Monday, December 10, 2012

The Impossibility of Distance #2: New Reflections on Street Style Blogging

Months ago, longtime readers of Urban Fieldnotes may recall, just two weeks after I started this blog/research project, I staged my own streetstyle intervention. I had become obsessed with my blog's pageviews, fixated on other peoples' appreciation of what I was posting, and unable to turn off my critical assessment of every person's style who walked past me, whether I had my camera with me or not. It was driving me a little bit batty. I was losing critical distance. And of course, I found myself unable to tell whether I was blogging to conduct research or researching for the sake of having a blog. So, I took a step back, gave myself permission not to hit the pavement every single day in search of stylish people. I mixed up my content between photos, interviews, and reflections. I threw in more references to academic materials, pretended somehow that that proved I was a "real" researcher. 

Well, that was a long time ago now. I've become much more experienced at the blogging game and more efficient at producing content. I've gotten better at compartmentalizing as well. I don't tend to think about what people are wearing anymore unless I have my camera in hand. Plus, I've grown comfortable with the fact that I am both a researcher and a blogger. I don't get caught up worrying about the distinction.I'm also getting much better at controlling my camera. I shoot exclusively in manual mode now, and it requires less and less attention to do so. And I don't get nervous before I go out for shoots. It's just what I do. I still take as many (or more) pictures as ever. I just think about it less.

But still, the more things change the more they stay the same. I continue to obsess over my pageviews, though I get far more of them now (see the screen shot below). In fact, like any addict, the more I get the more I seem to need. I may not shoot street style every day of the week anymore (just 1-3 times per week), but I still post every weekday, barring some unforeseen event. I just can't stand watching those numbers drop, as happens when I wait too long between posts. 

It's time to face facts: I have let my blogging dictate too much of my schedule lately. I've had an insane number of deadlines in the past few weeks, with articles to revise, conferences to attend, proofs to correct, and papers to grade. And I've been gradually taking over as Co-Editor of a major academic journal, Visual Anthropology Review. I simply do not have enough time in the week to post five times. It's time to shift to a reduced load, at least for the next few months. I will be posting only 3 times a week. As far as I can figure, that's still around two times more per week than the average street style blogger, so it's not exactly slacking off. But even as I write that I am experiencing some regret. How am I going to get my fix the other 4 days of the week?


  1. Not to throw fuel on the fire, but if you expand from Blogger's built-in Google Analytics Lite to the full throttle version, you might lose the pageviews focus because you'll discover so much other juicy data to look at instead :)

  2. Agreed. And believe me, I spend plenty of time with google analytics as well. Thanks for the tip.


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