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Disappointment

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Vanity Fair

Well, this has been an interesting day. This morning I got a Tweet giving me the head’s up that the Vanity Fair article I was in had been posted. I was running out the door, but clicked and saw the GORGEOUS image by Michael Halsband: (including @digitalroyalty @AdventureGirl @JuliaRoy @PRSarahEvans @Pop17) and got very excited and posted a link without reading the article. Well, bad idea.

When I was first approached to do the shoot, I was very excited. The photography in the magazine has always been the best in the business, and the fact that they were interested in doing a piece about Twitter and New Media gave me hope that a magazine firmly in the “establishment” was interested in exploring the subject in a new light.  And then during breakfast I saw some weird Twitter comments go by…and then I read the article…and oh, gosh. Really?!

I can’t tell you how many hours I had to resist rage Tweeting about this subject. The use of inane Twitter lingo like “Twilebrity”, “Tweeple” and “Twitformation Superhighway” (Oh God please stop) just signaled that the writer obviously wasn’t well-researched about the service, or the internet in general, really. And her condescending jibes like, “…somehow this fascinates millions of readers.” Well, whatever.  We’re all used to snarkville.

But what really ENRAGED me what the general tone, which artfully made intelligent, articulate women sound vapid and superficial. Check this part:

For tweeple, e-mail messages are sonnets, Facebook is practically Tolstoy. “Facebook is just way too slow,” says Stefanie Michaels…“I can’t deal with that kind of deep engagement.”
….
“Sometimes,” says Julia Roy, a 26-year-old New York social strategist turned twilebrity, scrunching her face, “when you’re Twittering all the time, you even start to think in 140 characters.”

“Scrunching her face?!” Oh gosh, thinking is hard!

Well, despite the overwhelming insinuation, these women ALL of them are self-made, business entrepreneurs. They aren’t skating by on their good looks, they have businesses. In some of their cases, with professional sports teams and major brands, they help steer the online presence of empires. They are a new kind of savvy business person, cutting the middle man out. Carving and creating new professions. Most importantly, in this celebrity culture of “Jersey Shore” fame, they aren’t just “famous” for being “famous” as the article implies. They have influence in an emerging and important arena. I guess that just wasn’t an interesting angle?  I mean, we’re practically naked in trench coats, who needs MORE zing?!

I am especially sad that in the same issue, Vanity Fair featured 7 very young emerging actresses (most of whom are tied to large corporations like Disney and Nickelodeon) and treated them with much more respect than they gave us.  I feel like an opportunity was missed to celebrate a new kind of independent and liberated woman.  Yes, I’m pretty naive, haha.

Luckily, there are many smart women on the internet whose hackles got raised as much or MORE than mine did. In blog entries at CNETGeek WeekMediaite.com, smaller blogs like Geek Girl Diva, and many many comments through Twitter and Facebook, everyone picked up on the condescending tone of the article.  (Too bad VF doesn’t have comments enabled on the article, I’d love to see that thread!)  Perhaps this will spur more dialogue about old media’s perception of the internet, and the role of women in new media vs. old?  I can only hope.

Thus ends my “glamorous” experience.  For a few hours during the photo shoot it was like a dream come true.  But their business is about to be gutted by the tablet revolution anyway, so I guess I’ll cut them some slack. ;)

UPDATE (1-10): @digitalroyalty, far right in the photo, has a blog entry up on the situation as well, check out her social media perspective.

  • http://www.radnerd.com Beau Ryan

    Pretty awesome pic! If “Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego” where ever a film, you should be casted!

  • Ken

    The magazine industry obviously feels very threatened by the internet and with good reason. By the time their issues hit the stands, it’s all old news.

  • http://aithyne.net Lynn

    It’s a wonderful picture and I am so, so sorry it didn’t turn out to be the article you wanted it to be! I have lost what respect I had for Vanity Fair (not that there was much) because of this article, honestly.

    They portrayed confident, self-made women as nothing more than attention seekers and completely missed the whole point of micro-blogging and social media.

  • http://www.josephwallace.com JoeW

    So agree, Felicia–really disappointing take on a fascinating and useful way to connect. It just drips with dislike, even scorn.

    Honestly, if this is the best the traditional media can do, no wonder it’s dying!

  • Melisa

    I think you nailed it when you said, “their business is about to be gutted by the tablet revolution anyway”. This is what crossed my mind when reading the article – this is a magazine that is REALLY worried about losing its “prestigious footing” to a world of blogs… grassroots news that doesn’t require multi-million dollar corporations in the sense that they have been formed over the last century. I think they’re scared, and the article was an example of that.

  • http://www.starlitcitadel.com Tao W

    Yeah, the article itself was entirely too sad. Still, maybe the outrage on the ‘Net might make them redo the article.

    Btw – gutted seems a little harsh considering SI at least seems quite on the ball with their view of the next generation of their magazine.

    • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

      Good point, I saw that demo and it looked FABULOUS. So maybe this will usher new innovation, looking forward to it def!

      • http://blog.michaelgruen.com Michael E Gruen

        All of the large publishers are going to make a huge play into the tablet sphere within the next year or so—I wouldn’t be surprised if Hearst et al. digitized all of their content for distribution on a Microsoft or Apple Tablet.

        In that vein, didn’t that SI reader look suspiciously like you chopped off a macbook’s screen and put a iPhone-esque UI on it? I wonder if they’re one in the same; that’d be a coop.

      • Barad

        Felicia well i guess you are the first woman i would actually ask
        to go out or something rather then raid for that damn epic shield which
        drops like never.

        Well anyhow Ill go take my pill now:)

  • mxermadman

    I’ll repeat my tweet on the subject:

    The author has a typically jaded perception of social media and the internet as a whole. Hate to see what she thinks of MMO’s.

  • http://coolhandjohnny.blogspot.com Chelsea

    i was one of the many tweeters who replied to that angrily. it insulted EVERYONE on twitter. all of us just “pattering” constantly. sure, that’s what we all do all day. there is no substance right?
    you look gorgeous in the picture, and i’m sorry a jealous bitch was the one writing the article.

  • bethany

    Those of us who still read are hoping this is a jump-the-shark moment—could this be the Internet’s version of reality TV?

    Vanesse GriWTF comes off as a complete moron. Hasn’t she ever sent or received a text message? Or does she write a letter with a fountain pen and Crane stationary and the lyricism of Thomas Jefferson every time she has something to tell someone?

    Journalists should and do still value the soundbyte. And just because someone uses Twitter does not make them less educated or less thoughtful than the one who scorns tweeple while her Proust gathers dust. That one blogger is absolutely correct in saying that journalists fear new media because they can’t handle the creative destruction that’s taking place in their profession. I think that’s the root of the problem.

    But hey, at least your legs look great.

    • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

      I almost fell out of my chair @ “Hasn’t she ever sent or received a text message? Or does she write a letter with a fountain pen and Crane stationary and the lyricism of Thomas Jefferson every time she has something to tell someone?”

      LMAO that was epic.

  • inkasrain

    Go Felicia! As a young woman on Twitter, I’m proud to be represented by you and the other women in this article. Keep walking the walk!

  • http://twitter.com/Sparkymus Sparky Zapho

    It is sad really that old media has decided to dig in it’s heals like that. Change is good! fercrissake! Is this common practice for VF? Let us find the prettiest girls at the forefront of whatever and applaud their beauty while condescending their accomplishments? What do the other women from this article think of it? I don’t follow them, but I hope they are as displeased with this as you are. Even though there are no comments on the article this is the URL for their contact page. http://www.vanityfair.com/contact/contactus

  • Almeister

    Bravo, Felicia… Bravo! :)

  • Alex

    Ah, the angered final gasps of a displaced industry… at least the photography looks good? :)

    Oh, and kudos to you and all the visionary up-and-comers out there; it’s too bad that (by the sounds of it) they resorted to inviting you into their den under such false pretences?

    Alex

  • WestsideKef

    I’m sorry it turned out that way…I guess some of the print journalists are worried about these new fangled internets.

    And, totally wouldn’t get the humour in your quote, “Oh gosh, thinking is hard!”

  • http://www.twitter.com/ben_b55 ben_b55

    It was insulting. I think that we need to all tweet @vanityfairmag voice our disappointment/rage/annoyance (more about the writer than the person managing the account of course) with the article and at least request the option for comments to be posted on it. Ditto on what everyone else has said about the pic.

  • http://twitter.com/alalcoolj AlanD

    A thoughtful and well-measured response. Very nicely put. The photo is ab-fab, but the article isn’t worth the dead trees it’s printed on.

    BTW, it may amuse you to know that Vanity Fair is an anagram for “a fart in ivy”, which is perhaps an apt description of the attitudes and relevance of old media in situations like this.

  • Brent

    hey! that was a twitterific post!
    I’m gonna go tweet to the tweeple of the Twitformation Superhighway about how twitastic that picture is! Tweetly doo!

    GAHHH!

    such an annoying article, but what a great picture!

    Vanity Fair really missed out on an opportunity here

    • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

      LOL! You know the only people who I have ever heard say ANYTHING like “tweeple” or “Tweetlets” (I think I say that one), it’s all tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. Being goofy on purpose. It seems Vanity Fair is not familiar with sarcasm and thinks everything is literal like we all say crap like that all the time and mean it seriously. I’m left wondering what rock they’re living under and how they managed to rub together their last two brain cells to come up with their diabolical plan to lure Felicia and the rest into their lair for a photo op.

  • Radek Vytiska

    I feel your anger. The saddest is part is, that in every case they will win. Because
    negative publicity is also publicity.
    The biggest revenge would be silence. But I don’t think its even moral, everyone should defend itself! Even if its a bit counterproductive.

    I also don’t like twitter or facebook services myself (general ideas). I only thought about twitter when I found your tweets, but now I am following you on my Google page without account. So I am OK for now.
    There are people like you and others who can do great things with these services. So cheer up and I will look forward to your other posts and tweets :D

  • Radek Vytiska

    OH and great photo BTW!
    Sorry for double post, had to say this :D

  • heyitsryan

    Sounds like the vanity fair writer was just a “twat”. Get it? twat? twitter? oh man I kill me. That is a pretty useless article but hey look on the bright side, You still look hot in the photo!

  • http://www.lickmygeek.com j3551c4

    the only smart thing that the folks over at VF did with that article was disable comments. i’m sure they knew exactly what was coming. it is still unreal to me that a magazine which is supposed to be a symbol of “the times” could be so backward and sexist. rather than celebrate a group of intelligent, business savvy women who have taken a tool and used it for both the gain of their careers, and personal, real interaction with their fan base, they dedicated an entire article filled with snark, that lacked everything from wit to insight. i don’t even think it should be called snark, because snark, done properly, is funny, and this was anything but…

    i hate to use the word hater (ugh)…but seriously, this is what haters do when a rising star is on the come up. take it as a mark of your accomplishments, because really, they won’t be writing articles about folks that don’t pose a threat to their definition of established.

    i tend to ignore fashion/lifestyle magazines in general, and here is another reason why.

    btw…hot picture. =]

  • http://dougluberts.com Doug Luberts

    Sadly, I just caught the wonderful photo during the morning rush (Hey, images are my life :) ), and didn’t get a chance to read the article in detail until this afternoon.

    Disappointing, to say the least, and for the reasons you so eloquently state. Although given VN’s positioning in the Conde Nast stable as a slightly-more-literate version of “Vogue”, I wouldn’t expect a lot of depth on any issue. (Hell, they even saved two of the best fashion photographers around, Roy and Demarchelier, for the “Follow those girls” piece. Their editorial priorities are pretty clear.)

    I’m convinced that old media just doesn’t get new media, and by the time they do, your generation of the leading entrepreneurial minds will have firmly entrenched yourselves in a new business model that is robust, viable, and with a huge component that is outside of the old order.

    While this could have been an impressive piece, take some solace in the fact that your core followers already know your value as a creator and innovator in the space, and quite of few of them vocally called BS on the VN piece.

  • http://worldofhiglet.blogspot.com/ worldofhiglet

    I’m so sorry, Felicia. I can’t really write any more because I feel so sad and angry on your behalf.

    The pic is cute but taken with the text it’s hard to appreciate it.

  • http://www.csdaley.com Christopher

    I was very disappointed in the Vanity Fair article for all of the reasons you listed Felicia but I also had one other major bone to pick. So I blogged about it. (http://www.csdaley.com/2010/01/snark-fail-vanity-fair-style.html)

  • Shadowslayer81

    Obviously the mainstream new doesn’t understand twitter. thats why the have other people tweeting for them. They don’t realize that twitter is to hear about peoples thoughts. Yes you can promote and its awesome that you do but its not a medium to get rich on. you just have to get your name out on it and you’lll be good. dont worry about old media there dead. Dont get fake tans as the real you is hot!

  • http://geekgirldiva.entertainmentearth.com Geek Girl Diva

    Y’know what? You. Rock.

    You (and the other women in that article) have all of the things the article (and author) lacked. Class, style, humor, authenticity and a willingness to understand a subject before you talk about it.

    Thanks for the link, thanks for being honest and real about your thoughts on this.

    …and thanks for being a geek girl who understands what I mean when I tell you that you better get your ass geared up and into ICC. ;-)

    GGD

  • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

    I think VF is very threatened by any kind of “by the people, for the people” type of media because it threatens their relevance and their existence. Though one of my friends commented to me today: “I didn’t know Vanity Fair was ever relevant.”

    They have a habit of sucker punching people and in some cases get a little close to the tabloid gossip line. I don’t consider them a very worthwhile magazine after many of the stunts they’ve pulled with people.

    They are clearly very out of touched. However… the cherry on the irony sundae is that at the very end… after they’ve ranted mindlessly about how vapid and shallow Twitter users are, they are sure to post their twitter follow link. Maybe they’re just jealous they can’t Twitter right.

    I haven’t checked, but I’d almost bet you have more followers.

    • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

      Just checked. And yes… by a long shot. Which kind of puts a fine point on it.

  • http://seekinginthezeitgeist.blogspot.com/ David M

    Very classy and spot on Felicia. I saw it RT’d and I did the same thing, I shared it just seeing the image. I read it and regretted it, then saw the CNET piece. You keep saying the mainstream (or old media) doesn’t get the web culture and how separate they are, and I guess, sadly, they certainly confirmed your observations. I felt bad for all of you, but reading your post, I just feel bad for VF and old media.

  • Maggie

    Gorgeous pic, but I can’t believe how you were all so misrepresented. Twitter can be used as a business tool and that’s what you all are doing. I use twitter for work, at NASA no less. It’s a great way to communicate with the people you are trying to reach. It has many many uses in many different fields. And to make you all look like a bunch of ditzy girls was a huge disservice to everyone.

