschnee will compose points that comment on the Netflix marketing practices and will often describe challenges of their business model.  This is not to bash the company but to elaborate on his feelings and opinions toward Netflix. Along with the criticism, he will highlight new movies that are available through the site.
The Fanatics: These are the people who are believers in the product, brand, company or person. These people love to analyze their passion and produce it for people to comment and read. They are here to criticize but also to bring hope to their cause. When I think of a fanatic, I picture the millions of Twilight websites or blogs devoted to the series. Though these sites reflect the personal fanatic traits they have helped market for the book, movies, and merchandise. There is even a blog outlet just for the twilight bloggers.
The Facilitators: “the community creators”. These kinds of marketers create online communities for product information and support so the public can gain knowledge and ask questions. This can be seen in the iphone world. There are many sites where people have their questions asks through other users or facts on the online community site. Facilitators can also make fan sites to connect with other fans, or have a site dedicated to a specific brand. My cousin belongs to a site like the one discussed in the book, for MINI COOPER owners. This site contains information on the car, new innovations, and news forums. It contains anything you could possibly ask for if you lived in a community of mini cooper owners.
 The Firecrackers: These marketers are categorized as the one hit wonders. They can publish something that can catch on quick and create a lot of buzz. This can promote anything and many marketing companies try to do this for attention when coming out with a new product. This may stick in people’s heads and be remembered enough to be used in other ways.  I remember seeing a video last year of the dancing wedding procession. This YouTube video went wild after it was released and many people down loaded the song playing the background, “Forever “by Chris Brown. The video was even copied on the popular and hilarious show, “The Office”. 

This just goes to show how easy it is to be a citizen marketer as our technology becomes more and more advanced. As we become more comfortable using our abilities and opinions to share with others we will find that our voice is heard by millions. Well I am off to do my own firecracker marketing in a form of a dance video; my goal is to be a guest on Ellen Degeneras Show. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Passion for Fashion PR

Since I can remember I have always been interested in the fashion world and how it works. When I was little I thought I could own my own clothing line and buy out the other competing lines of Gucci and Prada. This dream came to an end once I figured out I did not have the talent for sewing or designing clothes so I began to turn my interest to public relations for my next career move.  Though I am majoring in communications with specializations in PR and marketing, I feel I can still include my passion for fashion. Last week, my teacher introduced me to, a creative fashion and accessory interactive website.  Through this website, I became interested in how PR works for fashion. I researched this question and found a great website that answered all my questions and gave me insight into what my future might bring.
PR Couture is a Fashion PR website that posts blogs from PR professionals and people within the fashion industry. These blog posts are featured on the website to help others within the same field. The website provides a vast amount of information from new fashion PR jobs and internship opportunities to tips about new ways to use twitter for the company you work for. There was one post I read today, “Should Fashion Brands Hire For Social Media Marketing”. This educated me on how brands hire agencies and consultants instead of using in house PR people depending on the size of the company.
I looked around the website for hours to find more tips I could use.  I found another helpful post about “Marie Claire’s Twitter Strategy and Fashion PR Pitch Tips”. This post included an interview with Marie Claire’s Senior Web Editor Ashley Parrish and Web Associate Diana Vilibert, as they explained their success with Twitter. They explained that their tactics for this social media outlet is to provide information but also engage in conversation.  They made the point of stating:
“Aside from being informative and interesting, Twitter is not the place to go to talk AT your readers, so it’s equally important to start and join conversations, to answer questions, and to retweet our followers when they post something interesting or relevant”.
They were surprised that Twitter could cause such a buzz but they used it to their advantage and now they have made their company successful in the social media world.
The website PR Couture is a great place to find these blog posts and learn about the world of Fashion PR. I have already become a member of this site and maybe someday I will post my tactic for using the next social media tool. I encourage everyone to research sites like this because they are very interesting and they provide tips of the trade.

Google Wave : Exploring the New Innovation of Google

This week in my class of, “Social Media for Public Relations”, we learned about the remarkable innovation that arrived to the Google family, Google Wave. When I was invited to Google Wave, I thought that it would be simple, just like my reliable Gmail account, my Google calendar, or even my Google alerts, but I was very much mistaken. Google Wave is a very confusing program but it is something that can change the way the web works when it comes to social media and communication. I learned the components of Google Wave through reading, “Google Wave An Experimental Ride” by Serdar Yegulalp of Information Week. Yegulalp explained that Google Wave is an experimental collaboration system that combines what we all use on the web every day.

Google Wave is a way to simplify our lives into one program for many different functional web applications. The system includes an email factor which is organized differently than a Gmail account or any other email website. Instead of just emails, Google Wave allows conversations like chatting which are call threads. These discussion threads are ways to communicate with people who are sharing their interests like a chat room or in a way like Twitter. These threads can also become a part of discussion boards with other Google Wave accounts.  I found this to be very confusing because when Corinne pressed the play back button we saw many other messages and threads from people she never knew before. I like this aspect because you can share the information with the world, or in this case with other Google wave users. Another aspect of this interesting program is the use of Wiki. I think this could work well for a class project or class discussion but I feel it is a breach of trust for other users if their posts are changed or edited. If we used this for class, I feel it would help with communicating when we are not in class. This also applies to the instant messaging aspect. Instant messaging is just another way of communicating to other users of Google wave but is seen as a venue for “real time discussion”, as Yegulalp states. Each discussion is logged and you can comment on previous posts as you wish, which acts as an organization tool.

I think that Google Wave is a great addition to the Google team. The application is a bit confusing and tricky to figure out but 6 years ago our emails might have been just as confusing. With more practice I feel like Google Wave could make my communication on the web simple and effective. The more advances in technology the more ways we can communicate with one another on a greater scale.