Scott Schuman: the Most Influential Fashion Blogger of 2009 | Signature9

Scott Schuman: the Most Influential Fashion Blogger of 2009

And likely 2010.  The famous street style photographer (who also considers himself an editor) is at the top of our recently updated list of the most influential fashion and beauty bloggers of 2009.

the-sartorialist-book2009 saw Schuman’s first book release, along with a well received collaboration with Burberry on a site with images centered around the British label’s wardrobe staple – the trench coat. The site sustained the initial interest via user uploads and social media tools like Facebook. Most interesting however is that the out the door lines at book signings, the renewed interest in a piece of clothing that has had the same design for decades, are all tangible demonstrations of the impact fashion bloggers can have.

The first Style99 ranked over 250 blogs to determine the most influential among them. This quarter, we increased the number of included blogs to more than 400 with an emphasis on uncovering more non-English language blogs that were having an impact with readers. There are great lists of favorite blogs out there, and lots of metrics, but nothing that made the numbers tell a story.

The rankings methodology has changed slightly, but among the publishers at the very top of the list, not much else has. The first rankings – released in September 2009, included data from blog aggregator Technorati. To give a more balanced ranking that took into account blogs not registered with the service, particularly blogs not in English, the Technorati score has been replaced with one for unique domain links. While large budgets and networks can increase the number of overall links to a site, and conversely the perceived popularity, the number of unique individual sites generally gives a more accurate picture. The rest? Well, that’s still pretty similar: the rankings are heavily weighted towards demonstrated preferences by readers and other bloggers in that order. A large marketing budget may buy traffic, but it doesn’t by influence.

Consider Schuman’s the Sartorialist, which maintains the top spot despite the adjustment in ranking criteria. While unique visitors to the blog certainly aren’t lacking, network behemoths have more traffic, possibly more pageviews and would outperform on standard online media measurements. Among the people who visit the site though, more have bookmarked, blogged and linked to the Sartorialist’s posts than any other blog we came across.  Let it be a message that when it comes to actionable influence, the quality of reader interest matters just as much as the quantity.

Among the top 10% of bloggers ranked, network multi-author blogs (think Breaking Media’s Fashionista, Aol’s StyleList, New York Magazine’s the Cut, Sugar Inc.’s Fabsugar) do appear, but overwhelmingly fashion influence online belongs to publishers with a distinctly individual point of view. Street style bloggers who use everyday settings as their editorial backdrops, girls who share their personal style, guys who share a passion for the latest sneaker release; the list goes on, but the common thread is that the unabashed fashion and beauty fanatics are connecting with readers online in ways that most traditional media companies haven’t been able to.

99 Most Influential Style Blogs – January 2010 {Signature9}






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