Friday, July 16, 2010

How Do You Like To Be Talked To?

There is a trend in decor blogs to write snappy and sassy monologues. It reminds me of the old days of the first famous gossip columnists Hedda Hopper, Louella Parsons, and Walter Winchell.

Louella Parsons with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball

Is the pretend voice of the blogger, the way they really talk? Decorno was the original fresh mouth trash talking cool girl. I never met her, but I heard her on the radio and I saw photos of her, and she didn't speak the way she wrote, or look like the cool hipster she portrayed on her blog.

Elaine Miller who was Decorno

Since the demise of Decorno (whose blog was great), there are a whole slew of girls trying to be snappy, savvy, and snarky. Some swear alot.

And decor blog speak is spilling over into the online decor magazines like Lonny, and the eagerly awaited Rue Magazine. Both are written by lovely talented people, and I am sure they do not greet one another saying: Hello, lovely! How smashing to see you! Do we need more than the fantasy of pretty decor pictures to satisfy our hum drum lives? Do we also need copy that reads like a knock off of Carrie Bradshaw?

Rue Magazine coming in September

Oh the use of cute endearments to address the reader! Hello darlings, sweeties, noodles, lovelies, little monsters, dweebs, etc. How did this get so popular and necessary? J'dore! Trademarked of course!

The third person blogs are strange and disconnecting, you know when the person refers to themselves in the third person. Like: The Vamp j'dores X Y M.., xo xo.

And the uber gay chat is another voice, all winky winky, smirky sly smiles.

Bobby Trendy talks in the third person
Painting by Paul Richmond

Or the "professional" girl-speak, aligning oneself with magazine worthy editors and designers in hopes that their light will polish a thin veneer of pretend posing.

So chic! Hermes throw! Elle Decor! Domino! House Beautiful!

We cannot forget the educated voices either, erudite and knowing, using words like whilst and yonder, and always wearing a liberal arts education on the proverbial unravelled sleeve.

Wearing your education for all to see

Or fairie tale speak. Everything in fairie tale speak is very very romantic.

So romantic - just like a fairie tale!

I have met some bloggers who have a distinct blog voice manufactured for the gentle reader, and they do not talk like this in person. No swearing, no wisecracks, no sugary endearments, no posing to be super smart or chic or famous. Just nice intelligent-lovely-interesting-talented people with a lovely way of expressing themselves.

Walter Winchell had the original gossip girl voice

I guess having a manufactured blog voice is a way to be entertaining, or to have a rich fantasy life. And there are some blogs that are send-ups and written as fiction by fictional authors. These don't count along with the blogs I am thinking of, since they are clearly a work of pretend. I'm talking about real people blogging about their lives in unreal voices.

Do we need to blog in a perceived voice of a magazine writer or TV personality, or whatever voice we think of as being snappy repartee?

Louella Parsons surrounded by Hollywood stars

I have struggled with finding my "blog voice". I swear in real life. I'm a New Yorker of a certain era when it was part of the lexicon. And my mother swore like a sailor. Yet when I blog using the F swear word, it falls flat, and certain anon stalkers call me out on it, saying I'm too old to swear and trying too hard, to be what, fucking cool?

I try to talk to you as I am. And to use spell check. And to have some semblance of grammar. And to honestly say what I mean.

I think it must be exhausting to constantly write in decor blog speak. And it certainly gets tiresome to read it. And I don't like it magazines either. The first few reads are fun and entertaining, but then it gets a bit empty.

Hedda Hopper

If you write in a special voice for your blog, why did you choose to do it? Is it a burden to keep it up, or is it easier and fun to write in a voice different than your own.

And readers, how do you like to be talked to?


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Ultimately I just want people to be themselves. To be faux is a faux pas.

It is interesting to me that the two posts I have recently written where I just laid my heart open were also the two posts that went around blogland like wildfire and received a massive amount of comments.

When we met in person I found you to be delightful and true.
I hope you had the same experience.

Please call me out and smack me around if this was not the case. :)

pve design said...

I want authenticity and passion in a voice.

