Posts tagged Technology

Vogue Versus The Blogs

It must be nice being Anna Wintour, long-time editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine.  It must be nice at least until now.   Although social media/ internet have gained wide acceptance across the world, Vogue and Wintour are struggling on how to use social media and not be threatened by the new phenomenon of fashion blogger. The struggle could result in the glossy, slick magazine being just as “out” as last season’s clothes.

Anna Wintour

Wintour seemed not as dismissive recently on her opinion of bloggers when she said:  “We love as much coverage of fashion as possible. We don’t care at all where it comes from, and we embrace bloggers and video and social networking, and anyone that’s talking about fashion is a good thing. And we now have our own website that incorporates all of that. But I think what’s interesting to us with this new phenomenon that ‘everyone’s a fashion editor, everyone’s a fashion writer’ is that all of that actually helps Vogue, because we have access and the understanding of fashion that, forgive me, but maybe some bloggers and some of the newcomers to this world have a little bit less experience of, but as I said, the more the merrier. We embrace it.

Is “The Cluetrain Manifesto” lost on Wintour?  “Markets are conversations” – “people are sharing information at blinding speed,” and there’s a reshaping of power.    Her comment “we have the understanding of fashion,” implies that fashion bloggers do not.  It’s clear that she hasn’t read the tea leaves.  Anna Wintour believes that she and Vogue still rule.  Even one of her assistant editors admits “not being that wild about fashion bloggers such as teen fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson.”

On April 22, 2010, Wintour was inducted into the American Society of National Magazine Editors Hall of Fame – it’s called the Ellies and is the Oscars for magazines.  At the same ceremony, Wired Magazine was honored as well as Glamour Magazine for the best use of both print and digital media.   

At the gala, the Wall Street Journal asked Wintour about her plans for the Ipad. Her response was vague, something about “plans on the drawing board,” but she did say Vogue was in the process of redoing its Website, making part of it interactive, which would launch in August.  

 Maybe the subject (or villain) of “The Devil Wears Prada” can still get on board.  In the May 2010 issue of Vogue she features Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in a glowing article.  As a prognosticator for fashion, who tells us what to wear 10 months ahead of time, Wintour ought to be looking to the future (technology) instead of the past (print).  Her future and that of Vogue’s might depend on it.

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World’s Tardiest Thank You!

I recently received a hand-written thank-you note for a baby gift I had sent ten years ago. The baby’s father wrote that he had found the old note, dated April 26, 2000, while cleaning out his desk, saying it should have been mailed ten years ago.

He included in his hand-written note the congratulatory note I had sent the family, dated Feb. 14, 2000, saying “it would bring a tear to my eye.”  Indeed it did.  My note read: 

Dear Charles and Beth:

Last night, Darby Wade Grant scored the winning free throws for the 8th grade Girls Basketball Team at MICDS.  What a great game.  I tell you this because when Darby came along, Jim and I enjoyed every second –every stage–every moment.  Any career “high” can never match last night’s game or a thousand other priceless moments.   I am so happy for you both and wish you and the baby good health and much happiness.

Sincerely,

 Pam

Receiving these hand-written notes all these years later was so inspiring.  It was a blessing that everything had been hand-written on stationery and not e-mailed.  It would never have been retrieved when my friend cleaned out his desk.  As an e-mail, it would have been easily deleted and lost forever.  In the Wall Street Journal’s Juggle blog, the “Buy Stamps or Hit Send,” reminded me that as people juggle their busy, daily lives, it’s definitely easier and faster to “hit send.”

Oh, the memories that are lost.  The feel and smell of the Crane paper and the cursive writing cannot be duplicated by e-mail.  It’s unlikely anyone would carry around an e-mail like they do a letter and re-read it.  It’s important not to succumb to technology.  A hand-written note is always more gracious and a more heartfelt expression.

Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal Juggle blog on “Do you Still Send Handwritten Thank-You Notes?” said that Geoffrey Parker, an executive of Parker Pen Company and grandson of the company’s founder, does both.  He phones,   e-mails or uses a text message for an immediate thank you but always follows up with a hand-written message. 
“As these modern electronic devices become more common and overused, they become cheap.” he says.                                                               

If for some reason, you don’t  like your hand-writing, then you can go to salesquill. com and they will write out your notes or letters and send them for you in two days time.  After job interviews, a thank-you-note in writing is recommended.

Don’t let e-mail or social media serve as your way of saying thank you.  Don’t give in to the cold efficiency of technology. Keep the warmth and humanness alive through hand-written correspondence.

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