Hey, do any of you guys read Wired? Do you recognize the cover girl to the left, from Wired‘s August issue? The chick with the Ashley Dupre-esque shoes? If not, here’s the bare essentials: Her name is Julia Allison. She blogs on her own site, XOJulia.com; she’s also a dating columnist with Time Out New York, and, up until recently, was the talking head for Star on various news and entertainment shows. She’s been called “the modern day Carrie Bradshaw” by the New York Times. She recently left Star to pursue her own web venture, NonSociety.com, a site which basically just puts her personal blog (if you go to xojulia.com you’ll be redirected to nonsociety.com) alongside the personal blogs of her partners-in-crime, Mary Rambin (sister to soap star Levin Rambin) a handbag designer and spin instructor, and Meghan Asha, a self-proclaimed tech blogger whose dad is, like, a big deal in Silicon Valley. Rambin blogs about style and nutrition (her knowledge of both is up for debate, but she does wear Chanel flats and gets colonics), while Asha blogs about technology (or at least her perspective on technology — i.e. I am not so sure Bill Gates would consider her a tech blogger). Julia, on the other hand, blogs solely about herself. Which is why she is on the cover of Wired when there are many, many, many, many bloggers out on the interweb worthy of that honor. Because Julia, you see, is a brand. And branding oneself via internet oversharing is the new branding yourself via panty-less table dancing (a la Paris Hilton). Julia, and the validation she has received from Wired, has got us thinking about the whole notion of blogging, its importance in the general tech-o-sphere, and where The Frisky fits in. Read on…Titled “Internet Famous: Julia Allison And The Secrets Of Self-Promotion”, the article details Julia’s rise to internet celebrity, which has come as a result of revealing every single solitary detail of her life on her blog, including exploits with men, breakups, fights with friends and family, and the tiniest minutiae, like standing in line at the deli. All of this sounds extremely boring, I know, but I must admit to following her blogging with a shameful persistence. But unlike a lot of the people I sort of, kind of obsess over, I don’t want to be anything like her.
So, even though I have been doing this blogging thing for a little while now, I am still a total technological idiot. I consider myself a “geek” but really only because I still like to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation and like to do math puzzles for fun. I am no tech expert just because I blog. Julia Allison and her friends, on the other hand, have modeled themselves after this idea of hot nerd girls, girls who just LOVE TECH and, like, are making tech sexy again. Allison, Rambin, and Asha launched NonSociety.com not because they really think they’re the future of blogging (though their site claims to want to encourage people to “live differently”), but as a platform for their reality show, which allegedly is being released on Bravo and being called It Girls. This whole idea reminds us of when they started to make cast members on The Real World get a job so that they would seem more interesting. More often than not, the reality TV stars were total slackers when it came to real work and were more interested in mugging for the camera. I think it will be the same deal with It Girls.
Which brings me back to The Frisky, a blog in which we often write in first person and reveal details of our personal life. Blogging about your personal life is tricky. You can do it the Julia Allison way — branding yourself as a commodity before anything else and writing about yourself with irrepressible self worship — or you can be choosy about what you’ll reveal, not because you want attention, but because your personal story, the use of “I” has some larger purpose that, at the end of the day, is universal. Fictionally, I think the latter is what Carrie Bradshaw was trying to do (not always successfully), and therefore the Julia/Carrie comparisons are off-base. The Frisky tries to use our personal experiences to speak about something universal, as best we can anyway. We want the site to be a recognizable and respected brand, obviously, but we, the bloggers, are merely the vehicles for the brand, giving you information in the most entertaining and relatable way we can.
I have my own personal blog on the side, where I basically just save cool links or pictures or quotes, but I can’t imagine making a career out of just being…ME. I also can’t imagine anyone finding it interesting enough to make a career in being me possible. But mostly, I can’t imagine wanting to expose that much of myself, for accolades or ridicule. And, I think if you do that, you have to be willing to accept both. Allison, I suppose, is willing to accept both — and she’s scored a Wired cover because of it — but I wonder whether the small margin of the population that will care — and, sorry Wired, I think it will be pretty small — really makes up for all those that don’t. [Wired: "Internet Famous: Julia Allison And The Secrets Of Self-Promotion"]