GWAS Short & Sweet (New Year Greetings)

Like a freshly brewed coffee awaiting you when you get to work (after wading through the rain, like today), a blog should really satisfy some craving of yours. I spent a little time over the holidays contemplating what part GWAS plays in serving you, given the plethora of online content out there. 

Often I feel the blog is bipolar: proffering magazine and media news on the one hand, but presenting you with personalised posts and female-skewed features on the other. Perhaps you enjoy the mix? Perhaps it makes you want to stab yourself with a pencil? 

Most often I'm asked, "What happened to your breakfast posts?", so I've been considering a return to the basics, the staples, the toast and jam: magazine reviews, essays on spiritualism and women's issues and more insight into the life of the satchel.

Of course, one should write about what they enjoy; the things that make their heart sing. Sometimes I feel cheap and in need of a good shower when I post something that betrays that inner voice that says, "What is the freakin' point of this? Does it really matter? Don't you have better things to write about? And, hey, who's paying you to sell yourself so short?" (answer: no one!).

So, I invite you to drop an email into or leave a comment after the jump, in answer to the question, "Are you being served?". Less media-y, more feminin-y? Less glossy promotion, more satchel-values devotion? Glossy previews or just the reviews? How often would you like to visit? And how do you hope to feel when you leave? 

In short, getting to the point, let's unclutter this joint!

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel


Anonymous said...

More media, please. Less navel-gazing ramblings.

gypsy said...

I would like to see/read more about what you're talking about, in regards to to the breakfast posts. I think people see and hear so much already about the media on almost all blogs around and just in everyday life, I would like to read more about what you enjoy writing about :)

Kaitlyn said...

BTW, I love the bag! Would you let us in on your source?

Megan said...

I come to your site to read the magazine reviews, media news and also enjoy reading snippets about your life, and your reaction/take to the media news. (as the other commenter mentioned, that's what makes GWAS unique). I know you are conflicted about the glossips but it's one of the things i enjoy most about the blog! Keep up the hard work all the best for 2011 x

Anonymous said...

I love the girl talk and when you talk about real life issues. For example the post on having a baby with the link to Rachel Zoe.

Anonymous said...

I second the first poster... I come to your site for info on the magazine industry, reviews of issues, etc. I dont mind if every say, 8th post was about something else (ie a meet and greet, a book review, an interview) but I feel a bit like the site is becoming less of a blog abut the magazine industry and too much of a mixed bag/personal blog.

Also Im really not a fan of the religious or body image posts.

Thanks for taking the care to ask your readers what they like/dont like! Very kind.

MsA said...

You have unique insight into the magazine industry and you should make the most of it. That's what I come to the site for - mag reviews, circ analysis, your reaction to media stories. Please keep that side of things up!

Unknown said...

Hi Erica, I visit your blog mostly for the unique insight in the magazine industry and for the magazine reviews. There are so many mags on the market and I always found your (and guest)reviews on various mags, with an overview of what is covered that month, really helpful in terms of choosing my next purchase. I also enjoy the features relating to womens' issues, book reviews and the intermitent personal posts (it is your blog after all). I think variety is a good thing. I visit your blog most working days because I'm particularly interested in women's media, magazines, feminism, books and fashion - all topics which are touched upon on your site. Also, if I don't visit regularly I find it hard to catch up on all the reading and I follow quite a lot of blogs. I'd like to finish by saying keep up the good work!

milsnash said...

Hi Erica, your blog is one of about half a dozen that I read each morning. I am certainly being served, just as much now as when I I first started reading a couple of years ago. :) What I like most are the strong personal values and opinions that shine through in your writing, particularly in your musings about feminism, body image and media. It is also so refreshing to read posts from a writer like you who is charmingly humble, self deprecating and grateful for all your talents and opportunities. Refreshing to read and inspiring.
I do miss the book reviews on lifestyle books (I bought The Goddess Guide and 101 things to do before you diet) after reading your reviews. I also enjoyed the breakfast posts, would be great if you brought those back.
Overall though I love the blog and quite enjoy how the content is re-angled every now and then. Keep up the great work! xx

Anonymous said...

I always love the magazine reviews, industry news, interviews, and also your insights into issues such as body image and the way women are portrayed in the media. I usually skip the posts about religion and God, as this is not really my cup of tea, and not always relevant to the other content. Keep of the good work, this is definitely one of the best quality blogs I read.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should feel bad about anything you do. So, if you think you shouldn't write anything gossip-y-don't. (By the way, I never have read anything on your blog where I thought this was the case). I like your blog for the fashion, beauty and magazine stuff. I also like the breakfast posts and pics of your everyday life (what's in your bag, what you're up to, etc) and cute and chic. That's what first attracted me to GWS. I love that you are religious and want to talk about deeper issues, but maybe that would be a different blog. Sometimes, we just need a fresh, positive, "light" read to escape the "reality" of our day ; ) Keep up the great blog.

