UPDATED on 11/17.
Today I sat on a panel called "Are Blogs the New Black?" at the launch of Open Source Media at the Rainbow Room. It was a very curious situation, speaking on a panel about fashion and beauty blogging in front of an audience full of political bloggers and the people who love them. I was joined by the wonderful Kim Weinstein of I Am Pretty NYC, Christa Weber aka Never teh Bride, and international arbiter of style Tom Julian. The Manolo contributed his trademark wit and wisdom from an undisclosed location...very mysterious and intriguing!
Then there was Elizabeth Hayt, who began with this attractive piece of wisdom: "I hate blogs, I don't read them. I think they're for rich people with too much time on their hands to vent." Well now, Elizabeth! You hate blogs, but you nevertheless agree to grace us with your presence at the launch of a blog-centric media company. Oh, wait...less than 30 seconds later the true reason for her presence was made clear. She brought a copy of her new book to the stage with her and informed the audience that it is currently available at Barnes & Noble at 20% off. I see.
Based on the live-blogging posts I've read, I think I can venture a conservative guess that our panel was less than successful, but it was a fun experience nonetheless. I've only been doing this 2 months and the opportunity to talk about blogging in front of an audience that included John Podhoretz, David Corn, Larry Kudlow, and Judy Miller was well worth being called "mean-spirited" by Ms. Hayt.
There were so many great topics we could have focused on, notably, whether bloggers staking their claim in the Wild West of the blogosphere pose a threat to traditional journalists and "stylemakers," especially in the elitist fashion and beauty world. The Manolo has a great post about this; he speaks, quite sagely, of the democratization of fashion. I'm sure all of us would have had inspiring things to say on that topic, yet the panel quickly degraded into a debate over whether blogging was mean-spirited, and we all had to listen to Hayt compare herself to "Ann Coulter in a room full of liberals."
Along with the other fashionistas, I stayed for the second panel, but opted to skip out on the remainder of the day. I feared that I might be compelled to give unsolicited makeup advice to LaShawn Barber. I was also slightly concerned that I might be caught in a Bridget Jones-type moment if engaged in conversation with the politicos. I recalled this scene from Bridget Jones' Diary:
Interviewer: And what do you think of the El Nino phenomenon?
Bridget: It's a blip. Latin music's on its way out.
Admittedly, I am not the most well-versed person when it comes to Valerie Plame or Karl Rove. I can, however, comment at length about Harriet Miers' eyeliner. As such, I decided to spend my afternoon shopping at Saks, hence avoiding what I hear was a very stimulating discussion on whether Jesus would have been a Libertarian. Not sure what I could have contributed to that one. I think maybe He was a Socialist.
If you want the scoop, you can read some of the live-blogging mania here:
Wizbang: Kevin Aylward
Jeff Jarvis: BuzzMachine
Also see my followup post.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
UPDATED on 11/17.
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