I remember first getting into the world of blogging nearly ten years ago. I was 14 and developed a weird obsession with buying Teen Vogue, despite there only being a US edition - I think I was going through that phase that many teens do and thought I'd grow up to be a fashion designer, just because I once made an awful smock dress in my textiles class. I'd trot along to my local WH Smiths every month, buy Teen Vogue with my pocket money and cut out the front cover. I had a good 20 or so of them stuck on my walls to cover up the lilac paint I'd grown out of.
Teen Vogue started using the magazine to push its online counterpart, and eventually, one bored Sunday afternoon, I logged on to the family laptop in the spare room (yes, teens of today, my family all shared ONE laptop until I was 15) and had a gander. It was there that I found *cue hallelujah chorus music* - the TEEN VOGUE FORUMS.
Online, the Teen Vogue forums were basically like the Twitter of 2007. Seriously, if anyone out there reading this used to visit the Teen Vogue forums, HOLLA AT ME cause I was obsessed. People would use them to talk about TV shows (Gossip Girl had just come out and it was a very hot topic), books, celebrities, fashion, music and... blogging.
People started sharing their links on certain threads, and it was from there that the world of blogging was opened up to me. It was completely new and so exciting. A space on the internet that gave you an insight into another persons life, the city they lived in, the clothes they wore? I was quickly hooked.
I think one of the very first blogs I found was WishWishWish (still going strong today!). I loved vintage style blogs too, like The Snail and the Cyclops and Hannah + Landon. I remember one I was seriously obsessed with was That's Just My Vibe - it was written by a girl in her twenties living in London and working in media, and I remember thinking WOW. This girl is so cool. I think I actually went and bought a pair of black wet look leggings from Topshop just because she'd blogged about them (a sign of the power of influence way back in 2008... before Topshop had even cottoned on that this was a thing).
Everyone's blog was hosted on blogspot.com, the photos were taken on digital cameras or rubbish webcams and there wasn't any fancy schmancy HTML - but these were probably the only threads looping every blog together. That's what was so great. Every blog was different. They didn't have to look flash or glossy like the pages of the magazines did, because they were so interesting without any of the added sparkle. Back then, I don't remember reading a single two blogs that seemed to churn out even remotely similar content.
We've moved on to early 2011 here. Fun fact - that chart on the wall behind me was a revision timetable with the University of Sheffield logo (my first choice Uni) on it. To motivate me. WHAT A NERD. I'm sure you've probably gathered by now that I was a bit obsessed with school (I got into Sheffield, by the way). Also the t-shirt - "cropped by moi" girl we can tell, dat uneven hemline tho.
I also miss the rough and ready-ness of the posts. People would just share a pic they'd taken on their Macbook webcam then write about what they'd done with their week. Or they'd review a MAC lipstick with their REAL opinion - posts weren't littered with asterisks warning the reader of sponsored content. It was all very honest.
If you look back at some of my first posts on this blog that are visible (circa 2014), you can see I was starting to get a bit caught up in the blogger fodder - what did I buy from Lush? What are five products I'm using on my face? I don't have anything against these kinds of posts, it's just so hard to really engage with them when 837392 content creators have written the same thing.
Here we go - March 2011, an outfit post and a glimpse at my room, which is actually very telling of my life at the time. The sewing machine that I spent several nights wanting to pick up and fling across my room when it bunched up the stitches on an important piece of work. Charity shop clothes, ~so edgy~ of me (seriously though half my clothes at this point were from Cancer Research). Revision timetables are back, OF COURSE, gal's gotta stay focused. Not sure what the obnoxious British flag is all about. All in all this was a very budget post - Primark come through. I was working in a shop on £4.90 an hour so I'm not surprised!