Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vanity NOT Fair, Only $5.95 per Slam

I'm sure you're all sick of this topic, but this is MY blog and I'm going to rehash it if I feel so inclined. So peanut gallery, the comment section is all yours.

A while back, Vanity Fair wrote THIS article featuring several powerful and important women, all with an impressive Twitter and Social Media presence which Vanity Fair failed to fully recognize and understand. I wrote THIS letter to the editor in response, trying to form a valid viewpoint outlining some of their oversights in a format that the established media would understand, thinking I'd be lucky if it even got read by anyone other than the spam guard.

About a month later, Vanity Fair contacted me and asked for my permission to publish my letter. Ever the optimist, I immediately agreed. Who could resist the chance to see their name in LIGHTS *cough* print for the first time. In Vanity Fair, no less. Presenting an opposing viewpoint and getting showcased for it!

Boy, was I naive...but we will get to that.

Being the eager (giant inflatable) beaver that I am, I decided to take it a step further. I emailed Vanity Fair back and asked their permission to write a follow up piece about Social Media. While I was waiting for their response I began researching, getting in contact with some Social Media Moguls, who were all very accommodating, and began to make notes about what would clearly be my grand entry into the club of those with their own byline. Even if Vanity Fair didn't want it, I figured I could use the publication of the letter as leverage to get my follow up article published elsewhere - can you see the stars in my eyes getting brighter? Rose coloured glasses FTW!

Yesterday, the April issue of Vanity Fair came out. I was at the post office between shift one and shift two, running some errands on my break. Fridays are my longest days, so I was pleased to see the issue of Vanity Fair on news stands, something exciting to get me through an inevitably busy night. When they contacted me, VF was sure to inform me that my letter could be edited due to space, or cut altogether depending on the size of the rest of the ads *ahem* articles that were promised their due. In newbie writer speak this meant "It might not all be in there, but glory in some way shape or form is inevitable." To be clear, I was prepared for the fact that the whole "letters" section may be cut, which would be disappointing, but manageable.

THIS is what they printed.

Photo Link

Incase that link doesn't work, here's a transcript:

' "It is with stark disappointment that I compose this letter to address an issue on which you've no doubt already received a vast amount-" A hundred thirty-eight, A hundred thirty-nine, A hundred-forty- Sorry, that's all the room we have, Rachel Langer of Vancouver, British Columbia. Talk about burying the lead!'

So, yep. I guess they still don't think too highly of Twitter, me, or my letter. Instead of just not publishing it, they decided to make a joke of my attempt to communicate with them on their level, restricting me to the 140 characters entitled to a normal "tweet". Thanks Vanity Fair, you stay classy.

I would have been OK with not being published at all due to space, or even having my letter summarily dismissed upon its receipt. But the fact that they chose to make a snide joke, after misrepresenting their intentions and then not even explain the joke to their readers just makes it feel so personal. I guess its my turn to learn a little bit about "the biz". Its not personal, its just business...until you speak your mind.

My thoughts for a follow up article died, and I went back to work to serve people prime rib and double vodka waters. Fortunately I received a ton of twitter-love and support, as well as a very special cheesecake with a message about Vanity Fair that is not fit for print. And, of course, Derek was there through the whole thing, maintaining that it's pretty cool to be able to say that a National Magazine took a shot at me IN PRINT when really, they could have just completely ignored me. When I really think about it, he's right, but my ego still smarts a little bit.

**To be fair, they did post one dissenting viewpoint to their Tweetheart's article in the issue from a reader in Munich, Germany**

1 comment:

  1. I buried their magazine. I'd throw it out, but that'd hurt the store financially, so I just hid it behind others. I'll keep hiding it until it's time to return their rag to the distributor, and suggest to my manager, "Maybe we should stop carrying this one. It stopped being relevant or intelligent a long time ago."

    I would still write the article, if I were you. You never know, it might find an audience someday.