Trendrr Analysis: Does Vampire Weekend Owe Success to Sweaters?

My friend Mark just started this awesome website called Trendrr.com, which allows you to track and graph all sorts of different data, then slice, dice, and compare your findings at will. Want to track record sales of “Consolers of the Lonely” against the frequency of “internet downloading” on Google News? Just punch in the appropriate keywords and start tracking.

Ever since joining the site I’ve spent hours creating, searching, and viewing my own and other people’s graphs. It sure does make for some fascinating findings. Take for example, my recent comparison of sweater sales on eBay vs blog posts about Vampire Weekend:

Not only is eternally preppy overwear on a greater upswing than Vampire Weekend, it seems like VW might even benefit from the increased awareness of knitted pull-overs in the form of more blog posts. Are the two really related? The world may never know, but it sure is fun finding what other keywords might be tangentially linked to the band.

New York Times Popularizes the Term “Blipster”–Guaranteed To Offend Just About Everyone

In a article about indie music lovers who happen to be black, published on January 28th on NYTimes.com, included the following passage:

There is even a new word for black fans of indie rock: “blipster,” which was added to UrbanDictionary .com last summer, defined as “a person who is black and also can be stereotyped by appearance, musical taste, and/or social scene as a hipster.”

Bahr Brown, an East Harlem resident whose Converse sneakers could be considered blipster attire, opened a skateboard and clothing boutique, Everything Must Go, in the neighborhood in October, to cater to consumers who, like himself, want to dress with the accouterments of indie rock: “young people who wear tight jeans and Vans and skateboard through the projects,” he said.

Uh… is this like how things were so “deck” and 30-somethings were “Yupsters”? Another horrible made-up word to piss off everyone? I think hipsters have a hard enough time using the word “hipster”, let alone trying to break themselves up by ethnicity. What’s next? Asiasters? Indie-Indians? Whitester?

I guess it’s one of those things you just have to laugh about…take an comment by 360 Curl in the post below where I first mentioned the article:

frederick douglass was such a blipster

Rachel Bilson: Official So Cute I Can’t Take It

What can I say…Zach Braff has a way of just looking at something longingly out of the corner of his eye and it immediately gets a coating of industrial strength quirkiness. Looks like Zach’s latest project, The Last Kiss, is no exception.

The marketing campaign is geared toward “the kids” as it were–young adults on MySpace and YouTube who will hopefully spread around these kinda adorable “Day in the Life Of” videos of the film’s stars, Rachel Bilson and Braff. You can even subscribe to the video podcast for the film, which will update every Tuesday and Thursday through September.

I don’t watch The O.C., but I do love Rachel Bilson because I think her fashion sense is great (I really only know who she is thanks to Teen Vogue), but now I love her a little more because she’s so darn cute in these videos. It makes me a little sick.

WATCH: Rachel Bilson driving and telling jokes

Oh and PS- Casey Affleck is looking SO FINE in the stills of the film. Thank god at least one of the Affleck brothers isn’t an eye sore.

casey affleck the last kiss

The Music Biz: Where Waving Around Your Private Parts Is Not Grounds for Getting You Fired

The music industry is such a weird place. Why is it that it’s perfectly legitimate to use your naughty bits to sell records? For most people posing in compromising positions is a way to get yourself fired, not a raise. This totally came to mind when I was reading this New York Times article today.

To quote the Times, “college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.” The article goes on to say how people’s edgy online personas can get in the way of them getting hired for a job.

Then I also read this great post Brandon wrote pondering the merits of releasing nude photos of himself in order to sell albums. For anyone who think that all these “hacks” and “invasions of privacy” are all random acts of embarrassment, well…maye you’re right–but maybe you’re wrong.

I feel like I can’t even turn on my computer anymore without getting an email or reading a blog post about another eyeliner-wearing Warped Tourer self-releasing a photos where he’s flatteringly caught with his trousers down in front of a camera. I know “sex sells” but really, do we have to go down this road?

When will the insanity stop? Seriously, let’s hope this trend is a show-er, not a grower.

Thoughts On MySpace

The free MySpace Franz show had me thinking…

I’ve developed this theory that anything you write on MySpace instantly becomes 150% more idiotic just by the mere fact that you are writing it on MySpace. Example? When you type “E = MC2” into your profile it is automatically is converted into “1 + 2 = 3” by a backend computer program, I swear!

You ever look at the profile of someone you don’t know and just go, “Holy crap, this person is an IDIOT!” Then have you gone and looked at your own profile and read it as if you didn’t know yourself and realize, “Oh my lord, I sound like a dipsh-t!”

Is there a way of creating a MySpace profile that doesn’t make you look pathetic to a stranger? I think it’s humanly impossible. Maybe if you didn’t write anything…but then it would just look like you don’t have any interests or worse, someone would base their opinion on you by the inside joke comments your friends left–which are usually 10x worse than anything you could write about yourself.

