Friday, May 11, 2012

On Independent Fashion Bloggers and the Etiquette of "Following"

It's been decades now since sociologist Pierre Bourdieu suggested that social capital is transmutable into economic capital. And he, no doubt, was far from the first person to think of it. It's not news to anyone that success in just about any endeavor depends on who you know and how you utilize that network of contacts. Nonetheless, the contemporary blogosphere (or blogipelago as Jodi Dean prefers to call it) brings networking to a whole new level. In the world of blogs, friends = followers = pageviews = "success," translate as you will.

On Wednesday, in efforts to cast a wider net, I joined Independent Fashion Bloggers, an "online community" of self-appointed fashion experts. It's a great resource for blogging tips, news, and events, and an ever better resource for networking. It took a day for the team at IFB to verify that my blog is indeed a fashion blog, then another day for me to get around to customizing my profile, but in the meantime I've had 4 friend requests from other bloggers, whom, of course, I do not know, nor have any kind of existing relationship with. A good thing, no doubt. The worst thing about joining a social network is being a pariah with no friends. Now I have 4. Not sure if we'll be BBQing together any time soon, but perhaps we'll at least check out each other's blogs. I'll be curious to know if friends do indeed translate into pageviews. So far it's hard to tell. But clearly on IFB, as on any other social network, friends and followers are a scarce resource, hence all the "New Groups" formed with names like "Follow Me and I'll Follow You" and "I'll Follow Anyone, Seriously."

Next order of business: add lots of IFB friends, inform them of my blog and its mission, and try to convince them to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Wait, am I not supposed to admit I'm doing this? Am I supposed to pretend my seeking out of IFB friends is not instrumentalist in nature? I'm not sure of the proper blogging etiquette for self-marketing. I'd be interested in having a discussion about it, though, so please comment if you have experience in these matters. Speaking of self-marketing, it's not too late, you know, to "like" me on Facebook and "follow" me on Twitter. The buttons are just to the right. I've got a lot of catching up to do if I want to reach the numbers of a respectable blogger.


  1. Blog networking is exactly what took the steam out of blogging for me, eventually leading me to stop blogging, and then stop paying for the space (aka: deleting my blog).

    Unfortunately, to be a successful blogger (aka: have the page hits you need to motivate you to keep going), you have to engage in serious networking -- which means a bunch of shallow relationships with people you're really not that interested in. Feigning excitement and interest about these things seriously wore me down.

  2. I'm guessing you are not alone on this one, Kristy. I probably ought to be talking to former bloggers for this project as well.

  3. Hi Brent,
    I really appreciate your honesty here and that is why I'm taking the time to leave comments. I feel for Kristy becuz I've been on the verge to stop blogging etc. but it's and outlet for me and I enjoy it for the most part.

    I try my best to befriend other bloggers from an honest place but it's time consuming and exhausting! It's encouraging when others reciprocate and leave words of encouragement. I guess I'm old fashion when I say "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". All my best <3


  4. thanks for thoughts, Tye. It seems like a tricky thing to navigate networking with other bloggers. I too want to treat others as I want to be treated and come from an honest place. That said, I also want to connect with a variety of other bloggers to make this project work. I'm trying to reach out to as many people as possible, but in doing so, I probably lose the ability to pay careful attention to everyone's individual blogs and contribute to them as I should.


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