Spirit Fingers is a Hong Kong blogger who has been an e-friend of mine since the late '90's, when we both enjoyed the Camelot of pop culture message boards, the Fametracker Forums. (FT still exists, but the forums do not. In case you're a fellow former FT'er, I posted as "Lula Carson," and yes, I started that thread you found hilarious and loved so much.)
Her profile explains that she has "an aversion to puffy wedding dresses, monogram handbags &
Laura Ashley, golddiggers, people who dress inappropriately for their
age and Asians who dye their hair blonde," which means she would probably be very disappointed to know that I wore a pink Laura Ashley dress to my eighth grade formal. (It had a horrendous giant bow on the front, and it made me the envy of my fellow suburban prep girls for several weeks.)
Her blog is quite popular, as evidenced by the fact that she is linked to by 253 other bloggers. Despite the fashion focus of her blog, I can assure you it is also full of general pop culture comment of the brilliantly funny variety.
Bella: Why do you blog?
Spirit Fingers: It's
mainly an outlet of expression which may not necessarily be available
in my daily work and life. There aren't too many people in my immediate
social circle who I can also discuss topics like fashion and pop
culture with. There aren't too many people in my immediate social
Bella: What was your original goal or intention when you started, and has that changed with time?
The blog mainly started as a commentary about fashion-related topics
and news I found interesting. However as things progressed and
readership increased, the scope of the blog has expanded to include
lifestyle and shopping trends and on occasion celebrities who really
provide quite delightful fodder.
Bella: Is your blog a
means to an end (finding work, developing creative ideas, making money,
meeting people), or does it exist for its own sake?
It's mainly for developing creative ideas without having to worry too
much about commercial considerations. On occasion I get approached with
business opportunities but none that would be able to allow me to quit
my day job and blog fulltime. It's also important to be wary about
businesses that try and take advantage of the willingness of the
blogging community to share information. For example, when I first
started blogging a very well-known advertising company asked me to help
them write a report for their client about street fashion trends in
Asia and to provide pictures for it as well. There was no mention of
compensation - they just assumed I would do it for free while they
charged their client lots of money for their "market research".
Bella: What kind of person is the likeliest reader of your blog? What would you hope they get out of reading you?
Spirit Fingers: Someone
who may not necessarily be interested in fashion but has a fair amount
of knowledge about pop culture. It is hard to pinpoint a type of reader
as they come from all over the world and from different backgrounds and
age groups. I hope that they get mildly entertained by whatever they
read and find it interesting enough to pass it along to their friends.
Are there people in your life who don't "get the whole blog thing?" How
do you explain it to them without feeling as nerdy and defensive as I
Spirit Fingers: The vast majority of my
friends and acquaintances don't read blogs or even know what blogs are.
I don't mind so much because people have different tastes and hobbies.
Especially out here in Hong Kong when people might not understand why
you're doing something that won't end up making money in order for you
to buy the latest! fugly! designer! handbag!
your relationship with your readers? How much interaction do you
encourage? How much do you self-censor, knowing that your friends and
family might be reading?
Spirit Fingers: I get quite a
bit of reader mail whether it's about fashion, or questions about
shopping in Hong Kong or general reader feedback. I try to answer all
of them but I'm not very efficient in that regard, e.g., I might not reply
immediately if someone has emailed just asking me to promote their
site. In terms of self-censorship, I don't really write about my
personal life because frankly my day to day activities are really not
that exciting and I doubt anyone would be interested in reading about
how often I sit in my bathtub sloughing dead skin cells from the soles
of my feet.
Bella: What are your thoughts on the
phenomenon of "doocing," wherein someone loses their job because of
things they posted on a relatively anonymous, discreetly written
personal blog? Are you careful to maintain a clear line between your
online self and your real world self? Are you conscious of creating an
online persona? How is that persona different from the real world you?
I don't think someone should be sacked if they blogged outside of work
on non-work related topics, and if they didn't mention who specifically
their employer was on their blog. These sackings aren't going to deter
people from blogging either because online venting is such a popular
activity nowadays. I blog under "Spirit Fingers" instead of my real
name but my online persona is quite similar to (but only slightly
bustier than) my real world self. The way my blog is set up, I don't
think readers would be too focused on my personality and identity
because it's about things that happen outside of my life.
Bella: How long do you think you will continue to blog? What are the circumstances under which you can imagine yourself quitting?
I hope to continue blogging in the foreseeable future but if I suddenly
had no free time available (due to job, quintuplets etc.) I would
probably have to give up my blog. I imagine this would cause the
faintest of ripples to resonate throughout the blogosphere.
Bella: What's the coolest thing that's come out of your blogging experience?
Coming into contact with people from different parts of the world, some
of whom are published writers and from the fashion industry. However
nobody has seen fit to send me Chanel quilted leather handbags in
appreciation of my hard work, which is somewhat disappointing.