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Olympics: Do We Burn The Nikes First, Or The Cool Blogs?

Olympics: Do We Burn The Nikes First, Or The Cool Blogs?
Design
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 15 april 2008

As a publisher we know there will always be articles you agree or disagree with but we hope the subjects we choose to write about are picked as a considered decision. We have mentioned before that the ‘cool’ and ‘design’ blogs aren’t making as many considered decisions about their editorial as they ought to and we want to revisit the discussion on the role of these sites and whether they have any responsibility to reflect in their content current sentiment towards not only environmental issues but also socio-political concerns.

Last Wednesday (April 9), the team at PSFK flew to San Francisco on Virgin America and as we took off we watched on the satellite TVs the debacle of the Olympic flame procession in the city we were about to visit. While protesters didn’t cause the mayhem that took place in London and Paris, they certainly won the day in San Francisco by causing one of the most embarrassing Olympic events we could remember.

Only a few days later on Sunday April 13 during our trawl of the RSSes, we found a post about Nike’s new Olympic range on the rather popular and influential NotCot blog. Now we know many of you love NotCot and we will say that Jean Aw does a great job in finding amazing new items to feature on her site – but the posting and celebration of Nike’s Olympic products so close to the Olympic flame protests made us think about the role cool and design blogs have as voices in our global community.

There is already a concern about cool and trends blogs and their celebration of consumption in a time of environmental debate (although sometimes you may not notice it). Now, the emerging question is whether alongside mainstream green-concern, the cool and design blogs need to also consider popular socio-political attitudes in their publishing? What seems to have happened is that in a rush to post content from an ‘exclusive’ Nike press event, NotCot failed to consider any current global sentiment against China, the Olympics and the brands associated with both.

We’re not saying that NotCot and any others shouldn’t write about Olympic associated products but if they’re going to fawn over a shiny pair of riding boots, then do so with a considered decision that you’re going against shared attitudes of many of your readers.

Thoughts and comments?

(Jean Aw of NotCot declined to answer our questions about this subject)

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