Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blog Watching Domino


Terri Sapienza's new regular feature "Blogwatch" in the Washington Post showcases different design blogs each week. This weeks piece focuses on the veritable avalanche of bloggers (including myself) who profiled the upcoming Drew Barrymore edition of Domino Magazine.

Thursday, March 20, 2008; Page H02

Our picks to click this week:

Domino magazine's April issue with cover girl Drew Barrymore is the subject of postings on numerous blogs, including Surroundings ( http://www.chameleon-interiors.blogspot.com), Desire to Inspire ( http://www.desiretoinspire.blogspot.com), Girl Meets Glamour ( http://www.girlmeetsglamour.blogspot.com), Habitually Chic ( http://www.habituallychic.blogspot.com), Sfgirlbybay ( http://www.sfgirlbybay.blogspot.com) and Style Court ( http://www.stylecourt.blogspot.com). Each blog features the same "sneak peek" of images from the Barrymore story.

Could this full-court blog promotion, incited by the magazine, be the result of criticism it received last month on the design blog Decorno? Check out its "Open Letter to Domino Magazine" here: http://www.decorno.blogspot.com/2008/02/open-letter-to-domino-magazine.html.

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Could be. Or, it could be that the magazines are realizing the power of the blogs to push public awareness. Hooray for the bloggers! On the other hand - do the bloggers risk becoming shills in the glow of magazine attention and, as in this case, all end up profiling the same content at the same time? And where does that leave our individual voices? On the third hand - maybe we all just really like Drew Barrymore...

Oh, and in other Washington Post/blogger news, Hue blogger Rachel Perls was also profiled today in a long piece on color. Congrats Rachel!

11 comments:

Topsy Turvy said...

Congrats on the mention! I think you bring up a great point. Probably most of us like Drew Barrymore and Domino Magazine. But I have worked for a major area newspaper and a magazine produced by the newspaper, and there was always a battle between advertising management and editorial staff about promoting advertiser products in editorials. I think it's fine to feature a product as long as it's something you believe in and endorse, but you should always have an editorial viewpoint and never compromise that viewpoint, either for financial gain or media attention. Lana

Anonymous said...
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Leah said...

I got the same email about the Drew Barrymore issue from Domino's PR gal that probably half of the other English-language design blogs on the planet did. (Definitely a sign that some savvy magazines and PR people are hip to the increasing power that blogs weild.) I didn't post anything on it because I figured everybody else would -- and they did.

I love Domino, and I do cover things in the magazine or the website from time to time. But I think we bloggers need to be careful about just posting things that we get press releases on -- especially press releases that are mass-mailed to a bunch of us. I does dilute our individual voices, and does indeed turn us into shills for these corporate entities.

If we have something to say to add to the conversation, fine -- and even better if we come to the subject organically and have some thoughts about it vs. just regurgitating an email PR blitz. But let's all be a little more discerning about these things, OK?

And please, for the love of god, can we all stop just scanning photos from this month's shelter magazines and posting them with little or no analysis or commentary? I'm at the point where I don't even bother reading most of my home magazines, because I've already seen all the bet bits on blogs. Again, we're not adding to the conversation when we're doing this -- we're just giving the magazines a bunch of free PR.

I'm certainly as guilty of this as the next blogger, but the ubiquitousness of the "Drew in Domino" posts popping up across the blogosphere the last few days should be a reminder to everyone to make a better effort to keep our blogs personal, and original.

All the best,

Leah

Anonymous said...

Two words:

Courtney: STOP!

Pigtown-Design said...

I agree with Leah (even though I am the one design blog person who didn't get the Domino e-mail). I work hard to have original content, and am, in my own perverse way, less likely to post something after a press release. I figure that if they've gotten as far down as my blog on the list, then everyone else has it, too.

It was disheartening to see the volume of Domino pix on all the blogs this past week. I love Terri Sapienza at the WashPost, but I wish she'd feature blogs with only original content. As Leah says, where't the originality in scanning in your favourite photos from every design magazine.

PS, what's up with comment #2? WHEW!

Linda Merrill said...

I think it's great to see all this conversation spike up over this issue. And I agree with Anon, interesting spin Terri put on the little piece. I was also disappointed that I was in such a big crowd who did this post - excellent bloggers tho they all be.

Ultimately, we're a growing industry and we're still trying to find our way. The fact is that pop culture draws readers. Some of the blogs who do nothing but post pics with little original content are actually very popular. So, it's a tough balancing act.

In fact, I was going to post some photos from Veranda (which I rarely do) because they had a pink cover and living room that I was drooling over. But, I've been shamed from it!!! So, check out Veranda if you like pink!

Non at 12:41 - sorry dude or dudette - had to give you the heave ho. Your comments - although clearly passionate - were off topic.

Anon at 1:49 - who's Courtney?

Anonymous said...

Pigtown: I think you missed the point of Terry Sapienza's coverage. When she wrote:

"Each blog features the same "sneak peek" of images from the Barrymore story",

she was implying the same thing we are all complaining about explicitly: That too many decor blogs are just scanning in published or about-to-be-published magazine pictures and adding nothing of substance to them. Just vapid comments along the lines of "Don't you just love Ruthie Sommers' [fill in the blank]?"

Rachel said...

thanks for the mention. yeah, i was super excited to be interviewed by the Washington Post. Unfortunately, Terri, who interviewed me, didn't get to write the final piece, so the majority of my comments didn't make the final cut. ah well, guess i'll just have to say my piece on my blog!

I agree, it's so important to try and stick to original content in blogs, otherwise, we are lost in a sea of sameness. of course, we run into the same issues as any other "journalistic" endevour: finding enough unique news to post daily/weekly. i guess it's a bit of a balancing act.

Pigtown-Design said...

4:40... I did understand what Terri S. is talking about... However, in reading her blog watch, as I do each week, she isn't very diverse in who she features. She's done the same bloggers several times.

I've spoken to Terri Sapienza and Annie Groer at the Post several times, so it's not sour grapes! I was one of the first blogs they talked about months ago.

I think that Courtney is Style Court, also a 'friend'.

Anonymous said...

Pigtown:

"I work hard to have original content,"

as in:

"Have you seen this excellent article about Charlotte Moss? It's from W Magazine. With her new book coming out soon, there's a lot of buzz about this steel magnolia of the decorating world."

Linda Merrill said...

Alright Anon - please keep the tone civil, especially since you're unwilling to step out of the shadows.

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