GWAS Notes: Declaration of love

After penning last week's Code of Commenting Conduct (which I'll be placing in the sidebar as a wee reminder today), I approved a comment this morning in which 'anonymous' called me a "bitch" for rehashing gossip about Harper's Bazaar in yesterday's Media Musings.

Another anonymous reader wrote, in response to 'Man meets mag', "I feel a bit like you hate magazines but you make your living out of them...You might have to start blogging about how TV is negative, or newspapers, or blogs."

In addition to these comments (which went down like pack of nails with my morning cuppa and muesli), I've also been thinking about the overall vibe of the blog and its purpose. To that end, I've been really convicted by this passage:

"Try to learn what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light...And when all things are brought out to the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed; for anything that is clearly revealed becomes light." (Ephesians 5: 10-14)

And this one, too... "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." Philippians 4:8

So, it's time to clear a few things up and introduce some changes! Firstly, I don't hate magazines. In an interview with Daily Imprint (which is produced by a glossy industry insider) earlier this year, I said:

"I'm passionate about the glossies and the business of gloss (it's endlessly fascinating). Despite their shortcomings, magazines are like beautiful history books recording the who, what and wear of contemporary female life."


I still believe this to be true (see also 'Behind the Gloss' in the sidebar).

But like a ballet mistress who becomes frustrated with a promising young student who's more interested in boys, booze, parties, her hair, body and clothes than living up to her God-given potential, I'm disappointed when the glossies play to the lowest common denominator, producing content that does little to inspire, empower, comfort, innovate, educate or celebrate women (or men).

Of course, I would be hypocritical if I did not try to produce content in line with the same values I'd like to see reflected in the glossies. To that end, a few things with regards to changes to the blog:

1. No more gossip. While I'll still be reporting industry news, I'd like the blog to be a gossip-free zone. It doesn't do anyone any favours and brings down the tone. Perez and Ros Reines can have that beat.

2. No more 'glossips'. Will you miss the presence of the weekly glossip mags in your Monday morning Short & Sweet posts? I'd sooner draw attention to some niche magazine doing great things, or work on refining my culinary/photography skills for 'The Breakfast Club'.

3. More focus on finding wonderful and unique magazines to write about (and the women/men who produce them) and celebrating creativity, innovation and good works.

4. More insights from glossy consumers who exist outside the publishing bubble.

The more critical reviews will stay, as will Media Musings, Cute & Chic, etc. But the overall vibe will be more positive, nourishing and encouraging. Like a Care Bear hug.

Now, is that a blog you would like to visit? Bring on the feedback!

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel

P.S. Totally aware that all this GWAS talk is quite self-indulgent, but stick with me while I refine a few things so I can get back to looking into the glossies!

35 comments:

Trove said...

That sounds exactly like a blog I'd like to read. I love the insights you offer, the style in which you write and the bird's eye view of the glossies.

Without sounding like a sycophant, you seem too intelligent to delve into gossip and speculation. There are others who do that side of things. Leave it to them.

Lizzie said...

It's a shame when other people ruin it with immature comments. Honestly it sounds like they're all just jealous that they can't write eloquently and with humour about mags the way you do!! :) But the changes seem warranted and I suspect they won't dampen your enthusiasm or the creativity of the Satchel.

charlotte said...

I think this is a great idea erica!

FloridaGirl said...

Those scripture passages are great. Thank you! I'll be writing them down in my journal. And I LOVE your blog. Keep up the good work!

jess said...

I think all the feedback you've been receiving lately (positive and negative) is a testament to how much GWAS has grown! And unfortunately you'll never be able to please everyone. Your blog is constantly evolving and the changes sound good. That said, because I don't read the Sunday Telegraph I often get the industry gossip from here, which I found interesting, no matter how true or false it may have been. But I also understand how it was talking about people's jobs etc.

Anyhow, Erica, keep up the great work! :)

Tracy A said...

I love your blog. I discovered it quite by accident and have not stopped reading. I don't read the comments because I am interested in what you have to say, not what other people think of what you have to say. I would very much miss the photos of the weekly mags as I enjoy seeing them, but I am glad that I can still get a peek at your breakfast! Your observations and well thought out post's make me think and question the role that the print media play in society, good or bad and I really don't think that that is a bad thing at all. Thanks for doing all the work you do.

Lots of Gloss said...

Good for you Erica! I guess if you disregard 'Glossips' and industry Gossip, there will be more room to find the good in glossies.

I like the idea of you looking at niche publications. All of those smaller companies often get tossed aside!

michelle said...

