December 28, 2012

Dark Side of the Net: Blog of the Year Pick for 2012

Stripy Tights and Dark Delights

"Fashion, lifestyle and culture for lovers of all things spooky"

Those of you who have read Dark Side of the Net for the past ten or twenty years, know that I rarely ever do anything like this: single out a resource and call it "Best of the Year." There are just so many good sites and so little time to look backwards, I hardly ever bothered. The first couple times I did something similar, (I think I called it Best of the Dark Side) it just resulted in a bunch of people whining at me in email to find out why their sites didn't make the list. So I got lazy and gave up.

But over the past year I've been enjoying Amy Asphodel's blog (originally known as "Ultimate Goth Guide") so much, I wanted to tip my hat to its tireless blogger and webmistress. (I suck at making graphics and thought it would be beneath her if I created a cheesy "Best Blog of the Year" award graphic to present her with, so I resisted the impulse).

While I don't read her blog every day, or even every week, every time I stumble across it in my web travels, I get sucked into reading her interesting posts, thoroughly enjoying what she's talking about each time. I've enjoyed Amy's candour and watching her grow and explore her interests, tastes and opinions. She never writes as though she's lecturing or talking down to the reader, either. She's not posing as an expert; instead she's sharing things she's learning that she's excited about.

I know you've all read Amy's blog. I'm astounded at the number of comments (and usually, thoughtful and well written ones) her blog posts attract, and delighted to see she has so many readers, fans and passionate followers. She's done an admirable job of posting quality posts quite often, which is very difficult to do. Over 400 posts in 2011, more than 200 in 2012, and 88 posts in her first year. That's incredible! I can barely manage a post a month lately (though I hope to reprioritize some writing time and change that soon).

Stripy Tights has provided spotlight posts (such as Spotlight on Siouxsie Sioux); explored reader questions including dealing with goth phobic parents and Can Goths Be Accepted?; offered thoughts on being a confident goth and how to answer curious questions about goth. The blog has provided lists of goth web comics, music and fashion resources, and lots of link-heavy news and gossip posts.

I enjoyed Amy's explorations on topics including goth hate on the Internet; Is the term Babybat Offensive?; the people who smile at goths; and large amounts of posts exploring goth stereotypes And I watched from the sidelines, worried about her, as she dealt with an offensive hate site making fun of her blog.

She had more courage than I've had, asking publically for people's opinions on the gothic metal debate, lamenting how several goth bands complain about their goth fan base, and pointing out some problems with the goth scene, such as goth rivalry.

She's shared "monthly linksplosions," dark magazine reviews, vlogger and blogger spotlights, and her own 30 day goth clothing challenge.

She also provided A Great Big List of Dark Alt Bands"; An A to Z of Goth Names; a detailed set of posts on dark culture fashion including posts on just about every subset of goth fashion (perkygoth, romantigoth, etc); a helpful tutorials and DIY section (posts include Goth bento, hair and makeup tips, and some gothy crafts); and a series of posts on dark music styles.

Amy's new blog, Bohemian Bloomers is just a couple months old. She's branching out from goth and dark culture posts, and working on discovering her own personal style. She's not sure if she'll confine goth/dark posts to Stripy Tights or sprinkle them into the new blog from time to time. I'm eager to see where she's going next and what her 2013 posts will have to say!

Thank you, Amy, for all your hard work you did and time you put in for the benefit of the dark culture and goth scenes!

--Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net 1993-2013