The staggering Kristina of Pretty Shiny Sparkly has created the new Bloggers Do It Better meme– a place where gals can receive weekly challenges to their wardrobes based on a color, a trend, or a style (see the past entries for Prep School Style, Color Blocking, and White Out!).
With a name like Bloggers Do It Better, I like to also personally project a nod off in Scott Schuman's way–personal style bloggers can do quite well stylistically, thankyouverymuch. “Bloggers Do It Better is a movement. An initiative to showcase real girls, with real style, wearing real trends. Think of it as inspiration from the girl next door.”
When you created Bloggers Do It Better, what was your original goal? Had you created it with the intent to engage other bloggers? Or was it purely personal?
I created Bloggers Do It Better for two reasons: first, I wanted to engage my fellow bloggers and create a bigger sense of community, not just on my own blog, Pretty Shiny Sparkly, but as a whole. Blogger “memes” as they're called, are extremely successful in creating a community–a microcosm, if you will–featuring people with shared interests, whatever the topic may be. Secondly, I wanted to create a group where bloggers take on the fashion magazine editorials head-on. Not because I don't like them (I do), but because there's been so much talk about bloggers being the new face of fashion for the average (wo)man, but very little walking the walk in terms of actual clout. And I wanted something with a little bite to it, a little sass. And Bloggers Do It Better came to me one night before I fell asleep, and it was perfect.
What do you think the role of memes is within the blogging community?
“Membership” is a loose term, but there are certain requirements that must be in place in order to participate, however a blogger can choose to participate in a challenge, or not. One can cherry-pick the assignments one wants to do, with no repercussions.
I think they create community and original content. There's a sense of value, responsibility, and “family” in participating in a group like Bloggers Do It Better. BDIB members regularly tweet & email each other with tips & questions relating to the current challenge, and they psyche each other up for it as well! It also creates original content–not the regurgitation of fashion editorial scans that we all know too well (thanks, but I can read the magazine, and that's not why I visit blogs). It inspires a blogger, encourages her to push her boundaries, to try new things. In fact, first-time-ever outfit posts have been the result of BDIB challenges on several occasions! And it's always new. I can't speak for other memes, but you will never see the same challenge twice on Bloggers Do It Better. It's always going to be original. I think it's completely wonderful.
Do you feel that there is a point where participation can become too big?
For sure, I do. But one way I find that will help prevent this problem is that to date, there is no “master list” of members for Bloggers Do It Better. You get the link (the “credit”, if you want to think of it that way) by linking up your post using my linkup widget at the specified time. So the participation will only be as big at any given time, as those who *actually* participate. And that's a big deal, to me. The exposure one gets from participating is earned, constantly. So it would be pretty difficult for one to, say, sign up for BDIB and participate once and expect that to be all they need to get the benefits of a community. People who do so are just going to be disappointed. But those who participate, and regularly, and with genuine interest and enthusiasm (like by visiting fellow members' assignment posts), will reap the rewards.
Have you found a downside to creating it?
With anything there are its ups and downs, but I'd have to say the things that bug me most are:
- Not reading directions, and asking me things that can easily be found by reading the instructions I took the time to meticulously explain in the post,
- The time it takes to manage it is quite staggering, more than I imagined, in large part due to the overwhelming response to even the very first challenge–but it's so much fun, so I never mind that much!
- People who bash blogger memes without any basis or grounds. If you haven't participated or run one, come back and talk to me when you have. It's so much fun, it's invigorating, and a lot of hard work, and that deserves more than a flippant dismissal if I do say so myself! Ask the hundreds of bloggers who take hours out of their week to participate! 🙂
Do you feel like it divides readership at all (those who are bloggers participating, opposed to the average girl reading a fashion blog)?
I haven't experienced this at all. Though my schedule gets hectic as a medical student (some rotations are harder than others–I'm lookin' at you, Surgery!), I still try and maintain a healthy balance of content. I do not want BDIB to take over my blog – the day it starts to feel like it, it gets its own site. But for now, my blog is where the community is and I'd like it to stay that way. I am in no place to manage two blogs!! There is, however, more of a sense of responsibility to the BDIB group because they want a schedule, they want a new challenge and they want it yesterday (and I love the enthusiasm!)–so lately that has been more prominent on PSS, but I expect that to change when I get more free time to resume my normal posting.
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 that first, if you want to do anything in life, do so in moderation. Participate in blogger memes that allow you to cherry pick (kicking you out because you miss out on something is a little harsh — I am not aware of one that does, but keep an eye out). Follow the rules and read the directions carefully to ensure your participation is relevant, of interest to you and your audience, and keep it fun and always original. Make sure you do read the rules, they're there for a reason and it'd be no fun to go through the trouble only to not have it count. It sucks!
I think a blogger can definitely participate in multiple content rings – but please, don't make *all* of your posts be meme-related. Please. Blogging is not a push-button relationship. Meaning, you shouldn't have to be *prompted* in order to create content 24/7. You should be able to express yourself without being challenged, or assigned. Just think of blogger memes as icing on the cake, or that extra nudge when you are feeling uninspired or run-down. It should not be the entire basis for your blog.
Some food for thought–do you agree with Kristina that a blogger shouldn't be prompted to create content? I love that she's so candid about blogger's needing to earn the exposure they receive from fashion memes (and totally agree)– how do you feel about it? Compared to Kendi's 30 for 30 Remix, how do you feel about the challenge of taking on fashion editorials yourself?