Last Thursday I attended a panel entitled “FROM MAGAZINE TO MONITOR – THE RISE OF THE BLOG” given as part of the SCADStyle series going on through May 6th. The…

Last Thursday I attended a panel entitled “FROM MAGAZINE TO MONITOR – THE RISE OF THE BLOG” given as part of the SCADStyle series going on through May 6th. The title alone earned an add to my event calendar.  The panelist were Jaithan Kochar, Rita Konig, Nick Olsen, and Eddie Ross, moderated by Richard Mishaan. There are some snaps from the discussion.

In case you didn’t know, there is an ongoing debate in the fashion and interior design world on the relevance of blogs. Some industry experts believe bloggers are not qualified to give their opinions or guide consumer choices. They feel that bloggers create noise and more confusion when it comes to consumer buying decisions. As a blogger I love the fact that we are a community of citizen journalist who are exercising our freedom of speech. We often give an unbiased/unpaid opinion of a particular product or service and inspire one other to create beauty around us.

I’m drawn to blogs that have a voice behind them. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see beautiful inspiration images, but if you read as many as I do seeing the same images over and over gets old fast. 

Here are some thoughts to ponder (sited from Eddie Ross’ blog) regarding magazines and blogs:
  • Magazines may be shrinking in number, but the nimble shall survive
  • The best blogs are the most original—and the most authentic
  • Partnerships between the two benefit both
  • Whether you’re 18 or 81, if you’ve thought about blogging as a way to get your name out there, do it. Just be yourself and say something interesting.


ALL OPINIONS are greatly appreciated!

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  • It's L.Duncan,Erika Ward! Oh and that sure was a nice shirt that I had on! I say "was" because Tony washed it with bleach last night….great. Just great…

    I really enjoyed that night:-)

  • DesignTies
    May 3, 2010 1:21 pm

    YES, bloggers are most definitely valid contributors to the design industry. I used to frequent a couple of home decor forums. Then I started blogging, and I discovered a whole new world of resources and information on home decor. Plus I've met lots of talented people (both virtually and in real life), and a number of opportunities have opened up to me.

    Just because a blogger may not be an expert on the subject, doesn't mean that he or she doesn't have useful and valid insight and opinions. I've been educated and inspired by so many bloggers, and I hope I've done the same.


  • Marie @ M2JL STUDIO
    May 3, 2010 1:34 pm

    I totally agree with Kelly. I think bloggers are valid contributors and add something that the magazine can't. (It's a bit like comparing big chain store with a local shop).I also think blogs will eventually replace most magazines. They're eco friendly as you don't need to print them and it doesn't take a lot of time to relay the information to readers all around the world.

    Bloggers don't need to be industry experts to be able to give useful information on a product or talk about their experience using a certain product or method. They just need to be passionate about what they are talking about and be honest. I love reading all kinds of blogs. I find them inspiring and I always learn something useful.

  • Isabella & Max Rooms
    May 3, 2010 1:48 pm

    Well, my biased response is yes! They have changed the face of the industry, such a responsive and dynamic source of design information and inspiration. I learn something daily! Janell

  • keely @ luxe + lillies
    May 3, 2010 1:52 pm

    This is a really interesting debate… and I guess I'm slightly shocked that it even exists. I think if people weren't so receptive to blogs, maybe the blogosphere wouldn't nearly be what it is… and that print wouldn't be in the jam that it is. I love magazines, they are wonderful resources, but they come out so sporadically in comparison with blog updates, and they can only include so much information that they try to appeal to the masses with in their pages.I think bloggers add wonderful information, and that people have the choice to take the information they want or don't want. Reading this kind of made me think "do these top designers think there should only be a handful of designers for the entire population?" there are SO many talented people out there, with great inspiration. It seems a little ludicrous to say that the information they are putting out there isn't valid.

  • I hate that I missed this event! I was speaking the Cristi about it on Saturday and it seems that there was a little bitterness from the panelist who come from a magazine background. I think this is probably due to the fact that, after spending years working towards a career in print mags, the magazine industry is inevitably declining.