LOVE this idea! what good does gossip do anyway!!! we certainly don't learn much from it!!! well done Erica

Natalie said...

I have to admit I will miss Short & Sweet, I like to use it to determine which of the many glossips I will spend my limited cash resource on.

That said, good on you for making a choice and choosing to do what feels positive for yourself - dont' listen to the haters, sometimes they just want everyone to feel as bad as they do! I LOVE your blog and will definitely keep coming back, as long as you stay true to yourself!

Jenaveve said...

Not forgetting, GWAS is Your blog. You can do with it as you please - including quotes, critiques and self indulgence (and my personal fave: Breakfast Club!) It is only through the continued attention to detail and ab.fab content that you produce that we will all still be glued to the screen. GWAS is the blog I look forward to most in my feed reader.

PS I am a magazine junkie... but of the empowering and interesting kind. And really, your reviews are so darn honest (or should I say, in line with my preferences) that I would scarcely pick up a mag these days without checking here first! Now that says something...

Sass said...

I really enjoy your musings and would never believe that you "hate" magazines - you are a passionate contributor and observer who delivers some reasonable/justified criticism at times.

I'll definitely continue to visit this site.

Laura said...

I'm so disappointed with some of the horrible comments you have received recently Erica, and don't feel they were warranted. Can the naysayers please go somewhere else.
I think I'll miss the glossip - I don't get it from anywhere else, and you don't over reinforce what is being 'said' or claim it to be fact.
But I'll enjoy the things that are staying, in fact I would say blog more if you can!

Katie said...

I still like to read about 'glossips', mainly because you don't go into overkill.

Mitchell said...

I don't have a problem with GWAS featuring 'glossips' or reporting on Ros Reines' 'news', because it gives an accurate reflection of what is going on in the world of media (and, for better or worse, 'glossips' and gossip columists are always going to be in the majority of the media landscape).

I do agree that Erica gets more (unfair, as opposed to constructive and thought-provoking) criticism than she deserves, and those who retort to nasty, vindictive comments should have a go at making their own blog before they mouth off.

Rochelle said...

Hi Erica,

I was really surprised that you approved the comment where Anonymous called you a bitch (what a charmer) - you are a bigger person than I. I would have taken SO much pleasure in deleting it!

xx

Scarlett Harris said...

No matter was GWAS does, I'll always love it! I don't think you hate magazines, but when you're so passionate about something, it's important to and ignorant not to acknowledge the shortcomings of it, as well.
I don't think getting rid of the glossip reviews is neccessary. They break up the day and allow some indulgence every now and then. You're simply reviewing them, not reinforcing their gossip and somewhat negative views on celebrity bodies, etc. Bring back the glossips!

Kitty said...

No, don't ditch the gossip! As long as it's not malicious, I think it's OK to enjoy a sneaky goss every now and then...

Death Wears Diamond Jewellery said...

i like the 'glossips' section! its a good, quick round up of what the tabloids put on the cover

Angela said...

Please don't get rid of the glossips! I think the way you handle the tabloid titles is very classy and I love your take on them.

I agree with Scarlett Harris, they break up the serious posts and reviews and allow some extra indulgence and escapism!

However, you must do what feels right for you! It is your blog after all.

Love what you do! xxxx

sparsely kate said...

It's your blog and people will find something to grumble about regardless of what you do. You can only write a blog that you'd enjoy reading yourself (and I think you have a wonderful blog with very interesting articles)

Don't listen to nasty comments, keep on what you are doing! You've got a fabulous blog.

Anonymous said...

I believe the new direction is a very intelligent choice. Certainly rephrasing Ros Reines' gossip column does lower the standard of your content, particularly so when Reines' own journalistic integrity is non-existent (read: if she had of more closely researched the Chanel event, she would have learnt that Huckbody was indeed present). The glossips will not be missed. I do wonder whether Grazia will continue to be reviewed, being a fashion magazine, after all.

Sahara said...

Agree, it's your blog, do what feels right for you. (Although I also agree with others that Ros Reines is not a trusted source! And I don't like her negativity).
For my two cents' worth, I would really love to see a broader range of magazines represented, more reviews of the smaller, more original ones, not just the mainstream mags, which rehash the same stuff every month anyway.

Bri said...

Hi erica
I have been an avid reader of your blog since it began and feel like a proud and slightly-cheesy family member to witness it grow to this wonderful, professional and warm blog it is today!
Agreeing with everyone else; I hope you don't take to heart the snide comments people make about your blog. I would take it as a sign of success, that it has grown to the point where people actively make a habit of ruining the mood! You are clearly making an impression, which is everyones goal, right?
Will look forward to your future direction and respect every decision you make, for it is your blog and no one elses! (However I did enjoy seeing the glossips, purely for their satirical nonsense)
Apologies for the length of this, I just feel rather passionately about your blog!
x

Emma said...