  • monadicman

    This is what most of the popular press does with anything associated with math/science/ technology. I first started playing with computers in 1976 and am still amazed how the popular press has never understood computing (mainframes, minicomputers, PCs, the internet, social networking, you name it) and other than Biology their depiction of scientists is even worse. There was a whole thread recently on a mailing list mathematicians who all agree that their depiction in the popular press rarely strays from the “he/she is crazy but considered a genius.” You would never see a PBS show about say Sammy Eilenberg who lead a dual life as a famous art expert AND a famous algebraic topologist and few in either knew about the other. That would make a cool movie.

    I long ago quit reading science/technology sections of any mag/newspaper except for
    the economist, which normally does a good job. Where do I get science news these days — twitter. My buddies at NASA (disclaimer they pay for most of my research) tweet
    their discoveries!! Check out the one today on black holes and stellar formation.

    It doesn’t come as a shock to me that this article was done by a woman. I’ve long ago decided that most of the women who do humanities degrees seem to go out of their way to avoid understanding engineering and technology. It’s considered COOL. When I taught undergrads, a common theme from girls in CS and engineering was the peer pressure from other girls to quit the major. I don’t even understand the dynamic and as a guy it mostly confuses me, but it’s there and it hurts the field. That’s why women like you Felicia are so important to burn a different image into young women and teens to counteract that peer pressure. One amazing friend of mine — now a successful scientist told me how contrary to popular belief it was the “feminist studies” sort at her oxbridge college that seemed to shun her because she liked to hack the linux kernel, play with robots, and the like. Yeah she likes to talk about that stuff too. You see she actually IS a woman pioneer in a male dominated profession so why would these women support her. She said it just made her like the guys in the field who encouraged her even more!

    A far better angle for the VF story would be something like. In the early days of computers there were lots of women. The first programmers were actually women! Working on ENIAC at Penn. John Backus had this cool team of women programmers at IBM in the 50s — he was rather naive and didn’t know he was supposed to pay women less — the word went out around NYC that smart women with a math degree could make really good money working for this guy at IBM. As late as 1985 40% of the CS grads were women. We still don’t know what changed things, but it did. Now they are coming back in areas like social networking and multimedia, but you see a lot of young women now days in natural language understanding. There are all these smart, attractive, media/culturally savvy women that are both developing new technology, new content, and new media streams and are helping to both change the culture as well as create new industries. Couldn’t tell that story could they!

    • http://rjmelville.com Rachel

      Your comment reminded me of a really terrible commercial I saw recently on television. I can’t remember what it was for, one of the many women’s diet programs I believe. One of the lines the female actor actually said was something like, “I don’t have time to think about science…”. I couldn’t believe it. I mean it’s one thing to have Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian practically having sex with their fast food, but my jaw dropped when I heard the “no time for science” line.

      • NGWP

        Oh, that’s a very common theme in diet ads. A magazine targeted to female body builders featured a two page spread that started with the statement, “I’m keenly aware that most females do not like science, so I’ll try to keep this simple.”

      • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

        It’s like that Barbie they pulled off the shelf that talked and one of the things she said was: “Math is hard. Let’s go shopping!” (How can you know how good the sale is if you can’t do math? I mean come on!)

    • inksplotched

      “I’ve long ago decided that most of the women who do humanities degrees seem to go out of their way to avoid understanding engineering and technology. It’s considered COOL.”

      As a woman pursuing a humanities degree, I see this as a very generalized and unfair statement. Please don’t lump us all together, it’s rude and borders on sexist. Virtually none of the other women I know in my field have this attitude you seem to have ‘decided’ is the norm.

      • digopheliadug

        @inksplotched Thank you, just what I was going to say.

        As a woman with a BA in international studies pursuing a career in non-profits, who also attended a prestigious math and science high school, I thought monadicman’s comment on the subject was pretty thoughtless. There’s no reason to try to build successful women in science or tech careers up by tearing other intelligent women down.

    • T. Katriina

      “I’ve long ago decided that most of the women who do humanities degrees seem to go out of their way to avoid understanding engineering and technology.”

      Wow, sexism and broad generalizations are never a good idea. I’m a woman pursuing a masters in history and I will have you know I can hold my own among my “techie” friends. I’m the one that wired the entertainment system when I lived with my roommates as an undergrad, I replace my own computer hardware, and I understand the inner workings of my computer just as well as I understand the history I’m studying.

      Stereotyping people like you just did does nothing but make you look like an ass.

    • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

      I think this is a very insightful comment. The irony is that many of those who write articles like “America’s Tweethearts” will turn around and complain about how “the man” is holding them down and how there are so many “male dominated” careers run by a “boy’s club” and they can’t get in. When the reality is… there is a lot of sexism against women committed BY women holding each other back and more often than not, the “brutish ogre males” are the ones encouraging them to grow.

  • http://www.faceofthecookie.com Kiala

    I was talking to my friend Melissa about the article this afternoon and we both agreed we think the tweet examples they used (“getting highlights before class,” “I hrd u had fun!,” “Wah, missing my twittr time!” ) were completely fabricated.

    Just…GAH…so many stabby feelings.

  • http://doesnotvalidate.com Dane Hesseldahl

    I have to say that I was deeply troubled by this tone of the article as well – but on the plus side – it was very impressive to see that your fan-base (and the internet as whole) were deft enough to see through this rampant bullshit.

    So, instead of letting this bum me out – I really looked at it as verification that people like you are doing much more good than you give yourself credit for. There is an entire legion of girls out there who have new, strong, successful role models to look up to – and that being pretty isn’t the only path to success.

    I think you deserve a big pat on the back – for being who you are, and also having the guts to stand up for yourself.

  • http://getdancey.com Claire

    Lovely photo, and good rant! Well, discussion :)

  • joe

    What I want to know is, how much details did they tell you the article was going to be about when you went in to do the photoshoot? Did you ask to get an advance copy of the article and ask for a chance to back out if the content of the article was so bad?

    I’m a really big fan of yours, Felicia, but it kind of sounded like you just jumped in at an photo op. Without making sure the article was legit, without doing the due diligence to double check everything. Perhaps it was a bit naive? a bit hasty? went on a greedy ego trip?

    Although, it’s not entirely your fault. It seems like Vanity Fair has screwed a lot of people over recently… Miley Cyrus being one of the first ones that I can remember.

    Lastly, I’m not sure what’s the criteria for inviting people to interview for that article.
    I really don’t see how all 6 women belong in the same group. I found out about you from other media outlets so you’re more noticeable outside of twitter than on twitter, from my point of view.

    I don’t know the frequency of twits from the other people, but you really don’t tweet that much. So if measured by sheer volume of tweets, you don’t really belong either.

    Sure you have a huge following, but there are 3 other people on the list that has fewer than 40K followers. That should place them well outside of the top 200 twitters in terms of the number of followers, I would think. So what makes those 3 “twilebrities” if so few people even know about them?

    So the whole thing sounds like they just selected a group of people, and see who’d answer the call for the photo shoot. I think it’s really unfortunate that you got suckered into that trap.

    I can just picture you poking your forehead right now in that cute way you did it in one of the episodes of “the Guild”.

    Well, there’s always this consolation prize you can give yourself: know that no press is bad press. Which isn’t really saying much of anything.
    oh well.

  • http://rjmelville.com Rachel

    Well said, Felicia. In a way it’s kind of a cool thing that this happened because it allowed you to speak out against it, which completely left their thoughtless article in the dust. Also, your honest admission of tweeting before reading is something the folks over at VF could probably never lower themselves to do either, which is why they make terrible candidates for Twitter. They’re just, like, too cool for the rest of us lowly, educated, down-to-earth, intelligent types.

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    Well, had I the money that most people featured in VF have for a professional PR agent (who run about 2500 dollars a month) I probably would have thought to ask those first questions. I don’t believe people generally have veto rights over press articles, especially in my position. I don’t do a lot of interviews, believe me I turn down 90% of requests from blogs and podcasts and mags and stuff, so I guess this taught me to ask a few more questions going in.

    • Alex

      This is what I meant in my above post regarding false pretences. I wasn’t there, but my guess is they didn’t call you up and say “Hey, would you come pose for a cover photo on a piece we’re doing? It’s a derogatory and misleading look at the lives of several up-and-coming, independent young women. Oh, if you don’t mind, we’ll also need a statement, because the copy makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine, and we’re really gonna need to take your own words horribly out of context in order to make our argument seem the least bit plausible.”

      … No, I’m sure they were probably very friendly, put a positive spin on it, and I’d wager a good bet most people here would have done the exact same thing, given the opportunity. You should feel no shame in being a trusting person; it’s an expected mark of proper societal protocol to be at least somewhat upfront with people, especially when enlisting their help/ services. It’s just unfortunate that not everyone plays by the rules, regardless of wether they were trying to be ‘edgy’ or ‘thought provoking’ or whatever position they’ll likely retcon onto following the little uproar this has caused. :P

      • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

        There was probably also the “safety in numbers” aspect. There were five other respected women doing this. So it’s one of those things where on some subconscious level you think “if there was something shady, surely the others would be backing out.”

        What I think VF and others in traditional press fundamentally fail to understand is… there is so much out there in the way of news/information/entertainment, we do not HAVE to go to what is curated for us. So if places like VF piss us off, we can take our little eyeballs elsewhere to read. And you can bet that’s what a lot of people are doing.

        VF will then stand around going: “It’s the new media, taking us down.” No, it’s YOU taking yourself down by being so out of touch with your reader base. The only people who should be embarrassed by all this is VF.

  • Fernando

    Hahaha it is ironic that me, and I believe some other “tweeple”, just received your tweet in our feeds, clicked the hyperlink to the photograph, and then for the lack of time just didn’t read the rest of the article. I had to return a second time, and by the way, this happened because of another tweet.

    “For tweeple, e-mail messages are sonnets”. What about spam?!!! viagra sonnets?? haha

  • Audrey

    The picture is beautiful, and when I saw you standing front and center I thought, “if Felicia’s at the lead then this could actually be a good article!” But once I started reading it was immediately apparent that you had no part in the substance, which is a tragedy. I’m happy that you got some personal publicity because you’re awesome and deserve it – but am right with you on the content this time.

  • http://karyo-edelman.com patti Schom-Moffatt

    I agree with what you say, but can’t help wonder why you all thought dressing in trench coats that makes it appear like you are all naked underneath, would then lead to a serious article about powerful, successful women tweeting. The marginalization occurred when you all agreed to pose like models and focus on your looks rather than your brains. Despite the marching and bra burning, we really haven’t come that far, baby.

    • inksplotched

      So… according to you, powerful successful women aren’t allowed to model?

      • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

        So you can’t look glamorous/pretty and be taken seriously for something else? I dunno if that black and white argument needs to be applied in this day and age. It’s an interesting point to debate. You don’t see me posing in a bikini or using my sexuality all over (except in a tongue in cheek way) in press situations because I don’t feel comfortable with that, but this I thought was artistic and classy and artful, which is what Vanity Fair is known for.

        • MsMelis

          Hey Felicia – I can understand your thinking that the photos fit the Vanity Fair style and that they would at least do a fair, professional job of the article.

          However, I had the same reaction to the photos as patti – the naked trenchcoat sexy thing – it’s a pervasive theme throughout the media. I can’t imagine photo shoots of leading MEN of technology looking ‘sexy’. (I’m sure it’s been done here or there, but nowhere to the extent of women.) So, yeah, that was a red flag to me too.

          I get the question you asked “So you can’t look glamorous/pretty and be taken seriously for something else?” I don’t think that’s the challenge facing women. It’s that you HAVE TO look glamorous/pretty to be taken seriously.

          I’m a big fan of yours b/c of your work, but I also love that you don’t use your beauty or ‘sexiness’ as a major selling point. Men don’t have to do it, and I don’t think women should have to either.

        • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

          I have a little trouble with the “celebrate a new kind of independent and liberated woman” remark that reveals a deep seated agism and total disregard for the women of a previous generation who’ve done well. It’s… brainless, insecure and BTW, narcissistic. They didn’t take Twitter seriously? Really? Maybe they didn’t take you seriously. Could that be biting?

          They trivialized you. Ok, then take the challenge: precisely what have you or the rest of these victims of old jealous media accomplished that you should now be taken more seriously than say Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina or even Dolly Parton?

          Or Neda Soltan?

          And you’re walking eyes wide open into the career killing phenomenon of not getting over yourself. When a commedian or commedienne does that, the applause stops. Study Lenny Bruce.

          Here’s what’s biting you: the VR article has that grain of truth needed by any demogoguery that is successful. Regardless of the numbers of followers, the technology IS trivial until put to a non-trivial use. When you tell us what you had for lunch or whine about ketchup, that’s trivial and silly. It works for you because you are a commedienne and that is the act. When Iranian protesters dieing in the streets use it, it is not a trivial use although the widespread use of it effectively allowed the Republican Guard to track these people down and they are paying for saying non-trivial things with trivial technologies in blood right now.

          So take the challenge: why should VF readers take you more seriously than the women in that list above? If you can’t, you and the rest, STFU. Seriously.

        • Alex

          @ len. This blog entry is about a young entrepreneur who feels disappointed that she was invited to participate in an editorial that subsequently painted her work in a very dismissive and prejudicial way. She has every right to feel however she pleases about the way she was treated, and clearly most people here agree with her assessment, given the responses she’s received.

          So… at what point did this become about slandering other accomplished women in history? ‘Correlation proves causation’ is a logical fallacy; just because young entrepreneurs are celebrated does not imply that the reverse is also true. Your challenge to Ms Day that she somehow has to prove herself against notable women of the past makes about as much sense as if I were to tell you that because Gene Siskel was a famous critic, you need to prove yourself in a comparable manner in order for us to take your words of criticism seriously. Does that not sound a little asinine to you?

          Also, your entire argument as to why the work of these young entrepreneurs is “trivial and silly” is completely unfounded, as the number of followers is not only relevant, it’s the key. Your argument precludes some sort of higher standard regarding what’s trivial and what isn’t, and yet your only support for said argument is your highly subjective and hitherto undefined point of view. Anyone versed in the principles of effective communication, on the other hand, would tell you that the more followers you have, the more obvious it is that you’re being anything but trivial, because people won’t continue to listen to you if they don’t think you have something to say worth hearing.

          Ms Day is an accomplished actor, producer, writer, and more, with a noted minimum of over 1.5 million people interested in what she’s trying to communicate. Regardless of wether you or some editor at VF personally defines that as “trivial” or not, a nationally recognized periodical such as VF should be taking the broader picture into mind before putting pen to paper, and more importantly, if they feel they have grounds for criticism, should have the sensibility to not be inviting these entrepreneurs in under different pretences to work on a piece that will ultimately turn around and berate them in the end.

