Honestly, I run into the weirdest things by reading Whedonesque…
Lets talk about Felicia Day and Twitter. Felicia is known for the webseries The Guild, and for being one of the Potentials/Slayers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I noticed her when Joss tapped her again for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She’s a prolific Twitter user (and WordPress user!!), and a huge supporter of social media, so when this article came out in Vanity Fair about business women using Twitter as part of their presence on the net, everyone got excited. Disappointingly, its horrible (and not in the awesome Neil Patrick Harris sort of way).
Felicia was understandably disappointed and posted her thoughts about the incident on her blog. She was very polite about the entire incident considering how livid she must have been, and only crowed once about how the magazine was being made redundant in the spate and growth of new media. Talk about a great lady! I doubt that I could have been that reserved if I had been the subject of the VF article, especially with quotes like this:
In order to stay in touch with, and keep intact, their legions of “followers”—that’s twitspeak for the number of people who have signed up to read one’s tweets—these civilian twilebrities must, you know, tweet a lot.
Wow. That’s deep. I’m now inspired to, you know, tweet a lot. If there is ever a course that focuses on gender presentation in modern technology, this would be an excellent cautionary tale of how to alienate every educated and enlightened individual that reads your publication. Congratulations, Vanity Fair.
ANYWAY, the comments on Felicia’s blog get super interesting after a bit – apparently some of her commenters believed that in taking that photograph (in which the girls appear as stylized ‘virtual reporters’ in trenchcoats and heels with their phones in hand) and appearing attractive/sexy in it, they were deserving to be completely patronized and dismissed in the article. Enjoy the debate.
I also liked the comment (via 2 Twitter posts) from one of the other picture “Twilebrities” Sarah Evans, who managed to put a nice and positive spin on the whole experience.
Thank you to all who posted thoughts & reactions to the Vanity Fair piece. Hopefully this serves as a launching pad… …to highlight real accomplishments by these women. It’s sparked topics that really do need to be discussed, & for that, I’m glad.
I love the term “launching pad”. I’m going to use that as an alt for “opportunity”, which I use too much 😉
You’ve never heard that? Or are you rediscovering it? 😉 A long time ago, I worked at a Boy Scout camp where we were required to substitute the word ‘opportunity’ for ‘problem’ or ‘crisis’ when speaking on the radios. I got so sick of the word ‘opportunity’ by the end of camp that I don’t think I used that word for a full year afterwards.
And you are dismissive to the point of losing objective credibility. It isn’t about them deserving the article. It is about posting as if they didn’t know what was coming after the photo shoot while claiming to be media-savvy.
Really. Protest. Wind up the springs. Discuss away. Sell issues.
But the fact remains, if the goal is to get everyone to take these people more seriously, expect some drops in attendance. It couldn’t get more boring than that.
Hi len! When objectively reading this post, I see where I skipped the trial and went straight to the verdict.
I have been writing a blog for a long time now, but I am not a high traffic site. Usually, when I do get a comment, it’s a friend or family or spam. I think that, in such an environment, it becomes natural for an author to succumb to a false sense of approval of their work and opinion; when really the author is just casting that opinion into the vast reaches of the internet where readers have many opinions.
Add to that, the fact that I had been turning over that post in my head for several hours before being able to write it, and had long since made up my mind on the matter.
So, you are very correct – I have lost objective credibility, and I appreciate you calling me on that. Why? Well my family would say that I love to argue, and that may be true, but I also hate to catch myself being that rigid on a stance. The fact exists that I am no authority on the matter, and am basically writing in a journal, but in making it public, I owe it to anyone who reads it to own my opinions and not present them as fact.
Was that article condescending of a generic group of people that chose to use Twitter as a cheap and creative way to build their image? Yes, I feel that it was. Should that group of people have known better? Yes, but I do have a caveat: I think those people also exist in a sort of bubble where they can control what is said about them and what is said to them (to a certain extent). I think they had a bit of a wake up call to what people like Brittney Spears have known for a long time – that celebrity brings with it a loss of control over your own identity and image, and the only thing you can do is spin it to your benefit and pray that it works.
I’m only sorry that, in the case of Felicia, who seems to be a genuinely nice person (and a Texan! 😉 ), that this happened in such a shocking fashion to her.
Ok, I’ve rambled too much … 🙂