    Overall, I think blogs and magazines are good for each other; they challenge the other to do great things!

  • Divamom-Act II
    May 3, 2010 2:31 pm

    For so long industry experts have "told" consumers what they should like. What's in or out. Bloggers open up a whole new world of possibilities and with that information people can figure out for themselves what they truly love. The inspiration that's available is still only someone else's opinion, but that's ok if it helps you to discover your own true style. I'm not a designer, but by exploring the wonderfully creative and talented bloggers out here now, I have exposure to a world that would have only been available to me through a design magazine.

  • Sarah La Rose
    May 3, 2010 2:36 pm

    All I know is that I love to blog. I have met the most amazing individuals while blogging (not in person yet) and have learnt so much from other bloggers. That in itself is worth it for me. Not everyone who has design aspirations or talents should have a degree. I think free speech and free thought are important and you can't get that from a classroom.

  • JNT Interiors
    May 3, 2010 2:49 pm

    I think the blog is definitely becoming a powerful tool in the design industry! I am a design professional (educated and licensed) and I think that all the blogs I have come across are fantastic in inspiring people to see things they might never have seen as well as opening my eyes to many resources I never knew! Keep up the good work ladies!!!

  • Yes! I love reading blogs and shelter mags. I'm so inspired to see ‘real peoples’ creativity and so what they’re doing to turn their house into a place they love. I also love the sharing aspect that blogs doing from simple diy projects to great resource for fabric, home décor ideas, spots I might not known about. I also love how blogs build a sense of community. As a consumer, it’s important to for mags editors to hear our voices..just my thoughts

  • Yes, bloggers are absolutely relevant – it's a brand new world, baby! It's called the democratization of information and taste – for better or worse. But it is a world of much chaos and information overload. And like you, I most like blogs with a POV, their own style, creating their own thing, versus doing a lot of rehash Rehash can be tiring.

  • I think now that we are in a world where things are immediate and we love instant gratification that bloggers have become more and more popular. I don't have to wait for the mailman to deliver my print magazine to get my fix. I can just switch on my computer and hit up a few of my favorite bloggers for some instant gratification decor porn. While I know I am just reading someones opinion in any media the blog world seems to have a larger voice these days. I mean when my Elle Decor magazine didnt come one month I blogged about it and Margaret Russell, the queen of the design world, found my little old blog and commented. If that is not an amazing thing then I don't know what is.

    So jealous of your trip- it looks like you got to meet some amazing people!

  • Hello Lover...
    May 3, 2010 8:13 pm

    I think the question whether or not bloggers are VALID contributors to the fashion and interior design industry is completely subjective. From my point of view they are completely relevant. Any person involved in the design/arts/fashion industry in any way shape or form, to me, is relevant to the industry. These are industries revolving around imagination, individuality, and self expression. I agree that there is a difference between blogs posting inspiration images found via magazines and other blogs and online resources versus blogs full of their own opinions and their own work and projects. But either way they can both open up people to things they have never seen/imagined prior and isn't that what this industry is supposed to be about?

  • ashlina {the decorista}
    May 3, 2010 8:15 pm

    im sorry. eddie's #1 fan is right here! lol jk. YOU two look great together. and that JAITHAN. loooove me some of him!!!!!!! and sigh. RITA KONIG is my uber hero. i absolutely love her.

    I think that blogging is the first time I have been able to express my design taste and see others, it has given me great motivation and ideas and blogging has busted the world for the talent of so many to grow!
    GO BLOGGERS!!!!!!!