        • Z

          Alex there is one major fallacy in your superfluous and pretentiously worded rant in response to Len. Numbers don’t mean a damn thing when it comes to matters of any kind of actual substance. In fact quite the opposite, most of the time more numbers means more insipid content. Since intelligent people are in the minority these days it would seem that things followed in such large numbers are largely followed by absolute morons. So, as far as the importance of content…numbers don’t a thing. Now if you’re talking about numbers in relation to mindless consumerism, that’s a different story. In that respect, numbers are everything.

    • Tom S.

      That’s ridiculous….sure this may sound “expected” from a straight, healthy 30-something man…but what is more attractive in this world than a well read, classy woman with a drive to do more that what the average level of expectations states she should be doing…this even more so if the woman has a sense of humor.

      (Basically I really hate those comments and feel like going off more right now, but decided to try and say something better than just cursing…….a lot of this stems from my admiration for my younger sister and what she has worked for and done, and also just how I was raised…)

  • http://www.twitter.com/avongauss Aaron Von Gauss

    The article is horrible for a lot of different reasons, I agree, and many have posted responses all over the web detailing exacting why it is horrible. Its obvious from reading the article that the author does not frequently use or understand how Twitter interactions work. However, after watching many of the reactions go back and forth on Twitter today about the article, I am a bit dumbfounded.

    The article’s premise (I believe?) is about female entrepreneurs who are using Twitter as part of their strategy. That sounds like the basis of a good article to me, and a story that is worth telling. Most of the more critical people that I have seen on Twitter today talking about the article also happen to be writers, some professional, most with blogs and most with their reaction to article posted in their blog.

    Maybe this is a stupid idea, but after writing the obvious response to the article – which is the easy part, why not write the article as it should have been written in the first place? Hell, if you really get serious about it, maybe even actually talk to the women about their experience, intent and results from incorporating Twitter in to their strategy. If its a well written article, then we try and get Vanity Fair to publish a revised edition or even another publisher and/or media outlet.

    I personally hate the monikers old media and new media, but even if you consider Vanity Fair old style media that is breathing its last wispy breath, I believe there are still potentially a million readers that might just read that article. Its just a thought, but this could also be an opportunity. I have no connection to Twitter or Vanity Fair and out of the six I am only familiar with Felicia Day, and that is to say I have watched a few episodes of The Guild and liked them and started following her on Twitter.

    • Z

      In regards to your first qualm with the fact that the writer of the VF article doesn’t use twitter frequently or understand the intricate workings of it (Since it takes so many brain cells). That is an absolutely nonsensical argument, since you do not need to be a master of something in order to have an opinion on it. Take for example film or restaurant critics, one does not need a phd in film or the culinary arts in order to comment on said subjects. Just like a reporter does not need to be a scholar of every subject they write about.

  • http://twitter.com/pchujoy pchujoy

    Slipping (Vanity Fair hate version)

    Read these you people – amazing how you will
    See this in your browser
    No one condemning her – hurting our feelings
    She’s almost a liar
    Why can’t she see what we see? Why can’t she mute the lies?
    Maybe the mag is too pricey to buy and realize
    She doesn’t know Tweeting
    She does no Tweeting

    Know that your savior is heading to failure
    Good luck in the army.
    While TV fears thunder – YouTube will have wondered
    Can you really hear me?
    What’s up with fame? The kind you can’t enjoy quietly
    Geek up your brain, remind you inside you’re rioting
    Society is Tweeting
    Everyone’s Tweeting all day

    So…
    Go ahead – blog away
    Say it was terrible
    Spread the word – tell a friend
    Tell them the FAIL
    Get a pic – do a flock
    Tiger is over with
    Look at him – not a word
    F. Day, looks PALE

    Then we’ll win – then we get
    Everything we ever
    All the loot – all the fame
    And social change
    Facebook – that we’ll run
    It’s America’s Tweethearts turn
    Vanity Fair you have to learn
    This chicks are going to Pwn
    Pwn
    (yeah, it’s one P. P, W, N, D, yeah right.)
    Pwn!

    One sign of any good
    The thing we rejoiced and that we could all see
    Trench coats and hormones – holding those smartphones
    That pic looked so sexy
    Maybe – to sexy…

    PS: Nice job backing up NPH. He WON thanks to your support (and your 1,701,717 followers) :) http://bit.ly/7tny8Q

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lauriebethsgrotto Lauren–NY (@TheGrottoTweets)

    Excellent analysis, Felicia. I’m so sorry you were disappointed by the finished product. :(

  • http://www.csdaley.com Christopher

    Aaron Von Gauss,

    Actually in my blog I talked about what I thought was the biggest problem. The writing was bad. It certainly was not up to major magazine standards.

  • http://www.missniko.net Niko

    I clicked the link to the article and read it first, before reading your opinion on it, and I have to say my thoughts were the same as yours. It’s disappointing to read that kind of article from “professionals.”

  • http://efehan.ca Efe

    A very intelligent and measured response.

    Aside from all the other “its such a shame”s involved with the level of flippant, condescending silliness inside the article, its such a shame the photo-shoot itself seems almost like a sneak attack now, though I’m sure it wasn’t in any way the original intent.

  • http://badnewsfromouterspace.blogspot.com/ Michael F.

    Felicia, your level-headed rebuttal (they’d prolly call it a “Twibuttal”) to VF’s extremely poorly written article is more than they deserve. If they had any editorial balls, they would apologize to you and the other women who were the focus of that hatchet job.

    Your hard work and achievements speak for themselves. Keep on trailblazing!

  • http://soupytwist.net/parlant Katherine

    Ugh. Toby Young wrote a book about his time at Vanity Fair, and how he failed miserably at it. I think they made it into a movie with Simon Pegg. The gist of the book was that he was just a writer trying to write at Vanity Fair and VF/Graydon Carter were/are positioning to gain entrance into the upper eschelon of society. Everything outside of money & celebrity is to be mocked. Sounds like your experience confirms the standard that Toby Young wrote about.

  • Shane

    “But their business is about to be gutted by the tablet revolution anyway, so I guess I’ll cut them some slack.”

    Love it! The world can lay down a brutal irony sometimes can’t it?

  • http://www.twitter.com/avongauss Aaron Von Gauss

    Christopher, I had read your blog post before posting – I agree, the Vanity Fair article is horribly written. What I am trying to get at is I think the underlying premise of the article was good, the venue was good but the delivery was lacking. Since a lot of commenters are also writers, some professional, why not make this in to a positive if possible rather than just an expression of absurdity?

    While everyone here obviously knows and I’m sure quite a few Vanity Fair readers also do, I would imagine there are others that have no idea. I mean, who is this Felicia Day person and why are 1.7 million people “following” her (almost sounds creepy when you say it that way). To put it in perspective, she has over half the number of followers as some guy named Barack Obama – he is/was a senator from Illinois, right? ;)

    Not to banter without purpose with more numbers, but since it was geared towards women and had a slight business angle, she also happens to have more followers than a certain Kevin Rose (1.1 mil). What does that mean? Heck if I know, but since they both do web based media there could be an interesting angle there.

  • AJ

    Wrote a letter to the editor:

    I just read your article on twittering by Vanessa Grigordiadis and to say I’m offended is an understatement.

    First the woman cannot write. Second what is her article about exactly? Is it about twittering? Or is it about taking successful women who use twitter and writing a completely vapid and un-researched article with no insightful commentary or perspective?

    What this article could have done in the hands of a more seasoned journalist is open a huge topic of discussion on successful females in multiple industries. In the first line alone the writer shows her inexperience and poor understanding of the topic by noting that the women in the article are famous for “tweeting” instead of mentioning any of their individual accomplishments that they made in multiple businesses.

    If this were a piece about 6 men I wonder if Vanessa would have given them merit on their self-marketing? A curious question.

    Instead the male ego is further puffed up by this deplorable commentary on this guy’s pathetic stance:
    “”Real-world friends, and even spouses, can be left in the cold. Michaels’s husband, a real-estate appraiser with horn-rims and a crew cut—a “normy”—calls himself “the Twidower.” “My wife found Twitter and dropped me,” he says. “I basically lost my wife.” Then he sighs. “Sometimes, during dinner, it gets to be too much.””

    What could have been a celebration of female success and an interesting review on a new form of equality media turned into yet another form of sexism and condescension.

    Shame on you, Vanity Fair.

    • http://home,comcast.net/~d0ti5 Don

      AJ – OK, I am an old guy, but I have to tell you, nothing about this article puffed up (my) male ego.

      This is disheartening crap, written by someone who by all appearances (at least, according to her bio and apparent age) should have known better: Women have a hard enough time, stereotypes are destructive, etc.

      To treat anyone this way just adds to my cynicism.

    • http://twitter.com/adventuregirl Stef Michaels- Adventure Girl

      Hey AJ,
      I just had to say hi and thank you for your comment regarding my husband. It’s a good point. To know him though- you would understand that he was being tongue and cheek when he was interviewed. I named him Twidower. I can promise you this, he supports me in everyway and on all my endeavors– or trust me- I wouldn’t be with him. ;0

    • http://www.faceofthecookie.com Kiala

      Oh, I like this very much.

  • Alexander

    “Twittering all the time … is the essential feat of a twilebrity.” So good to see that you’re not actually a twilebrity, then.

  • http://twitter.com/swinky Ben

    The photo was great, and not realizing that you hadn’t yet read it, I pushed my way through it, waiting for it to get good. “This has to get better,” I said, “because Felicia linked it herself!” Then I got confused after it stayed bad. It makes so much sense now!

    It’s pretty obvious the author really doesn’t understand Twitter; considering that a lot of people already view it as a joke, she made it sound even more like one. Easily half of the article is spent just slinging around Twitter-related buzzwords and portmanteaus (or “Twitmanteaus,” if you will, since they’re apparently all the rage) without really explaining anything! It made you (and the other ladies featured) sound like attention-starved bimbos. And line where they basically compare you ladies to cheerleaders working a sex-line? I just kind of stared at that. “Did she really just write that? Yes, yes she did.” She really made you all sound like you amass followers simply to listen to their woes and anecdotes 24/7.

    Frankly, I’d be a little terrified if you managed to do that with 1.6 million followers. I’d begin to suspect you’re a robot, perhaps sent from the future as some sort of terminator? (There are some more twitter-related puns in there, I’m sure, but I think Vanity Fair provided enough for all of us.)

    Don’t let the article get you too down, though. Change in perception can only come when somebody gives reason to change it. Though the power of the internet, the very beast they barely seem to understand, I doubt that your displeasure, and our (the fan’s) displeasure with the quality of this article will go wholly unnoticed. Of course, it’s up to them to decide if they even care.

    And even if Vanity Fair blows this whole thing off, at least you’ve got 1.6 million followers who know you’re a very talented, intelligent woman, and not a party-chat cheerleader robot sent from the future.

  • alex

    Don’t worry, in 10 years, the internet will still be here, and people will be commenting (tweeting?): “Remember those things called magazines?!?! they used real paper!!! eww!!”
    Vanity Fair, along with most print publications will be gone within 20 years. At least they will go out with a bang.

  • http://xarro.net Xarro

    Love your blog post, hated their article. Regular media and the Internet definitely don’t mix. It’s like asking a dying dinosaur to tour North America on a bicycle while typing a memo. (Ow, I have no idea where that metaphor came from. Scary. Oo)

  • http://xarro.net Xarro

    The picture looks great by the way. Never mind the article: there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be proud. :)

  • http://hatfullofsky.net/littleword lauren

    Wow, that article is so patronising. I don’t tweet but that doesn’t mean I think everyone who does is a shallow, vacuous person who can’t express themselves in complete sentences. It was so obvious the “journalist” (and I use the term loosely) came to the story with many, many preconceived ideas that, frankly, are dead wrong. The first paragraph was so demeaning I nearly stopped reading. It’s so obvious she’s coming from a place of jealousy. She’ll be out of a job soon while you and your fellow tweeters will be going from strength to strength.

    Felicia, you look gorgeous in the photo as do your fellow tweeters. At least they got that right.

    • http://hatfullofsky.net/littlewords lauren

      And i got my URL wrong. Go team me!

  • http://philsrandommusings.blogspot.com/ Phillip

    I saw the picture and then read the article with an ever sinking heart. To be honest I would think you feel, well, betrayed. They ask you come in for a photoshoot for an article women in new media and you’re thinking ooh is the world waking up and then the article, written by a woman no less, goes for the throat in the most snarky way possible. That could not have felt good.

    I tweeted one of the blog articles you mention above directly to Vanity Fair’s twitter feed along with a second tweet making my feelings on the article plain.

    You’re right Felicia, it was a wasted opportunity. Seems the big boys/girls in mainstream media aren’t ready to be brought into the ‘light’ yet. Sad really.

    In the meanwhile as I’m sure everyone here has made clear, you’re a source of inspiration and a more cerebral brand of entertainment. Thanks.

  • Justin

    I had lost faith in Vanity Fair back when they…did something that I can’t remember offhand. With a cover. Or something. It was so bad I’ve apparently blocked the memory.

    ANYWAY! At least you come out of it with a very nice picture of you in a short trenchcoat. Did you get to keep the trenchcoat, too? ;)

  • http://xarro.net Xarro

    http://xarro.net/2010/01/07/felicia-non-felix/

    Blogged about this too. I hate it when women and the Internet are pictured in a bad light. I tend to think both are beautiful and full of purpose, unlike some media I know.

  • Laura

    Just read the VF artical and I found it amusing at the end they gave a link for THEIR twitter account!

    While reading the artical I got the feeling they (ppl at VF) are ‘scared’ of the internet and it’s power. It felt more like a public rant..maybe even slightly jealous of you and others who’ve made success through the internet! :)

    To me it didn’t feel like a professional artical at all..Just someone who needed to stand on their soap box and rant.

    In someways negative reviewer can have a positive effect for you because the people who are behind you come to support you even moreso than before :)

  • http://myspace.com/mimiyeow Daley

    I’m angry.
    I’ll try to use my pyrokinesis to set her on fire for you.
    I’ll need an address.

  • lunarbabee

    I stopped my subscription to VF after they chose to publish practically nude pictures of a child (Miley Cyrus) and that article just reinforces my decision. Excellent response!!

  • Badger Bagbane

    The picture has you looking more like a fluff chick than a serious business professional. When you go to a business meeting, do you dress sexy or like a professional? Do you want the person you are talking to to concentrate on your business proposal or your body? The photo shoot should have been a clue on how you would be presented in the article.

    • Rachel Carner

      That’s not quite fair, Badger.

      Those trench coats aren’t porn-ily short (the brunette in back has her knees completely covered!) and the photographer took hundreds of pictures (including some from the waist up, I’d bet.) VF just chose the most naked-looking shot–as usual operating from the lowest perspective, here literally.

