Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friend Friday: Blogger authenticity

So, inspired by Franca of Oranges and Apples, Erin of Work With What You've Got and Amber of Forever Amber, I've signed up to the Friend Friday thing. I'm always interested to read their answers, and I thought it'd be nice to diversify my own blog a little bit. This week's theme is around the idea of authenticity in the blogging community.
Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?
This is a tough one to answer, I think. I don't think any of us really expect the blogs we read to document every part of the blogger's life with total honesty, you know? Certainly, with my blog I'm authentic in that I talk about my life and what I'm doing, and sometimes that means talking about the shitty bits and the boring bits but I'm always just writing about a little bit of my life. So I don't think authenticity necessarily = honesty. I suppose how I think about it is whether I can hear someone's voice in their writing and through their photographs or blog design or whatever. That's what I think of as 'authenticity'
When it comes to your blog, how do you infuse it with that true/authentic feeling?
Quite a few of the people who know me in real life as well as reading my blog have said to me that they think I write in the same way that I talk, and I always take that as a tremendous compliment. I try to describe things just as I would if I were talking about them, or putting them into an email or a letter to a friend. Well, maybe with a little bit less swearing! And, as I said above, I talk about what's going on in my life even if it is a bit boring or crappy. I don't expect that of every blogger, of course, but I know the blogs I keep coming back to are the ones where the writing reflects the everyday aspects of that person's life. I also like reading about what people are interested in, so I write about the geeky things I like too. The fact that silly things make me laugh is reflected in my blog's name, and the titles I choose for my blog posts.
Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest?
Yes! I won't name names, obviously, because I don't want to name and shame. I stopped following a lot of 'vintage lifestyle' blogs because some of them - and I do just mean some of them are a little bit too good to be true. Also, I find the politics of some of that a little bit queasy for me. I've also stopped following a blog that was just about being negative. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a bit of a rant and I enjoy reading them too but you have to have a bit of positive-ness in the mix or it gets a bit...sour, or something. So, to sum up - I don't like preachy, I don't like moany, I don't like perfect.
We can't communicate effectively on our blogs something we don't live in real life. What are some ways that you try to live an authentic life?
I try to get out there and do interesting things. I don't do them thinking 'oh, this will make a good blog', this is something I try to do generally. It's hard at this time of the year when it's cold and I have no money, but I am trying!
The other way I try to live an authentic life is to really think about why I make the choices I do, why I feel the way I do about the things that happen, if that makes sense. Over the past few months I've been making an effort to turn negative thought into positive action, and to try to break some destructive patterns I was stuck in. On the whole I think that's helping me to live a more authentic life, in the sense that I am trying to be more honest with myself.
Give a shout-out. Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine, and why?
The bloggers I mentioned above - well, I've been inspired by them because I think their blogs are fantastic. They each have a really distinctive voice, and I'm always excited when they have published a new blog. I've been really enjoying reading Emma's blog Ol Green Eyes because her voice is fresh and distinctive, she writes about what she gets up to and her photography is excellent. One of my favourite blogs is Did You Make That? - Karen is hilarious, and she's really honest about her crafting journey. I'll be meeting her in February and I'm very excited about it! I was delighted when Arlene started blogging again and All Picture No Sound is constantly interesting, funny and fun. In the past year I've been lucky to make some real-life friends through blogging and Twitter, so I know with good authority that Caroline of Second Hand Shopper, Lauren of A Typical Atypical, Kate of All Five Horizons and Louise of Princess Prudence Diaries are as awesome as their blogs are. And last but not least, a real-life friend who became a blogger is Victoria, whose blog Victoria Deloria is honest, funny and well written.
Whew, that's my first one of these done. It made me think, which I think is a good thing! I'll be back at the weekend with some outfit shots - this week has been hectic at work and I've had no time... but I'll have some fun and wear something pretty on the weekend, I promise.