Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Future of Blogging

The future of this blog is always something to think about. Many bloggers I have talked to have this exact same thing on their minds. As many of us enter our late 20's, the drive behind our careers may or may not change drastically. Where exactly will we grow from here? Will we want to be doing exactly what we do now in our futures? How will our current digital presence mature as we mature as individuals? Do we think our careers will revolve around fashion for the rest of our lives? Will we still be having the same urge to share our outfits with you all? Currently, for me at least, this is all left in a big pile called the great unknown. Things have changed so much since I started this blog way back in 2009, which was right around the time I graduated college. I started this blog just as a hobby and as a creative outlet. Never in a million years did I think I could make a living running this thing. But thanks to a little thing called social media and Instagram (INSTAHAM as I like to call it sometimes) everything I do on here has gotten the chance to gain a whole lot of exposure. But a lot of times I miss how blogging was like before social media blew up and Instagram took over. None of this existed way back at the beginnings of DYLANA/SUAREZ (previously Color Me Nana, and before that Dylana in Wonderland . . . cringe). It started to make me wonder, do people even care to visit the blog to read more beyond just a pretty photo? Or would they rather just see something quick on Instagram and call it a day? 

To me, social media is a both a really awesome thing and also a really not very awesome thing. It's awesome because I wouldn't be writing you right now from the comfort of my own bed and actually saying this is my job. It's awesome because I have the freedom to share as much or as little of my life as possible on here, and actually get quite a meaningful response to what I put out there from a good amount of those who visit. Whether it be via a comment, a tweet, or an email, it really is crazy to think that some of you out there really take the time out of your day to put in some extra feedback and thoughts. It's also awesome because I get to do a lot of different things I love to do on a daily basis and I never feel limited. I'm my own boss and I have a lot of control and it feels amazing. Not a lot can say that. 

On the other side of the spectrum, sometimes (maybe a lot of times) social media can lend a superficial aspect to how we view the lives of others in relation to our own. This superficiality can definitely force one to lose focus on the authenticity of the content put out there. Social media (Instagram in particular) is designed to showcase a perspective that will get a positive response from viewers (a.k.a. a lot of likes). And especially today, brands work with bloggers based solely on the amount of followers they have as opposed to the actual quality of the content. In reality, numbers-wise, I am nowhere near some of the girls who run fashion blogs out there. But at the same time I am consistently working, and I feel like the quality of my work is the game changer for me. I work hard, I'm passionate, and I just happen to have a blog that connects me to more people than if I didn't have a blog. As a blogger, it's not my main goal to work with the biggest and most influential brands out there (although at times I do have the opportunity to do so, which is quite amazing), but it's not the driving force behind the growth of my blog and of my work. 

Personally, I feel like I get the most out of what I do when I am working with the smaller brands, even start ups, who build up these amazing ideas from almost nothing. To be a part of something from the tiny beginning to the end product on a smaller scale level is far more interesting to me. Mostly because it means that I am so much more involved from the get go. I appreciate the industry more when I am actually down and getting my hands dirty. You know, doing the grunt work, as opposed to signing a big contract with a big brand for so and so number of social media posts. Hey, those are nice, too, and I love to support big brands I believe in and who think I am influential, but personally I get the most out of projects I can be thoroughly involved in. I learn the most that way, too.

I work hard to keep it as real as I can on here. Behind the cool outfits, fun parties, and prettier side of the industry is a whole lot of work, organization and spreading myself thin a lot of the times. I do get comments here and there about selling out whenever I put a sponsored-style post out there, and I can't deny that I do this. But as times changed, a lot on here will have to change, too, especially with me doing this full-time. But I promise that everything you will read and see on here is real and true. 

So as a follower of the social media/digital world, what do you guys think? How many of you are actually coming here to learn, read beyond the pictures and dig a little deeper? And how many of you prefer just the visual aspects and inspirations; to be constantly updated with just bits and pieces via other social media platforms, such as Instagram or (dare I say it) Snapchat. Where do you see blogs in five years? This last one is always interesting for me to think about. I think blogs will still be around. There will always be those dedicated readers who will keep on coming back, as others come and go at a much more exponential rate. But in the long run, I think those bloggers with something actually meaningful to say beyond just the chic outfits, designers digs and glistening vacation snaps will survive. Quality over quantity. I like leaving a blog feeling inspired not to just dress well, but to live well. Those blogs that help me think about more meaningful things than just the best ways to layer in winter. Those are the blogs I'll keep on reading five years from now. 


