The Megaphone Effect

What is the sound of one hand clapping? That’s basically what most blogs sound like in the ocean of fashion blogging. They’re doing all this hard work but not getting the rewards back for it. So you’ve followed all the tips about successful blogging, fashion branding and Marketing 101, now it’s time to pick up the megaphone and make yourself heard. We all start out as ordinary consumers but what separates you from the IT crowd, is your taste factor.

Pierre Bourdieu (Image Courtesy of Culture on the Edge)

Pierre Bourdieu (Image Courtesy of Culture on the Edge)

In the 1960s the French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu, developed the cultural capital theory which finds its footing in the divisions of what is considered tasteful or not. He was of the belief that taste is socially conditioned and a reflection of hierarchy. Thus, exceptional taste came from being born into an upper class milieu that is rich both in economic and cultural capital, while the dominant class with lesser capital volumes shaped their taste around what is popular or mainstream. It is this developed taste that becomes a social weapon separating the legitimate to the profane. But we’ve all come to see that taste is in fact dynamic, can be acquired and isn’t limited to the upper class. Nonetheless, there is something you can learn from the ‘dominant class logic’ and that is to go beyond what everyone is doing.

[bctt tweet=”Nonetheless, there is something you can learn from the ‘dominant class logic’ and that is to go beyond what everyone is doing.”]

The best way to show your sense of taste is to you publicly consume fashion. I’m not going to lie; it requires some bravery to voice this taste out there and risk facing judgment. However, if you succeed and are received promisingly, the chances of amassing more cultural capital, which you can then invest or trade for other forms of capital increases. The more people begin to trust your judgment, the stronger your taste leadership becomes, improving your social position. But taste isn’t static so it has to become more refined the more your blog grows. People can hear you clapping now, alright. Some of those people to take notice will be fashion industry big wigs but this will be just the beginning

The more people begin to trust your judgment, the stronger your taste leadership becomes, improving your social position.

There was a general standard of how things were done when you got into the world of fashion blogging but now it’s time to put your own stamp on it using your taste-card. For those with a higher level of cultural capital, they are expected to display sophistication in their taste that is constructed with higher degrees of intricacy and boasts aesthetic familiarity in clothing practice. This goes beyond your personal preference of style and a curated, justified analysis on why something is good and needs recognition. According to research by Edward F. McQuarrie and Barbara J. Phillips entitled ‘The Megaphone Effect in Social Media: How Ordinary Consumers Become Style Leaders , blogs such as the FashionToast and Style Bubble took risks by expressing strong points of views, redefining taste judgments and making unusual combinations in the world of fashion. Because these risks were viewed as fashionable, their cultural capital increased making them authoritative voices in the industry.

(Images courtesy of The FashionToast)

(Images courtesy of The FashionToast)

First thing they tend to do is eliminating the amount of ‘borrowed’ images and instead rely on an active execution of their own imagery and style. But this has to go further than showing the same outfit in 10 different ways in the same blog post. We got the concept on the second one, thank you very much. It’s about redefining your own verbal skills and a different way of presenting your visual concepts. The average reader is hit by so much generic content that finding that bit of content that just makes them loyal for a haven from the mundanity of the web.

[bctt tweet=”More consumers are looking for taste leadership from their peers wherever you are in the world. A growing audience will often lead to economic benefits and elevated social position.”]

The emphasis in fashion blogging has shifted from peer-to-peer communities that only reached out to individuals with similar taste. More consumers are looking for taste leadership from their peers wherever you are in the world. A growing audience will often lead to economic benefits and elevated social position. That means more industry access and opportunities that will fuel further taste ventures; growing your platform even more. The trick in maintaining your audience is to not let your newly found privilege dismantle the notion that the reader could access the life or style displayed on the blog. So the next time you sit down to do a blog post think about the impact it’ll have on your audience. Will you open their horizons and push the boundaries of the fashion box for them or will you just post another generic post for frequent posting sake? The megaphone effect is only as good as the content you put out there.

the next time you sit down to do a blog post think about the impact it’ll have on your audience. Will you open their horizons and push the boundaries of the fashion box for them or will you just post another generic post for frequent posting sake?

One blog we consider to be nailing the Megaphone effect is ‘I See a Different You’. The blog’s agenda is to change the current view of Africa into a more positive narrative through art and fashion; choosing to shoot in eye-catching, real life backgrounds such as their hometown of Soweto. The collective, which started back in 2011, is made up of Soweto born creatives, Innocent Mukheli, his twin brother Justice and best friend Vuyo Mpantsha.

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

(Images Courtesy of I See A Different You)

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