  • Hi Erika! I think that people need to realize that bloggers and magazines completely feed off of each other. Having the forum for idea exchange open wider is a good thing, it forces both the publishing and design industries to be more creative and push the limits. Most magazines have come around, perhaps as they realized that many of their own writers had blogs of their own (a couple in Atlanta come to mind!). But in an age where publishing is experiencing different challenges than ever before, I don't think it takes much to feel worried about what might be competition and what might not. I agree with Eddie, magazines have nothing to worry about! Collaboration brings about better material and more to writing topics. I think the magazine industry has honestly improved over the past few years as far as substance goes. We can all work together here! 🙂

  • my favorite and my best
    May 4, 2010 12:01 am


  • Redesign Diva
    May 4, 2010 12:35 am

    What do I think?

    1. It's about time we(consumers) give our unbiased opinion about fashion, design, and products, as this industry has been highly monopolized, by few people, for a long time

    2. I also see a business opportunity here.

    do you see it?

    Trust me..the panel does.

  • This is such an interesting subject. There are days when I think the design blogosphere is so inspiring and others when I wonder who these authors are, praising work which I sometimes look at and yawn (sometimes because I've seen the same thing on 5 different blogs). On one hand, I hope by blogging to get my work noticed and at the same time, be inspired and see what's new in residential design. So by doing that, do I justify the validity of design bloggers? On the other hand, and maybe a snobbish one, I compare their education (Some have formal training, some don't- I acknowledge that) to those who have studied color, theory, history, and principles of interior design, to those who just select a pretty picture and write about it. I can't come to a conclusion- I welcome the open discussion about it though- thanks Erika. And no matter what, I will continue to subscribe to blulabelbungalow; I DO love your blog!

  • Hell yeah bloggers have a valid voice. A piece of paper does not make one the best at anything. Dont get me started. Thats the problem. People dont think there is room for anything else because they want the "world" to themselves. There are enough nuts for all of us…

  • Sally@DivineDistractions
    May 4, 2010 1:18 pm

    There are groups within the design industry who want to be the sole arbiter of what is worthy and good design. I think some of them are threatened by bloggers and unlicensed designers because their numbers are growing and opening up the industry to many more voices. They're loosing exclusivity and it's making them nervous. Bloggers are becoming the new influencers, so the debate will continue. As a designer, I've been inspired by bloggers, and I think I'm a better designer for it. You have to keep current, and bloggers are proving that they can set the trend as well as anyone else…maybe better. Keep writing, girls!

  • looks like gorgeous event… :))))


  • Talking with Tami
    May 4, 2010 1:32 pm

    I think blogs are very relevant. I love them and to see how creative and unique people are. Blogs put a smile on my face each and every day. My blog is only 2 yrs old and Im still a work in progress but I truly love expressing myself. Yeah to bloggers! Woot!

  • Tonia {Chic Modern Vintage}
    May 4, 2010 8:57 pm

    YES for sure bloggers are qualified. Plain and Simple. However, only the fit-est will survive though. Most give up only after a few months. Blogging for sure is only those who are truly dedicated and committed, and I for one am hooked since I started. I'm trying to find m way, but I will not be giving up. Thanks Erika for this post! Always.

  • Lori Sawaya (funcolors)
    May 5, 2010 8:11 am

    I started blogging about color because so much of what I was reading in said magazines about architectural color was painfully amateurish, mostly redundant, and all too often simply bad information.

    From what I am able to deduce, in several instances the expert sources the magazines like to turn to are grossly lacking in real-world experience and fundamental color expertise. I find myself paging thru popular shelter magazines and blurting out "where in the hell do they find these people and why are they quoting them?"

    Official and allegedly authoritative websites and blogs aren't much better — and that goes for leaders in the paint industry too who like to market themselves as experts on all things color.

    And yet, if I'm reading this right, it's the experts at the magazines questioning the expertise and ability of bloggers to inform readers?

    Once I quit laughing and got reseated in my chair I was able to craft a comment.

    They absolutely should be squirming in their seats over bloggers competing for consumer's confidence and trust. They have homework to do if they want a place on the leading-edge.

    What a great blog you have here, Erika. I'll be back.

    May 8, 2010 3:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I really wanted to go! I think Eddie is right, there will always be room for both. They serve different needs. Oh, and that photo of you and Eddie is adorable! 🙂


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