      As a model, it is hard to control how a picture turns out (especially with a large group shot) and impossible to predict how it will be perceived (what you call “fluff chick” I call “glamorous spy.”) And, whatever we may say about old media, when a magazine as big as Vanity Fair calls, who among us would say no?

      Felicia, you looked great and sounded smart. Sorry the article was such a disappointment.

    • Joe

      Cover of this issue of VF has Tiger Woods Topless.
      And I’m sure TW goes topless when he plays golf.
      Your comments is simply ridiculous.

  • Amy Simmons

    I agree with Badger that the picture doesn’t go for “serious business professional” look, but it’s at least closer to business professional than most other pictures in magazines.

    As negative as this article is, it was probably more than worth it for them to write it considering the amount of people who’ve been viewing it. At least the fact that they’re admitting it exists (even condescendingly) is an improvement over ignoring it, so hopefully they’ll get there eventually.

  • Jim

    Clearly I should have actually read the article rather than skimmed through it quickly, since I managed to completely overlook most of the things that people are rightly criticizing it for. In my defense, though, I saw the photo and…um…I’m sorry, was I saying something? :)

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com mordicai

    I saw this & was pretty annoyed, & insulted. The insinuation that being female, popular & on twitter makes you equivalent to a phone sex worker…is appalling. No offense to sex workers, but being a woman doesn’t automatically qualify you as one, Vanity Fair.

  • http://highlykaffeinated.com Kaffeinated

    Indeed, the whole article read like a high school smear campaign, in which the formerly popular kids try damned hard to downplay the relevance of the currently popular kids in order to maintain their social status – not a piece by VF. What can I say? Sometimes you can just watch a publication lose its relevance as it happens.

  • http://www.o-cast.com Anne

    I have been resisting the urge to post a tweet or anything regarding this topic, but now that I have more than 140 characters (and yes VF, us modern gals can actually THINK in sentences longer than that), I just wanted to say how completely outraged I was by that article. I think people get snarky about social media because of the word “social.” Social implies “socialite.” It conjures up visions of Paris Hilton or a quad with Greek life abundantly tweeting, FBing and “like-TOTALLY-ing” their way through life.

    What it should be called is “Ultimate-weapon-of-total-world-domination-for-the-self-starter-media” because that’s what it is. It is a tool that cuts out the middle man and given the right platform, use, and tactics, it allows you to take control of your destiny in the entertainment business. That’s something that is really important in a business where so much seems to be in the hands of the producers on the other side of the audition table or the whims of current beauty trends. When used correctly, social media puts the power back in the artist’s hands.

    If anything, you have taught the world that much, Felicia :) You’re truly an inspiration and I wish that was reflected in this stupid-tall-hot-mess article.

    • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

      Sounds good. Reads well. Rolls trippingly off the tongue.

      The fact: Day needs the mainstream industry gigs. That’s where the money is. This is part of the ‘full of it’ fueling the fire. She’s not a producer/actress/writer turning her back on the Big Bad Hollywood Scene. Post after post, blog after blog illustrates she is eager to be in that scene making the dollars only possible on the A-list where access to capital is the difference in making Hurt Locker and Avatar.

      She is an inspiration in that she took control and would not roll away. She has produced what is arguably the most successful of the webisodes. But as she said herself when asked about that success, it helps to be a Whedon girl. IOW, without the mainstream, the slipstream isn’t there.

      So before everyone gets too heated up, take note: she posed in a provocative photo shoot for a glamour mag. Glamour mags thrive on controversy. By reducing these ‘success stories’ in the article to match the contents of the photo, Vanity Fair succeeded in the same way naked pregant photos have in the past.

      The business is entertainment. A lot of people will find this entertaining.

      • http://www.o-cast.com Anne

        Also to those that say that this shoot makes them look as if they’re practically naked. UM WHAT? Yes. They’re women with legs. ZOMG. I have them too. sometimes I even wear skirts or shorts that show them! BLASPHEMY! NOW I WILL NEVER BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY /faints. They look like sleek, sexy spies with iPhone’s set to “kill,” IMO. They weren’t oiled up and wearing bikini’s for cryin’ out loud.

        @len I totally see your point and I don’t mean to say that Felicia or anyone else in the webisode creating world (including myself) would not like to be in the mainstream when it comes to success in the entertainment industry.

        What I DO mean to say is that even being a “Whedon girl” (post-”Buffy” pre-”Dr. Horrible”) didn’t get her where she wanted to be so she didn’t sit back and wait for something to happen. She made something happen for herself that is helping her get to where she wants to go. No show on the Web or TV or even, dare I say, a blockbuster movie is the end all be all of success. Everything is a stepping stone- another experience to help you get to where you want to be and hopefully to enrich your life in an artistic sense.

        • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

          I agree. I admire Day’s accomplishments. I often use her as an example of persistence, tenacity, talent, getting it done. Notice none of that list includes legs, breasts, eyes or even brains. Those go without saying. She uses all of what she’s got and does it well.

          That article will do no harm. It will increase Twittership, it will increase their fan base, it will galvanize, and so on. However, trying to be taken more seriously is a death bog for a career entertainer. This is simply the media wheel turning and it is turning on the geeks or about to. One part of that is a natural cycle but the speed of it is fed by the geeks taking themselves a bit too seriously as illustrated by that ‘we will bury you’ remark Felicia makes with her comment on tablets.

          They need to lighten up and remember: they put on the trench coats and signed the release forms. If they didn’t see what was coming, they should have. Lesson learned no doubt.

        • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

          BTW, best of luck with the O-Cast. Good start!

        • http://www.o-cast.com Anne

          Thanks :)

  • Mike

    I always think it’s funny when women talk about how they are self-made and they want respect based on their work ethic and not their looks. But then they go ahead and take photos of themselves “practically naked in trench coats.”

  • http://www.awesomecancersurvivor.com @Stales

    It’s unfortunate that the article was written in that way. I was hoping a piece in VF would’ve helped break down barriers for twitter – instead, it built them higher.

  • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

    “their business is about to be gutted by the tablet revolution anyway”

    And they will use the tablets to gut those who gut them. Meanwhile you’re followers will send them troll mails, there will be debate back and forth on blogs, thousands of tweets, FB outrage, campaigns to tell them how the New Generation is slagging them off.

    And sales will skyrocket. Mission accomplished.

    You’re a geek media doyenne. You know the cycle of the in crowd becoming the out crowd. Some segment of the population achieves some form of notoriety and for a cycle, say ten years, they become media darlings. Then at an appropriately sensed interval, fatigue sets in as that segment becomes a little too full of themselves and the satirists take over destroying the image and replacing it with the next net generation idol.

    This is the beginning of “the geeks are not cool anymore”. That remark about the tablets simply makes it clear that there is adequate hubris to toss on the fire to smoke ‘em out. It has nothing to do with your accomplishments, media envy, old school over new school, all the excuses your fans and friends are offering.

    It’s just time for the change and you happen to be up front. It won’t hurt your career. Don’t let it hurt your feelings. Ask some of the doyennes in your industry about this phase in their careers where they were the avatars of their generation and how they coped.

  • Adam J. Giess

    Vanity Fair sucks. Remember the revealing of the Watergate informant? A 40 year old mystery about the man who brought down a president? How they managed to make that an uninteresting event I don’t know. When I heard about it I wondered, why would any important story ever be broken in Vanity Fair? Now THAT’S a mystery.

  • http://twitter.com/brucedkelly Bruce Kelly

    Felicia I am all too familiar with this attitude of superiority and condescension. There are always those who just don’t get it, who are unwilling to admit value of anything new or different and who are more than willing to make light of or outright denigrate something they don’t understand or like. It’s a combination of elitism, arrogance, and insecurity.

    My wife is a published author and constantly has to deal with this attitude simply because of the genre in which she writes. She’s a romance writer. That’s a genre dominated by women. Women who in my experience work very hard and take their career and craft very seriously. For all the fan who love to read their work there are still plenty of people who have no qualms about looking the author in the eye and saying, “oh, you write THOSE books.” My wife has written over thirty books that have been translated all over the world but that’s not legitimate writing. They’re just fluff, if she were any good she’d be writing real books. Sound familiar?

    All you can do is keep fighting the good fight and keep doing what you do. And thank you for what you do, you do it well and it is appreciated.

    I reminded my wife of a quote by Dr. Seuss a while back and I think it applies here. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

  • http://emanagr.com John

    My perspective is going to be a little different, as something of an outsider. I’m sure I have a Twitter account, but I don’t use it. Once a day, I check Felicia’s FriendFeed thingie scanning for project news, and…that’s pretty much the extent of my Twitter exposure unless someone, somewhere links to something interesting going on.

    I point this out, because a lot of commentary on the article is from insiders who don’t seem to realize that they’re insiders. It boils down to “they just don’t get it,” which…no, they don’t.

    But it’s important, I think, to notice that an article like this is a no-win project, because of that.

    Firstly, you have the premise that–GOSH–there are women who use computers for stuff! Because it’s still apparently the eighteenth century, and women are also (picking from people I know personally) police officers, martial arts experts, computer programmers, radar engineers, politicians, lawyers, and…well, you get the idea.

    It’s played out whether it’s fawning worship (G4 spots come to mind) or dismissive misunderstanding like here. And every time I see one of these pieces, yes, I get it: They’re capable and don’t have penises. Next week, are we going to show off a bunch of black people who learned to read, maybe? Gah.

    Then you have the problem that microblogging (there’s no polite way of putting this) looks really stupid. You can publish information, but only incrementally. People can contact you, but only if they know where you are, and vice versa. So it’s like the entire Internet, but you can count how many people listen to you and it’s proprietary. To top it off, most people don’t have important news throughout the day, so you need to “pad” with normal everyday stuff so readers know you’re alive.

    That’s NOT to say that it IS stupid. But on the surface, it sounds as useful as installing a telegraph in every house. Sure, you could. And clever people could raise it to a popular artform and build their businesses on it. But people who aren’t already fans will wonder if that’s desirable.

    You’ve also got the problem of conflicting slang. Where quasi-”L33T Speak” abbreviations proliferate, how is the newcomer going to know that “Twitformation Superhighway” is a joke, other than its eating almost a fifth of the writing space? There are still writers who refer to every item they write online as “a blog,” so…

    When you add in the fact that the writer is looking at a publiishing platform where her article would be physically impossible to present, it’s easy to see where they’d look down on things, though.

    So while the article wasn’t particularly good, and the responses have been highly entertaining, it’s about what I’d expect, and there’s a part of me that even agrees with the tone. After all, I’m pretty sure nobody knows/likes Felicia or any of the others primarily through Twitter.

    They have followings (regardless of what they post) because of their other lives, and THAT is the flaw in the article. It’s trying to figure out what the big deal is about Twitter, when the answer in this context is “nothing.” If there wasn’t Twitter, we’d all subscribe to newsletters, and the writer would be trying to figure out what makes e-mail so hot that some celebrities have millions of subscribers.

    • http://emanagr.com John

      I…didn’t realize I had gone on so long. I guess it’s obvious why I don’t use Twitter…

    • Z

      I have been scanning through these responses to this apparently incendiary Vanity Fair article. I would just like to say that your response is the ONLY one I have seen yet that is remotely intelligent. The rest just seem to be a bunch of twitter addicts (pardon the following language) sucking the communal dick that is twitter. Like crackheads hittin the pipe.

  • http://beingadilettante.wordpress.com/ Amy!

    The picture is beautiful, but they absolutely should have taken you ladies and Twitter itself much more seriously. I was surprised at the tone of the article but didn’t really think anything about it until I saw some of the rants rolling in on Twitter. It really is disappointing that such a major publication can’t or won’t acknowledge the tremendous influence y’all have through this new media.

  • http://www.sansdreamscape.net Chells

    Very classy photo.

    And an equally well composed response on the article. I would have loved to have read an article about an empowered group of women entrepreneurs embracing changin technologies and making it work for them and their goals- you know, the stuff of inspiration and role models for the emerging generation.

    The growing trend of half-baked research is increasingly alarming as well. o.O

  • http://www.twitter.com/prsarahevans Sarah Evans

    Felicia,

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I must admit that I was so excited about the photo that reading the article came later. It was a pleasure doing the shoot with you. These are some very cool women with REAL accomplishments under their belt.

    I look at this is a launching pad to telling the story behind the women, as we each bring something unique to the table.

    Best,
    Sarah
    @PRsarahevans

  • Victoria

    Not sure if you’ve yet seen this humorous takedown of the Vanity Fair article by Mary Elizabeth Williams. Linkage –> http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2010/01/07/vanity_fair_tweethearts/index.html

  • rich

    It’s frustrating, but that’s just the mainstream press. As a professional writer and someone who gets interviewed by the press somewhat regularly (on a topic that no one cares much about) I’ve learned that most of them are just doing their job. She was a reporter on an assignment who didn’t really understand what she was writing about, and needed to make it look interesting to her editors.

    Okay- I have to admit I also get frustrated. Like the CNN interview where the reporter took the only 15 second clip where I said “um” and then stole 2 minutes of my other expository, verbatim, like she was the one who came up with it. Or the time I blew being on 60 Minutes because I wouldn’t do something potentially illegal, yet the entire story was the outline I gave the producer over lunch at a Mexican place in Phoenix, AZ.

    But then I go zen and let it go. On occasion I get to work with a journalist, instead of a reporter, and I’m amazed at the difference. Even if you ask all the right questions, and even if the person you’re working with seems to totally understand, mass media has so many layers of editing and filtering that you never know what you’re going to get.

    You’re a celebrity, I’m not and never will be, but I’ve worked enough with the press to learn to set low expectations, and not take it personally. Know the reporter, accept only a few will understand you, and never forget that bad press won’t alienate your core audience, friends, and family, but might snag you a few new friends.

  • Kate

    Felicia, you rock. How Vanity Fair can treat admirable trailblazers of new media with such a dismissive tone is beyond me.
    Fab picture, but VF’s editorial slant I can do without.

  • http://notbychoice.tumblr.com/ Solaana

    Snaps! I barely made it past “twilebrity” – the flagrant invention of terms was, to me, the weirdest part. Is that how Vanity Fair used to operate, and it worked? Like how Cosmo invented the term cellulite, and it took? The whole thing seemed very sad, like the article was written by someone who had heard about Twitter by reading an article about it in a newspaper.

    Funny how it took them a while to link to your twitter account in the online article, too.

  • Sagasky

    Twitter has its uses, I didn’t see this before but for things like posting articles (newscientist for example) and expecially activists, because not only is it fast when you are on the go, but on places like myspace or facebook, it takes longer and also, you have to deal more with social contact from, well lets say, fanatics.. lol.

