This week we're chatting with Katy Rose/Modly Chic, the blogger behind the Fashion Beauty Friend Friday meme. FBFF took off, and is now over 650 bloggers strong.
Rules for participating in FBFF can be found here, but participating in simple– you join the FBFF Google Group, you find the upcoming week's questions for Friday, and you post them on your site (with your own answers!). You link back to the week's post, along with submitting your link to a widget, so that other reader's can find your post on the subject. In the past, FBFF has covered blogger focused topics like finances and criticism and comments to overall beauty topics like this past week's hair care post.
When you created Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, what was your original goal? Had you created it with the intent to engage other bloggers? Or was it purely personal?
From the beginning, FBFF was about engaging other bloggers. It was actually the result of my attempts to justify my OOTD blogging to my dad. When I realized I was embarrassed to tell him about the blog, I knew it was because it appeared superficial. But the wonderful fashion bloggers I interacted with were anything but superficial and I wanted to prove that. I thought starting a forum that allowed bloggers to answer only a couple questions on one specific topic each week would prove we have substance and depth.
I reached out to a number of bloggers for the first one and only 5 agreed to answer the questions. It took off slowly from there, reaching 100 members in October. Now we are about 650.
What do you think the role of memes are within the blogging community?
In part, I think the role varies based on what each person hopes to get out of it. For me, it is about networking. It is an opportunity to share thoughts on specific topics and promote conversation/dialogue. It offers another way to connect and broadens our horizons on some issues.
Do you feel that there is a point where participation can become too big?
If the goal is to drive traffic to your bog – yes, certainly. For instance I took part in the 30 for 30 challenge last summer as a way to challenge myself and was happily surprised to see new eyes coming to my blog as a result. I did it again in the winter to push my winter wardrobe envelope and saw no change at all in the number of readers because the challenge had grown so significantly.
On the other hand, if the purpose is to engage others and share your thoughts, I don’t think there is a ‘too big’ quota. You can share your thoughts on a topic, or show your take on the latest trend for your blog readers to see and a few other bloggers that participate in the same meme. The same could be said if you are participating in order to push your own thoughts/opinions/fashion, etc…
Have you found a downside to creating it?
I can think of two…
- The amount of time it takes to really interact with the members and keep it fresh. It is a burden at times to come up with weekly posts, moderate the Google Group, accept new members, contribute to the forum, etc…
- Even if I wanted to I can’t please everyone at once and as a result some people get upset by topics chosen, people’s comments, or the general tone of the theme.
Is there an upside to creating it? [Katy's Addition]
I could name a dozen positives about creating FBFF but I’ll limit myself to two…
- The number of amazing bloggers I have connected with as a result of FBFF. I feel that they are honestly women and men I would love to spend time with in the real world. They share their thoughts and opinions with me, send words of encouragement at times and words of constructive criticism. It is a refreshing and wonderful by-product that I did not expect to gain from this.
- The ability to make bloggers think a little deeper about certain issues. My favorite comment is when someone says to me This week’s questions really made me think about what I’m doing, saying, buying, etc… That is the purpose of FBFF come to life and I love it!
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 these things are only divisive if the blogger lets it become so. If someone not participating feels guilty about not doing it than it is divisive. Unfortunately, it makes them feel inferior to those taking part. If, on the other hand, the blogger doesn’t participate because the meme or topic doesn’t mesh with the message of their blog, there is no divisiveness in that. In fact, to me, that shows a great understanding of their personal blog and memes.
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?
I think it is crucial to define your blog before getting involved in a meme. Knowing the general message and purpose of what you are trying to accomplish will help you weed out what memes works for your blog and which don’t. Not every meme works with every blog.
I think it is also important to realize there is no mandatory participation. If it works for you one week and doesn’t another week… no problem. Do it when it works for you and for your blog. Skip it when it doesn’t. I don’t know of a single meme that forces participants to contribute every time.
I think it is possible to participate in several different memes if it is kept in perspective. To me, meme participation should not be the main content on anyone’s blog – as that does not show what makes you unique from the others.
Some FBFF members love the fact that their Friday content is always taken care of for them. For them it is the one post they don’t have to worry about each week. They already know what the content will be. That feeling can lead to jumping on every meme bandwagon. Unlike a year ago, where a fashion meme was a little known thing, there are now several memes daily one could participate in. If you did everything there would be no original content, nothing that sets you apart from every other fashion blogger out there. And with so many bloggers, it’s important to set yourself apart with unique content.
Thanks, Katy Rose!
Are you a participant in FBFF? I know I often feel that people's reaction to fashion blogging (or any love of fashion) is shallow– has it given you the opportunity to share your depth and thoughtfulness on your site? If you have participated, have you felt it's growth and size has impacted your participation in it?