FIRST THOUGHT: Blogging Boom
Guys. The first blog appeared in 1994. Can you believe it? A student started a page called “Justin’s Links From the Underground,” and 10 years later, The New York Times called him the “founding father of personal bloggers.” At the same time that I learned this fun fact, a Facebook friend of mine posted a harsh complaint about her six-year-old daughter, which begs the question: What’s too much to share online? I think the simple way to answer this is to picture yourself in a scenario where you run into your neighbor, your coworker, your high school fling. After you greet them cordially, would you actually say the thing you’d post about them online, to their face?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 31.7 Million
I’m always the most drawn to blogs that offer authentic content, versus ones that have the sole purpose of making me click on something, buy something or comment on something. Since Justin started posting his links years ago, Internet readers have become much more aware of what’s just content for content’s sake and what’s genuine. It can be tough to discriminate, though, with the likelihood that by 2020, there will be 31.7 million bloggers.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Leandra Medine, Founder of Man Repeller
Have you ever flipped through Vogue and wondered who those people are that live like that? That magazine has always made me feel like fashion is this expensive and unattainable thing; that to be fashionable, you need a Chanel, a Gucci, a name or brand that tells everyone you know what fashion is. Thankfully, millions of bloggers have helped me see the light, and one of them (and today’s Woman to Watch), Leandra Medine, has given me the confidence to wear whatever the hell I want.
Leandra started the popular website Man Repeller as a junior in college. At first, she set up the blog as a potential addition to her resume to score future writing gigs. Readers, though, were drawn to Leandra’s content because it has that authentic element I was talking about. So, she began to write intrinsically sincere essays that she herself would want to read.
Man Repeller combines real fashion flavor with a healthy dose of self-deprecation and open-minded humor. The site assumes you are a smart lady and boasts smart commentaries on subjects that are often seen as fluffy. Leandra and her “small but mighty” team describe Man Repeller as being “amorphous,” meaning it’s the place to come, no matter how you’re feeling or doing.
About five years ago, Leandra wrote her first book, in which she connects the outfits she used to wear with more significant moments in her life. The title of her blog and book is a comeback to those silly magazine articles that claim if you want a man, what you wear matters: that you shouldn’t dress for yourself, but that you need to dress for what your future man might want. (I’m guessing that means no sequins.) Let’s just say Leandra’s having none of that BS.
While Leandra’s mission has changed shape over the years, she’s managed to maintain the same idea: provide content that talks to women instead of at them. Leandra also gives credit where credit’s due by providing an actual masthead with every woman on the team’s name. She believes the people you surround yourself with contribute directly to your own success, as well as the success of your company.
QUITE THE QUOTE
As our Woman to Watch, Leandra Medine, said:
"If you take the 'ist' out of "mistake," it becomes "make." As in MAKE great things."