    But things have to change, all the smart shows on tv being canceled, because of an old rating system, and apparently, they still don’t count shows being shown on hulu as part of the ratings to boost the show, it has to change or it grows too stale.

  • Jennifer

    Yeah, that’s why I cancelled my subscription to Vanity Fair years ago.

  • Convoy2010

    OMG. What a bunch of blow-hards FV must half to be to publish an article that demeaning!
    What upset me the most was the ought right disrespect to Felicia and every one else in the Photo! I guess having a stick up your A$% about any thing having to do with the internet, must be one of there Job requirements!

    Felicia Im so sorry this was such a let down for you. But the real crime I that they robbed you of a moment that you’ll never be able to get back. And that just stinks.
    But you have shown some real class by dealing with it so honestly.
    Just another reason why you rock!

  • http://blog.ryanday.ca Ryan

    As far as clothing goes, Tiger Woods is shirtless on the cover, and I don’t think anyone is suggesting that affects his credibility one way or another.

    It’s Vanity Fair, you know? They’re going to sex stuff up.

  • http://www.kaseyskala.com Kasey Skala

    Felicia, I respect you and the other women that participated in the VF article. There’s no doubt that you are all smart and intelligent. But it seems we are passing the blame to Vanity Fair and not holding the participants accountable. Afterall, they agreed to do the shoot.

    I think the women heard Vanity Fair and got caught up in the hype. And during the photo session, did it not cross your mind that you should do a little research? Yes, beautiful pictures, beautiful women. But did dressing in only trench coats not raise a few flags?

    My concern is that what if this were for a client? You do your research on the publication and author before agreeing to anything. Did any of you ask questions?

    This was an attempt to gain “fame” and feel more important than you actually are. And yes, it is dissapointing because, like I said, you are talented. I think you simply jumped the shark at the first opportunity.

  • http://home,comcast.net/~d0ti5 Don

    Ah, you can’t let it get you down. At least this brings into focus the challenge that women continue to fight. My mom raised me as a single mother, back when they could still refuse to rent to you because you were, *gasp*, divorced!

    It didn’t go away, the bias of society against people based on appearance, gender, race, age and on and on is something we all have to address, daily – in our environment and in our hearts.

    It has been my great good fortune to work with a broad spectrum of women. I think that one can be beautiful, talented and intelligent, but what is important is who one is, what ones does. Who you are and what you do are important; the world is changing, and you help drive that change.

    So, just remember, “Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.” (Andy Warhol) And continue to be who you are.

  • http://www.twitter.com/shibooya MC

    Was sent this post by a friend and I’m glad he did! I’m actually more surprised by the reactions of the other users grouped in the photos – they seem to agree on certain points. That’s unfortunate that they’d think they’re own tweets are drivel in a non-funny-self-deprecating way.

    My take is: the author Vanessa G clearly clearly doesn’t know how to find information and topics worth following. What really gets me is the quote in the article that’s so clearly dismissive and negative: “…somehow this fascinates millions of readers.” Honey, maybe you’re just following the wrong god damn people.

    Seriously, Twitter isn’t rocket science. Get with it.

  • jdx1138

    Spot on, this. I read the article from your twitter posting and I was afraid I was the only one who thought that the fluff couldn’t get much fluffier in that piece. It’s discouraging to read such things, but I believe that talent wins in the end, so if even one person discover “The Guild” from it, maybe it’s not a total loss, despite its condescending attitude.

  • Mike Donatello

    A few comments:

    Like many of us in media, Vanity Fair’s been hit with cuts. (Remember the story, last OCT, of publisher Graydon Carter offering to give laid-off staffers jobs at his restaurant?) Maybe they put all the editors out on furlough this week?

    The VF writer obviously has no clue about the value of community or social media. Case in point: Had I not seen the note on your Facebook page (or Twitter, blog, etc.) I would never have read the article itself. I’d like to see an analysis of VF’s site this week to see the referral impact of your postings on traffic. Want to hazard a guess on what the top incoming visitor sources will be? VF.com gets an average of about 13K visitors a day. What kind of incremental lift will it see this week as a result of you leveraging these social media contacts? Even beyond traffic metrics, what’s the dollar value of our affinity toward the Felicia Day “brand” that’s been built via Twitter et al? Probably a lot more than the VF promo budget.

    Admittedly, I am surprised that, as intelligent, successful and business-savvy as you are, you seem to have naively walked into the “babes of Twitter” aspect of the article. You mentioned that you expected a VF piece to be “classy,” but you also said “we’re practically naked in trench coats.” Although the idea of women being either attractive or intelligent — but not both — is a false dichotomy, I would guess that many people’s spider sense would be tingling after a shoot like that for a title like Vanity Fair. I mean, VF is not exactly , Wired or The Wall Street Journal, all pubs in which you’ve had great press.

    We’re all disappointed with the story, but it’s getting some decent publicity today: you cited some sources, Whitney’s blogged it at , etc. Any way use that to your advantage? As Sarah noted several posts above mine, this is an opportunity for you and the others to tell your own stories. You’re passionate about social media and have used it to great success. Come up with something positioned from your own POV and broader than your reply here that will make unacquainted readers just as passionate. The Mary Williams post is nice, but you all can tell your stories better than anyone else and you have the platforms to do so. We all know you’re fab, but now’s a great chance to win even more hearts and minds.

    And, ofc, the photo is awesome. (Sorry, I had to.)

    • Mike Donatello

      Wow, guess I messed up the tags a bit. Rough day. :-/

      • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

        No prob. I find it pretty fascinating that it’s stirred up the amount of debate it has. Maybe just that, the discussion of Twitter and women and new media etc, will be the good thing that’s come out of this. I’m not losing sleep over it, I just thought it was lame. And yeah, I’ll be more cautious next time.

  • M@

    Uh…good points and all. But Vanity Fair has always been simply an advertising vehicle. It sells ads based on selling magazines to people. It does that by separating itself from other magazines. It does that by using exclusive photographs of attractive women and printing gossip articles written in a pretentious voice. They do this with intent. They sometimes come off as exposing the seedy underbelly of the subject, but even then it’s just framing things in order to make it more buzz-worthy. Judging by the response from yourself and the websites you mention it looks like they were successful again, and will probably get a lot of people (who otherwise would not) to read the article. Well said, but after all is said and done you’re just perpetuating it.

  • MJ

    IMO Vanity Fair has been going downhill for the past several years….stooping to Lindsay Lohanish covers to sell copies. Used to be far more intellectual and interesting. Hardly more than a pretentious gossip rag these days. Sad, really.
    I think it does Twitter and the Internet more good than harm to show that a bunch of old dinosaurs at VF haven’t a clue what makes the world go round these days. Like you say, they are scrambling for sales and on their way out. I’ve been a VF subscriber since they started back up in the 80′s and though I am still attracted to it’s glossiness, I can’t say I will miss them when they’re gone.

  • http://BudgetJustified.com Lisa Schaefer

    It bugs me that nice looking women are portrayed as vapid and smart women are portrayed as bitchy in many pop culture and other media outlets.

    So now that we have the internet and the Hollywood middleman is becoming irrelevant, I’m hoping that Smart Women will continue to put themselves out there so the rest of the world will grow to believe that Smart Woman are the norm, not Pop Tartlets.

  • Jules

    Hm, if you are interested, here is another article that wittily takes down the Vanity Fair one:
    http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2010/01/07/vanity_fair_tweethearts/index.html

  • http://www.susanquilty.com Susan

    I also found the Vanity Fair piece to be appalling and added my outrage in a post on my own blog. Felicia, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. It could have been a great opportunity, but the blame lies with Vanity Fair. You’re an inspiration to many strong women. Try not to let this experience get you down.

  • Elizabeth

    The article is terrible and condescending, but it’s also irrelevant. They cannot affect the course of the technology or the preferences of its users. The only generation likely to pay any attention to the article is getting passed by on the technology side as we speak–and they will rapidly learn to pay attention to it when they have no choice.

    All that said, the disrespect for successful women in the article is still troubling. Women have enough trouble getting recognition and respect for their work without having to dodge the bullets of one of their own (and on the old “aren’t they soo airheaded–silly women, why are they wasting their time?” trope as well). Also troubling is the deliberate obtuseness regarding how being sucessful on Twitter might benefit a marketer, or say, an actress and producer. There was no attempt in the article to analyze the promotional benefits of Twitter outside Twitter itself, just a bare, “you can’t make money at it.” Weak. A seriously weak article.

    You can take comfort in the fact that YOUR quotation sounded intelligent and well thought out. At least they didn’t give you any horrible expressions as an aside.

  • http://www.chrisfeyrer.com Chris F

    Hi Felicia,

    Since you already know how I feel on this issue (obviously think Vanity Fair did all involved a huge disservice,) I asked my Dad, Richard Feyrer, a 25 year veteran of the doomed newspaper industry, baby boomer, and conservative, for his opinion. Since most of the feedback you are getting here is from people like me who are both immersed in new media and adore you, I figured his perspective might prove insightful as exactly WHY they would do this. Here’s what he had to say:

    “This is a portrait of the generation gap and future shock. Sadly, as with much exaggeration, there is an element of truth to the bad rap given Tweeties. But then my mom hated all Elvis stood for. I’m sad about the effect the electronic media has had on the English language, the ability to do public speaking, deep thoughts, etc. But I want to communicate in a mass market, soooooooooooo…. I must cope. I think Felicia needs to get a grip and understand the reverse side of ageism: youthism.”

    Naturally my Dad and I disagree on a great many things, but it lets me know where these people are coming from. It makes me wonder how old the author of the article is, and how much that contributes to the attitudes portrayed in the article. Maybe old media is truly old in that it’s run by a different generation of people who are stuck with what they know. Plus it made me imagine you dressed up as Elvis. Which is amusing.

    Chris

  • http://zaneology.com zane aveton

    I was so for excited and proud for you guys when I too saw the link from Sarah. What a great opportunity to show and explain to the “world” (the majority who don’t even know of or understand) how real, smart women own the social space and WHY it is time to pay attention to what they (WE) are doing.

    As I read, it was obvious the author is in that same “majority” that don’t understand the space, the impact – from the “TW-terms” to using chat line & cheerleaders.

    She is a “respected journalist” who just showed she wrote a story and did NOT do her homework which would typically be viewed as unacceptable – the challenge is: No one knows that she FAILED in her assignment but us.

    I believe we can figure out a way to be heard…What do you guys think? :)

    Note: I am proud of to represented by you guys no matter what nonsense the author wrote. You showed up, she let us down. When the day comes for one of us to be tapped on the shoulder, at least now we will be forewarned and prepared.

    xo

    @zaneology

  • Lauren (@beebow)

    Also very, very disappointed with the article – couldn’t disagree more with the writer’s condescending tone. Ladies – you are inspirational with the way you work social media to your professional and personal goals – I’m very sorry the columnist took this lamentable (and may I say, somewhat poorly written) approach; she focused on all the wrong things – all of the stereotypes – of this powerful, beneficial technology.

  • http://amber-rae.com Amber Rae Lambke

    Well said! And beautiful photo.

    While I don’t mean to dismiss what you personally experienced yesterday or the article’s condescending tone (which I think is appalling), the outcome and response could potentially be a turning point. To your point, the VF writer clearly didn’t get it and VF missed a tremendous opportunity. At the same time (and I say this sadly), it may have taken something of this magnitude to actually make established magazines (who are a dying race) stop and re-think. While I don’t want to spectate too much, this moment could potentially go down as a moment in time that later creating meaning and change, with you and the ladies in the photo above at the helm!

  • Paul

    Twi Twon’t Twow Twhat Tweople Tware Twannoyed Twabout. Twisn’t Twis Twe Tway Twe Tweet??

  • http://www.fashionbeautyretail.wordpress.com agata

    Traditional media is on the out…each of these writers, editors etc. is in denial the fact that their industry is being pummeled by the digital sphere. If you read any sort of industry reports such as Women’s Wear Daily there are quotes from editors on their new year’s resolutions and many of them are hoping the levels of advertising will come back to normal- as if…They live on planet ’2007′ and never coming back… Keep rocking Felicia!

  • Georgasaurus Rex

    Whoever wrote this had no idea how awesome twitter actually is.
    also they should be trolled with various internet memes such as rick astley and the game.
    Also i would like to express my dissapointment with the lack of care that the writer actually gave. However, i assume that this is the way things go in the media world as whatever causes the most controversey gets the most readers :( It’s a shame, but on the brightside, the photo is epicwin :)

  • http://salomesays.com Salome Strangelove

    You can take heart in the fact that the most intelligent line in the article is your quote about the democratic nature of social media formats like Twitter. Grigoriadis comes off as intellectually dishonest, out-of-touch, and lazy.

    Is it tacky to ask if you got to keep the coats? The six of you could use your “twilebrity” to pull off some “corney stunt” like auction them off to your favorite twarity and demonstrate how this creepy social media stuff works. ;-P

  • Jade Love

    So sorry. You’re smart, successful, and profiled in a major magazine. Get over yourself.

  • MAY

    :S
    misleading ~!~!!
    thought you’d be in another show ><

  • http://twitter.com/ctakeshi Caio

    Gosh, I guess I got almost as revolted as you!

    That’s why I hate these mainstream media vehicles, they only publish what’s of their interest.
    As long as internet and its kind of media is taking over magazines and stuff, of course they will try to depreciate it and give it no respect.
    Sad but true.

    The important thing is that your actual followers (and I don’t mean only Twitter-ish ones) and fans know you are, and the competence you have.
    You deserve to be influent because you had the competence to achieve this status, through your work and intelligence.

    Just don’t allow it to let you down and keep up being awesome as you are ;)

  • Jim Barker

    I just wanted to say that I appreciated being able to read your response to their article… You brought up a very good point that although you are all beautiful women, and beauty is worth celebrating (not worshipping), a REALLY good opportunity was missed to also celebrate your successes and individuality as well. I think that we, as a society, suffer when we are presented with such limited and shallow viewpoints.

    It’s like the sexual revolution was about moving beyond our limited understanding and openness about something that is a MAJOR part of our lives, but now what we have to show for it is an equally shallow perspective fixated on ideal physical beauty and rampant sexuality….. Let’s keep moving forward! Let’s move on to celebrating OVERALL beauty, and being open free when it is GOOD rather than just as much as possible.

    Etc, etc. I don’t mean to rant.

    I’d also like to take the opportunity to express my great pleasure with The Guild. Brilliant. Well-done all around. I LOVE it. I want the DVDs. I want the T-shirts. I want stick-on tattoos. (Real ones are just so PERMANENT, you know?) :P J/K But seriously… If I had an opportunity to be a part of ANY show I wanted to, both The Guild and The Office immediately spring to mind.

