Tuesday, 22 November 2011
The first speaker at yesterday’s Handpicked Media Gets Social conference looked slightly stunned when he walked onstage. "The audience is usually full of grey-suited men," said Garry Davis, managing director of Why Communicate?, as he gazed out across the wood-panelled chamber.
This event, however, was packed with 200 top beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, most of them women. They were a very impressive bunch - ranging from the multi-award-winning Fleur de Force, who at 23 has racked up more than 180,000 YouTube subscribers with her engaging, articulate beauty tutorials, to ReeRee Rockette, 29, who blogs about “rockabilly, vintage, tattoos, alternative fashion and lipstick.” Not only that, she’s launched an on-line beauty business selling her own Rockalilly Lipsticks in four stunning shades.
I got chatting to ReeRee, resplendent in scarlet lipstick of course, because she tweeted brilliantly right through the conference. She swears by her BlackBerry by the way – by far the speediest phone to type on, she says.
The event, held at RIBA’s HQ in London’s Portland Place, was organised by Handpicked Media and hosted by founder Krista Madden. Krista launched the highly successful Beauty and the Dirt website 11 years ago and quickly realised that independent sites and blogs were the future.
Two years ago she hit on the idea of handpicking like-minded sites and attracting advertisers to work with them as a group. So Handpicked Media was born - and now comprises more than 230 sites and blogs, which together generate well over 15 million page views a month. Impressive stuff.
I was lucky enough to get an invite and leapt at the chance to learn more about social media and blogging. I’ll blog tomorrow about some of the tips I gleaned but one of the best things about the day was the chance to meet some inspiring bloggers, all of whose sites I signed up to the instant I got home.
First up is The Women’s Room, launched by Amanda Carr and Jane Kellock. The stylish duo have worked in fashion for years and met when they both worked at WGSN, the global fashion trend forecasting website. Frequently lamenting the dearth of fashion and style publications for women over 40, they started The Women’s Room. A fantastic and eclectic mix of fashion, style, art, culture, health, happiness and much, much more, it’s my new must-read.
It was great too, to meet two other journalists. Loma-Ann Marks’s Culture Compass gives you the lowdown on the latest places to go and what to see, while Miss B is the founder and editor of Belle About Town. Billed as a blog “for stylish women who want to get the most out of their lives,” Belle About Town fizzes with interviews, reviews, celebrity news and style. I love it.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog: Handpicked Media Gets Social Part 2.