Hello,

I'm quite a fan of the blog world and am a subscriber of several different blogs including mamamia, amoungst others. I have to say that I am quite disappointed by the behaviour of some people in the internet world... this is the third post of this flavour I have read this week. What is with people dissing others blogs... I mean a blog is a subjective outlet for the author... not a place for people to personally attack the author. I think its pathetic that some people are attacking you as a person because of your subjective opinions. They need to learn that there are different views in the world (WOW what a shocker) and that you may not agree with everyone of them. If you don't like what you are reading... than don't read it. Go away and leave bloggers alone.

Sorry for this rant on your comment page... but I think it is so low of some people to hide behind such tags as 'anonymous' and attack others. I mean get a life people...

By the way.. I love your blog... keep up the excellent work.

RML said...

First time poster here, however long time reader. As an exiled Aussie lover of magazines, your blog fulfills all my glossy needs. I love the positive and thoughtful tone and think you should definitely keep it up and be true to yourself!

aulelia said...

The passage of Ephesians is beautiful, Erica. Nice touch.

Don't give your haters any shine.

Peron said...

Definitely keen to see you discuss some more niche titles ... there are a lot of mags out there doing more than the ACP/Pac Mags posse to keep fashion coverage innovative, creative and exciting.

vonetal said...

I am infrequent, though committed, reader so I probably don't have the right to weigh in...but I will! I think if you're convicted about it you should run with it. But you can always re-evaluate - nothing's set it concrete. Onya' for your passion, and your way of marrying your beliefs with your aesthetic and cultural interests, Von

Chantelle said...

I love the snapshot on the gossip mags. It's only a small segment. And I think we all take those gossip magazines with a grain of salt.

I wouldn't change anything due to a few comments. There will always be haters, no matter who you are, and what you do. We all have them.

When we let them effect what we go and how we feel... well we let them win a little bit. Don't we?

If someone had come to you with constructive criticism... then so be it.

I love what you do Erica. I know it's hard to do it all and please everyone. As long as you're happy though, that's what matters.

I hope you have a lovely day today. Whichever direction you take with your blog, I will follow. (I'm hooked, I have no other choice! :P)

Anonymous said...

Erica, I love your blog and I thought it was fine the way it was. Gossip is fine - if it's already been reported elsewhere then what is their problem? It would be a different story if you were doing a 4 Inch Heels sort of gig.

Love your work xx

Yolanda said...

Dear Erica,
I love your blog and will support it no matter which direction you choose to take it in! Don't stop bringing us the good stuff! I'll still be reading!

Amy said...

You picked one of my favourite verses - the Phillipians one. Uses such excellent words! I've just come across your blog after starting to follow you through Twitter (in some roundabout way through a comment Mia Freedman posted!) and think you're doing a fab job. How great to spend your time, reading mags and blogging about them - and in such a professional way. Keep going :) and don't let negative comments pull you down - as long as you are happy and comfortable with what you are doing. x

Anonymous said...

Wow - I will say I have a love/hate relationship with this blog. I love the blog, but hate some of the posts. Unlike most, however, I hate the posts that criticise other posts that criticise! If we all believe that Erica should write with conviction - as she should - then why shouldn't her readers? If Erica should both praise and criticise without fear nor favour, why should posters not be allowed to do the same? Surely this is a right shared by both. I wholeheartedly agree that nasty and vindictive posts that attack on a personal level are uncalled for and should be culled, but to suggest that Erica is free to have a go at the mags - which again, she should be (and does fairly) - but that posters are not allowed to have a go at her in return, is crazy - an imbalance and a restriction that would in reality do more harm than good to this blog. Varied and considered points of view are something that should be encouraged, not ignored. Why would you only want to hear from people who agree with you? What would you learn from that?

Taz x

SheilaK said...

Taz, I don't think the problem is with people criticising Erica's views or anything else that comes up for discussion, but with people slandering, demeaning and personally insulting each other. I think Erica and most of the readers here love a good argument (we're all passionate about magazines, after all) but have no time for a slanging match.

Anonymous said...

I think what your readers often forget is that when bloggers gossip about people it can cause a great deal of hurt for them and their families. Just because someone works for a fashion magazine, it should not make them a target for all & sundry – it’s just a job after all.