    I love the characters’ flaws. I love that there is a great balance in the show being about the WHOLE guild, even though Codex is clearly the main character.
    I like to think of Tink as having joined The Knights of the Good when she was younger and not so cynical. Then she hit puberty and the claws came out. LOL Like Vork was trying to get the guild started, but you have to have six players to create a guild… So Bladezz and Tink were added because they were decent players even though they were so young, and Vork couldn’t get any more people interested than the existing group, and he needed them to reach the required number of members. (Not that he would have rejected them necessarily, but that he really didn’t have the choice anyway, you know?) But the point is that I enjoy the thought of Tink being more perky and positive (and “good”) until she matured. LOL That’s how I imagine it, anyway.

    I haven’t seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog yet, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, and thank you!!

  • Ashley

    Not to delve too deeply into authorial intent, but perhaps his flippant tone was thinly masking his wonderment at how some people gain massive celebrity for little else than writing many, often superficial, 15-word messages. You, being some sort of actress, definitely break that exception on celebrity via twitter. Twitter is good for celebrity self-promotion, so you’re a businesswoman in that sense. But I was kind of shocked that people actually care that you sat next to a bickering couple at a table, or that you think pollution is terrible or that you’re going to watch football tonight or your stove is making weird sounds etc. You speak as though you’re above the Jersey Shore folks. You are, in terms of style and being neither crude nor violent. Yet in terms of what a large chunk of your public persona rests on is no better than that of the Jersey Shore show: public attention without substance. That is the mystique of twilebrity that escapes me and perhaps is reflected in the Vanity Fair piece with the descriptions of face scrunching before speaking and what have you…

  • Lilliekins

    Reading the VF article was like reading the diary of a former cheerleader who just didn’t “get” the attraction of the smart girls. It also occurs to me that VF, as a mag that caters to those it considers “elite” would of course be threatened by such a democratic tool as twitter.

  • Vanity No Fair

    Yet you still let them paint you and dress you.

  • http://www.2acting.com Simona@2Acting.com

    It’s really bad when people are so insensitive and write about the stuff they don’t know about. This just shows their lack of knowledge. And those who are not self-employed will never understand how much work, knowledge and determination you need to have to become self-employed. And simply saying bad things about such people just shows how shallow and small-minded the person is.

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    The whole point I was trying to make is that we ARE with substance and portrayed opposite in the article. I could like a number of “Web celebrities” who are not know for anything other than personality, (the points of that can be debated as well). The women in the picture all actually have businesses and are producing things beyond our Twitter account, Twitter is merely a part of our professional and personal lives.

    • http://emanagr.com John

      That’s exactly the issue I tried (and probably failed) to get at before, I think. By writing about “the women of Twitter,” the article needs to be about the Twittering aspect. Well, that, and the fact that you have proportionately more X-chromosomes than the non-women of Twitter, in general.

      So in limited space, the article has to throw some sex appeal around and figure out why thousands upon thousands of people wait with bated breath for “New Dungeon Finder feature in WOW has made it sooo much fun and fast to do instances. For research, of course, ahem. ;)”

      Substance, too!? Pff. Maybe in a followup.

      The key, I think, is that none of you are celebrities “on Twitter.” Twitter is the equivalent of the Post Office Box to which self-addressed stamped envelopes were once sent, allowing you to connect with fans. Your followers know you from somewhere else. But you can’t explain that in an article about Twitter, can you?

      In other words, the Twitter part of the story is irrelevant, and the fact that you’re all women isn’t interesting. So how big a surprise is it that the tone is condescending, really?

      • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

        The new thrust is that the article is somehow sexist. If it’s not about Twitter and it’s not about the subjects of the article, it has to be an affront to women everywhere. Except a) women who don’t subscribe to Twitter, b) women who delight in VF sending up the group, and c) women with a more serious agenda for their lives than being attentivores, such as the one who brought up the Lolita Effect.

        The article was nothing until the subjects made something of it and its a loser.

        Let go of it. Unless you can find a real problem, eg, the Lolita Effect, and make the case that culture is making life harder for women as a result of the marketing, there isn’t enough to it except beggaring a technology that some regard as trivial and claiming to having been exploited when they signed up for something they should have known wasn’t good for their brands. And if they admit that they are proud of exploiting their sexuality as a means to promote their brands, then they are in on the dodge. You can’t have it both ways.

        Fans will drink a celebrity’s bathwater so Felicia and her co-subjects will get a mountain of email and messages comforting them and expecting faux outrage. Meanwhile of the handful of others paying attention, there will be a sense of “WTF? Why is THIS news?” The emerging social network expert industry will pile in because they can use the press to promote their brands. The herd will coalesce. Everyone will make out. Except Felicia Day.

        She will be standing there looking a little silly and with less credibility than she had going in. That’s not a good outcome.

        • http://emanagr.com John

          My point, Len, wasn’t that there was some sexist conspiracy causing the downfall of civilization, but rather that the article is a non-starter by merging the obvious (that women can use technology) with the irrelevant (that they use Twitter).

          Imagine, if you will, a potential arrticle in the same vein: “The Asian-Americans of I-80.” Yes, some of them undoubtedly have wonderful families, great jobs and businesses, and so forth. But you’re not going to find much of it in the article, because it’s outside the scope.

          (Though I do think there’s an unfortunate sexist aspect by trying to keep the accomplishments of women as a novel point of discussion. It’s only interesting that a woman runs a company if you’ve been living under a rock for a generation or two, or wish you had.)

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    I take issue with the fact that you’re implying I am supporting “ageism” with my comments. I find that to be a HUGE problem in Hollywood and society and personally rally against it. Saying that we represent a new kind of woman, using new technology to create our businesses does not negate the women of the past! Far from it, we wouldn’t be here with women such as you mention.

    • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

      Probably “without”. And you’re right.

      And maybe Cyd will be standing up to it next season…. in a funny way.

    • dennis

      Now I see what my mother said is true. A man cannot stand up for what is right for Women. She started the equal rights fight for women. Women that stand up and say what is right and prove themselves should have all the respect that is due them. My daughter-in-law feels like women today have the responsibility to keep fighting for what is right. Fact of this day shows that Women are making it and to down play or demean them in anyway is just not right. A good example is Jean Enersen of King 5 News. She is great and you should check out her bio on King5.com. Sorry I get side tracked so this is just some Wit from a Nit Wit….lol

      • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

        “A man cannot stand up for what is right for Women.”

        And white people can’t march with black people for civil rights. Tell it to the family of Viola Liuzzo. Standing up for anyone’s rights when they are truly violated is something anyone can do. Most won’t. There is a price to be paid for that and mercifully most of the time it is just criticism and snark.

        Here’s the deal: stand up for them. Don’t expect them to be grateful or even conciliatory. It’s not that they can’t be or won’t be; it’s that you can’t barter with your sense of justice. It’s like the question “are education and healthcare a right or a privilege”. They are neither. They are a duty.

        We can stand up for what is right. Always. Be prepared for the whip though. If it were painless, we wouldn’t have to because whatever the fault is, it wouldn’t be that serious. On the other hand, we can be a lot more clever about it and there, friends, is where the fun is.

  • Pop

    Please, the only reason the article was about all of you is because sex sells. The basement dwelling sex-crazed never kissed a girl “I groc Spock” groupies that follow your “tweets” didnt even know what Vanity Fair was until this article was “tweted” about ad nausea by the lot of you!

    You all need to get over yourselves, seriously (except Felicia, whose “The Guild” is a masterpiece)

  • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

    And Vanity Fair is a magazine focused on well… vanity.

    Felicia, anyone writing a serious article about your accomplishments would be talking to you about them. Where I take you seriously is when you write: you are as good as good gets in your genre. You write funny. That’s rare. That’s what catches my attention. The rest of it is 30 year old woman stuff and someone my age doesn’t have that on their radar. I asked a very successful and prominent female screen writer and director about you and her comment was, “She knows her material and nothing beats that.”

    You are a success by your own hand. NOTHING beats that. Take pride in that.

    Twitter? It’s a bit of a narcotic. It can be used seriously but it is strictly a footnote to what you’ve really done.

    Twitter is as serious or unserious a technology as the use to which it is put. No more. No less. Blame Ashton Kucher etc. for making it a ‘how many followers’ contest because one thing one learns is the pride is in not how many but who follows. On the other hand, a lifecaster expecting to be a serious topic better have a darned interesting life or they are simply sucking bandwidth.

    If you really do think that you and the rest of the ladies are ‘new and different and to be admired’, you should step up with that story and don’t get caught in the self-deflating portal to hell of agism, technicalism, or just geekReek. It’s Just Stuff.

    You on the other hand are a star because you will not be denied. THAT is a story. It is not about your sex or your hair or your legs or the coat you wear or the ketchup on your burger. It is about your tenacity and your tremendous talent and your body of work. Don’t expect Vanity Fair to notice. That doesn’t sell copy. Disappointment does. Schadenfreude sells.

    When Danah Boyd was reduced to tears in front of the TwitterWall, there was a rough justice to it. She promotes the social network, the technology, the digital zeitgeist and herself as a visionary. Yet she didn’t have the vision to understand that walking onstage unable to wing it when the audience goes randy (which ANY performer can tell you they will if they can). She thinks they take her work seriously. They don’t. Most of them haven’t read it. They want to see the cute one in the tight sweater and given a way to make comments in real time anonymously, expect the worst. She could have pulled up the sweater, snapped the straps and then said, “Ok TWEET THESE MFs.” and that would have been rock n’ roll. She might not have been invited back but who wants to go back to any venue that makes you give a serious speech in front of a Twitter wall.

    And that is how you should, IMO, treat VF. Step back from the “We Are The World We Must Make A Difference Everyday” and treat it like a “This writer is a heckler and I own the mic” performer does. It isn’t a serious piece. Don’t give it gravitas. Give it zingers.

  • dana

    seriously? you were featured in an article about a medium that is brand new and not that incredible, you post 140 character updates every few minutes in order to boost your brand (you). i couldn’t think of a better way to accomplish what you are trying to than by being featured in a legitmate publication. as the gawker post acknowledges, you all refer to yourself as “girls” and agreed to be photographed in trench coats and high heels (and nothing else) you can blame the writer all you want but how did you not know where this was going? you should appreciate vanity fair for helping you reach more people and accept that this is as good as it gets. you all may be far better accomplished in your careers but this article was about the twitter phenomenon and the aspects which, for some, keep it compelling. if i were in this position id probably not bite the hand that feeds me.

  • moominboy

    I guess you have reached a level of public exposure when you are being interviewed by media not necessarily connected to what you are doing. Which, in a way, is a good sign! It means that your work is being noticed in wider circles (as it should be). Sure, this will lead to some major annoyance, but overall it contributes to your recognition.

    You are multitalented and doing a great job! Keep making us smile! And the photo is awesome :O

  • Tricia

    I don’t use twitter but even I was offended by that article. I use a lot of interested based networking sites to keep in touch with friends out of state and family that I had once lost touch with. It is a little sad to see how limited their perspective is on these programs.

  • elliot

    That was a really funny article! I wouldn’t stress about it though, F.D., as it was more of just a slanted rant for literary fascism (granted it makes some interesting points that exaggerate my own reasons for not using twitter). But your assessment of it is pretty spot on, I have to say. And most impressive was that you were able to write it in complete sentences. Haha!

    I won’t go into detail on why I agree with you as so many people have already done so quite eloquently. Suffice it to say, this magazine writer is a desperate technophobe of a dying generation. I thought you would have thicker skin than this. Who cares what she says or anyone else. You are Felicia Day. People actually recognize that name in light of your accomplishments. I just read her article and can’t remember hers. Nor do I care to look it up.

    Have a good one.

  • http://www.JosephFunderburk.com/ Joseph

    hey, I’m such a fan of The Guild. lol. but while you’re on the subject about Twitter. have you seen the blog post about what passwords are too obvious on Twitter now, and twitter will not let anyone make their password those passwords? here’s a link:
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/27/twitter-banned-passwords/

    the page will even tell you how to look and find all of the passwords in the source code.

  • http://www.womenwisemarketing.com Kelly Watson

    Just wrote a blog post about this. Hope you don’t mind that I quoted you. I may come off as overly critical, but that’s just because I’m jaded about these kinds of articles.

    It’s hard to be a successful woman, and it can be even harder to be a successful beautiful woman because so many people have an easy time writing you and your accomplishments off. Perhaps the controversy brewing around this article will at least force magazines to stop downplaying the importance of social media as a valuable business tool.

  • Thefremen

    Immediately this reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where Carrie poses for a magazine cover she is told is about women who are “Thirty and Fabulous” but when the issue hits stands the article headline is “Thirty and Fabulous?” and includes a picture of her looking less than her best. This just goes to show, Sex and the City is basically a documentary.

  • http://www.csdaley.com Christopher

    Great now Gawker has pissed me off. I need to drink less coffee. Here is my response: http://www.csdaley.com/2010/01/gawker-says-own-it-vanity-fair-part-2.html

  • Pat

    Felicia, you have good reason to be pissed about the Vanity Fair article, but what I find most interesting and disturbing about this whole thing is the reaction to the reaction to the article. As an example is the Gawker article and especially the comments on that article from readers. The fact that there is a focus on sexuality at all seems to imply that all people see in you and the other women is T & A. Gee why would anyone find that insulting or demeaning? I don’t think you have as many twitter followers as you do because of your looks, but maybe, just maybe, many of them are true fans of your work and talent and that’s why they look you up on twitter and your blog. Also, I thought it was pretty lame of the Gawker to post that photo of you in your bikini, pretty much trying to imply that you are a hypocrite. See look she posts bikini pictures of herself so she definitely is playing on her sexuality to attract attention. Nice of them to decontextualize the photo from your blog, especially since there are few pictures of you on your blog and far fewer that show any skin whatsoever.

  • http://dennysbryce.blogspot.com Denny S. Bryce

    Love your last line. I so agree. It’s a shame when the old-guard is on its way out and they are too silly to see the forest for the trees (love a good cliche). Sorry the article disappointed, but your post here was a great response.

  • Axel

    Are you not an actress who seeks publicity with every tweet or blog entry? Be happy that someone took the time to write about you. Yes, the article was not earth shattering, but, quite honestly, neither are you or any of the other women featured. You were not interviewed for an article in The Economist, its Vanity Fair. But, your reaction has worked, here I am at your blog. Take care. and lighten up.

    • http://www.actionflick.com/superaction Action Flick Chick

      What does “earth shattering” have to do with anything whatsoever? When an article that’s presented as if it’s celebrating the achievements of women on twitter instead insults them, people need to point that out. If an article about star football players refers to them as lummoxes or an article on economists calls them money-grubbing bastards after getting those same people to pose for the camera, don’t you think people might object? The author should have treated them with more respect.

