Tag Archives: Grazia

brangelina, blogging and pyjamas

Ah Wednesdays – mid week, half-way through, quite a friendly name for a day of the week and the day after Grazia pops through my door and gives me some food for thought. Must remember to eat tonight.

As most of you will know, or should know, Brad and Angelina have had another bust-up.

Apparently police were called to their house, and blah blah blah. We have heard it all before – this isn’t what I wanted to talk about on this post.

As I was reading it before I fell asleep last night, for one has to have some down time after researching local procurement in governments, I realised that what made the article weaker, asides from the fact that I wasn’t really that bothered about it was this bit:

“As the pictures showed Brad and Angelina looking noticeably strained and frosty hit news websites, bloggers immediately began to comment. One reader wrote, ‘They clearly don’t want to be there or near each other”, while another remarked, “They are so OVER!! They can’t even stand within 3ft of each other.”

What made this article weak for me was the use of the term bloggers. Apparently it still has negative connotations for me, even though I enjoy blogging. Is this the type of blogging that Richard Tait once mentioned in a lecture – pyjama clothed and ready for action? I think so..

But the fact that magazines such as Grazia are now relying on bloggers to pad out their features is interesting. Are they giving bloggers the credibility that they deserve? Or, are they just being lazy journalists in not seeking out more reliable sources, as Mr Fry suggested when he won his King of Twitter award a couple of weeks ago. If Grazia were able to attribute these comments to for example, a renowned celebrity blog, such as Perez Hilton it would add more weight to the feature, in my opinion.

The fact that these “bloggers” said something somewhere, doesn’t really mean anything apart from it creates a more personal feel to the feature. Perhaps by using bloggers comments, Grazia are trying to integrate themselves further into their readership.

But for me, it feels like we are back in the playground having a little gossip about something we don’t really know, that could have happened to someone, at some point.

Blogs, Twitter and Facebook are absolutely ace at bringing us information, leads and quirky stories that we wouldn’t necessarily find without them, but good sources and good writing are still paramount.

Just for the record, I am not in my pyjamas…yet.

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a miscarriage of tweeting?

In the most recent edition of Grazia, there was an article that caught my eye besides the usual attention grabbing dresses of Lily Allen and Lady Gaga- it possessed the headline, “I tweet about lunch, so why shouldn’t I tweet about my miscarriage”. Why shouldn’t she, indeed?

I am talking about Penelope Trunk, 42, a career driven, successful woman who recently tweeted about the loss of her baby during a board meeting.  Picture 1

Since this, she has received death threats from people all over the world ranging from calls of narcissism, to adolescents claiming that she is a “disgusting woman”.  But why?  Is she right to have tweeted such a personal matter on a open, public space for any one of her 20,000 followers to have read? Well, surely, the answer must be yes.  Did she expect such animosity and disgust? Probably not.

When such personal and distressing matters are brought out into the open, people often shy away from them.  Perhaps her manner was brutal. Her wording honest. But if you choose to follow someone on Twitter you are choosing to be a party to their lives, in some respects.  Whether you follow them for links, information, dietary habits, love advice or dating hopes, you follow them in the understanding that they may say things that you don’t agree with.

As Trunk rightly says in her blog, Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist, “Throughout history, the way women have gained control of the female experience is to talk about what is happening, and what it’s like. We see that women’s lives are more enjoyable, more full, and women are more able to summon resilience when women talk openly about their lives.” Tweeting her misfortune to an audience that have signed up to listen could have been seen as some comfort to Trunk.  In a board meeting, where no-one knew what was happening to her, suddenly there were people all over the world who did. It was her body, her pain and her decision to tell people. Some people enjoy talking to others about their problems, it alleviates their pain and allows them to displace their feelings in order to get on with their daily lives.  In this case, her work.

Unfortunately for Trunk, the title of her blog and this tweet will now lead to people attacking her for being unfeminine, too career orientated to have a family and selfish. But really, the only crime she is guilty of, if any, is being too honest.

This for me, is a clear lesson in who we should follow on Twitter.  We should choose to follow people very carefully.  It should be people whose lives we want to know about.  The people that will inform of us of things we would like to hear.  Unlike Facebook, it should not be used as a popularity contest, but a tool for encouraging useful conversation and sharing information.

Trunk’s advice for people who don’t want to know about her life is easy, “Don’t log on”.

  • To read more about this, The Guardian published a defence of Trunk’s decision to tweet about her miscarriage. And I also found the article published at the Winona Daily News, an interesting addition to the debate.

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