A cruise around the New York blogosphere

You probably didn’t notice, but I recently restructured my website. Entries

which used to have unwieldly URLs like http://www.felixsalmon.com/mt-blogfiles/archives/felixsalmon/000067.html

now have nice simple addresses like http://www.felixsalmon.com/000067.php –

a change which has more than simply cosmetic benefits. Now, I can check my referrer

log for who loves me and who doesn’t.

And it turns out that although I do get a few clickthroughs from friendly people

like 2Blowhards and Lockhart

Steele, the majority of referrals come from search engines – often

search engines which seem to have a very weird idea of what’s on my site.

An MSN search

for "flashing co-eds" brings my site up as number 4 on the list, and

a Hungarian Google search

for "grumpy gits" brings felixsalmon.com up in first place, thanks

to my sister’s use of the phrase in her entry

of January 20. (Why Hungarian Google brings me up where US Google doesn’t,

I have no idea.) There’s even a site called mamma.com ("the mother of all

search engines") which considers

my blog the fifth-best result for someone searching on "look for companies

in kuwait and environs".

The problem is, I’m a New York blogger, and I’d much rather have visitors from

New York blogs than from people looking for flashing co-eds or companies in

the Persian Gulf. The New York blogosphere is particularly vibrant at the moment,

especially since the launch of Gawker,

a site I described

on MemeFirst as "an inside-baseball

New York nanopublishing site". (That, in turn, was enough to get MemeFirst

its third listing on Gawker:

the first linked to a

story of mine about Herbert Muschamp, and the second

was about tall buildings. Since I’m one of the three editors of MemeFirst, that

makes me happy: we could use the traffic.)

It’s thanks to Gawker that I rediscovered Supermodels

Are Lonelier Than You Think, a wonderful fashionistablog which is running

a story today about

an "ethical infraction" by W magazine. Now I’ve written

before about the crazy levels to which Americans will go when they get bitten

by the "media ethics" bug, but this is ridiculous. I don’t know how

serious SALTYT is about this, but here’s the relevant bit:

Apparently W got a lot of ads from companies using Gisele because it had

a giant ed with her — or maybe vice-versa. To neophytes in the magazine trade:

asking advertisers to take advantage of their own model’s appearance is sort

of OK; to decide upon a model’s appearance only by the advertisers contributions

is not. It is an ethical infraction.

The whole piece is so crazy on so many levels that one barely knows where to

begin. For one thing, Gisele is the hottest model on the planet: I hardly think

that W needed any prodding from advertisers to put her on the cover of their

bumper March issue. For another thing, part of the reason that Gisele is so

hot is precisely because she’s doing these scorching spreads for Dior

and Dolce & Gabbana. (Although the Dior spread is actually only 6 pages,

not 10 as SALTYT reports.) Advertisers spend insane amounts of money on their

shoots, and it shows: why do you think Gawker illustrated their story with a

picture of the Dior ad, rather than a picture of the W cover? Because the cover,

by Ines van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, is simply not in the same league

as the Dior ad, which I assume is by Nick Knight.

Editorial and Advertising: Which

would you buy the magazine for?

The editorial story with Gisele is perfectly good, and has some pretty sexy

shots (as well as some extremely peculiar ones). But flick on for a few more

pages and you get to the 8-page voyeur-porn Dolce & Gabbana sequence, which

includes one shot of Gisele pointing a video camera straight at her spread-open

crotch while her left breast falls out of her top. There used to be a time when

editorial shoots were more daring than advertising: now it’s the other way around,

and real fashionistas buy magazines much more for the ads than for the edit.

Besides, the whole premise of the SALTYT story is ridiculous. "How came

the Vogue issue with Natalia is full of CK ads, while the W issue with Gisele

is full of Dior, D&G, Balenciaga?" we’re asked. Answer: it ain’t. W’s

D&G and Balenciaga ads (8 pages in total) are buried at the back of the

book, while Calvin Klein has 10 pages right at the front, in prime real estate

before the first contents page.

In any case, there are much more interesting things to worry about right here

on the Lower East Side: namely, That Hotel, as helpfully blogged by Gawker here.

For the past year now, a huge 20-story monster has been rising on Rivington

Street between Essex and Ludlow, and finally the Wall Street Journal has revealed

today what it is to be. The original rumour was that it was going to be a W

(hotel, not magazine – really, can’t you tell the difference between a

hotel and a magazine?) but then people started hearing that actually it was

going to be a Standard, or at least owned or operated by Andre Balazs.

The truth? It’s going to be a Surface. As in Surface magazine. (Evidently, no,

we can’t tell the difference between a hotel and a magazine.) Lockhart Steele

had his own take

on the article up in double-quick time, saying that those $250 rooms will probably

be selling for $79 on Orbitz. I doubt it, myself: we’re in something of a hotel

desert down here, and I think it will do pretty well, both as a trendy high-design

destination and as a useful place for the visiting parents of LES yuppies to

stay.

What Lockhart missed was this bit of the WSJ article:

Mr. Stallings wanted to build a hotel with larger rooms and panoramic views.

But late last year, he met Will Candis, a publicist and former manager of

Hotel 17, a one-time welfare hotel in New York that marketed itself as a down-and-out

experience for young artist-types.

In other words, the vision for the hotel has been scaled down significantly.

Those "larger rooms and panoramic views" are gone; in their place

are smallish "studio-style rooms" which are more affordable in the

present economic climate and which will be sold not on the strength of their

luxuriousness but rather as design destinations with possible marketing tie-in

opportunities. Maybe if Hotel (The Mercer)

is the Old New York, then Surface (The Hotel) – as the new place is rather

cheekily naming itself – is the

New New York after all!

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5 Responses to A cruise around the New York blogosphere

  1. greg.org says:

    Hm. Sounds familiar. Hotel 17′s like a place I’ve crashed at a few times in Amsterdam, . It’s basic and cheap, in the redlight district, good for a one-night stand, maybe. There’s a club in the lobby, with bands, and many rooms have been tarted up by artists. and a few rooms have been decorated by sponsors, including Heineken and Durex (yeah yeah, you’d think those rooms’d be adjoining, but they’re not).

  2. Michelle says:

    Yes that obnoxious hotel will be a trendoid “Surface” because as everyone in New York knows, downtown Manhattan does not have enough *let me lick the martini off your ass*I’m so below Houston it hurts*don’t step on my 8 inch Dior platforms* extra fabulous hot spots for the Euro trash and tanned Miami Amazons post photo shoot.

    Ugh!

    Unfortunately we all know where I’ll be drinking when it opens. You can reach me on my cell if it’s not too loud in there.

  3. greg.org says:

    hm. sounds like the upper east side, actually

  4. Felix says:

    a really scary search result which just came up on my list.

  5. yave says:

    Well dont know how I got here but its pretty nice…greatings from Tijuana, seya, take care…bye!

Comments are closed.