Friday, March 25, 2011

Kelly Cutrone in Australia...

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I just read on the Vogue Forums that Kelly Cutrone was in Australia for the launch of Gideon Shoes. She also attended book signings and graciously spent several minutes with each of her fans writing them personalised messages...

To say that I'm a little heartbroken is an understatement. I would have hopped on a plane to Sydney with my tattered copy of her book to be signed in a heart beat. If you haven't read her book, I suggest you do. Especially if you're deviating off the school-uni-work-mortgage-etc path (that's just my choice, this is a great choice for many people ).. basically her book was like listening to my parents advice in reverse.

Not many people are going to really tell you to do what you want with life and mean it. Really they'll most likely suggest the most boring degree to complete (in case you're wondering it's economics) so you can get a stable job (government) at the end of it. But no one will ever tell you that that's so so very boring. Kelly probably would. That's why you should read her book. (Don't bother with Borders, not many physical stores have copies. Try the bookdepository)

Maybe when I'm in New York in a few weeks for my Wikifashion meetup I might run into her? Perhaps I can park my motorhome outside People's Revolution and pop in for a quick chat...(that would be hilarious).

PS. Just looked at the book depository and she has a new book up for pre-order, "Normal Gets You Nowhere").

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wikifashion USA/Canada road trip + meetups

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According to the count down in my diary, I'm leaving on my trip in 11 days! That means I need to hop to it with our Wikifashion meetups. We'll be traveling 13,000 kms across Canada and around the USA in a little under a month.

I've decided we'll be having meetups in:
  • New York (most likely on the 12th April at Spot Dessert Bar 6:00pm
  • San Francisco
  • Portland
  • Austin
Here's our travel map if you want more details ... or if you want us to organise another meetup!

I'll be writing most of the details here and also on the Wikifashion tumblr. Let me know if you'd like to come, we'll be giving out free Wikifashion bags and a few other goodies. Love to see you there

Join our meetup group for all of our details + RSVP. Once I'm on the road this will be much easier for me to organize and make restaurant bookings...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wikifashion at SXSW...

Over the weekend Wikifashion was one of the sponsors at the Texas Style Council at SXSW. Unfortunately I wasn't there, I was sleep tight on the other side of the world. But the point is Wikifashion was there! Next year Coen and I will join our totes in Texas

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The gorgeous Indiana of Adored Austin was one of the organisers of the event. How cute is that tutu? Gosh next year I'm going, if only to wear cowboy boots and a tutu!

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You can see our tote in the middle of the pic...

Found more photos of the bag here and here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Brisbane Fashion Industry meetup part deux...

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Following the success (three people is good going for our first meet) of our first meet, I've just scheduled another meetup for this month. We'll be gathering again at Kerbside Bar on the 28th of this month at 6:30pm.

If you're a blogger (I know there are a few of you in Brisbane!), someone who is just a little curious about fashion or if you are involved in the industry we'd love you to join us...RSVP.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Why women and wikis do mix...

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Over the last few months there has been a discussion surrounding the fact that only 13% of Wikipedia's contributors are female. The study that discovered this statistic is the catalyst for Sue Gardner's new initiative to involve more women in Wikipedia and to increase their contribution rate to 25% by 2015.

After reading the debate in the New York Times, something that seemed obvious to me just didn't seem to really pop out from any of the debaters. Or perhaps it is obvious and other women just wouldn't say it? Women like things that look pretty..I know that a lot of people might jump out at me for over simplifying the problem and being patronising. But I really don't think that it's something that people should feel shameful about.

Men and women find different aspects of sites, cars, clothing or food appealing for whatever reason. For a lot of women something that looks down right gorgeous is more appealing and they may be more likely to form an attachment to and want to use. I'm not at all a techie, nor am I an expert in design (I'm a trained econometrician). But I am a founder and dedicated user of a wiki that has a contributor base of 94% women-in fact many are fashion bloggers who are not usually described as geeks.

This statistic is not something that I set out to achieve, quite the contrary, I wanted to make sure that just as many men as women used my wiki. But this just hasn't happened. If you take the time to look at my wiki you might see why. It's more than a little pretty, but don't just take my word for it- quora agrees with me. When I say pretty, I mean aesthetically but also it's user friendly. It's less cluttered and a little less overwhelming than traditional wikis have been- très girl friendly.

Another argument as to why it has such a high female contributor rate is the content-fashion. Many might argue that this topic is not something that appeals to many men and they may very well be correct. But a key thread that appeared throughout many of the articles I've read on this topic is that women are disinterested in technology and prefer to use social sites such as facebook or twitter. I think it's this notion that women just don't like technology that is the most damaging. Although a lot of our users who have first used the site found the syntax confusing, many of them persevered and learned how to use mediawiki effectively.

Consequently many would contact me or report that they loved using it once they got the hang of it and would then feel a form of ownership over the pages they were creating. This would be the same intrinsic motivator that causes many of the men who contribute to Wikipedia, to continue to do so. For anyone who remembers their first edit on Wikipedia and is not a programmer themselves, they may remember it as being a little daunting. It takes time and effort to learn how to contribute properly. Something that editors on Wikipedia may not be so encouraging or forgiving of?

What I've unintentionally highlighted with my own site is not that women don't like wikis or are willing to contribute to them (wikipedia's study on the site's usage revealed that 31% of their readers are women), but that they perhaps don't find the site all that intuitive or appealing to edit, ergo Wikipedia you're that really smart nerd in high school that all the cool girls secretly wanted to date but wouldn't dare.

Although the site has made strides in it's appearance lately, with a new redesign and the introduction of mediawiki v16 came an easier editing system, I think it will take a little more than that to attract women to the site. Perhaps make the help sections a little more understandable for the average non-techie and introduce some mechanisms for a more encouraging environment for learning the syntax (this would also prove helpful for new male editors)? Of course being easier on the eye wouldn't go astray.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wikifashion contributors are the coolest...

Not only did the gorgeous Fi from Previously Owned write the loveliest post about us, she re-jazzed our badges and made two of the cutest badges I've ever seen (only a little bit biased). See for cute are they?

If you love them too, feel free to take one for yourself

Guess what? The Wikifashion USA/Canada tour is only 30 days away now! Getting so so I just need some recommendations about what I should pack. Any Vancouver girls, what should I wear in April? Will it still be really cold? Any advice would be fantastic...

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