26 March 2009

meta post: blogging bloggers on blogging

we bloggers are a funny group- willing to broadcast bits and pieces of our lives anonymously over the internets for any and all to see, but we can be sometimes surprisingly shy in person, even reticent to publicize ourselves. funny that, when you consider that's basically what we do every time we hit the publish button.

such was the case today, when at noon, m21 saw the following message on his facebook page, posted by fellow blogger, megan of beach bungalow 8:

"going to the PDC to speak on blogging and design......"

um, excuse me? and why was this not publicized on your blog?

m21 lives 5 minutes from the pacific design center, so he was on their website in a flash to find out when and where this secret blog lecture was taking place! he was already pissed at himself for missing stephen salny's lecture about his tremendous new book on michael taylor on wednseday, so he wasn't going to miss meeting megan in person on thursday! (we've never met face to face, but we've emailed a bunch & we crack each other up on the FB).

turns out this mystery event was a blog panel co-hosted by schumacher and decorati, presented as part of west week and titled "the influence of the design blogger" (we did not know we had influence but we like it. makes m21 feel important- "we have influence and we're gonna use it!" yeah, right...). the panel featured andrew puschel from schumacher, timothy corrigan, AD100 designer and decorati guest blogger (who knew that a designer of his stature had time to blog, right?), mark cutler of mark cutler design, shane reilly of decorati access blog & shane’s studio, and finally our own shy little megan arquette of beach bungalow 8- who didn't publicize her appearance for fear she "might say something embarrassing" (she didn't- she was funny and articulate, and as beautiful in person, as in her photos).
the panel: mark cutler, megan arquette, shane reilly, timothy corrigan, and andrew puschel

even without megan's publicizing the event, the lecture was was packed- standing room only (bonus of the event, standing next to m21 was coleen of coleen & company, another email only friend- until today, of course! fun!). they even had to cut the question and answer portion off at the end because of too much interest.

the discussion was lively, and full of interesting stuff- everything from the trivial (megan does not want el pollo loco ads on her blog) to pretty significant stuff- if a designer of timothy corrigan's status says every designer should be online and blogging to "build their brand", well, then maison21 is verrrrry glad he started awhile back...

megan also believes that we should be using facebook, myspace and twitter for promotion (really, do i hafta tweet?), and mark cutler spoke of how he has met overseas clients he otherwise might not have, solely because of his blog (note: maison21 will accept commissions in any world class city, preferably london or paris- 'cuz, you know- there is a such a lack of design talent in those spots, and all).

the panel was split on publicist's soliciting press for their clients- shane from decorati was all for it, and megan, while she didn't mind receiving press releases from publicists, preferred a more personal approach, with emails directly from the artist or designer as much more likely be noticed. maison21 couldn't agree more on that one- if you can't at least bother to address your email with maison21's name, then it's nothing more than spam ("m21" will do, if you are too lazy to do a little research to find out my christian name). m21 also thinks it's a good idea to know the blog you are soliciting to see if your product is a good fit- a hip local dress designer might not be a good fit here at maison21, but would totally work at megan's, and if you are an up and coming los angeles interior designer, you would be TOTALLY barking up the wrong tree to solicit m21 for press (there was lots of discussion about that too- how we designers are competitors, but for the first time via the blogs, have a friendly forum in which to exchange ideas and resources, and so true that- the best part of this whole blogging deal is being a part of our community. i love you guys). ;-)

there were also lots of "how do i start a blog" and "how do you think of stuff to blog about?" questions too- if that room was any indication, you'll be seeing lots and lots more design blogs in your future- not a bad thing, in m21's humble opinion- after all, isn't decorating everyone's favorite subject to talk about?

thanks megan, for your great work today! (read megan's own recap here). m21 had a blast, and is thrilled to have finally met you (and coleen) in person. we look forward to seeing both of you again this saturday! oops- did we just say that? watch this space for the announcement of a *very* special weekend event...


Mrs. Blandings said...

It sounds like a great discussion - what fun to have it in a room full of people and not just on line.

beachbungalow8 said...

seriously, thank you so much for coming Christian. It was so fun to see my 'friends' out in the audience. It was a huge honor to be a part of that group.

beachbungalow8 said...

oh and see ya saturday!

Suzy said...

How lucky you are - sounds like it was a great event. Who knew we had such influence? Pity people in HK have barely even heard the word blog...let alone take any notice of them!

Things That Inspire said...

I would have loved the Q&A! Sounds like a fun event.

One thing that I have been wondering is why so many great designers do not even have websites. Did this topic come up at all? Do you think that some designers are hoping to use a blog as a substitute for a website? I think they serve different purposes.

maison21 said...

mrs b- it was really great to actually discuss blogging with real live people- i've never done that before! all my blogging friends (like you) are flung far and wide!

megan, thank you for speaking! you are a far braver girl than i (tee hee). i can speak anyone's ear off, and in small groups, i can be the loudest one in the bunch, but in front of a room full of strangers? i would have frozen up like a popsicle. you really did an amazing job.

suzy, it was kind of crazy to have an influential group of industry leaders, emphatically state that if you were a designer without web presence, you are toast. magazines just aren't enough any more- the audience is too sophisticated now and wants to be part of the process with us, not just passive observers.

it really was a fascinating conversation, and one that the people in hong kong will be having soon as well, i'm sure.

inspire- it really was fun, and you bring up a excellent point. it did come up today, but only tangentially in the context of teh larger disussion. i've always thought that my blog was enough- if you want to see my work, you can find it by browsing through. now, i'm not so sure- perhaps it's time for a static portfolio based website, AND a blog too. and i need to twitter. the gist of the discussion today was we need to use ALL these things to connect with our audience and grow our brand.

oy vey! when will i have time to actually design?

katiedid said...

Hi Christian-
What fun! Meeting Megan would have been great. I wish I could have seen you two together! Instant party. ;)
How to find stuff to blog about does get hard once and awhile. I am having blogger's block at the moment myself! And Twitter?!?! I have been perceiving it as a huge time waster....but maybe not so much? Just joined facebook by BTW! I'll look for you!

Linda Merrill said...

Sounds very interesting - we need this in Boston! (actually, am working on doing this in Boston as we speak!)

But, I went to talk 2 weeks ago by Milton Pedraza of the Luxury Institute on high end luxury in the current economy and he was all over the need for designers to have websites and do the social networking thing. And when polled, very few of the, oh I don't know, 400 designers in the room said they had any kind of web presence.

As another aside, a very talented designer friend of mine just lost out on a big job because her website was old and out of date. The potential client, who had received a very good personal endorsement about my friend, had checked out her website and never even called her! Meanwhile, her current work is wonderful. She's busy getting a new website up and running now!

Bonnie said...

Oh I wish I could go to these kind of things... This sounds so interesting and the people seem really nice. What a great opportunity... looks like you had a lot of fun!!!!!!!!

Just my little two cents... after looking at a zillion blogs and interior designer's websites, I like seeing both together and an excellent example would be Patricia Gray's. Nothing short of spectacular! Have your website with the business and pics of current projects, and make a link to your blog. It makes me feel there is a greater possibility for a connection. I have noticed many top designers do not have a blog and I would love to know more about them... cuz Im a Looky-Loo and just LOVE interior design... what can I say. :)

Nicole Cohen said...

Hey M21,

I am a serious fan of your blog and you have inspired me to write my own!!! As a former freelance writer and interior design student, I love the world of decor blogging.
Please check out my blog and add me to your blogroll if you like it! Thanks!