Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thanks to the Great BPR Community!

ETA: This is not a farewell post - it's a thank you post and it's to YOU - so read on! LK
I was very excited to watch the first season of Project Runway, but honestly I didn't know one other person who watched it. I'd be all worked up over something that had happened on the show and I had no one to talk to. I checked the Bravo boards but I had to wade through 90 pages of "I hate Wendy." "Yeah me too." "Kara Saun Rocks." "I know." to find maybe 4 or 5 nuggets of wisdom. I visited other boards too, and they are ALL Great fun, but I just never felt like I knew those folks or that we were really having a conversation.

I LOVE to sew and I'm pretty much obsessed with design and fashion magazines and the entire design process. I teach sewing classes out of my home. This show was like a dream come true for me. Surely there were others out there who wanted to hold an intelligent discussion. But I never read any reviews about the show, I never heard it mentioned anywhere. I would ask my friends if they were watching it - and no one even heard of it. Then when it was nominated for an Emmy I was like, "See! I KNEW it! Project Runway is a great show. I'm not the only one who realizes this." I tried to express my glee to my dear husband, but he just didn't get it. He would encourage me to "Try out for the show. You could get on." Which was really sweet, but he still never actually watched the show with me. (Well, not until this season - he really enjoyed Santino's Timpressions...)

Well, I decided to start this blog in anticipation of Season Two. It was slow at first. I wanted to be the "clearinghouse" for Project Runway information. I would google the designer's names just hoping to come up with something. When the season began I had one or two readers (thanks Barb and Leopardrose) so I just had fun and posted what I felt. I wrote about my reactions to the episodes. I made up little games. I invented "Professor Gunn's Vocabulary Lesson" and the "Quote Quiz." I had lots of time to do this. I had about two comments on each post.

Then after a mention by Manolo the Shoeblogger and as the show gained in popularity I began to see more and more traffic. I began to get more and more comments. I didn't have to google anything anymore because YOU were sending me links to the articles, websites, and blogs. Eventually I saw myself become more reluctant to express my personal opinions and just offered a forum for you to express yours. I reasoned that if I was going to ask a designer a question or request an interview, I had better not be criticizing his or her work on my blog. I no longer had to write up a recap - I just linked to everyone else's. I listened to your suggestions and offered live-posting. I also eventually decided to try to remain spoiler-free and to only present the show and the designers in a positive light. Any articles critical of the show or or a particular designer or anything that doesn't make our readers feel happy about Project Runway is almost never included. I'm here to promote the show, not drag it down. Thanks for understanding.

(Continued in Comments section)


LauraK said...

I think everyone should know about Project Runway and everyone should watch it. BPR is a place to learn more about the show and for all of us to express our opinions. I just never imagined that it would become a community.

In the middle of the season I realized the the blog was really taking on a life of it's own. I dreaded being away from the computer for too long because I would return to hundreds of e-mails. (Each comment comes to me as an e-mail.) Of course I read each one to be sure that all comments are polite and appropriate. We have many young readers. I want to be "family friendly." There are plenty of other sites and message boards that allow "four-letter words." I want to be different. So, the blog became a lot of work. My family noticed that I was "always on the computer." I complained a little bit to Manolo and he really encouraged me. This is when I enlisted the help of TBone and The Scarlett and Dr. Don. Tbone was doing a great job with the live-posting so I asked him to help with writing up new posts and the recap-aloozas and screening the comments. He is very creative with suggestions. Scarlett is a computer genius. She puts up all of the videos and switches out the banners and rearranges things in our template in addition to adding her own posts. Don/Fashionasart was always leaving excellent comments. He obviously thought things out and composed very intelligent observations. I thought his observations deserved their own posts rather than appearing in the comments, so I invited him on board as well. I read Auntiemame's hilarious posts over at TwoP and I invited her to do some "exclusive" recaps for us. Her posts were among our most popular items. (I know you miss Mame, she has taken on a new job and has a young child as is no longer able to commit the amount of time required to do her amazing recaps.)

Many many others also contribute to BPR - Travis invents our banners, Abhinetri works on the videos, many of you submit links and comments and suggestions. As I read your comments and posts I began to feel like I knew you. Like you were friends. Yes, we are becoming a community. I recognize your names and e-mail addresses.

When Chloe won I thought "Oh, TBone must be so happy!" and then, "Oh, but poor Jan!" What a difference from last season when Jay won and the whole Shoe-gate thing and...well... Wendy... and having no one to talk with! This time I could almost predict the reactions. Because I know you! This has been WAY better than the first season - at least for me.

So it with with great anticipation and excitement that I look forward to our "Tour." It will be fun to meet some of you in person, but mostly I want to thank each and every reader for sharing this with me - not just the ones who can make it on Saturday.

