Websites of the week: big-media blog roundup
Blogs have been around for the past four or five years (Cheryl Shops will turn four this fall!), but only fairly recently have the big-media conglomerates caught on to their charms--primarily that they encourage daily visits, which in turn drives up the website's overall traffic. So while big media companies obviously have the resources to start up a blog--photos! Flash! actual salaries!--the interesting part to me is whether the blog's writer takes on the more broad tone of the publication, or whether they manage to maintain the individual voice necessary to make a blog truly interesting. So until's much-anticipated "blogue" goes live, here are the most noteworthy new blogs from established media.

Lucky magazine was one of my major inspirations, and their format lends itself so readily to a blog, I'm kind of amazed they didn't do one sooner. Nevertheless, senior editor Emily Hsieh edits the Lucky Shopping Blog, which is basically made up of various staffers' random product picks. It's kind of like reading a less organized version of the magazine, but with more of the cute anecdotes that make it so charming. Strangely enough, of all the blogs I'm featuring today, it's the one that's the least personal.

Lucky's fellow Condé Nast publication Portfolio has a blog called Fashion Inc. written by Lauren Goldstein Crowe and as befitting a business magazine, the blog is about the money end of fashion. But instead of writing with the typically dry style you'd find in a business publication, Crowe is saucy and even provocative at times. Check out her tell-it-like-it-is post on Tom Ford and you'll see what I'm talking about. The business side isn't always the sexiest part of fashion, but Crowe, with her confident voice, keeps it interesting.

I look up everything from restaurants to nail salons on Citysearch, so it's a wonder I never came across the Fashion Geek blog, which has actually been around since last fall. Written by a team of four editors, Fashion Geek is kind of like reading all of Citysearch, but with a fashion filter. From sample sales and spa specials to where to grab a bite when you're out shopping, the site is full of totally useful information--much like Citysearch itself. They also have a comprehensive list of a links and a well-organized way of browsing the archives. The writers tend to leave themselves out of the posts, but it works. After all, you can read about people's personal experiences in Citysearch's always entertaining reviews.

Speaking of entertaining, nothing beats The Market Girl,'s blog written by Elle's market editor Carol Han. Not only does Han have a fun, girlfriendy voice, she manages to make her job sound completely glamorous--a never-ending string of parties, fashion shoots, and shopping. Sprinkled among the Elle-related posts, however, are candid celebrity critiques and personal asides about her dating life. Han seems like so much fun, I want to have a few beers then go shoe shopping with her. Current issue aside (it should have been renamed "Elle: We're skinny and you're not"), Elle tends to be my favorite fashion magazine, so I'm happy that their blog captures all that's good about the publication, but with a voice that makes you think that the people who work at the magazine maybe aren't all that bad.

Written by former Elle and Marie Claire staffers, Jezebel isn't a fashion blog per se; it's equal parts celebrity, fashion, women's issues and sex--without airbrushing, as they point out in their motto. Unlike the other blogs here, Jezebel, however, isn't part of a traditional big-media conglomerate: It's the latest addition to the Gawker Media empire. So, of course there's a layer of snark at Jezebel--it wouldn't be Gawker's younger sister without it--but unlike Gawker, which makes fun of everything and everybody (including some personal friends of mine, which is starting to get really old), Jezebel's approach is refreshingly feminist. Instead of obsessing about Nicole Richie's collarbone, they challenge The Man, i.e. women's fashion magazines and the eating-disordered editors who work there, as well as secretly misogynistic fashion designers, big corporations, and anything else that exploits women. It's kind of like Broadsheet at Salon, but with a bit of fluff mixed in, and I now read it daily. I can only hope that its talented writer-editors don't suffer the same level of burnout that affects Gawker's ever-rotating stable of talent. Stay fierce, ladies!

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