      It was not an anti-twitter editorial! It was an article with hours of interviews from which to draw upon. It was an article making broad declarations about the nature of twitter even though its author follows only 40 people, many of whom are journalists. Because the author set her messages to private (which no one in the public eye or anyone else with promotional purposes should ever do), we cannot know the frequency or nature of her tweets to the 164 followers she deigned to let read her stuff.

  • Ciaytee

    “Vanity Fair” absolutely used Tiger in the same manner as Felicia et al. Does no one else get an ‘angry, violent black man working out in the prison yard’ vibe? *Especially* when viewed in the context of these images being trotted out years after they were taken, just as his reputation shifts from angel to demon? I can’t say I much care about the effect on Tiger, ’cause hey, I didn’t sleep with him, and I don’t follow golf, so my world remains the same no matter what happens to him or his career, but I do care that VF blatantly (I feel) reinforced a stereotype. The man on that cover will tear. you. up. Fear him.

    I’ve read all of these comments and at the other sites, and I’ve learned the following from VF and its supporters. First, women can’t ever appear flirtatious in a picture because it then negates everything they’ve ever said or accomplished. And they’d best not complain about the treatment they receive, because they asked for it, and everyone knows women who show too much skin get what they deserve. Second, women just want to be popular. Third, Twitter users are functionally illiterate and have no taste and low expectations. And we all want to be BFFs with celebrities (especially we female users, ’cause that’ll make us popular). And hell, we’ll just go ahead and throw in that we live in basements and never have any sex.

    Oh, and fear the black man.

    Check.

  • Anthony

    *Anthony likes this.*

  • Spencer

    Sorry, but: Sarah Meyers/Austin ABSOLUTELY skates by on almost 100% her looks.

    You’re great, so don’t take the VF numbnut to seriously. You’re probably 10x smarter & more creative than she will ever be. And her article comes off as defensive and uneducated in many ways.

    The other girls, I don’t know what they do.

  • len

    Why put on the trench coats and have the glamour shot? I think John Cowan nailed it: attentivores. Past the ha ha, Twitter isn’t the story. They are. Human respect demands a deeper look, but this is Vanity Fair.

    Culture satirizes any source that takes itself more seriously than it is essential or more novel than a new version of an old model. 1.6 million people willing to give you access to their raster attention is as trivial or non-trivial as what that 1.6 million will do given a message from the twitter account. Marketing speak particular; it’s non-trivial. It is power.

    Societal importance?

    What will smurfs do for a smile from the smurfette? Sometimes, quite a lot.

  • alexa

    It certainly is strange to see you portrayed as a ditsy narcissist. But I gotta tell ya, you look sexy and elegant in the trenchcoat. And even though you were mocking your fake tan and two dollar bikini, you look hot in the vacation photo. I hadn’t realized you had a smokin’ body until Gawker reprinted the photo as an example of your sexiness. Your acting roles don’t scream sex appeal. The images are fun and unexpected. Just sayin’

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    Thank you, I totally agree with you, I’m bemused by this attitude that I’m a hypocrite because we were showing our legs in the article. I guess the two photos in my life that show my bare legs on the internet are being used to pretty much paint me as a non-talented fame whore, haha. SHOWS ME! :)

    Funny thing is, they used that photo not only to paint me as a hypocrite, but to get clicks. It’s sort of a meta hypocrisy on their part if you think about it. Aw well.

    • http://twitter.com/pchujoy pchujoy

      ROFL
      This whole thing is really good Season 4 Brainstroming material :D

    • dennis

      So men should not show off there butts…. wow long shot there but I know women that have told me they like to see a man in a of pants that show off there butt… hummm I think the picture is what it is. A picture of women on the move thru this crazy messed up world wearing Real Nice Jackets. Per I like the London Flog. Just old faction I guess
      I think you are doing good Ms Day….

  • http://www.csdaley.com Christopher

    You aren’t a hypocrite. Which is one of the reasons this thing has burned my backside. I have had conversations with several people profiled in the Vanity Fair article and not one of them is a hypocrite.

    The original article had no focus. Am I celebrating intelligent women, am I slamming Twitter, Am I serious, am I funny. It was a mess.

    Then Gawker pours salt on it. I am disappointed in the whole affair. Thank you for being you. My wife and I will be fans forever. I am now going to go read an F. Paul Wilson because I need something to make me forget about the mean people of the world. Repairman Jack can take care of it for me. :)

  • Ciaytee

    But, Len, why *not* put on a trench coat and have a glamour shot? I think I know your answer, and herein is where I believe we differ in viewpoints. Absolutely how one dresses affects how one is received. This applies to both sexes, and we make adjustments for it. We all know you don’t wear your Friday night going out clothes to a corporate interview. You don’t wear your prom dress to your Granny’s funeral, and unless you’re my inbred ex-cousin-in-law, you don’t wear a tattered, stained Hanes tank top to a birthday party in someone else’s home. However, women are subject to additional constraints, specifically that a woman’s credibility and, to a certain extent, reasonable expectation of physical safety are inversely proportional to the perceived sexiness of her attire. This is just how our society has developed.

    I believe you, and many others, male and female alike, feel that to earn and keep respect and success, women need to construct their images with this baseline in mind. Now, I’m not making accusations of misogyny. I’ve read your earlier comments, and if memory serves, you never implied that sexy dress equals vapid whore who should’ve predicted her rape, just that to effectively work the system, women need to understand the system and plan accordingly. Do I have that right?

    Assuming so, then where we diverge is that a lot of women, especially the younger ones entering the professional workforce, are saying no. I’m no longer a ‘younger one,’ but I do support the change. What a lot of the comments across the Web call “bitching” and “complaining” is really a game-changing, foot firmly down on the floor declaration that the old rules are not acceptable any longer. We understand they exist. We understand there will be resistance and repercussions. We understand that the easier and safer path is to follow the rules. But, no. And we won’t shut up about it. Or the real players won’t. I pretty much just make people in my office roll their eyes. But still, on both the macro and micro scale, the rules only change by speaking up and demanding that the rules change. When it comes to women’s, Civil, and gay rights, this country is very much in a state of flux. We are still in the process of incorporating the marginalized and redefining our social rules. It’s gonna be painful, but dude. It’s gotta be done.

    Quick note on the satire comment—that article wasn’t satire, and you know that. :-) There was no irony; her words and her message were perfectly aligned.

  • tonewaugh

    I would imagine the photoshoot was both long but also playful and fun at times (“a dream come true” as you wrote), and even if any of the subjects started to feel uncomfortable or got a hint of where this might be headed, it would have been very hard to just drop out of the project. Maybe even contractually a problem by that point. There’s momentum and peer pressure to contend with even IF one of you started to smell a rat. Which you probably couldn’t, because I’m sure the photographer and assistants were very friendly and professional. It just isn’t easy to stop something in progress, especially if it isn’t obvious it’s going wrong.

    The first hint they got it backwards is really in the photo where your hair is parted on the left for the first time in recorded history. No one apparently said a word and maybe few noticed when you chopped off many inches this fall, but this business of parting your hair wrong is more worrisome. The galaxy is now tilting slightly to the wrong side, and physicists have begun to take note and remain perplexed. (You may not find anything on the internets about this yet, as they certainly don’t want raise an alarm prematurely, at least not until they trace the cause and come up with a solution, like a recall of all issues of Vanity Fair, or maybe they’ll just have to nuke an asteroid to compensate. As it stands, our next galaxy collision may not be as benign as you predicted – I’d have to say it’s really in your hands. Captain Hammer doesn’t have the tools to save this one.)

    On the other hand, based on the buttons on the trench coat I’d say your image was probably reversed. Hmm, foreshadowing of the way they got your essence backwards in the article too? That’s almost an interesting idea. I don’t have them too often, so this will have to suffice for now. (Sorry I’m being such a twit.. er.. er.)

  • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

    “. I guess the two photos in my life that show my bare legs on the internet are being used to pretty much paint me as a non-talented fame whore, haha. SHOWS ME! ”

    It isn’t just you in the picture. And no where do I read anyone saying you are a non-talented fame whore. Way over the top. They’re teasing you because you can be teased. You really do have 1.6, but it’s not a one way feed.

    Think of it as having your head inside the violin. It’s a resonator. There’s a direct relationship between type and frequency of symbolic presentation. It feeds back and attention follows emphasis. Is it possible that a geekdiva as glamour girl is kind of an oxymoron? In other words, image conflict or cognitive dissonance? VF can’t tell your story. It would mean that all the product they sell which sells all the product for others, the culture of their buyers loses touch with the very values they espouse. A GeekDiva is a diva precisely because as a Geek she triumphed over that. She is both attractive and powerful without being threatening because the warpaint may be there but the war ain’t. Brains are. IMO.

    I guess the question is, do you want to be the violin or the bow? See kate bush.

  • Ciaytee

    Len, I’ve tried 2x to respond, but it hasn’t taken. I may be too wordy, so if this seems terse, it’s because I’m hacking and chopping. I’m not going after you with a pokey stick. I think we see the same things; we just disagree on points of action. Agreed: how one dresses affects how one is received. This applies to both sexes, and we make adjustments for it. We all know you don’t wear your Friday night clothes to a corporate interview, and unless you’re my inbred ex-cousin-in-law, you don’t wear a tattered, stained tank top to a birthday party in someone else’s home. However, women are subject to additional constraints, specifically that a woman’s credibility and, to a certain extent, reasonable expectation of physical safety are inversely proportional to the perceived sexiness of her attire.

    I believe you (and others) feel that to earn and keep respect and success, women must construct their images with this baseline in mind. I’m not making accusations of misogyny. You’ve never stated a belief that sexy dress equals vapid whore, just that to effectively work the system, women need to understand the system and plan accordingly. Yes?

    Assuming so, then where we diverge is that a lot of women, especially the younger ones, are saying no. I’m no longer a ‘younger one,’ but I do support the change. What a lot of the comments across the Web call “bitching” and “complaining” is really a game-changing, foot firmly down on the floor declaration that the old rules are no longer acceptable. We understand there will be resistance and repercussions. We understand that the easier and safer path is to follow the rules. But…no! And we won’t shut up about it. Or the major players won’t. I really just make people in my office roll their eyes. But still, on both the macro and micro scale, the rules only change by speaking up and demanding that the rules change. When it comes to women’s, Civil, and gay rights, this country is very much in a state of flux. We are still in the process of incorporating the marginalized and redefining our social rules. It’s gonna be painful, but dude. It’s gotta be done.

    • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

      “on both the macro and micro scale, the rules only change by speaking up and demanding that the rules change”

      You’re right. They may have walked into the punch but why the punch at all? Looking around the blog journalism on the east coast, it seems it’s snark-infested waters where you swim at your own peril.

      As to how to fight that, I didn’t mean to say the article was satire. It’s pure snark from a snarky industry. I meant to say, zing the industry. We may be older geeks but we are geeks and these ladies are of our tribe. My response is at YouTube.

      Free the VF6! ;)

  • Loves Bitch

    The look in the trenchcoat reminds me of Agent 99 on Get Smart, so if you want to draw comparisons, remember she was the smart one. I am torn on whether I want to buy the magazine because you are in it, or not buy it because the writer doesn’t seem to get you, the subject of the article or even what they themselves are trying to say.

  • Ciaytee

    Len, I’ve tried 3x to respond, but no dice. I think I’m too mouthy, so if this seems terse, it’s hacking. Not going after you with a pokey stick. Agreed: how one dresses affects how one is received. This applies to both sexes, and we make adjustments for it. We all know you don’t wear weekend clothes to a corporate interview. However, women are subject to additional constraints, specifically that a woman’s credibility and, to a certain extent, reasonable expectation of physical safety are inversely proportional to the perceived sexiness of her attire.

    I think you (and others) feel that to earn and keep respect and success, women must construct their images against this baseline. I don’t think misogyny. You’ve never stated that sexy dress equals vapid whore, just that to effectively work the system, women need to understand it and plan accordingly. Yes?

    If so, then where we diverge is that women are starting to say no. What a lot of comments call “bitching” and “complaining” is really a game-changing declaration that the old rules are no longer acceptable. We understand there will be resistance and repercussions, and the easier, safer path is to follow the rules. But…no! And we won’t shut up. Or major players won’t. I just make people in my office roll their eyes. Still, on both the macro and micro scale, the rules only change by speaking up and demanding that they change. We’re still in the process of incorporating the marginalized and redefining our society. It’s painful, but it must be done.

  • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

    “I think you (and others) feel that to earn and keep respect and success, women must construct their images against this baseline.”

    That’s a fair criticism but I don’t think that’s what I think. I think that is the gestalt and zeitgeist as played out. Attentivores play the role of one to big many. It is not just a tool but a condition of the gig. THAT is what is unfair about the article. IOW, there is a lot to say about Felicia that engenders respect. Instead, they focused on the Twitterness of it all and made fun of that.

    The argument being begged is that this particular article is generalizable to ‘new and independent professional women’. Is VF a mag about that or a gigglefest? If you sign up for a gigglefest, expect the giggling. Enjoy it. Make fun of it. But launch out and start a cause? I dunno. Boring.

    I can only comment from perspective on any of the subject about Day. I really don’t know who these other ladies are and would have never seen the VF article had it not become the celeb cause du jour. In short, don’t do those mags if redefining society is the goal. Do what you do well. Don’t get caught in the cultural oxymoron. But if you use it to launch the cause, you make yourself the cause. For an attentivore, that’s a voracious strategy.

    Satire is better than herding by outrage. Life is the stuff of art. Bitching and complaining are part of that but do you think she/they are outraged because they intend to change the rules or they intend to be attended changing the rules. Who are they to change the rules? Who made the rules?

    They did when they signed the paperwork for that article.

    The broader issue of sexualizing the image of a subject is bigger than this because a) these are women, not girls, and they have the choice of sexualizing their image. b) the subject is too important to let this event trivialize that.

    There is a book a woman correspondent, Amber Fenner Gray, recommends called, “The Lolita Effect”, by M. Gigi Durham. It describes the sexualization of young girls for product placement and its effect on society and the cultural perceptions of gender. I’ve only read the review so far. If anyone has read more, I’d like to hear about that.

  • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

    Short form: They don’t have to do a VF article to change the world. They already were.

  • Ciaytee

    I disagree that the article is satire. There was no irony; the author’s words and her message were perfectly aligned. Maybe she tried, but if so, she failed to understand satire or implement it.

    I doubt anyone starts out with the goal of changing the world. Individuals just go about their lives, working and striving and whatnot, and when they encounter obstacles, the choices are to comply or not. When enough people don’t comply, change happens. It’s a reactive process, and it’s really damn slow. Feminists from the 60s-80s got us in the door and into positions of power, and most of them did that working within the established system. Now we have the latitude to chip away at smaller obstacles, like refusing to forfeit credibility based on a skirt length.