Thank you each and every one. All of you who read BPR and add your comments. All of you who e-mail your thoughts and links. All of you with an interest in Project Runway or in a particular designer, who googled the name and discovered us. Some of you admit to checking 10 times a day! We are always trying to keep things lively here, but it wouldn't be possible without lots of help. Blogging Project Runway is truly a collaboration among fans.

So thank you to all of the readers of BPR and the great fans of Project Runway who have all contributed to the success of our little blog - You are wonderful - you feel like friends, a true community.

And here's to Season Three!

Cindy said...

I cannot wait for Season Three and will be here with bells on!

Thank for doing a fabulous job on the blog, all of you who work on it. Its so much fun and its become a must read for me.

Wish I could join you, Im sure you will post details.


katiecoo said...

Thanks for creating and maintaining this great blog...a great resource for all info on PR. A big job for sure and your AZ neighbor appreciates it!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Laura for your hard work maintaining this blog! We all appreciate it!

KCF said...

When I started reading this entry, Laura, I had a moment of such sadness--Oh no, I thought, she's ending the blog. It's too much work for her. This is her swan song. Thanks God I was wrong! And thanks to all the folks who helped share the burden and make this a lively and fun place! BPR has been so much fun, and now extends the life of the show for me and so many others, as we eagerly await Season 3. Thanks again, Laura and friends!

praddicted said...

Laura- I so agree, i raced to the bottom of the post, thinking oh, no, she's giving it up!!

Thank you for this great blog-it's true, it's fun to be able to exchange ideas, to hear intelligent critiques and share a few laughs with people you are pretty sure you would like in *real life*. There are no personal attacks on either other bloggers or designers, no silliness, everyone is received warmly and it's fun and funny-and a great source of info. I learned much more about season 2 through the links and the other bloggers and what they know and have read. Differences of opinions are just that-opinions. It helps me see things I didn't see otherwise. Laura, I think this must reflect your sensibilities (and TBone and Scarlett and Fashionasart).I also think its why the designers have given it credibility by reading, posting and I'm pretty sure thinking about the points presented here. That's a testimony to all of you. THANK YOU.

Trish said...

I love this blog and I am so glad I found it! I stopped reading the livejournal blog the second I found this one for many of the same reasons you listed about the msg boards (and the clincher was when they gave away the winner with no regard to the West Coast fans - idiots!).
Thanks for doing this and 2 more days!!!!!!!!!!

AJ said...

I'd like to take a moment out to thank YOU Laura. I have spent the past several months in a job I dislike and find incredibly boring. Up until a few weeks ago I rarely had any work to do and found myself desperate for SOMETHING to do all day! Then I stumbled upon BPR somewhere around the Nicky Hilton episode and it was love at first

I am a Project Runway fanatic since the first season and to find a place that is well managed and provides intelligent thoughts and comments on a show I can't get enough of...sign me up!

This helped me kill time at work (10 times a day is nothing...try refreshing the page about 3 or 4 times an hour on a slow day! and it made the season 2 experience so much more enjoyable! I am able to learn more and connect to my favorite designers thanks to Laura:)

I even started my own blog (which I've been sadly ignoring) to post recaps among other things.

Since the finale aired (I too immediately though of how happy tbone was when Chloe won) things have gotten busier at work and I am getting ready to leave this job and start a new one with a major publication. I'm hoping it will be the stepping stone I need to advance my career in some media form. Since I've been MIA lately, Laura even e-mailed me to make sure I was alright and if I'd be coming on the tour still (which I'm sad to say I probably won't be able to) but it was such a sweet gesture.

Granted, I don't know any of you, but I feel like this is our little niche on the web to share our thoughts on a show we love and the hobbies that result from it. I've found that Jan and I have the same taste in men and that I share a brain with jrt more often then not!

So thank you Laura, for making this a great couple of months and setting us up for exciting seasons to come!

Jan the Dan Fan said...

I can not wait to give Momma Laura a big hug on Saturday!!!

Season Two became such a fun experience once I found this site. I had been searching around the other message boards--and was not drawn into the harsh comments or even the "drool" threads (although my heart does flutter for Daniel of course).

Thank you again and again Laura for creating a fun family environment we can all enjoy no matter what our opinions may be.

Cheers to TBone, The Scarlett and Dr. Don for all of their efforts and contributions to this fabulous site!

Tukie said...

Laura, Your blog is awesome. This was a wonderful place for me to get positive and intelligent input about the show. Love it!

Bonnie said...

I want to add my thanks to you as well. In fact, thanks to your list of links to the personal sites and blogs of Daniel V, Diana Eng, Andrae and the rest, I was able to contact them for the interview I did with them all on
So thanks! ;-)