Michael said...

This is very interesting theme to think about and to talk about..
But to your questions: I am happy when I can read some more interesting things or thoughts in a post, personally I don't like post with photos and one sentence about what the person is wearing. This is , in my eyes, very cheap and poor and very often it ends that I unfollow and never come back.
Social media are fine, mostly facebook, for some quick updates etc. Instagram too. But, as you wrote, I hate when brands are looking just on followers..today, when you are able to buy follower, likes for few dollars it is hilarious.. It is sad that companies are not looking for quality but quantity.
And where I see blogs in five years? They will be still here and I hope they will be NOT overloaded with vlogs, because, to be honest, I like to read posts when I am traveling in subway or bus, but who has so large data rate for his mobile phone to see tons of videos? No one =D. So I hope blogs will be still alive, with quality content and thoughts, with nice photos and inspirational people.. and if not, let you and me and others connect our powers together =D

Thanks for nice thoughtful post, Dylana..
Have a nice Tuesday,


I have been blogging for the last 3-4 years in English. English is not my first language and I wish sometimes I could write better (like you) because this post says a lot of things I've been thinking a lot and sometimes don't know how to put in words. I'm in my early 30's and I basically feel like a grandma of blogging haha however having blog has been an amazing experience that has allowed me to live things I never thought I would. So I'm very greatful for that. If I'm 100% honest most fashion bloggers bore me. It's always the same, everybody is wearing the same thing, same photos, it's hard to find something unique but then you find blogs that you can see and feel the personality and the passion and that is a beautiful thing. With social media we can reach faster, however I don't think people are digging enough, it's all very surface level and we are not connecting. Connecting with people online and off-line is very important, this type of posts remind us to dig deeper, thank you for writting this!

Hallie Steiner said...

Lovely post, Dylana! I haven't read much of your blog, but I see a lot of you and Nat on Instagram and it's nice to actually hear the voice behind all the stylish photos. Love to both of you.


danielle and dinosaur toes said...

I've wondered about blogs many, many times, and while I do think that Instagram has taken the place of many blog posts (sometimes, mine is included in that lot), I hope that's not a sign that blogs' days are numbered. I like seeing more than one picture, and I like being able to get a better sense of who the blogger is, which is something I don't think can be done through just one picture in a sea of many, on an app I don't always sit down and look through the way I do blogs.

So, having said all that, I've read your blog for several years now and I'd hate to see it go!

Lacee Swan said...

very well and beautifully written Dylana! I usually just look at pretty pictures, part of my artist nature, but I stopped to read this one : ) I agree, quality over quantity!

lacee swan

Nikki Williams said...

i couldn't agree more! i think a nice instagram photo can only go so far. in order to be in this for the long haul, its the meaningful words and personal relationships that will help the blogging world to extend past being "the cool new thing" to being something that is a permanent part of people's lives.

the blogs where people really share about themselves and their lives are always the ones i come back to.

xx nikki

Mindy said...

This is such a great topic, one that I've contemplated before starting my blog. I'm glad you shared your thoughts because you've been doing this for years so it's great to hear an OG's perspective. I agree with you on every aspect of this post. The ones that'll last will definitely be the ones that have more to offer beyond pretty clothes and photos. That being said, most bloggers don't write like you do. Your writing and your perspective on things is what makes you stand out. When I visit your blog I'm happy to read long thought provoking posts such as this one and a lot of others you've written because you make me think about real shit and I really appreciate that. Other blogs on my list mainly serve as inspiration, some I speed through because the quality of the writing just isn't there. Some don't even proofread their posts before posting! I can't tell you how annoying it is when I'm reading a post from a well known blogger and I catch grammatical errors. Complete turn-off! As far as the future of blogging, you hit the nail on the head when you said the ones with quality will outlast the others. I'll still be reading as long as people have something meaningful to say or leave me feeling inspired in some way.

Mindy | Blonde Nouveau

Unknown said...

