In our new series, “Meet the Bloggers” Swide interviews leading bloggers to ask them what life is really like in the blogsaphere. Do they break out into a cold sweat in a non-WIFI zone? Sit in pyjamas all day, or suffer blog envy? Today’s star superblogger Bryan Boy.
Meet the bloggers: BryanBoy
In his blogging life – fashion superblogger BryanBoy has been described as an “Internationally-loved fashion superblogger” by the New York Times/The Moment, “a cult read in fashion circles” by Style.com and “one of the nine hottest internet celebrities” by The New York Post – Marc Jacobs even went so far as to name a handbag after him (the BB ostrich bag).
Swide interviews the man behind the super-blog.
Before I made blogging my full-time career, I used to be a freelance website designer for a few years. It truly is amazing how the internet evolved over time. I remember the good ol’ days how my life revolved around mIRC chat rooms. That’s where “Bryanboy” came from – it was my nickname. I believe it was back 1996. I’m an old hag.
ONLINE IS A WAY OF LIFE. DO YOU OPT FOR A NON-WIFI SPOT IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Unless I’m travelling, I generally spend about 16 hours a day online. I know it’s not something to be proud of. It’s unhealthy. Earlier this year in Beijing, I realized I’ve reached the bottom of the barrel when I found myself cocooned in a corner of a club using Facebook (www.facebook.com/people/Bryan-Boy) while all my friends were drinking and dancing. I’m trying to change my habits though. I no longer carry my laptop whenever I get out of the house. I know people who carry their laptops to the mall and browse the net at restaurants! I also try not to use wi-fi on my cellphone. To be unreachable off-line is a luxury because when there’s internet access, you are bound and tied with your online obligations.
The act of blogging itself is not time-consuming. I could easily post something within minutes. What takes so much time though is the administrative work involved: cropping, editing & uploading photos, reading & replying to emails, keeping track of statistics, dealing with advertisers, writing proposals, research and implementing revenue streams, etc. You think it stops there? Nope. As a blogger, you have to be informed with everything that goes on around you – news, events, the latest trends. As a one-man circus, you could only do so much.
DO YOU STILL READ PRINT MAGAZINES?
Yes. I try to, in spite of me getting all of my news on the internet. I mostly “read” them whenever I go to the salon or when I’m travelling. It’s funny because even magazine scans are available online! If I were to strictly rely on magazines, I’d be totally out of the loop as it takes 2-4 months before something gets printed out. The internet truly revolutionized the speed and flow of information. You no longer have to wait to see photos of the new collections to appear in print. Some designers, such as Dolce & Gabbana, even show real-time!
I find it increasingly rare for me to actually buy (and keep) an issue. Magazines have become something like coffee-table art books. I buy them to get inspired from images of editorials and ad campaigns. Publishing houses have big budgets to hire the best photographers to capture the best models wearing the season’s best clothes.
In any case, I still love my magazines. There’s something nostalgic about flipping through glossy pages, to see and to hold such inspirational images in “flesh” versus staring at them on your computer screen.
THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF BLOGS – HOW DO YOU SORT THE GOOD FROM THE BAD?
Tell me about it. I keep track of over 700 blogs on my RSS feed!
I’m a big fan of blogs that evoke emotion. I like entries that make me FEEL something in a span of several seconds. It could be anything – happiness, joy, lust, desire, confusion, shock, anger. I read blogs for many reasons: to learn something new, to read what other people are saying about a certain topic, to live vicariously through another person, and, for the most part, to be entertained. I lose interest when bloggers don’t show their personality in their posts. Sometimes, a well-designed blog with stunning photographs and flawless prose is simply not enough to capture someone’s attention.
There is nothing worse than a blogger with no opinion. If you don’t tell me how you feel or think, ask me how I feel. Ask me what I think. Blogs that are interactive and engaging get high marks in my book.
WHO IN YOUR OPINION ROCKS THE BLOGSPHERE? DO YOU SUFFER FROM BLOG ENVY?
