Call them content rings, blog carnivals, or go back to the old school term–a fashion meme (thanks Kristina, for that one!). You can find them in almost any niche, but I think fashion bloggers come up with some of the most original ones. Fashion memes are a great way to participate in the fashion community, meet and interact with new bloggers, and break yourself out of creative ruts.
For the next few weeks, I'll be interviewing a few fabulous ladies, each the founders of their own fashionable memes, so we can hear their thoughts on the role of memes in our community, the downsides to creating a popular meme, and tips for maintaining a balance in your blogging!
First up we'll be chatting with Kendi from Kendi Everday, mastermind behind the popular 30 for 30 Remix (pictured above)! The 30 for 30 Remix is simple– you take 30 pieces from your wardrobe and create 30 outfits from them. You can add in your own twists (like no shopping during the time), but the goal is to get you using and re-using the pieces in your closet and learning creative and diverse ways to wear them. You can start it at any time, though many bloggers choose to participate when many are doing it at once. For more of Kendi's thoughts on The 30 for 30 Remix challenge, check on Kendi's post Less Is More.
When you created The 30 for 30 Remix, what was your original goal? Had you created it with the intent to engage other bloggers? Or was it purely personal?
My original goal when I started the 30 for 30 was to make an honest woman out of myself. I had started style blogging 4 months prior and found myself in a cycle of buy, wear, buy, wear in order to “keep up” with the latest trends. But I quickly realized that I would go broke if I kept on this path. I had seen a few magazines do remixes and thought, “I wonder if I could do that.” So I tried it out for 30 outfits, and since it was a challenge I thought why not take out shopping as well? So as you can tell, the intent was 100% selfish. It wasn't until that summer, when I thought I'd do another challenge that Tania from What Would a Nerd Wear asked if she could join in as well. I said, “why not?” and I opened it for anyone else to join in as well.
What do you think the role of memes is within the blogging community?
You know I'm not sure. I think on one hand it's a great way for a new blogger to find their feet in the blogging community or even in finding their style. Sometimes a challenge makes you rethink your style or a particular item. Rather a blogger is starting out or has been blogging for a while, it's nice to build community with other bloggers or find new blogs to read. I hope more than anything bloggers see it as a way to find inspiration or community.
Do you feel that there is a point where participation can become too big?
I honestly don't think the numbers of participants are important. Rather 1 person or 10,000 people participate, it shouldn't have an impact on the importance of the challenge. I think that with everything when something becomes popular the appeal can become stale and then on the other hand if not a lot of people participate, someone might not see it as importance or worthwhile. I think more than anything, the motivation behind the challenge should drive it, not the number of participants, large or small. (This is hard to swallow sometimes because numbers are quantifiable, impact is not as easy to quantify.)
Have you found a downside to creating it?
No, any downside I can think of is that I will always and forever be known as a remixer. And I'm okay with that title! Honestly the 30 for 30 is a tool to be used by anyone (not just bloggers) who is in need of inspiration in their own closet. In fact, it's been a nice surprise to see how it has helped people navigate through their closet and find their style. I had no idea that my selfish little challenge would translate to other people, but I'm so glad it has.
Do you feel like it divides readership at all (those who are bloggers participating, opposed to the average girl reading a fashion blog)?
I think more than anything as a blogger, I have to remember the fine line between being a blogger and being a reader. As a blogger, I have to remember that it's my blog and it's me who is solely responsible for creating content for my readers. If taking on a challenge helps me create content for my blog, then I am okay with that. And on the other hand, if a reader finds that she is not interested in the content that I provide, and she chooses to not read my blog because of it, then that's okay too. Just as I have the right to create content, a reader has the right to not read that content. I think most memes or challenges can focus on building community within the blogger realm, but perhaps sometimes the reader gets lost in that. I hope that something like the 30 for 30 can interest a reader just as much as a blogger, without causing divide between the two.
What tips would you share with the blogger who wants to participate, but doesn't want to saturate her blog with them? Can you participate in multiple memes and still showcase a lot of creativity and your own original posts?
Certainly you can participate in challenges without having your whole blog saturated. I like to look at my blog like my own personal magazine that I am the editor of. A challenge that I take on might be the theme of the current issue, but that doesn't mean every article or post in this case must speak to that theme. When I do the 30 for 30, I tend to not write about the process all that often. Nothing really changes — I still get dressed every day I just have a limited amount of clothing that I wear. So the underlying theme of remixing is there, but hopefully I'm not shoving it down my readers throats. Keeping focus of what your blog is about can help you not lose who you are in a challenge or meme. As a blogger, you are always in control of your content. You write your blog, you control your content, only you know what's best for your blog. If you feel uncomfortable with the amount of a challenge or content ring is featured on your blog, take control of that. You should never feel like you should abide by someone else's guidelines for your own blog.
Also check back soon, as we interview Kristina from Pretty Shiny Sparkly & Bloggers Do It Better, Katy Rose from Modly Chic and Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, along with Franca of Oranges & Apples & Mrs. Bossa Does the Do who started Feminist Fashion Bloggers!