    This VF thing only blew up because it *is* a reactive process. Look at what happened here. 1) VF article published. 2) Participants respond: “The hell? This isn’t what I signed up for.” 3) Critics reply: “You have no right to bitch. You posed for that picture.” 4) Public responds: “Why does the picture matter?” Result? All of this.

    Why even do VF? Granted, I’m not a glossy reader (don’t really see the sense in giving someone cash for 300 pages of ads), but I always thought VF had a reputation as being somewhat respectable. Dorothy Parker, Dominick Dunne, etc. Or is that a bit of romanticized, days of yore hearsay? Really, I have no firsthand knowledge of the magazine. I could be way off base.

    But even still, just from a practical POV, I’d imagine that if your livelihood and career goals are dependent upon establishing a large customer base, and a mainstream, well-respected (?) media outlet asks to discuss your innovative ideas and business acumen, you *do it*. That’s just good business sense. And if they don’t live up to their part of the contract, you forfeit nothing just because you posed for a picture the patriarchal establishment thinks you oughtn’t have.

    • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

      Nothing to disagree with there but no comment not having seen the contract.

      Time to move on.

  • Joe Simmelink

    Before I share my take on the VF article I’d like to add validity to my response by mentioning I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

    Felicia, Babe… Princess… Sweetheart, I love ya, but you need to distance yourself from this arguement. I just finished reading the article and I think you should have too before reading everyone else’s opinion. You’re a fiery redhead, a strong independent woman and carry the blessings/curses of both.

    If you re-read calmly and with an open mind, I think (well atleast hope) that you will see the real point that the writer was trying to make. Social networking can be a lot like highschool with people trying to become “celebrities” not with the public, but with their peers. If you’re a member of a social network, those people aren’t your fans they’re your friends who care what or how you’re doing no matter how trivial (tweets ARE mostly trivial). Just like networking games such as Wow, social networking can become addictive and hurt your relationships with people in your “offline” life (online friendships are real).

    The article is actually educational, atleast for those not at all knowledgable about Twitter. Her use of words like “twilebrity” shows she did her research (Probably talked to actual Tweeple) and is reminiscent of any introduction of a new culture. Whether or not those who tweet are narcisists or not is a question she acknowledges in her first paragraph and leaves it to readers to decide. The google scenario raises a good question about perhaps excluding tweets from internet searches and it’s a little comforting to learn that there’s a 1,000 tweet cap.

    As far as the criticism from others, yeah the lingo sounds as stupid as Radio Shack changing its name to The Shack, but she didn’t coin it. She didn’t use it to make people sound stupid, she used it for it’s novelty, it sounded stupid from the beginning. As far as being condescending, if anything they came across as perhaps lazy and impatient, not dumb. The cookie fact sounds like an email I’d get from a friend, it’s fun to know but I’m in disbelief myself that it needs to be mentioned in any conversation. I think stefanie might have ADD, since reading this post would apparently be too deep of an engagement. I can see how after communicating in only 140 characters for an extended period of time would cause you to adapt, if Julia was trapped in mexico she might learn to communicate in spanish. As far as the dying media jabs, that has yet to be proven, people were once transitioning to making furniture and other things out of metals and plastics only to return to wood because of it’s warmth.

    Lastly I’ll comment on the picture. Felicia, you look so freakin’ hot. Although you’re showing relatively little skin what makes it hottest is that it’s implied that you’re naked under that coat. As far as VF pictures go I think it’s par (I’m a dude, I don’t read VF) and does what every VF photo must do, introduce the interviewee. I can’t really see them doing anything else except letting the photographer express their artistry. I don’t think you can be considered a hypocrite for doing the shoot, if you’re being interviewed by VF I think it’s pretty much mandatory. A possible misinterpretation of the picture might be that you’re all flashers who get off exposing yourselves to the public. As I’ve expressed before it is my opinion that the people who subscribe to your tweets aren’t random strangers but distant friends. You ARE naked under your trenchcoat, but you’re not going to flash them, you’re tweeting to let them know you’re naked and making it an inside joke. We should remember that the interviewer and the photographer are two different people and may not have even discussed it. Perhaps the phones could have been held up tomake them more prominent as if you were pulling yourself away from them to smile for the camera.

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    LOL! I can’t believe you noticed the hair parting, but that’s awesome. YES It was so weird to have my hair parted the “wrong” way. I should have KNOW it was foreshadowing :)

    • Joe Simmelink

      Why do I even bother tying to help? The whole problem is perception. For a smart girl you can be pretty dumb. You’ve gotten pissed about something you probably missinterpreted in the first pace and now you think hair parting is an omen? C’mon think about it!

      • Loves Bitch

        The hair parting being an omen was a joke, I’m pretty sure. Talk about misinterpreting something. But that’s pretty smart of you. (That was a joke too by the way.)

        • Joe Simmelink

          I know it was a joke, a snide remark that just shows she’d rather be pissed than open up to the idea that the article wasn’t negative towards Twitter.

        • tonewaugh

          It wasn’t snide – I think Felicia was just laughing at my bringing up the hair and possible foreshadowing thing. I wasn’t serious. It was a joke. She wasn’t serious either.

  • Jeff

    I think you should still feel glamorous. Enjoy that you have a wonderful photo shoot. It’s not a well written article but that’s not your fault.

    I think if anything an article like that exposes some people who wouldn’t otherwise know about twitter to the site. They will probably tweet twice and be gone but who knows. I’m sure there are plenty of people(not just girls) that all of you have inspired. Those people most likely won’t come from VF. They already know about you and the things you’ve done.

    Enjoy looking good and being successful.

  • Loves Bitch

    I am amazed by some of the responses, no necessarily here, but on some of the other links, that basically say they can’t let VF dress and pose them like that and expect to be taken seriously. These women are already successes and should be taken seriously. What, they showed their legs and suddenly all their accomplishments became imaginary? Is Tiger Woods now not able to be taken seriously as a golfer, because of his pictures in VF? Nope all his wins are not real anymore.

    Letting my guyness show through for a second, I hope this experience won’t keep you from showing your legs in the future Felicia. You have great legs, but they don’t take away from any of your other great achievements and neither does the VF article.

    Perhaps Codex will be similarly marginalized in an article about girl gamers.

    • Loves Bitch

      Oh, I also wonder how the guys (yes it is always the guys making these comments in the blogs) explain their idea that ‘you can’t be sexy and expect to be taken seriously (ie. considered smart), to their girlfriends or wives?

      “Of course I take you seriously honey, you’re not sexy at all.” Or is it “Of course I think you are hot, You are stupid and got nothing else going on.”?

      • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

        So all of this simply boils down to ‘hotness’?

        Better 200 pounds of curves than 100 pounds of nerves. Clara rules. :)

        • Loves Bitch

          Yeah that’s exactly what I meant when I said that the womens great accomplishments weren’t taken away just because they dared to show some leg, and when I said that the guys on the other blog made no sense when they couldn’t expect to be taken seriously despite those accomplishments. Glad you were able to read between the lines and see that all I was saying was that they are hot.

          Brains are more important than beauty, but that doesn’t mean a person can’t have both.

        • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

          They can. They do. It’s a lesson in context: some folks have brands that do not fit the confines of the VF worldview. That doesn’t make them less hot or more smart. We all like the leg. Had no one gotten upset, it would have stopped there.

          I think there is a better way for me to respond to this and will do that tonight. Art speaks louder and since we have this big amplifier, it’s time for a little Google Guerilla Theatre. It looks like Felicia is moving on given her high frequency posting on the sci-fi blog. That’s good. As I said, she’s the only one in that group who is close to being a house hold name and has the most to lose as this goes from outrage about the contents to “why didn’t you notice”. If the article starts the conversation about the way our marketing culture uses women and men to place product at the cost of respect, then it has done some good.

          On the other hand, the ribbing is just that and they can safely sit back have a good laugh with the rest of us or nurse a grudge and that second alternative is a longer day than the first.

  • Soma

    oh my Tesla-coiled <3..

    such silly-silly games they play.

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    I believe my comment about my hair was tongue in cheek? :)

  • http://www.reelartsy.com Karen

    The photo is cute but the article itself lacked quality research. Bummers. Anyhow, keep up the good work on the web!

  • MrChaos

    Twitter is what you make of it. I find it annoying to read the mundane aspects of someone’s life, even the famous, hate using my thumbs to type, and any information coming from it is only “new” for a short bit. The small screen is annoying vs a PC which I prefer the later for my information. Im an “early adopter” and “tech friendly” I just see little purpose in twittering vs reading a person’s website. One man, one vote *shrug*

    It feels similar to the old text pagers with the incoming text feed channels. That was how I learned about the airplanes crashing in the towers. Waiting for prototype cars to start rolling down the line I got bored, read the feed and got to be “first” to tell someone about it. Word spread like wildfire throughout the plant and we then went to watch it on TV.

    This event and experience didn’t validate the power of text pager channel feeds anymore then the twitters that leaked out during the recent demonstrations in Iran. I went elsewhere for the rest of my info needs, and what I see as twitters greatest handicap the ability to only speak in blurbs.

    What is being lost by everyone so far is a grand oppurtunity to actually hear the answers to the fundmental questions that should have been asked of those in the article:

    What actual advantage to your career, Ms Day, does having 1,600,000 people reading your words via twitter give you?

    What thought do you have on how you can harness it to further your professional goals?

    For those who just don’t “get it” what are the advantages to using twittering over other communication methods?

    Etc etc etc

    I’m sincerely interested, from a professional perspective, to hear your thoughts Ms Day (calling you Felicia without you even knowing my real first name seems just to damn chummy) and Im disheartened that no one has thought to ask you for them yet.

    Finally about the photo, it seems a little overly high brow to wax poetically about it given she is first, among the many hats she wears, an actor. A profession where her appearance gets her employment. So a picture of her that makes her look, you know, attractive seems to me to be good business sense.

    Respectfully
    MrChaos

  • Johanna

    I am so sorry. What an ass. Well, I have to think/hope only vapid superficial twits read VF anyway (lord knows I don’t). To them I’m sure you’re all, like, smart that Enstein guy. You know, the guy with the weird hair?…. and stuff ;)

    Try to forget about it.

  • http://www.writingroads.com/blog Julie Roads

    Well said! And I’m so, so glad that you stuck up for yourself and weren’t afraid of the wrath of VF. I wrote about it as well – on our non-profit that works to educate women about tech’s blog – http://www.geekgirlcamp.com/2010/01/really-americas-tweethearts-have-to-be-half-naked/ and even though I was defending you all and saying a lot of what you said above, I was attacked by one of the woman in the article who thought I was horrible for writing it.

    Meanwhile, another woman featured thanked my privately via Twitter DM. Again, I’m so glad you spoke up!!! Congratulations on your huge successes…here’s to many, many more.

  • http://level343.com Gabriella

    I am sure this post will have a few people hating me, poking me, or whatever else social networks are doing now days… but, people that know me also know I shoot from the hips regardless of whether it wins me kudos, or gets me enemies. As a woman I have had my own battles in a male dominated world. I have been interviewed for a magazine and did not have control about what was being said or quoted, but I took the initiative to ask for the draft to be sent prior to publishing (which I never got, but at least I did ask). Maybe it’s an age thing or maybe I have lived long enough to know people buy on visual response, emotion and impulse. But with all due respect, did you really think Vanity Fair would do an in-depth or insightful column with that picture? From what I hear, you ladies were wearing no clothes under those trench coats.

    Look, I am not against “sex selling”, but let’s be real here. Great business women with entrepreneurial spirit would not have put themselves in that position. I personally would have clued in on the tone of the article due to the picture. I don’t recall ever being taken seriously while flaunting my good looks. My brains have always been considered the sexiest part of me – and I like it that way.

    • ningauble3020

      Brains are not sexy. Marilyn Monroe was sexy Because she hid them (her brains). The fact is this: man thinks with two heads. Scully from the X-Files and Felicia’s characters are sexy despite being intelligent, not because of their smarts. Good looks are sexy. Pocket protectors aren’t.

      No one has an orgasm over an IQ test.

    • Z

      I would have to disagree with your last statement. A great business woman with an entrepreneurial spirit would most definitely put herself in that position (Using her sex appeal in addition to her brains). Where many women fail is when they get pissed that their sexuality is used. Use both, it will get you much farther in life! If you want to get ahead in life solely on brains and deny your sexuality you are shooting yourself in the foot. You are lucky if you have both, and it would be a shame if you let one of your tools just go to waste. There is nothing more beautiful than an intelligent and sexy woman who knows how to use both.

      • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

        I’m surprised to see this topic back at the top of the comments. This one is over. Note that VF pulled the same stunt on Courtney Love and she didn’t react any better.

        A) A lesson in transparency. It can be naive if you don’t contract for final edit.

        B) Women with images to sell contracted with a magazine with issues to sell. If these are in conflict, best to know that up front. The VF6 may have learned it the hard way.

        The death of innocence is a sad story. See Agora. At the end of the day, FD wants the acclaim and approval of those who her generation has to replace. When new elites are transforming the business of the old elites, expect violence of some form. Historically, unavoidable.

        Time to go to choir now.

  • SNiner

    ‘Felicia Day, 30, a geek-Webisode actress’

    Guess the reporter has never watched Buffy, Dollhouse, Lie to Me, House or a host of other TV guest roles of yours. Perhaps they became so obsessed with awful Tiwtter that they forgot to even bother doing basic research on the people the photographed.

    On the brighter side you all look fantastic in the pic!

  • Andy

    Reading through the comments has been a sobering journey through what’s messed up with so many people. The article was NASTY. Very petty from start to finish.

    BUT, you ladies are not BABIES. Your complaints about the article make you look like fools. No one is saying that intelligence and beauty are incompatible. But does beauty mean being half-naked in a trench coat? Why couldn’t they have dressed you ELEGANTLY either in longer trench coats or in nice gowns/dresses? And… wait for it. If they had an idea for your wardrobe, couldn’t you as a 30-year old SPEAK UP and say no?

    I keep hearing people repeat over and over that beautiful, intelligent women are not taken seriously. Any guy if he’s talking to another guy will tell u: that’s bullshit. But we do see a difference between being beautiful and being desperate, and you all, with the exception of two women, came off looking pretty desperate and attention-hungry. Very sad, given how intelligent you are. Maybe next time you find yourself undressing to bring attention to your work, a logical connector will reload this embarrassing sequence.

    You would have looked 100x better and more mysterious in a regal dress. Looks like VF saved a boatload of money on this tacky wardrobe.

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