Thursday, May 26, 2011

Commenting or 'don't be shy'

 This could be us!

Those of you who've been with me for a while will know this about me: I have an opinion on almost everything. If I am asked to hold forth on an issue, even if I haven't ever considered it before, I will think of something to say. Whether I am brilliant at thinking on my feet or simply like the sound of my own voice, YOU DECIDE. 
The point is that I like commenting on what's going on around me. Which would make you think that I like commenting on blogs. But I don't- I loathe it. It makes me feel sycophantic, so even if I loved a post I will rarely mention this to its blogger. Unless I feel urgently about it, I just let my mind turn the resulting thoughts over and either write it up here or in my notes for the ol' Ph. 
So I've never thought it strange that I don't get many comments on Fashademic (cause everyone is exactly like me, right?) until last night when my friend/PR guru/life coach Ash floated the suggestion that maybe it's because people are intimidated by the blog's academic angle.
Not that I am an academic (yet?) but that this blog certainly makes a claim to be thoughtful about fashion, and readers might be reticent to put their thoughts forward in case... I slam them? Or disagree? Or it sounds unclever? I was saddened and a little horrified to think that this could be the case.
But the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. A lot of you write to me on Twitter or email me with responses to what I've written but rarely comment directly on this forum (with the exception of a few of you, whose names in my mind are accompanied by an angelic chorus of gratitude for taking me to task when I am wrong/have unintentionally made a gaffe/you liked what I did.) 
So was Ash right? Are you reticent about committing publicly here? Some people have said they don't want to 'interfere' with my research (cause they know me outside of the blog) but you're already part of the research if you're reading this! Your response is as important and interesting as that of someone I don't know because you're a reader, too.

Fashademic is one big experiment for me. I have no idea what people will enjoy (the Charlotte Rampling post has so far generated over 500 searches. Welcome, rampant Rampling fans) or what to write half the time. I bash out (literally- have you heard me type? Yes, 'heard', I'm that girl) whatever comes to my mind, sometimes with typos or long-windedness and you, in the goodness of your hearts, come back for more. I'm certainly not the type to look at anyone else's thoughts at the end of a sneering nose, and I'm genuinely curious to hear what you think. I can't promise that your responses won't end up in my thesis (if they're in the public domain they're fair game, I'm afraid) but you're welcome to submit them anonymously. I mean, you don't have to- but you should feel free if you want to say something because I'm only here out of a spirit of curiosity and eagerness to engage with what you say (and what I say, of course.)
Annnnnd- break!


  1. I read a lot of style blogs, and I, sadly, rarely comment. This is largely because I don't know what to say - "Nice outfit..." - of course I like their outfit! I read their blog!

    Commenting takes commitment, and my reading of style blogs is more about flitting from one site to another gathering little specks of inspiration.

    But, hi, Rosie! I do enjoy reading your blog. I admit that sometimes my eyes glaze over for the 'academic' parts, but this is because I've been at uni all day, not because what you say is uninteresting :)

  2. I know! How to comment positively without sounding 'wow! love it! cuuuuuute!'... tricky. So maybe repeatedly going is just the implicit thumbs up? Commenting does take commitment- do people go back and read the thread, do you think? I just like drifting over the posts like you.
    No worries vis a vis glazing on the "academic" content- I glaze on lots of images quite frequently so to each their own. Combined we make one perfectly attentive blog reader.

  3. I read some style blogs but not a lot. I have a few old faithfuls I go back to.

    I feel like the world of Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour is so surreal, and words like 'arbiter of style' are so ridiculous, and I I feel like blogs documenting street style in NY and Paris are supposed to be edgy and personal but they're so far away and disconnected from me and abstract.

    So I like reading about style from a Sydney perspective and I like that you celebrate fashion but you also acknowledge that there is an industry and a machine and you try to explain and analyse that. It makes me feel like fashion is something we're allowed to touch and be a part of instead of something I can just read about.

    Blah blah I'll leave you alone now xxx

  4. don't leave me alone! yas! YAS! (the approps mental image here is me running after you with a voice recorder held madly aloft.) I am quoting this. you're awesome x

  5. Hi, I am a lax commentator on your blog, apologies. I read for the academic content - love reading how your PhD is coming along & how you work through what you are thinking/reading. I don't comment on the fashion as I feel a bit out of my depth...other than knowing what I don't like.

  6. O that's ok! No need to apologise- I just didn't want anyone to feel like they COULDN'T or SHOULDN'T comment if they wanted to. I'm glad you like reading the academic stuff! It has been less forthcoming lately because I've been channelling it all into my chapter but I have some stuff I've been thinking over that I'll try and get up this week. Thanks for reading x

  7. I don't comment often because I know not a whit of the fashion world and don't want to burden you with comments which are only tangentially relevant. That, and I couldn't find a 'notify me of additional comments or replies to this post' option, which means I have to keep returning to see if you have replied to comments on a post I found interesting (not necessarily one I've commented on, either).

  8. Oh! Not that returning is a bad thing. I just have to scroll a great deal to find the post I commented on or wanted to read the comments on. Or used to. Now you have your own bookmarks folder for just such a reason.