I recently watched a video with Wallis Simpson and what a voice!
All well knowing that we will meet, I look forward to seeing your face and putting it with blog voice.
yours truly,

my favorite and my best said...

if i may...

my blog voice is usually me at a party after a couple of cocktails.

i am who i blog. i blog who i am.
there are other sides to me. sure. a sweet side, a mothering side, a violently protective side and a naive silly side blah blah blah who cares. my sailors mouth is ever present and i have to fight hard to not drop f bombs in front of my 5 year old. i also make up stupid words all the time just like i do in my blog. someone recently called it scatalogical. i had to look it up bc though i had an inkling i wanted to be absolutely sure what it meant. and it fits me to a t.
most of the shit my husband and i say to each other is COMPLETELY scatalogical.

there are no false pretenses with me dearest vamp.
you know this though.

and i also KNOW YOU personally and have heard you cuss like a sailor every other word and it felt as natural as anything. so for people who say "you are trying too hard" etc...they really just don't know you.

Lady Blah Blah said...

I want all my lovely readers to know that I am not as hippy as I look in that photo. J'adore you all as much as my lucite trunk filled with carefully curated stacks of Domino magazine and topped with a python tray filled with copies of I Married Adventure and Maker's Mark.

Mallory - Miss Malaprop said...

I find the sugar sweet terms of endearment for readers kind of annoying. "Oh my bijoux!" and the like just seems fake to me. Because really, who talks like that??

In real life I do curse like a sailor, and I try to censor my use of R-rated language in my blogging, since I'm trying to be professional and all. Other than that though, I really try to write as though I'd speak in real life. I don't know if that actually works, but I try...

Margaret said...

If the photos are good I'll overlook the campiness, but may delete it from my bookmarks later if they bore me. Basically, if the Blogger's photo sports well-fitting clothing, i.e., top, pants (not too tight, now) and no funny poses, I'll sit for a spell, but will hit the close the page 'x' if there is a hint of cussing, fussing, fuming, shrinking, stretching or fading.

VV, YOU ARE SAFE, as the cussing was a tutorial, only, and your clothes appear to be prudent choices from proper dressmakers.

LIG, I'm heading over your way now to check out your heart-felt sentiments as I can't get enough Prairie speak!

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Great post! I've wondered about all the questions you've brought up here too. I'm glad to see a photo of Decorno. I always wondered what she looked like and thought it strange that she didn't post a photo of herself on her blog. I started a blog (slow going though it is) and I knew I couldn't write the best or be the wittiest so I made up my mind to just be ME and to write as if I was talking to my sister or a friend. Friends and family have sent me messages or told me that my blog sounds just like me talking and I've been so happy to hear that. I will tell you one thing - If you or Jenny from MFAMB didn't write like you do on your blogs I wouldn't be followers. Don't either of you go changing!

Visual Vamp said...

Well said everyone!
And Jenny I love you even more. You said it all beautifully.
xo xo

Anonymous said...

Oh lordy, give me authenticity any day! Anything pretend just gets on my nerves. On my blog, I write as I speak for the most part (minus the f-bombs). I think it would be too much work to do otherwise.

Very interesting topic, this is something I hadn't thought much of!

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I love this topic. I have to say...I read those clever blogs and I think...Wow...I don't sound clever at all on my blog. I just write it as I think it. My blog sounds just like me. I wish I had a clever way to address my readers....I wish I had a Mr. MVL....but I can tell you if I did....he would not be the sort that would tolerate me calling him that on my blog.

I tend to ramble on my posts....and then I think...darn...I meant to keep it short and elegant...but then I just keep on typing.

I don't curse on my blog...I curse in real life but only when upset and I'm never upset on my blog so it would be artificial for me to post random rude words.

Anyway....I'm happy to learn that others find blogs that are written in an artificial manner to be annoying. Clever.....but annoying.

Design Blahg said...

Love this convo! (and also I want that bird hat BAD).

For me, my writing voice is just another piece of the "who am I?" puzzle. And I was kind of surprised myself when it came out of hiding. I have a filthy mouth, and an opinion about pretty much everything, and mostly think that the majority of ppl in design take themselves WAAAY too seriously, however, just because I don't bust out with a "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP!?" when I meet someone for the first time, it doesn't mean that my writing voice is my pretend voice and my "hey, nice to meet you!" voice is my real voice.

I think my writing voice is just another side of my personality, and while its not always appropriate to let my freak flag fly when I first meet someone, if we get to know one another (and/or you get me drunk), you'll see what I mean.