LANi said...

Hi Erica,

I love your blog and read it often. Personally, I love the spiritual content and this is what first attracted me to your blog and is probably the main reason I keep reading it. I also love the magazine and girly content and I'd especially like more of a glimpse into your life and other real life issues.

Thank you for putting yourself out there and asking us what we like. As a fellow blogger, I know it can be difficult to do that but I maintain that you should write whatever is in your heart to write about. Your blog is awesome and it's no surprise you have so many followers.


Melissah said...

I just discovered you blog & loved it. I'm an interior designer from Melbourne, Australia & I found it very inspiring. Blogging is all new to me but I have just set up my own blog
You may like to check it out because I had so much fun doing it. It's got a bit of everything fashion, interiors, food, travel spots - hopefully you will find something in there that you like.
Thanks for providing me with such great entertainment!

Anna-Maria Murphy said...

I love the body image articles, and don't really have any other complaints. If I had to choose though, I love the reviews of mags and would love more of those, and find the previews a bit useless. Love the blog though!!

eliza said...

I do enjoy the occasional spiritual/girly/body image post, but I really come to GWAS for the media/magazine/books sort of news, so please don't neglect that!

But I really do adore it all.

Lizzie said...

I like the mix that you put up - not sure what the breakfast posts are referring to, but people seem to want them back, so they must be good! :) Like Cute and chic. Also like the occasional personal post as I feel like it's often on a topic that the majority of people can relate to. Since I'm not at home right now I really enjoy the local mag reviews. Whatever you decide, just keep posting! :)

xenien_x said...

what issue of Elle is in your bag Erica?

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

Thank you for the feedback, everyone. Printing out, taking on board.
FYI, that's December's US ELLE in my satchel.
The satchel itself was a birthday gift from husband and it's made by Targus.
Satchel Girl and her Navel

Michelle said...

Hi Erica! I agree the blog is becoming more like two blogs in one - one more media-focused and the other more personal. Could you not do both but in separate URLs?

Personally I come here more for the personal stuff (not to sound creepy or anything!) As an ex-magazine editor myself I love reading about your life, cultural musings and yes, I admire that you're so open about your faith (NOT easy in the media world).

That said, I also LOVE your industry news round-ups and profiles of other people in the biz. Have also found a number of great books through your reviews. I tend to skip the mag reviews though (maybe because I'm not Australian - but honestly I never buy mags anymore since it's all about the blogs now!).

To me it seems like you're torn because you "have" to do the media coverage, but it's maybe not where your heart is. (Although it probably drives most of your traffic?) I hope you find a solution that works for you. I would still read both!

Anonymous said...

I like the spiritual discussions and questions you pose. They generally always get me thinking and put a swing in my step.

Chantelle {fat mum slim} said...

I think that you have to make this space what YOU want it to be, because you're never going to get one straight answer from all of us.

What I can tell you is why I keep coming back and perhaps that will give you an insight.

* I come back because you're intelligent and refreshing. So many blogs now are a constant self-promotion of nothingness. I like nothingness and normal life sometimes, but I love that I can come here and learn something. I like the way you think. I think you've brave, smart, savvy... and I like that.
* I'm not religious (read: I was never raised a religion but I believe in God and pray every now and then) but I love that you are. I love your sharing of how faith fits into your life. I think it's cool.
* I loved the Monday posts (they were what got me hooked in the beginning). I loved that I didn't have to buy the glossips, because you gave me a run-down... since you stopped doing those I've had to resort to buying Woman's Day. I don't know what's happened to me.
* I work from home, so I love popping in to see if I need to dash up to the newsagents and buy a magazine, because you tell me what's fresh and what's worth buying.

Of late my favourite posts are the round-ups you do: the tid-bits on what's online, what's happening in the glossies etc. I like those.

Anyways I'm rambling. You're on to a good thing Erica. I think whatever direction you decide to take (more or less real life, etc etc) we'll all keep coming back because you write so well, and we want to read what you have to say. xx

Serena @ Pretty Fluffy said...

What I love about this site is that I can get media updates, mag reviews etc all from what I believe is an authentic, inspired source.

I love pretty images and a bit of news/gossip but often many sites that feature these things either have a snarky undertone or you leave them feeling you don't measure up to the 'perfect' imagery.

So while I definitely think keep your essentials such as the magazine reviews, media happenings, wrap ups etc please do continue to write pieces such as your one on turning 30 (in comparison to Kate Moss) and your views on where the media is headed. They resonate strongly.

It's your voice and your authenticity that makes this site inspirational and positive while still being current and stylish. That's your difference and why I visit. Looking forward to 2011 on GWAS.

Anonymous said...

I love visiting your blog because of the glossy previews. Your posts on religion and spirituality give me something to think about.

Scarlett Harris @ The Early Bird Catches the Worm said...

Yes, I most definitely am being served! Love the blog, and I'll take whatever it gives me. That's why I keep coming back for more :D