Basically reading a stranger’s MySpace profile is like watching a WB teen drama, you’re almost immediately disgusted, but you cannot look away. You start learning things about these tiny little icon people…where they grew up, where they went to school, where they work, what they watch on TV, etc.

Then you end up clicking on their friend’s pages and so on and so on in the pursuit of finding some substance in the midst of a never-ending catalogue of vanity until you end up staring at A) a picture of an unidentifiable body part or B) a grainy, greenish self-portrait of a 14-year-old emo kid looking at his/herself on the computer screen. It is at that point that you get so sick to your stomach that you close the browser, run to the bathroom, dry heave and wash your eyes out with soap.

Then you log on the next day and do the same exact thing all over again.

DAAAMMMNNN YOUUUUU MYYYSSPPAACCCCCE!

MM on the Radio

Hi all. I’m not very keen on self-promotion, but I just can’t help and be proud of this one.

Now until next Tuesday you can listen to streaming audio of me on Jo Whiley’s show from yesterday (2/21) right on the BBC Radio 1 Web site! Click on the “Tuesday” audio link and you’re set.

If you skip to about 1 hour and 40 minutes in you should hear me gabbing away about things like the NYC snow storm, MisShapes, The Editors, NY fashion week, and (of course) Karen Elson and Meg White. Or you can catch some great music by listening to the entire broadcast.

AAaannnddd, you can also listen to Monday’s broadcast which features Jack Johnson singing “My Doorbell” by the White Stripes in the Live Lounge.

In honor of me talking about Meg on the radio, how about I post one of the most recently revealed images of Meg’s Marc Jacobs campaign? Posted by SilverStar on Candy Cane Children via ONTD, I present Miss Meg with funny frames and a latchkey-kid look:

meg white marc jacobs glasses

Welcome to Our World, Welcome to Our World of Blogs

Ohmigod! I just found out about this cool new thing. It’s called “blogging.” It’s like the hottest thing ever. I just read about it on this thing called the “internet“!

All kidding aside, I just saw this right now. New York magazine’s newest issue takes on “The Blog Establishment.” It’s a lengthy article by Clive Thompson about the “glass ceiling” of blogging, the elitism, the successes, and the frustrations. Thompson touchs on sites like Jossip, Gawker Media, Boing-Boing, etc.

The story discusses the idea that it is the first-adapters who get the lion’s share of linkage and spread it around to their friends, making it hard for up-starts to get comperable traffic. Here’s a sample:

The power law is dominant because of a quirk of human behavior: When we are asked to decide among a dizzying array of options, we do not act like dispassionate decision-makers, weighing each option on its own merits. Movie producers pick stars who have already been employed by other producers. Investors give money to entrepreneurs who are already loaded with cash. Popularity breeds popularity.

First-movers get a crucial leg up in this kind of power-law system. This is certainly true of the blogosphere. If you look at the list of the most-linked-to blogs on the top 100 as ranked by Technorati—a company that scans the blogosphere every day—many of those at the top were first-movers, the pioneers in their fields.

In scientific terms, this pattern is called “homeostasis”—the tendency of networked systems to become self-reinforcing. “It’s the same thing you see in economies—the rich-get-richer problem,” Shirky notes.

Thompson’s article also takes on a slightly jaundiced slant on Gawker Media in general. Basically calling grand puba Nick Denton a liar for saying that there’s no money to be made in blogging and instructing all his bloggers to decline interviews  (but seemed to have find no fault in them being photographed–see below) for this piece. With that in mind, can we really believe the shpeal Denton gave about blog writers like Jessica Coen only getting paid around 30k a year?

However, Thompson did get a chance to get some words from former Gawker editor Elizabeth Spiers (who just so happens to be starting her own blogging empire) who gives this brutaly honest quote about her former site of work: “You’d have be a total f-ckup to ruin that site right now. It’s got so many links, you’re just going to have a positive growth rate.”

If you still haven’t gotten a hold of the nearest sharp object to jab your eyes out (Uncle Grambo, I’m talking to you), you would have gotten far enough to see Pink Is the new Blog is mentioned in the same breath as Ultragrrrl and Thighs Wide Shut.

You will also make it to read about how the little independents don’t have much of a chance against the big organized (and monied) productions like Weblogs Inc and Gawker Media.

They also list the Top 50 blogs, do some “Meet the Bloggers” bit, and a broad timeline of “blogging.”

God I hate the words “blog” and “blogger.”

Anyone think the photographer’s instruction was: “Chin up, kids!” ?

ny magazine bloggers

ny magazine bloggers

Thoughts on the whole blogging as “rich getting richer” angle? How about the Nick Denton supressing information? Let ’em rip.

I <3 U. I H8 U. When Text Messaging Takes a Turn for the Worst

I absolutely love this article by Sandra Barron that appeared in the NY Times “Modern Love” section about the rise and fall of a relationship…all via text message. When I forwarded it to some of my friends, they loved it too…although for some of them the story line was a little too close for comfort.