Having said that, I do often get confused with a dude. I have another blog about my neighborhood that I live in in Park Slope ( and when I first launched it a year and half or so ago (along with my other Twitter account), people were always surprised that I was a chick. Not sure what that means...girls are not supposed to curse, I guess?

Anyway, I would guess that if someone is blogging away in a voice that is really truly not theirs, that shit would get real old, real fast.

Anyway, that's also sort of the beauty of the internet...everyone has a chance to do their own thing (even the really, really annoying ones). So yeah: BLOG HARD, ppl!

(and keep the controversial posts coming, Vamp!)

La Petite Gallery said...

Some post's do sound a little affected in their business jargon.
It doesn't bother me either way.
Then some do get a little to
cutzy, sweety, Dahling. I can even handle a bad word now and then. Interesting post ,
MISS VAMP.. yvonne

Belly said...

First- thanks for starting this interesting discussion!
Now, to my opinion: I think there isn't one Decorspeak (if you shall). There's the uber-educated (style court, a bloomsbury life), the sweet-till-you-vomit, the trash-mouthed I adore (MFAMB, design blahg- to name a few), the j'adore and hoo-has and more. And it's totally okay, it's entertaining and it's one of the things that make blogs fun to read and participate in. The problem begins when everybody adopts the SAME style, and when you feel how they do it to "succeed as a blogger" "to be in the know"- it's not that any of the voices above isn't genuine, it is those who force it on themselves, where the sheer effort is palpable- and seeing the effort is never sexy, or fun for that matter.
I can say my blogging voice isn't exactly my talking voice, and it never was- that's the reason I've always enjoyed writing (in a notebook, in emails or yeah, in my blogs) better than speaking- I'm better at it (and you'll have to believe I'm better yet in Hebrew :P). For example: in my other, Hebrew literary blog my "voice" is much more "magazine-y" and authoritative, because I know that I know the stuff much better, I have some authority and a better education in the area and I'm not writing not as a sole writer in a blog that (Israeli) publishing execs are reading carefully- this is what the blog asks for. But I digress.
Anyway, what I was (clumsily) trying to say was that there are all sorts of genuine, and they're all fine as long as we don't all turn to be of the same mold, at which point it would be just exhausting and stale reading the same thing all over again.

beachbungalow8 said...

Here's a novel idea, if you don't like someone's writing, don't open their blog again. *poof* away they go. Into oblivion. It only persists if 'you' keep it alive via conversation. Personally, I'd hate to waste someone's time if they were not 'feeling' my blog.

And lucky for all of us there are thousands of really well written blogs showing up by the hour. So go out and treasure hunt. have a blast.

French Basketeer said...

First time poster here; this is a great post, very interesting! I personally wonder about all the gratuitous French words tossed about on the blogosphere, unless it's in context. Do people do that to be clever? Or is it really "them?"

Irene said...

I'm who I am on my blog, no pretended, I do censor myself with the language, and I certainly don't want to her anyone's feelings, but I'm very transparent, I hope. I think it's obvious after a few times of reading someone's blog when it's not authentic.

The Gimlet Eye said...

Excellent post, Vamp. The short answer is that I really try to write my blog like I speak...I think, for me, it is an escape away from my "fake lawyer voice" that I have to write with throughout the day!

Jan said...

Good post Valorie - interesting topic.
Confuses the hell out of me though.

Renae said...

Gosh, I'm not smart or creative enough to have a different persona. :) You KNOW me, I hope my ''voice' sounds on paper like it does in person!
I try to have good grammar and spell correctly, but other than that, it's just me!

Anonymous said...

as you know, there was always someone cracking wise in the elevators at 979, so, for those of us who have been rusticated(even voluntarily), it is a bit of 'old home week' having a flame of fast talk on the design blogs.

but, ladies (of either sex) of a certain age using the 'f' does get very old very fast. we didn't do THAT in 979 because mr. baldwin or sister parish and albert hadley could have stepped onto the elevator at any floor, and we had a modicum of respect, if not decency. we also knew where the bagel was buttered........

what i love is spontaneity, not trash talk. and, i suppose i wear my degree in english on one or another raveled sleeve. timing, editing, taking advantage of a great language or two, is much more stimulating than a slew of four letter leavings on a page.

noel coward and cole porter could do it, dorothy parker and bea lillie.

betty white gets away with 'stuff' because it is not every-other-word. as did estelle getty. or mae west!



VV Fan said...

