Analysis Blogs Culture News — Aimee Hewson, 9 February 2011
Beauty, Fashion & Style Blog Analysis PART 1 (Quantitative)

As noted in my first post about blog categorisation, I have now assessed 8 Beauty, Fashion and Style blogs to determine whether any similarities exist in terms of subscribers, style, and content. This post is part 1 of 2 and will cover all quantitative aspects by answering the following questions:

Popularity – How many subscribers?
Frequency – Does the blogger write daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly?
Duration – How long has the blog been active?
Originality – Is content original or similar to that of other fashion and beauty resources?

Part 2 of my analysis will look into the qualitative aspects, such as the bloggers identity (professional vs amateur) and the textual and visual styles of the blogs.Before I dive into this analysis, I think it is important to note that under the Beauty, Fashion and Style category there is a variety of topics that bloggers choose to blog about. In this category, most blogs look at fashion and/or makeup news and trends, what celebrities are wearing, and usually write recommendations and reviews. There are other personal blogs which sometimes write about fashion or makeup, however these blogs fall under the Personal category due to the personal nature and the lack of focus on fashion specifically. For the purpose of this analysis I will refer to all bloggers in this category as “fashion bloggers”. Furthermore, it should be noted that this post is merely an analysis of a very small percentage of fashion blogs and should not be considered a representative of all Beauty, Fashion and Style blogs.  Blogs I am analysing in this post are as follows:

1. Madame B Fatale
2. Lady Melbourne
3. Mylookbook
4. Missy Em – Frugalicious Fashion and Beauty
5. Friend in Fashion
6. In City Fashion
7. 2threads
8. Dustjacket Attic

These blogs were selected based on variety of content and personal choice. With this list I created a blog feed in Google Reader (Fashion Bundle), which then allowed me to use the rss feeds from each blog to create a Word Cloud, revealing recent trending words (as at 5/2/11):

Word Cloud?Common Terms in 8 Australian Fashion, Beauty and Style Blogs

.Key words in Beauty, Fashion and Style blogs therefore appear to be “new”, “love”, “fashion”, “her”, and “style”, to name a few.  While these words are the most recent frequently used, a further detailed study could be conducted later down the track to determine whether or not similar words reappear and if this selection of blogs is a fair representation of other blogs that fall under the Beauty, Fashion and Style category.

I will refer back to this Word Cloud in part 2 of my analysis, when I look into the textual style of fashion blogs but now on to the quantitative analysis!

Popularity

Using Google Reader Trend Analysis (on my Fashion Bundle) I was able to note the “popularity” of each blog:

Popularity Indication: Number of Subscribers, Google Reader.

While these data were extracted from Google Reader, it is important to note that some of these blogs have a much greater online presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as these are the platforms predominantly used by their target audiences.  Therefore, in order to comprehend a more accurate representation of each blog’s popularity, I created a diagram comparing each blog with an adjusted subscriber/follower base (these numbers were taken from each blog’s: Facebook fans, YouTube subscribers, Twitter followers, Google Connect friends, and Blog Lovin followers where possible):

Blog Subscriber/Follower Count

Blog Lady Melbourne leads with 6,311 subscribers, a massive following compared with Missy Em’s mere 202 subscribers.  Viewing this diagram, it can be assumed that the selection of blogs I have chosen are very popular and majority well known in the Australian Blogosphere.  It is, however, important to note that there may be some overlap in these numbers, i.e. some subscribers may be Facebook fans as well as Twitter followers and/or Google Connect friends which therefore affects the overall follower count.

Frequency

Using Google Reader Trend Analysis I was able to view when each blog was last updated (data taken as at 7/2/11) and the frequency of posts for each blog:

Frequency Indication: When was the blog Last Updated?

.Most blogs have been updated within the last 7 days, indicating that all of the 8 blogs are currently active in the online realm.  A greater insight into the posting status of each blog, including posts per week and preferred posting day, follows:

Frequency Indication: Posts Per Week

It would appear that the blogs with the most followers do not necessarily post the most often (i.e. everyday), proving it is the quality of the content rather than the quantity that fashion subscribers are after.  However, Missy Em’s blog appears to have the least posts per week, as well as the least subscribers.  In terms of posting days, there appears to be a possible trend in that most blogs update content on at least a Tuesday and/or a Friday each week.

Duration

The lifetime of each blog has been tabled below by year founded and month (if known):

Blog Founded: Year (Month)

Most blogs were established in 2009, however the two blogs that were established earlier, Lady Melbourne (2007) and Mylookbook (2008) are the two blogs with the highest number of subscribers and followers.  These blogs may have a higher follower base because of their longer online presence, and could be considered as category leaders.

Originality

When considering originality, all of the 8 blogs included “original” personal commentary, i.e. no articles appeared to be directly copied from other websites, press releases, or blogs.  Originality in terms of this analysis is based on content creation – whether or not it is personal content rather than content influenced by the media, news, and other fashion websites and blogs.  With this in mind, I have assigned each blog to 1 of 3 categories in terms of “originality”:

Original: Original content includes commentary, posts, and pictures created solely by the blogger.  All posts are based on the bloggers personal opinion.  50% of the analysed blogs contain original content, these include: Friend In Fashion, Lady Melbourne, Missy Em, and Madame B Fatale.

Influenced: Influenced content includes collated images from fashion websites and magazines, other blogs, celebrity photos, etc.  Posts are based on celebrities, models, and fashion news and trends.  37.5% of the analysed blogs contain influenced content, these include: Mylookbook.com.au, 2threads, and Dustjacket Attic.

Combination: Combination content includes a mixture of influenced content (sourced from elsewhere) and original content.  Style tips are often based on celebrity and designer fashion trends and are influenced by the media but also include personal opinion and contributions.  12.5% of the analysed blogs contain combination content, these include: In City Fashion.

It is interesting to note that of the 3 most popular blogs, 2 (Lady Melbourne and Friend in Fashion) are purely “original” personal content and opinion.  These bloggers therefore hold power as opinion leaders and “digital dictators” in the Beauty, Fashion and Style online realm.

This concludes part 1, my quantitative analysis of Beauty, Fashion and Style blogs.  Part 2, the qualitative analysis, will be posted within the next few days.

Feature image by tarop.

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About the Author

Aimee is a recent QUT Business and Creative Industries graduate. Driven by digital and social media she is excited by future advances in technology, enabling audiences to be reached and monitored in new and unexpected ways. In expanding her knowledge of the digital realm, she is currently working on this project as a VRES (Vacation Research Experience Scholarship) student over the Summer as well as interning in the digital department at George Patterson Y&R, Brisbane.

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(11) Readers' Comments

  1. Pingback: Mapping Online Publics » Blog Archive » Beauty, Fashion & Style … | Makeup Trends 2010

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mapping Online Publics » Blog Archive » Beauty, Fashion & Style Blog Analysis PART 1 (Quantitative) -- Topsy.com

  3. Wowee- a truly fascinating read (and study!). Excellent stuff!

  4. good read :))

  5. A great read Aimee – great to uncover more about what our blog readers want! x

  6. It’s amazing how you could come up with numbers in this complex area…

  7. Pingback: Mapping Online Publics » Blog Archive » Beauty, Fashion & Style Blog Analysis PART 2 (Qualitative)

  8. Pingback: Beauty, Fashion & Style Blog Analysis PART 2 (Qualitative) « Aimeeholly's Blog

  9. Pingback: It’s all in the Issue: Are Blogs the New Media Periodical? | Lauren's Eng 585 Blog

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  11. the photo with fashion, mascara and all the writing over it could i pls use it for my not very visited website please