Wikipedia post

I must say I am sad that my days of browsing wedding blogs for homework are over.  Never did I think that I could turn a leisurely pastime of mine into a class project!

With that said, I just wanted to show everyone what came up as my first hit under my google search of “Wedding Blogs”:

Thats right- one of the blogs I followed, “Style Me Pretty”!

Posting on Wikipedia was a little difficult for me.  For whatever reason, editing is now allowed under the “blog” wikipedia page.  I guess there are various levels of protection on Wikipedia, something I didn’t know about.  I just assumed that it was 100% peer edited, but I guess I am wrong!

Because I couldn’t edit the blog page, I tried to see if there was a “wedding blog” page, and as I figured there is not.  So, I decided to create a new topic under the blog page, titled “diversity of blogs”.  This is acutally an interesting feature in wikipedia, and is something I didnt know of before.  When searching “blog”, instead of viewing teh article page, you can click on the discussion tab at teh top left.  This page is where visitors can post suggestions to what should be added to the “locked” blog article, and list improvements they have. I happend to be number 25… So I suppose there is some work to be done on the blog article!

List of suggestions made by Wikipedia visitors to the "Blog" article

While I am a little sad I couldn’t actually post something into an actual article, it would be neat if my suggestion for a new topic, “Diversity of Blogs” actually made it through!


Computers and my life

I thought this was a really interesting question, and I honestly thought that I didnt use my computer, or any “computorized” thing too much… but I was mistaken.  I am extremely sick this week, and have been addicted in checking my symptoms on web MD.  Tonight, I visited the site twice, skyped with my mom and checked emails.  On a normal night, I am sure I would have browsed on facebook, looked at twitter, checked out news sites and maybe visit pinterest.  Although I didn’t use my computer much, I did use my iphone A LOT! I feel embarrassed after realizing just how connected I am to it, especially when stuck in bed!  Besides using it to call and beg my boyfriend to bring me ice cream, I spent a few hours watching tv and playing words with friends.

Wedding Blogs: Advertisements

Something which I have been wondering is how exactly these bloggers are making money, and especially the “Style Me Pretty” editor, for it is her living!  Perhaps it is because I am always surrounded by advertisements online, but I didnt even notice the advertisements on the right side of the page for both “Style Me Pretty” and “OMG I’m Getting Married”.   The blog “So You’re Engayged” has a location on the side of the page labeled “Advertisements”, however so far none have been there!

Although each blog is from another country, the similarity between the two’s advertisements is interesting!

ads from OMG I'm Getting Married

ads from Style Me Pretty

Something I did notice between the “Style Me Pretty” blog, which has an “American” take on weddings, and the “OMG I’m Getting Married” blog (based in the UK) was how they presented their advertisements.  While both blogs had advertisements from various companies ads at the right side of the blog, the UK site took it one step further, including a tab within their homepage for “Sponsors”.

Here, the sponsors are interviewed by the author, and given space to share their work (whether they are a photographer, baker, rental supplier, etc).  This way of advertising doesnt seem as commercialized, and could easily be mistaken for actual blog material verses a sponsor.  Also within the “OMG I’m Getting Married” blog are sponsored photo-shoots, fashion shows, expos, and other events that the UK blog author attends and then posts about.  After searching the blog for awhile, I was unable to locate a link or find information on how one can advertise or become a sponsor… I am assuming you would just have to email the author!

Sponsor interview on "OMG I'm Getting Married"

Style me pretty however has a less subtle ad effect, and doesn’t give advertisers commentary space like the UK blog does.  Rather, at the bottom of their page they have a link “advertise”.  Here, detailed information is given on the blog readers, as well as the various slots companies could advertise within.  I feel that Style Me Pretty is more up front about advertising due to the nature of their business, and dependency the author has with the blog for her income.  It also seems like Style Me Pretty is in a different league than OMG I’m Getting Married.  I was shocked to find these stats on Style Me Pretty’s advertising page, describing their audience:

12 Million Monthly Pageviews and over 1.5 Million Visitors. Our RSS Monthly Views are over 1,500,000. We have a brag-worthy Google page rank of 6.

Thats amazing- and explains why the blog has a more business feel to it than the UK based one.

So You’re Engayged

This blog, co-founded by two ladies who while planning their own seperate weddings, realized that there needed to be a blog for the LGBT community supporting couples in the weddling planning process.  With gay marraige being a socially and culturally current topic, the blog here is very emotional, passionate and a little more heavy than the other two I am following.  For these reasons, there is a disclamer within the “about” section listing the policy about comments:

 Another interesting thing with this blog is that the co-founders do not do all the writing, in fact they do very little.  Real life couples are able to apply and blog about their wedding process, and if chosen, blog for about 8 months.  While the authors do post many photos from real weddings, the in depth discussion about wedding planning/ideas comes from actual real life couples.  This makes each wedding story very personal, as the blogger is reflecting on their actual ceremony.  During the semester, I closely followed Michael’s story, who married David this past September in NY.  Michael starting blogging for the site this past Marched after being “accepted” by the founders.  He first posted about how he and David met, sharing details and little stories that made me feel as if I was their best friend. Since the first post, Michael has been very open- sharing all his thoughts and details on his wedding planning process.  With actual couples blogging here, everything is much personal, which the viewers respond to and interact with on a higher level.  Unlike the “OMG I’m Getting Married” blog, here Michael responds to viewers comments, and there is a greater sense of community and bond within this site.

When blogging about whether or not to include traditional wedding elements, Michael asks “from all the weddings you have gone to, which one really sticks out in your memory and why?” to which readers respond to.  This type of direct interaction did not happen in the other wedding blogs. 