I so agree with you, Miz V. I am sick of the blogging cliques.

I did a quick survey, and look what I discovered...

--My Marrakesh
--If the Lampshade Fits
--Little Augury
--Peak of Chic
--Mrs. Blandings
--Habitually Chic
--House of Beauty and Culture
--I Suwannee
--A Bloomsbury Life
--Reggie Darling
--La Dolce Vita
--Absolutely Beautiful Things
--Hollister Hovey
--Studio Annetta
--My Notting Hill
--Emily Evans Eerdmans
--Brilliant Asylum
--Architect Design
--Grant K. Gibson
--Pigstown Design
--Style Court
--Petunia Face

It's a disgrace. Not ONE of these blogs includes Visual Vamp in its blogroll.

Renee Finberg said...

straight forward, don't make me read between the lines.


Anonymous said...

Let's get real. This is not LITERATURE. It's just blogworld and in my opinion anything goes. If you don't like the vulgar ones...don't read them. If you want to be uplifted and aspire to greater things, read the uber educated ones only. And then, there is a lot in the middle that is very noteworthy. It's personal choice and censorship should not be tolerated nor encouraged. I get a hoot how most blogs say "negative comments will be deleted".....then what's the point? Everyone just want to hear hunky dory stuff?
I also get a hoot how bent out of shape you guys get over anon comments. Get a grip!!! Some of us don't relish our name and picture being pasted all over the internet. Personal choice again.
The younger foul mouthed ones act so liberal and cool, but just try to post one little negative anon comment and you get a full blown out war.
Everyone needs to take it easy.

Like I said. It's only blogworld. Me thinks some of you take it way too seriously.

An anon lurker...oh my God....RUN!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my decor! Keep Calm and Carry On!

inner_child said...

When I blog as Elizabeth Lane (Mrs. John Sloan,, I speak in third person. Don't know why, just seemed to fit the blog.
When I blog as Mise en scène,, I can barely speak, much less be pithy.
I am probably my most pedantic and annoying self when I blog about my genealogy. Sometimes, I annoy myself too much to post! I find it tough to make facts intéressant, much less interesting.
So much of the way I speak in real life is lost when put to paper, I have an ironic and dry, some say sick and twisted, sense of humour which doesn't play well without tone and timing. Why, yes, I did just use the British spelling, I'll blame that on working with Canadians, once, not at all related to the time I spelled my name Pola, with an ö.
I appreciate Lady Blah Blah's Osa Johnson send up! As little Glory said, I just love books, they are so decorative!
Paula ~

Summer N. said...

What a great post! I've blogged on and off for years, starting the with the intent to be my true self, and ending them because I live with my true self everyday, so writing about it just appeared a bit...egotistical.

Oddly enough, in person I come off quiet, shy and reserved. My blog voice reflects curse words equally as important and appropriate as beautiful or magnificent, does not always align with liberal or conservative opinion and can be quite inconsiderate of others, while in the same breath thinking deeply about the meaning of life and the profundities of God.

I'm consistently inconsistent. And I love it.

When I wrote in Atlanta, I did the whole "cutsie, wutsie" verbiage to cover local boutiques and trends, in an effort to connect with some elementary level of womanhood that would justify spending $500+ on shoes, but to be honest...I really rather have said, "look this store has some cute shit, that will put you behind on eliminating your debt completely, but at least all the other women will envy those new pair of shoes that they weren't too scared to drop $500 on. Go buy it, mmmkay?"

I really like straightforward writing, but don't think that translates well to readers. It's the point and doesn't preoccupy a lot of those 8-hour workdays. If you look at it like a movie, the Titanic got built, hit an iceberg and sank. It was much throw a love story in between those events.

inner_child said...

BT-dubs, love the Hedda Hopper picture! Most days, that is the way I feel.

Sharon in Chicago said...

VV -- really, does anyone really enjoy being talked "to"? I'd much rather talk "with" someone. It therefore stands to reason that I enjoy more conversationally written blogs than didactic ones. Those that start a discussion, rather than those which lecture. The former I'm more likely to respond to (if only in conversation with myself), the latter I'm more likely to skip.

Oh, and yes I know some of what I just wrote may come across as "liberal artsy" in language, but that's my background. So to me, that's natural language not an affect. (And if that's supposed to be "effect", blame my iPhone where I can't figure out how to grammar-check)

Visual Vamp said...