I was so excited to read this post after seeing the announcement on Instaham haha. I don't know what will happen, but it will change and quicker than we expect it to as it is based on technology and who can keep up with that?! I am constantly grappling with my future in blogging. My interests change, my wants, and my thoughts..will my readers still care to follow my blog if it isn't changes from what they originally liked it for? But if I think about what my blog is to me, a record/an open journal I am happy to let it evolve for the better or worse because I think if I am lucky enough to make it to an old age I will be happy to look back on all my years of blogging and see what life I led, what person I was and who I became.




Frannie Pantz said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this. Honestly, I can't give you the long drawn out comment that I want to because I am doing this on the DL at work LOL but I can say this--I have followed your blog for about four years. You are one of the first blogs I ever followed. I have always loved and appreciated your style as well as your sister's. I can see where you are coming from with the social media standpoint. I have almost been blogging for four years and I am a very "small potatoes" blog. I've wanted it to grow, but don't put as much effort into it as I could or should probably because it IS just a hobby for me. I love your free style and I do hope that you keep it up!

Unknown said...

Dylana, thanks for sharing and expressing it the way you did. It couldn't be more clear... I think that blogs should never disappear because like you said, with all the social media, a blog is a better way to dig more into a topic.
People that call themselves bloggers and don't write anything on their blogs and just post photos are not real bloggers. They are just one in a million influencers on the web with a nice Instagram account.

Princess Audu said...

Loved this post, I've been blogging for about 1 year now which is in baby years compared to yours but as much as I love blogging, as you said there is so much similarity among bloggers these days. It's posts like this that I love seeing from bloggers, something deeper maybe about what inspires them in life which is why I always read the texts in posts. In a few years I honestly think a lot of bloggers will stop using their blogs and rely solely on social media. I have seen a lot of upcoming bloggers doing this already. People these days are always in a rush, which is why social media is so successful.

Princess Audu

Petite Maison of Fashion said...

I honestly am scared about the blogging world. My blog is quite new compared to yours, mine's just two years and counting. I started this blog as a freshman in High School after about three years of avidly reading French fashion blogs (I am bilingual). I devoured everything they wrote, saved their pictures to my desktop and reread some of their posts. I'd leave long heartfelt comments responding to their writing.
I feel as though I missed out on the Golden Age of blogging. I got here too late because I am too young and missed the train with all of you lovely bloggers from 2007 and later. I feel that then, blogging was more communal. People left comments because they cared. I wish I had known that time.

Petite Maison of Fashion ♥

Carina said...

Well, that`s a really nice post. Dylana! And I think that Instagram or any other social media will never change blogging. I personally like reading interesting things bloggers write in their post.
I really hope that in five years blogs will still be here as they are now!

Love from Estonia,

Unknown said...

Dylana this is the reason your blog is my absolute favourite. You are SOOO much more interesting and real than a lot of the "bigger" bloggers out there. Sure, I love looking at pretty photos but I also love to read into someones thoughts and your blog has both. You are my biggest inspiration at the moment, keep up your amazing work!

Rosie www.rosiemay.co.nz

Jeanne said...

Very inspirational post Dylana! So meaningful! Thanks for sharing these thoughts about the blogging industry!

Shoshana said...

This is a great post. It's long but I didn't mind taking the time to read it. I'm a blogger and much like in life, I've very wordy/chatty. When I write a post I like to give a little color on what's taking place or something about the piece I'm wearing. Maybe it's a new style I'm trying, maybe it's a color I disliked as a child but now love. Sometimes I pull out my sewing machine and do major alterations on a piece and I speak to that. It varies but what is consistent, I do my best to try and only give 5/6 photos and keep it to 3 paragraphs if possible.

I don't mind if a person only gives me photos of what they're wearing, doing or location they're visiting. I mean, my routine is look through all the pics, then read what they've written, look through the pics again and then write a comment. But only if I like what I see.
What I do hate is when a blogger gives you 10 photos and they're pretty much all the same. Turning your body half an inch doesn't change the look much. I look movement, I like close-ups, I like to see detailing & fabrication. Not to mention the fuzzy, blurry, grainy, taken to far away pics. No, I'm not talking about when one changes the exposure or shutter flash timing. I mean, just terrible photos. Its worth it to spend the money on a good SLR. I have a great camera & two different tripods. However, mainly I work with a photographer. I do so when I'm home here in NYC. If I'm away at our ski house or summer house, I have a friend or my boyfriend take the pics. If no one is available, I pull out the tripods Ok, I've gone on enough.


Lauren said...

This post was very interesting and insightful!

