Expanding upon our initial proposal, we have began to explore each of the interactive fashion apps. We divided the four apps among the four of us in order to allow for each of us to conduct further research. Elizabeth is researching “Go Try It On”, Natalie is researching “Trimirror”, Jessica is researching “Opinionaided” and I am researching “Glamour Ask a Stylist.”

After spending the weekend interacting with these different applications and sites, we found that the most interesting part of this new media was the type of community they fostered. None of us ever came across any negativity on the site. People were helpful and supportive—they really wanted to see those how posted outfits, questions, etc. do well. This sort of “Good Samaritan” community seems to different from the rest of the internet.

By interacting with different users, we tried to determine how the sites are monitored, and if maybe the administrators are just deleting all nasty comments. On Opinionaided, the comments come up as “pending” before officially posting to the site, but still are published within a minute or so. This led us to think it was just the traffic of the site, not someone monitoring comments that delayed responses. As for Glamour Ask A Stylist, unlike some of the other apps where feedback is from users like you or me, this app’s responses are from professional stylists, so the comments are most likely going to be positive and constructive since ultimately they are representing Glamour magazine. The other two sites don’t seem to have any kind of monitoring process at all, and as they are communities mostly made up of young females seeking fashion advice, we were surprised to see such positivity. In fact, On Tri Mirror, people have personal profiles on the website where they can share personal details about themselves and collect friends on the Tri Mirror network.

Going forward, we plan to each focus our attention on one of the three sites. We’ll be monitoring how users interact and what sorts of communities exist within the sites. We’ll also be posting on all three sites to see how users respond. Opinionated has already proven to be quite a chatty community and Go Try It On brings quick, supportive responses. We want to test the limits with what we are able to post and how we can act within these communities. They all are still relatively small (in terms of internet communities) so we want to see how tightly knit they are and how they differ from large advice chat rooms. Additionally, to further expand our travelogue we are going to post the same picture on all four sites and analyze details such as the feedback, length of time for responses, levels of criticism and filtering.

- Danielle, Elizabeth, Natalie & Jessica

8 Responses to “Need Fashion Advice? There’s an App for That!”

  1. Hannah Satzke says:

    I think that’s a good idea how you have divided up the group to explore the variety of different apps that all have to do with reviewing user’s fashion choices. I am especially intrigued by the Glamour as a stylist one, because as you mentioned there was a lag maybe due to traffic, how do Glamour stylists get back to all the user’s requests? Do you think there is maybe some fallacy there as to who is actually doing the critiquing? Also to wrap your final travelogue altogether maybe you guys can look at the social implications of this like how an app like this becomes practical in our society and why so many user’s are attracted to it. Do we like to be judged and critiqued? Do we value honest opinion? or do we only like it if the feedback is positive? If so, how do we then know it is genuine?

  2. mdeseriis says:

    Hi, I like the way you have divided up the work and are moving forward with the research. I am wondering whether there is a way for you to extend the conversations from the screen to real life. I bet that at least some these apps are location-based. If that is the case it would be interesting to try and contact some of the more active fashionistas to see whether they want to talk to you about their experience in real life. It is entirely possible that some of them already do that. New York is big on fashion so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Are you planning on using a video camera?

  3. jajja says:

    I’m especially excited to see how the experiment you proposed towards the end pans out. I think it would be great to post identical outfits in each community to see how the responses differ across the platforms.

    Perhaps you can identity some individuals on the website that are particularly active who you might be able to interview? Or maybe even some of the Glamour stylists would be willing to give you some feedback if you email. Also, I would start thinking about the format through which you actually want to present your travelogue (podcast, video, etc.)

  4. msmith says:

    I think Hannah’s comment includes some really interesting questions that might be useful for you going forward. Given the specificity of content on these apps, that line of thinking might locate your observations and interactions within a slightly broader discussion.

    Really looking forward to your final product!

  5. Kevin says:

    I agree that Hannah raises some issues that are important to explore. I am also curious why these apps were created. It seems that people can turn to friends when asking opinions on clothing, so it’s interesting to turn to an online community for this input. I am also skeptical of the only positive comments. While this fosters a positive and welcoming environment, is this positivity sincere? Looking forward to what you guys come up with and the format you are presenting in.

  6. danjones says:

    I really like where you’re going with this…I think that having the bulk of your research come out of actually using the services really makes sense for this project. The one thing I’m curious about though is how you’re going to present the final travelogue. Since the apps are so visual-based it might make sense to do some kind of video or infographic or collage-type-thingie. The other thing that I’d add is that it might be worthwhile to do a quick check to see if there are any scholarly articles that are related to the services, just to give the work a more theoretical grounding. Sound great so far though!

  7. janakalnina says:

    I love the idea of “testing the limits” of all these positive responses. Perhaps when doing your experiment of posting the same outfit across all four platforms, the rest of you could set up fake accounts and post one really negative comment and one positive comment. I would really be interested (just for the fun of it) to see how negative comments are absorbed by the community. It could help you figure out whether the apps indeed filter out negative comments if the positive one gets posted and the negative one does not. Furthermore, it would give viewers of the test-image a chance to not only form their own opinions but interact with your (fake) negative and positive comments. Would be fascinating to see what a little shaking up of the system could lead to!

  8. arosen says:

    It seems like your travelogue is moving in a really interesting direction, and I love the idea of posting an identical outfit on each different site to see how the responses differ. I feel like being that your subject is so visual that you could make a really cool collage video with a narrative or something to present it.

    I think Hannah’s comment is interesting in that it is great that everybody is so positive in these communities, but do people really want an honest critique of their outfits or do they just want positive reinforcement so they can feel flattered and good about themselves? It might be intriguing to see if you could get any insight from the users about this: whether when they post comments if they do it to be nice or actually give true opinions of others outfits. If everybody is positive all the time, doesn’t that defeat the original purpose of the websites? Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

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