You all are amazing!
I so appreciate this conversation.
VV Fan - I don't really mind not being on someone's blog list.
There are plenty of people I miss listing simply because there are so many blogs.
If I want to be on someone's list, I just drop an e-mail to them and ask to be included.
Anon Lurker, please come back again :-)
xo xo

Anonymous said...

I don't have a blog, but I read a few, and of many different types. Thank goodness each one DOES have a different voice. I look at blogs for enjoyment and entertainment, to get ideas, to learn something new, and to add layers of interest to things I already do know about. If I like a blog I keep reading, if I don't like it, I stop reading. That simple. Ultimately it's the blog author's responsibility to herself/himself about how they blog. An author has their reasons for blogging, and that's perhaps what they should keep coming back to as they ponder these questions. As with so many things in life, being true to your best self is probably the best answer.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's a bird hat? I thought it was a mermaid tail.

Linda Merrill said...

I think anyone who bothers to write a blog can write in any voice they choose. If I don't like it, I don't read it. Period. The thing that used to bug me, though it seems to have abated somewhat, is the cutsey comment lingo "I just took a peak..." "I'm jumping over from so-and-so's" "I hope you don't mind..." - that all seemed very contrived.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah gee, well, I'm guilty of using the word, "whilst". But I use it in my everyday speech as well, so I guess I'm just a numpty both in life as well as in print. Of course, here in the South, I've always considered "yonder" to be a bit of slang. As in, "Where'd Mama put the tater salad?".... "Over yonder."

I can't talk, or write, in baby talk, so I hope I'm off the hook on that one!

GrannySmithGreen said...

Tell it like it is! You always seem to, and that's why I enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

I really do enjoy your post. I enjoy everyone's post most of the time.I, like most people do have their favorites. I think the Blog world is so inspirational that I cannot and will not critize any. I just hope everyone keeps on bringing all the lovely things that make my life so much more enjoyable.If someone chooses to appear super educated,very French, well traveled or well versed, you get the picture...then let them. I like their blogs also.I even like this conveersation and love the blog!!!

Ruby@Ruby'sMusings said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! I think for me I just write what I feel and let my "voice" flow through the key board, no need to pretend to be anything other than who I am , though it is tempting at times ;o)

yvonne@designvignettes said...

Coming from an advertising background I sometimes worry that my voice is affected by the many ads I have created for clients (art directing, writing and proof-reading them) over the years. On the other hand, I have also written in a journal/diary since I was old enough to write, so I sincerely hope that my real voice adequately trumps my "dog and pony show" voice ... let me know what you think???? Great food for thought, VV!

PS Not to offend, but is anyone else tired of the phrase "jaw-dropping ..." ?????

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"And the uber gay chat is another voice, all winky winky, smirky sly smiles."

Does your 'dear friend' Eddie Ross know how you feel about his writing style? Or were you referring to a different gay blogger with this homophobic comment?

Do tell.

AppleTree said...

whoa people, constructive conversation please, don't be mean.

Anonymous said...
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The Southern Lady said...

Hello there from sunny Tokyo! I've never commented before but your words really struck a chord with me. I just had to respond.

As a Mom blogger, I've noticed that more of the super popular blogs do have similar voices: witty, sometimes throwing a crass word or two around. They seem knowledgeable and honestly, do entertain me. Why else do I return?

But you've raised a good point. How much is simply a "voice" and how much is the author?

I just want the men and women of the blogosphere to talk to me as if we're old friends.

If it's a blog that is supposed to be wildly fantastical or based in fiction, then by all means, use pretense and your faux persona. Otherwise...well, different strokes for different folks, I suppose. I would simply hope that the people I'm huge fans of are being themselves.

As a mother I strive to teach my children to be genuine individuals. I encourage them to not be afraid to be different, and embrace who they are. How strange is it that as adults, we're faced with other adults who steer towards what may make them more widely read-and popular-than with what's made them unique in the first place.

I'll enjoy my favorite blogs even though I've given your entry good consideration. Hopefully they are who they present themselves to be. I think they're marvelous, and I like the way they they "talk" to their readers.

Anonymous said...

Vamp, this is one of your best and most pertinent blogs to date. I am an avid reader of all types of blogs and I have to agree with you that Decorno was one of a kind. Those who try to copy her lack the wit and timing of Decorno's responses.

