Long time, no post…

So I’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of blogging and not posted anything for over a year! My excuse… another baby! Arlo – lovingly known as “baby brother”. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know how active I am on there and I really don’t want to turn this into a baby blog (even though I LOVE mummy bloggers) so I’ve resisted posting some of my day-to-day maternity leave antics. Anyway I’m back at work now and back to my research. I’d actually planned to stay research active during my maternity leave and had grand plans to publish papers but you can guess what came of those plans… nothing! I had a lovely maternity leave filled with coffee dates, making new mummy friends and hanging out with my best friend – 3 year old daughter and world’s bestest big sister, Romy.

Since being off work and taking a little break from my research my focus has shifted a little – it’s broader, in that I am looking at Scotland as a whole rather than focusing on the North East of Scotland, and I plan to look more specifically at fashion communicators on Instagram. My rationale comes primarily from the preliminary interviews I carried out with fashion bloggers in the summer of 2015. During these interviews it really became apparent that bloggers in the North East of Scotland were not branding themselves to a specific city or place (mainly due to concerns around security and a perceived lack of follower knowledge or interest in a more remote region) but most were proud to identify themselves as “Scottish” bloggers, where they saw this as a unique selling point and something that made them stand out in a the ever crowded blogosphere. My interviewees also spoke quite animatedly about online relationships and communities that then became offline friendships and networks through the use of hashtags and virtual and physical meet ups; interestingly these relationships were actually a key motivator for some of my participants – something that kept them blogging. Why the focus on Instagram? Well, in some ways I’m not really just concerned with Instagram, rather fashion influencers for want of a better term, but it does seem like a good place to start in terms of building a picture (literally!) of what the Scottish fashion and style landscape online looks like. Is there a blogger in the world who isn’t on Instagram? Is there a blogger in the world that posts on their blog more than they post on Instagram? My preliminary interviews showed that bloggers 1) get most of their traffic through Instagram; 2) post on Instagram more regularly than on their blog; and 3) feel that their Instagram is an extension of their blogging identity and something they take seriously.

So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been carrying out a content analysis of all Scottish fashion and style related content on Instagram using a number of hashtags. Predictably, this is taking a lot longer than anticipated but it’s actually really interesting. At this stage, the analysis is quantitative where I am going through all the images (there are thousands!) and basically trying to gain a sense of what types of images that are being associated with Scottish fashion and lifestyle on Instagram. Once I’ve done this I plan to organise these into categories and sample images from these groups which will be subject to further, more in-depth, qualitative analysis. I’m delighted to have started the second stage of my research and I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my findings on the blog at a later date!

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Thank you to my fabulous North East fashion bloggers

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A huge thank you to all the fabulous North East fashion bloggers who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing over the last couple of weeks! Your help is very much appreciated and I loved hearing the story behind your blogs.

I’ve started analysing my data (always a really interesting and exciting point in the research process) and there are some really interesting themes emerging! I’m still looking for potential interviewees so please let me know if you fit the criteria of North East fashion blogger or if you know anyone who does and might like to be involved.

Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend (from my sunny garden in Aberdeen)!

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Calling North East fashion bloggers

I’m looking for fashion bloggers from the North East of Scotland who’d be interested in being interviewed for my current research project into blogger identity and motivation. This is an opportunity to get involved in an exciting piece of research into an area that’s of increasing importance in fashion communication today! Interviews will, ideally, take place in Aberdeen during the next four to six weeks and should take no more than an hour. These will be very informal, lasting around one hour, and can be done over coffee. All responses will be entirely confidential and you and your blog will not be named at any point during the research. If you’re interested in being involved then please get in touch via email at m.marcella1@rgu.ac.uk. I’m also looking for some suggestions of fashion bloggers who I could contact and please do feel free to share this request with anyone you think might be interested. Where a face-to-face interview might not be suitable for participants, I would be happy to arrange a telephone or Skype call. Many thanks!

Fashionable fundraising and research update

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It’s been a busy few months at the Fashion Place with two of our annual student events taking place in Spring! Over the past few months, the students have been working hard to plan their events in celebration of Aberdeen Business School’s fiftieth anniversary. Our fashion exhibition, in April, was a huge success where our students raised around £400 for a range of local charities. The students planned lots of value adding additions for their launch event, including the pink lemonade tower (pictured below).

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Our Golden Show fashion event took place on the 29th of May and the students completely transformed the atrium of Aberdeen Business School, using crepe pompoms, paper dresses, balloons and confetti. We got some fantastic feedback from guests and successfully raised £4737 for Down’s Syndrome Scotland. We’re very grateful to all the sponsors who helped make the night a success!

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It’s always sad to see the students leave for summer, the campus is so quiet without them. The fashion show is a lovely send off though and the perfect way to end the semester. I’m so passionate about this event, having been part of the very first student cohort who organised it (back in 2008).

Now the focus is very much back on my research projects and I’m delighted to have conducted my first fashion blogger interview today – I can already see that there will be lots of interesting and thought provoking data that emerge from these! More on that soon…