Tuesday, 18 November 2008

... And all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Last week I went to quite a peculiar launch. It wasn't for fashion or clothing or shopping (well, not strictly speaking). It was for a new generation of mobile phone from the 3 network.

It's called the INQ1 and the main selling point of the new device, as far as I can see, is that it's got widgets that allow you to access social networking and other useful social sites.

Top of the list, of course, is Facebook but it also gives you instant access to skype, Windows Live Messenger and Last Fm. So far, so ever-so-slightly interesting, if your a tech-head who loves their toys. Apparently you get access to ebay too, though I didn't see that in the demo. But, hey, ebay, right? Shopping. Cool.

Still, I had to ask: what the hell was I, a consummate fashion blogger, doing there? Well, according to the PR men I was what they call a "voice", which means that I have the ability to influence opinions online (at least that's what I suppose it means, either that or Simon, I've got the X-Factor!)

I wasn't the only blogger there. There was Kirsty Lee from That's Just My Vibe, along with bloggers that I hadn't met before like Amanda Gore from psfk and Priyanka Kanse from Two Parts Mixer. Meeting these two people alone, was worth a couple of hours of my time.

Now don't get me wrong, I like these little juants that I get invited to. It's nice to be noticed and it's good to see the PR guys cottoning on to the fact that bloggers have a "voice". Besides, a London girl knows not to look a free-champaign-bearing gift horse in the mouth. And because other bloggers get invited too, it's fertile ground for networking and getting know other people.

I also know that there's an element of quid pro quo involved. I'm not stupid. I know I've been invited on the understanding that I will eventually use that "voice" I have, to write about where I've been and what I've seen.

So let me use that "voice" now and say this: it's an interesting enough phone and I'm sure that it has it's uses but... Being a blogger, the first thing I had to ask was: where's the easy access to blogging ware?

Secondly, being a fashion blogger n' all, why was the phone so damned plain? It wasn't covered in swarowski crystals, it didn't come in a variety of customisable colours, it wasn't shaped like a shoe or a handbag. Even the wallpaper was a little dull. So, what was in it for me?

So here lies my dilemma: one of the fringe benefits of blogging is getting access to events like this. But sometimes, it's not a perfect fit. I'd rather have been invited to London Fashion Week or a preview of Topshop's Spring/Summer 09 collection. But that's not happened yet. It will, I guess, with time and patience. For now, I go where I'm invited and see where that leads. It's like a game of Hopscotch, you keep moving forward to get to the next box.

This time I got a goody pack which consisted of a USB disk full of press bumf, a quite decent art print, and a t-shirt that I'll probably never wear. Maybe next time I'll get the red, swarowski crystal encrusted, shoe-shaped, blogger-loaded phone of my dreams. That would make things far more interesting for me. And for you.
Me with my rad new tee and print of the Geisha DJ... sweeeet!

If you're a fan of social networking on your mobile, you can find out more about it the INQ1 here. Be warned, there's audio video on the page so turn the sound off before you click if you're at work.

See more good stuff

Outfits of the week

About me

I like pretty dresses, high heels, the colour red and good writing.