When Decorno shut down, a prolific blog writer who is in her mid-50s posted a comment. The first words were WHAT THE "F". I mean please. It was so obvious that she aspired to be like her potty mouthed kid, cool, hip or something but for me it made her look ridiculous. Be yourself, Vamp. Readers know authenticity when they read it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I'm going to call myself anonA...not to be confused with that other guy who just posted (and yes you're a guy and you're gay and you're offended).

Anyway....what is the cut off age for swearing? Can I still swear at 60 or is my last f word on my 59th birthday?

Just curious.


Anonymous said...

Ringo Starr just turned 70. Do we think he's a poser who's trying too hard if he swears? The "summer of love" was 43 years ago - all those hippies are between 57 and 70 today. They should all be sensible shoe wearing teetotalers? Don't be ageist people. Swearing is pretty crude at any age.

Anonf (for Anon who doesn't use the f word)

Anonymous said...

AnonA, most people who have great vocabularies don't have to resort to using foul language when writing for public consumption on a design blog unless their customers live mainly in trailer parks.

Cyn said...

Wow, looks like everyone is getting all crazy up in here!

Who cares....Just have fun!

Visual Vamp said...

To recap:
I like all blogs.
I like gay people.
I like straight people.
I am one hundred years old.
My house though not a hovel, is not perfect.
I do not mind opposing opinions, and a good discussion, but I do mind anon hate mail.
I will delete anon comments that are out of line.
Write me personally if you have a serious issue with me.
Don't ruin the spirit of a good lively discussion for the rest of us with your same old tired vendetta.
xo xo

Anonymous said...

If we drop the words "jaw-dropping" from the lexicon, can we also drop the word "perfection" of which there is none. Those who use it often in their posts imply that they are the arbiters of it and therefor privileged to judge it in others. It seems out of place when judging design work. Just a suggestion . . .

Anonymous said...
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NYCLQ said...

OUCH! Some ANON needs a happy pill... whatever. I'm still learning my way around blogland and trying to find my voice. I've read many who seem to write like they speak - and others I hope they don't really talk like that.(snob-blogs)

I think my posts are casually written, although sometimes have been commented as being a tutorial (lol - thanks - I think?) Whatever- like others have said - read - follow or don't - and move on...

So how's you kitchen project coming along Val???

:D Lynda

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:24 I would like to respond to your post before VV deletes it as she has several others today. I personally think all posts should be visible to her readers, but this is not my blog.

I think your attack on Valerie is unwarranted. I see nothing insecure about her, quite the contrary. She shares a lot of her personal design endeavors in a way that shows she isn't trying to "put on the dog", but making an effort to give her readers an idea how one can create beauty creatively and perhaps on a tighter budget. I think her post today was very interesting when you consider how seriously some of the design bloggers take themselves today. We have bedrooms featured and are told they are "universally admired" so we much all knuckle under and rave about their timeless beauty. REALLY??? , In addition, we are to believe what's in and what's out based on their taste and what they can afford. I have been checking into this site for nearly a year and I have never seen Valerie put down the design schemes of others' work - quite the contrary. I believe her sense of security speaks for itself. She is probably one of the few bloggers who attempts to nurture the talents of others in the design and blog world and while she no doubt has her favorites, it hasn't kept her from objectivity. Yes, I get my post deleted from time to time on this site and believe her standards are a little bit too high for lively conversation which makes me believe that is the reason you see fewer comments here than on other sites. Again, it's her site so we can't argue. There are a number of other bloggers who you could attack with more reason. I hope you can figure out who they are and move onward.

Cynthia said...

Goodness! (and I do say that in real life). What an interesting topic, and some wildly divergent opinions. I write on my blog as I speak in real life - too much energy required to do otherwise. I hope I sound educated when I write - I actually am educated! I don't swear simply because I've had to eliminate cursing around my chld. I would never curse in a blog post anyway - it just doesn't seem necessary. But, I never claimed to be hip or cool, so what do I know? Everyone needs to be true to themselves, and whatever reasons they have/had for undertaking blogging in the first place. To each his own.

Hill Country House Girl said...


Love this post and your observations are interesting and entertaining. The nicest compliment I get is when a friend says "I love your blog. You write just like you talk - it just sounds like you". I don't think I take it any more seriously than that. I appreciate the compliment, I love the community among friendly bloggers and I LOVE the creativity, the education and inspiration I get from other blogs.

