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Oct 24, 2007

3 QUESTIONS THAT MATTER: PART 3

We've come to the last part of our series of interviews with some of the blogosphere's most influential design bloggers. This session's guests are Grace Bonney (GB) from Design*Sponge and Irene Hoofs (IH) from Bloesem.


Home Rejuvenation: What made you decide to write a design blog back then?


GB:
I was pretty lost when it came to my career in 2004. I had just graduated from college, left an unstable job with a record label and was trying to figure out what to do next. I knew I loved design and fine arts but wasn't quite sure what to do with the skill set I had. Nothing I wanted to do seemed to fit into a traditional job category so over brunch one day my boyfriend suggested I start a blog to warm up to the idea of writing about design, rather than creating my own. I started by posting some of my favorite iconic pieces (Eames chairs, Van der Rohe sofas and Bouroullec designs) and just sort of talked about designers I liked and my local design scene in Brooklyn. At the time, there weren't a lot of sites talking about Brooklyn or indie designers so I think D*S was a case of being in the right place at the right time with the right content.


IH: I think launching Bloesem in December of last year was a natural next step in my personal (or perhaps creative) development. I had been working for a number of years as a freelance designer on many different projects ranging from corporate identity to illustrating cards. Also, I have always loved to read and talk about design. All great fun, but many different moving parts. I think I was looking for a way to integrate all of the things I was doing. Bloesem brought all my passions together and allows me to do all those things I love, it’s still a bit chaotic and hectic but I wouldn’t want it any other way.



Home Rejuvenation: What do you think sets your blog apart from other blogs around?


GB:
I'm not sure. I try not to think of the site in terms of how it does in relation to other blogs or the scene as a whole. I'm a big, big suporter of the idea of keeping your head down and just working. I know that when I started there weren't a lot of people covering indie design so when I noticed that I tried to create a platform for local designers and people I felt weren't getting enough attention, like student designers. The design world has changed and thankfully now there's a boat-load of indie content on the web, which is fantastic. So I think right now I'm just trying to focus on giving back and providing a resource for independent designers, whether that's through scholarships, job boards or the Biz Lady meetups . I always add and and cut content based on how I'm feeling at the time so I've added some new columns to (hopefully) add some depth to the site- but in general I try to look at the site as a reflection of what I'm currently interested in, whether that's something that's going on with other blogs or not.


IH: Bloesem is very much about expressing my own ideas about design. I think of Bloesem as a personal on-line magazine that welcomes input from its readers, it is all about expressing and sharing thoughts on creativity and of course day dreaming when looking at beautiful images of designs. Bloesem is a big part of who I am so I guess what you see is what you get. It is amazing to see how many people have embraced Bloesem. I had not expected this when I started about a year ago, but it is a great feeling and very flattering of course. I am not sure whether this answers your question, but I guess there is no other “me” which makes Bloesem at least a little unique.



Home Rejuvenation: How do you see blogs as an emerging form of media in the near future? Or how different do you think blogs are from mass media outlets like TV, magazines and papers?


GB: I think blogs have already become an incredibly accessible and almost mainstream way of getting information across. When I was in Virginia this summer to visit my family I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said "I'm totally blogging that." It really surprised me but I guess it shouldn't have because it seems like most people, stores and companies have blogs now. I think that's great though- the more voices that are out there the better.

What sets us apart is our ability to run our own publications, publish at the drop of a hat and operate without larger companies controlling content and viewpoints. I'd love to see sites run with that freedom and expand the idea of what a blog could be. I'm always trying to think about new ways to take advantage of the incredible community that exists online, as well as the technologies available. Lots of sites are starting to do this and branch out a bit more, so it's really exciting to see. I'm anxious to see what my favorite sites now will look like in a few years.


IH: I truly think blogs are a very strong emerging form of media. Blogs are so dynamic and lively, I don’t know any form of media where you can have such an intense and direct contact with your audience and the designers, other than perhaps meeting face-to-face. As blogs are so close to the source of design and trends, it also is a very exciting and happy environment to be in, these are all characteristics I don’t see in other forms of media. It is a very free spirited environment where individuals can directly connect and “talk” to the entire world without the need of a huge infrastructure, you just need broadband and a computer. The most amazing thing about blogs is the power of word-of-mouth across the globe, the reach of blogs is something that never seizes to amaze me, it’s like having an on-line discussion with the world. What can beat that?



Stan


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1 comments: on "3 QUESTIONS THAT MATTER: PART 3"

berry said...

Keep up the good blogging, grace!