It would be too long to list my favourite bloggers. Out of 700 I believe I have about 25 I religiously read. I love bloggers who are not afraid to push boundaries and experiment by expressing themselves creatively regardless of what other people think. Do I suffer from blog envy? Of course not. Envy is not good. To each their own!
HAVE YOU EVER BLOGGED UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND REGRETTED IT?
Yes. Gosh, I can’t (and don’t want to) count the number of times I’ve blogged when I was drunk. Most of my earlier entries were written while intoxicated. Don’t blame me — sitting in front of the computer with a vodka tonic and a cigarette is pure heaven! When I have the spare time, I sometimes look back think to myself “wow, oh my fucking god I can’t believe I said that”. Nevertheless, I have absolutely no regrets. Yesterday is a closed book. Those posts made what I am now. As for my readers, well, some fail to realize that blogs are fluid and very dynamic. A blogger evolves over time and they are never the same person. What they wrote in the past does not necessarily reflect what they think in the present or the future.
THE STRANGEST PLACE YOU’VE BLOGGED FROM?
Outside Beijing Airport earlier this year. I blogged using my cellphone while waiting for a taxi outside the terminal. When it’s -8 degrees celsius, using two frozen thumbs to type one keystroke at a time on tiny buttons is the hardest thing to do!
IS THERE A PERSON YOU’D WISH WOULD START A BLOG?
American Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley. He never fails to entertain me whenever I see videos of him online!
HOW DO YOU SEE TWITTER IMPACTING ON BLOGGING?
Twitter is a great way to keep your audience updated with any message you desire in a fast and efficient manner. Will it replace blogging? I don’t think so. I actually look at Twitter as a form of blogging, except you limit yourself to 140 characters. For the most part, I use it as a marketing tool to complement my blog. My blog entries can be found on my Twitter account and vice-versa.
Follow BryanBoy on Twitter at twitter.com/bryanboy
MOST EXTREME BLOGGING SITUATION?
Anything goes when it comes to blogs. I don’t really have an extreme blogging situation.
YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL POST EVER?
Strangely enough, it’s not related to fashion. It’s a post about a holiday fling I had earlier this year. People love sappy, mushy stories. See what I mean about emotions?
FOR ANY BUDDING BLOGGERS – WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE ON MAKING IT WORK?
Eeek! I’m probably the worst person in the world to be giving advice to novice bloggers because I sold my soul to the devil a long time ago and I’m now living in a la-la-land where the only thing that keeps me going is keeping my pageviews and unique visitors up. Just kidding. Blogging changed my life. Not only it gave me a livelihood, it also opened so many doors and gave me so many opportunities I thought only existed in dreams!
My advice? Have fun! Be spontaneous. Be silly. Be wild! Update often. Express yourself creatively. Play with different forms of media – photos,videos, audio and let your personality shine! Always keep in mind that your blog is NOT you but an extension of you. Don’t be afraid to have your own perspective on things. Try not to censor yourself too much. Don’t worry about grammar or spell-check. It’s a blog, not a thesis.
Perhaps the best tip I could give to a young blogger is try to have a thick skin. Take everything you read online with a grain of salt, whether it’s a compliment or an insult. We all can’t please our readers. If you are not comfortable being talked about or your entries and photos criticized then perhaps blogging is not for you. Anything you put on your blog (doesn’t matter whether it’s a photo or a 5,000-word essay) becomes public fodder and negative feedback and detractors are part of the territory. Opinions are like butts, everyone has one and is entitled to so you should never correct how other people perceive you or else you’d go nuts! Maybe it’s the masochist in me but I actually find it fascinating when people are talking and tongues are wagging. Any veteran blogger’s worst nightmare is when nobody talks about their blog!
With special thanks to BryanBoy
CHECK OUT BRYANBOY HERE
**For more exclusive interviews from the Swide series “Meet The Bloggers” see**
Kitsune Noir www.swide.com/Meet-the-bloggers–Kitsune-Noir
Melanie Crété www.swide.com/Meet-the-bloggers–Melanie-Crete
Source & Photo Credits: Bryanboy
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