24 Corners said...

As a fairly new blogger (since March) I've wondered about my "blog voice" and how I sound. I do work with kids so the silly story teller comes out in my posts once in a while but that makes it kind of fun and that's me. I feel that I can truly be myself in my posts, sometimes more so than in real life. The connection with like minded souls has made that possible, it's been a godsend.
xo J~

btw- now I'll be able to say "hey" to Decorno if I see her around town (would I dare?)...hope she's doing well, she's missed!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

So odd to see myself mentioned here. I don't partake in any cliques or anything, at least not willingly. I have my own reasons for everything I do. It's my blog.
Anyway...LOVE this post, Valerie. Are you the new decorno, telling it like it is?
I never have considered myself a writer and I don't have a 'writerly' blog. I'm not clever enough that way and I'm not fooling myself. So I think it's just my real voice and have been told people recognize me in my blog, which is good to know; I hate the affectations too.
I think your blog is your voice too. Of course, we've never met in person, but I feel I've gotten to know you through your blog as I have with others. Anyway....keep up the good work -keep us on our game.

Lauren said...

wow, really interesting post/ questions and enjoyed the descriptions- some definitely made me laugh...

i know i try to be 'me' on my blog and i try to write how i speak and portray who i really am... i don't quite KNOW who my readers are- their ages, occupations, etc. and so I don't try to tailor my blog for the reader.. ultimately, it's for me and whoever wants to come along for the ride can.

i know that blogs are outlets for a lot of us, so i guess if people are trying to be someone else or have a very different voice, then in some way they are still partly that person they're "pretending" to be? not quite sure... but maybe some ppl don't have a good outlet for all the design-talk in real life and get it out in blogworld... babling sorry, but really great topic.


oh yeah & I say "xoxo" because i do hug and possibly kiss (if you're lucky! ;) when i'm saying bye to friends

Anonymous said...

Can we just blog along now??

LittleBlackHome said...

Ok. I just laughed so hard I almost peed my pants! (How's THAT for being real?) Thank god for freedom of speech. Isn't it beautiful? Bravo VV. Bravo for speaking your mind and initiating a stimulating convo. It certainly stirred some people’s pots. You're hysterical. I am a blogger baby (born this month!) and so I haven't developed my "voice" yet. I am an insanely passionate person and intend on being completely honest and open, however, having a bit of an Alice-in-Wonderland state of mind, some people may think I've gone 'round the bend occasionally. I may make up silly words or act a little off, but that's just me. One thing I will NEVER be, though, is insincere. I don’t care much for fake people. The way I see it, regardless of who you are, be it through to your bones. I’ll take a genuine pompous ass over a fake sweetie pie any day. At least I know what I’m getting from them is real.
On the other hand, I get that some people want to have a blog with a strong, definitive, maybe wacky, persona. It’s just their thing. And I do like different writing styles. Que sera sera, I guess. And to each his own. I’ll find inspiration anywhere, though, regardless of whether or not the blog oozes cheese. I might not wanna have drinks with you and develop a long-lasting relationship if you appear uber fake, but I’ll still look at your pictures. :)
Let me say this: regardless of your blog style, people, don’t be hateful. There are ways to express your differences without viciously attacking people, as I believe VV has done quite nicely here.
Love your spunk and sass VV! I'll definitely be a reg.

JoLeigh said...

Your blog was one of the first I read, and I've been reading it ever since. I enjoy your posts.
Regarding this post, there is a woman who lives in my town who is a "blogger". On her blog, she makes out like she is Suzie Sweetheart Homemaker, but in real life, she is a horrible trash-talking judgmental gossip, and everyone in town knows it. I don't even look at her blog anymore because it causes me to revulse at her unauthenticity. It makes me wonder how many people portray themselves to be something they're not in their blogs. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

VV, you do manage to foster some 'lively' discussions on your blog . . .

I want authenticity when I look at a blog. Genuine, honest, realistic writing. And if the bloggers are writing from the heart - - about anything, not just style or decor - - I'll listen.

I prefer a humble, self-deprecating blogger to a 'full of myself' Blogging Queen any day. One lady in particular is quite popular,(no, not PW - - she's totally cool), and I'm completely convinced that she is really a competitive b@tch pretending to be just a sweet southern lady with great ideas. She's dreaming of the big time: a book, a TV show, fame and fortune; a Martha wannabe. I find it all so very trite and tiresome - - but, hey, it's working for her; she's got a gazillion people commenting and following.