Another personal and highly emotional blog was when Michael disscusses his joy about the Marriage Equality Bill passing in NY.  However, he goes on to explain his frusteration that only now his friends and family are taking the wedding seriously, making Michael question what they thought of the engagement and wedding prior to the legalization.  He states in a blog, “talking about our wedding now taps into my fundamental fear that people did not consider our wedding real from the get-go.  I don’t believe that to be true, I really think people just want to see us get legally married, but I am not going to lie and say it does not give me pause when some talk about it with more legitimate terminology”. At the end, many readers reacted and shared their own stories of going through the same troubles.  Here, much unlike the other wedding blogs, people are able to relate via the internet and connect over the complex issues gay marriage presents.

The posts about the wedding day were also filled with personal stories, feelings, and jitters.  Michael shared photos, explaining the space decor, bow ties, ceremony songs/readings, and personal touches he added to his special day.

Here too, the readers react emotionally to the post, and interact between each other.  Michael also replies to viewers comments, although I am still waiting for my response! 

Michael shared his partners creative idea of  labeling the tables:

Overall, I am surprised at the level in which the blogger and the viewers connect here, given that they are complete strangers, who have never met!  However, everyone can relate to a topic that is held special by all: ones wedding.  It is amazing to see what the internet does for people, and the endless possibilities there are for people to connect within it.

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty is the mother load of wedding blogs.  While I adore the other two I am following, this is the best (in my opinion) for it has thousands of entries with every idea/color/theme/season/dress and etc. tagged.  Because everything is interlinked within the blog, there is a feature where you can build your own board to keep track of various pictures and ideas you personally liked.  While you need to register to make a board, which requires an email, the process was quite simple, and easily explained.

After logging in and picking a layout for your board, the fun then begins! By simply typing in a word or selecting a color, pictures of wedding ideas within the searched category appear.  Maybe I am a loser, but I thought this was the coolest thing ever (very similar to pinterest!)

Searching for "snow"

searching for a smokey blue color

One of my many boards- this is addicting!

Another unique aspect this blog has beyond the normal vender guides, inspiration photos and look books is a DIY section.  Here, detailed photos are posted and explanations for each project step by step.  A list of supplies is included, and sometimes even a pdf for more complex crafts.  This feature is important I feel for it allows a viewer to directly re-create an idea, rather than just guessing and copying an image.

Beyond all things wedding being tagged, cities are too!  In fact, there is a whole section that links you to local bloggers within a certain city.

Given that almost everything worth searching is tagged, I decided to search for “Madison”, and to my surprise, got a decent number of “real wedding” posts.  Here, like in OMG I’m Getting Married, the blog authors post the photos and description.  This wedding took place last winter, and definitely has a “Madison” feel to it!

The Great Hall in Memorial Union!

A Union Buster Bride!

After realizing how technical this blog is compared to the others due to all the tagging and linking within the blog, I can see why it is so popular, and featured in various magazines.  Part of the reason I think this one seems more professional is because the blog is the authors job, while the other two blogs I am following are hobbies.  Also, the initial founder of this blog has a computer specialist working full time- her husband!  Given what we have been discussing in class with accessibility and knowledge of technology, I have a greater appreciation for the inter-workings of this blog (as well as the others) for I understand just how much work and effort are put into these, and all for people to visit them for free!

YouTube > Hulu

To be honest, I have never visited hulu!  While I know many people watch all their TV shows using it, I cant stand watching TV or Movies on my laptop!  So, I really only visit youtube when someone sends me a funny clip.  For purposes of this blog though, I searched my all time favorite clip on both youtube and hulu.  While it showed up on youtube, it did not on hulu!

My favorite video is of Sophia Grace and her hype girl Rosie singing “Super Bass” on the Ellen show.  While the Ellen show has a “channel” on both youtube and hulu, I was surprised that that the clip wasnt on her channel on hulu, but was on youtube.  The only thing remotely close to the clip on hulu was an interview Russel Brand gave where he talked about Sophia and Rosie.

Why the clip is on ellen’s youtube channel and not hulu I may never know… but I think I will stay with youtube.

OMG part II

Something I have noticed during this project and visiting “OMG I’m getting married” has been the extensive use of various social media sites.  Embedded throughout the blog, it is as though you are asked to further interact with the site, having it enter your world of Facebook, twitter, emails, etc. This in an odd way creates more of a “community” or bonded feeling with the blog.  I not only interact with “OMG I’m getting married” on the actual site, but am constantly in touch with it through my Facebook feed and twitter.

By using the diverse social media elements, they act as constant reminders of the blog, and in turn keep people visiting the site. While I am following the “OMG I’m Getting Married” blog on twitter and Facebook, I have noticed that the author uses the social networking sites for her personal life.  At first I was confused about this, and was a bit frustrated that she took forever to accept my requests on Facebook and twitter.  I then realized however that this is simply a hobby for her, not her job, so I understood perhaps why she didn’t reply to the majority of comments on her blog, Facebook page, or tweets.

Below is an example of a facebook post that links viewers to her blog.  Also, you can see that the author posts and writes about her friends- sharing their weddings, photos, and stories.  

Here is a screen shot from the blogs facebook page.  Being that it was a post about chocolate, I had to check out the blog, commenting on the delicious looking cakes!  Thanks to “Chocolate Week” in October, I baked an amazing cake, and shared this post with a friend via Facebook.

Another unique feature to the blog is the “Folksonomy” element, which we discussed in lecture.  Here, visitors to the blog can “OMG” it, a feature similar to “like” on Facebook.  This created a user generated hierarchal system of favorites within the site, arising from the users themselves.  Besides the “OMG” feature at the bottom of every post, there are also likes to other sociable/sharing elements- such as stumble upon, delicious, digg, etc.