I'm definitely drawn to blogs that are heavy with photographic content, but I also love to read their posts after each set of photos. I'm really big on learning more about a blogger's personality, aside from the pictures, and I think the best way to do so is through writing!


susie said...

You are such an amazing smart girl and heard you are an English major from UCLA.Your blog makes me want to come back and you have said it all about the blogging world of these girls looking all glamorous but nothing like you HONEST. I also came across some real cheaters who buys followers and likes in the thousand everyday. I will never get bore reading your amazing stuff everyday, keep going girl !!

Aurélie said...

Dear Dylana,

First time I leave a comment here because this time I really want you to know that you are my first click of the day. Because I love READING you, I have shared so many of your thoughts on FB, your words really calm me down and bring me peace. I am currently looking for a job and sometimes it feels so hard not giving up after one, two rejections.. But you always have the right words, and you give me the strength to carry on and for that, I am grateful.

Thank you for your amazing work, your amazing words,

Aurélie from France

Dani said...

I've thought about this a lot lately - how blogs have evolved, what they are today, what they were when I started (after graduating college, too!). It's kind of amazing to think that so many people can make a straight-up living from these things, and it's encouraging and inspirational to see the truly talented take it to another level.

And at the same time, it can be really depressing. I mean, I'm not on here for the reasons I used to be. I left the fashion industry in NYC because I got so fed up with the artificial and the frivolity and the straight-up wastefulness of the whole thing. Disposable clothing, disposable lifestyles, etc. Which made me reconsider what I look for in a blog. I miss art taking a center stage - whether film, photography, actual tangible art, writing, whatever. I miss it. I feel like there are so many "Tom Dick & Harry" blogs out there today that are some girl in an outfit post, one sentence under a couple photos, and that gives me really no incentive to follow most blogs anymore. What I look for and appreciate most, are those who are TRYING. Trying to make art, trying to make a living, trying to be themselves.

I think that there will be so many changes to come, but I think that the dime a dozen bloggers will really be phased out, because there are so many in the market today that only the cream will rise to the top, as they say.

Thanks for this post!

Unknown said...

I can't really say much that hasn't already been said, but I 100% prefer content over tons of photos. In fact, I usually leave blogs that don't provide content because I want to get to know the person! The whole purpose of putting yourself out there is to teach and learn and connect. Sharing. If I can't learn something about the author, I lose interest. So I sincerely hope we don't go the Instagram route, because as much as I love IG, it can never replace the relationships you can build through running a blog. That said, whatever happens with you and your site, good luck! xoxo


Unknown said...

I knew directly from the photo (on Facebook) that this blogpost is a sepcial one! And I loved to read it!
It reflects perfectly my own thoughts about it! It's hard to find authentic people on the internet and social media. As you say it can be really awesome, but it's also the otherway around! Reaching and connecting with so much people around the world is really something special for our generation. But it also brings often more fastness and superficality to our lives! We just need to remind ourself a bit often to calm down and take some time to read a good blogpost ;)

Love at First Blush said...

I started reading your blog back when it was Color me Nana. That was when blogging was at its peak and I was following other blogs religiously, being inspired and also updating my own blog the most frequent.

Nowadays there are just too many bloggers doing the same thing, and its not as interesting or as personal as it was back then. I think you hit the nail on the head by saying the quality of your work is the game changer.

I think we are all sick of the superficial side of things and hopefully the future of blogging will be about creating work that inspires, makes us think, and question the world around us. With that being said, I'm intrigued to see what your next post will be.

Flor Gaona said...

I agree with you!!!! Love your blog ;) kisses from Argentina!

pops said...

your degree from UCLA in english lit. did not hurt either sure shows in your post!you are amazing!

Kirby said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Dylana. And for allowing your readers to share their thoughts as well. I have recently started my blog back up and I have been confused on where I should take it because Social Media has changed the landscape so much. I am so happy that people still value the quality over quantity that inspired me to blog in the first place. I think that the quality blogs will be around for the long run. Thank you for inspiring me to follow my heart & instinct <3

Kirby said...
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Kirby said...
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Unknown said...

Great post. I was thinking te exact thing lately. In my opinion instagram is now a success as it was twitter but it will die sooner or later and what stills is the blog, that is really us: cute photos and great texts as this one that shows a bigger part of us.xoxo juls