I guess my point is that EVERYONE is going to make a splash whether it's a ripple or a tidal wave. Some people need their schtick to help them believe in their coming tsunami. Others are happy just to wade in the kiddie pool. I'm sort of partial to the waders. - HollyM

enterrement de vie de jeune fille said...

J'adore tes photos excellentes et pleine d'humour. Super.


Anonymous said...

I feel compelled to comment because of the vulgar and vile Anon comment of 7/14 @ 2:24. Valerie I'm so glad you deleted his/her comment because vulgarity of that nature is not necessary and reveals the insecurities in them as they are pointing to the insecurities of others. If they are going to post a negative comment, at least have the balls/boobs to identify themselves!

I've only been blogging a little over a year now but enjoy reading a variety of blogs. Each has its own flavor and while I don't particularly enjoy foul language, I can always push a button.

I had the pleasure of meeting you before I even heard of you and your blog at your appearance in Atlanta. At the blogger panel when everyone was being introduced I was like, Valerie who? What does she have to bring to the table? I was immediately enthralled with your personality, sense of humor, your telling it like it is.

Then I got to know you on a more personal level that evening during dinner, both of us sharing some things I'm not sure I would share with just anybody. My point is that you're real, down to earth, have your opinions, have your insecurities like we all do but weren't afraid to share.

And now I follow your blog and your blog is you. I can hear you saying what you write! Oh, YOU are listed on MY blogroll even if not on those others as mentioned in a previous comment! :)


Belle (from Life of a...) said...

While I do not write a blog focusing on decor, I do have a blog that focuses on life in general and my observations thereof. I talk a lot about my life since I'm really the most interesting person that I know. I don't curse, except to throw out a "hells bells" every now and then. I really talk like that sometimes...truly, I do. Personally, I like a variety of styles...I don't care if someone's blog is a fantasy as long as it is entertaining and/or informative.

My Notting Hill said...

Valorie - Provocative post - I admire your willingness to put issues out there.

VV Fan mentioned me on a list of blogs that don't have Visual Vamp on their blog rolls but they got it wrong - we've been on each other's blog rolls for a long time. Aren't perceptions funny though? I often feel like the person on the outside looking in.

Katie Rob said...

Call me naive, but the whole reason I started my blog was to do what I wanted, when I wanted, without restrictions. Ok, ok. Without restrictions within reason and legal boundaries. The minute I started worrying about what people thought of my blog was the minute that it stopped being fun.

Katie Rob said...

PS - for what it's worth, and I know it's not much, you are on my blogroll, too, and have been since I started blogging.

Cristin said...

The beauty of blogging is that an individual can make it there own. Readers can follow or not.

I don't mind the cute endearments so much, but don't appreciate / respect when a blogger steals content and isn't generous crediting photographers, designers, stylists, etc.

Thanks Val for making us all think about this topic!


Anonymous said...

anon-A, you so funny, that was a hilarious comment.

Marie said...

Anon 6:45-

I feel like I'm pretty "in the know" on things, but in reality, I guess I'm COMPLETELY clueless. What blog is PW? and what is the other blog you are referring too? Please share, I could always use some new reading material.


Sarah @ Maison Boheme said...

My blogging voice is a more thoughtful me. Writing, by nature, takes a little more time than speaking and therefore allows for the use of bigger words and a longer thought arch. My blog is a true representation of me but allows me to dream a little bigger, see a little clearer and enjoy the boons of a more optimistic outlook. PS - I've always loved your blog. Cheers!

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

My "blog voice" definitely reflects who I am as a person. Sure, I like peppering my writing with various adjectives, but I am not a fan of the saccharin-sweet voices some people adopt. I just don't speak that way, so I don't write like that either. I don't go around using words like "smashing" and "darling", but that's just me. If others want to do that, it's their prerogative.

I noticed I was named by VVFan on the list of cliquey bloggers who don't have you on their blog roll. I'm pretty sure you know that you've been on my blog roll for years now! I don't see how I fit into any cliques, but it's interesting to hear other's perspectives. I suppose anyone can really infer whatever they want from the tone of one's blog.

Interesting post!