It has become a Sunday tradition in these here parts to venture over to the blog of Dublin-born and London-based fashion and culture writer Ana Kinsella for her weekly post ‘A Week’s Clicks’. A discerning collection of some of the best culture, feminist, fashion and memoir writing on the web, you’re always guaranteed your next few hours are going to be spent poring over amazing words and stories.
Ana first came to our attention with her now defunct ripped-knees blog where she charted her outfits and wrote accessibly about fashion, philosophy and everything in between. Since graduating from journalism in the illustrious Central Saint Martins she’s been a contributor to the Irish Times and is currently the junior editor for Bon magazine. Her current blog is part portfolio, part insight into how this young writer consumes media.
We got in touch with Ana to chat about the endeavor and the evolution of fashion blogging in general.
Why did you start A Week’s Clicks’?
When I was in college I started making this bookmarks folder of longform reads, categorised into art, feminism, fashion, literature, first-person stuff, politics etc. I mostly made it to learn from – to read and learn what a good article looks like, how it’s structured etc. But also because I love long reads and how they spread on the internet. The folder got very, very big, and friends began asking me to send it to them after having their wisdom teeth out, or if they were starting a new commute or whatever.
After I stopped blogging at Ripped Knees I wanted to do something completely different. I read blogs by women like Jessica Stanley‘s and Danielle Meder‘s, these really smart and interested women who were combing the internet for the most interesting things they could find, and I loved that idea. It’s the mental equivalent of emptying out your coat pockets after a week of walking through a city and showing where you went, what you picked up along on the way. Sharing of links has become a real and clear part of our daily lives online, whether it’s on Buzzfeed or Twitter or a good old-fashioned email chain. And it made sense to me to combine my huge bulging bookmarks folder with something I could share easily with others, if they were interested. And finally it was another gleeful form of procrastination, one that somehow still felt a little productive to me.
Why have you switched from blogging at Ripped Knees to Ana Kinsella?
I outgrew fashion blogging a couple of years ago, I think – it didn’t fit with my life anymore, not to mention the format was changing so rapidly and becoming so much more about… self-promotion rather than the interconnected, girl-crush world of community I had first fallen into in about 2006. Fans rather than friends. I am still quite sad about that, but there are still lots of brilliant fashion bloggers out there who stay true to that idea.
anakinsella.tumblr.com was first a professional portfolio, then grew to include random stuff I found interesting, like any Tumblr, then, eventually, A Week’s Clicks.
There is so much on the internet – how do you ‘curate’ such high quality articles and writing?
I would never use the word curate to describe it! But on a practical level, I just bookmark or twitter-favourite things that look interesting to me, chuck them in a folder labelled with the week’s date and on Saturday or Sunday pick out my favourites in a mix that I think may be interesting (visuals, fashion, essays, a review etc) to people who aren’t me. There are some writers I love so much I’d probably post their shopping lists and there are some websites, like The Hairpin and American Vogue.com, which crop up a lot too.
I also look at my blog stats, to see what kind of things people are clicking on the most, though it’s not an exact science. I wonder a lot about whether I should include where or how I found the link in the first place, but most of the time it’s too tricky to figure that out, and also I feel quite strongly that we don’t own the sharing-of-links – all I do is point to something I thought was interesting or high-quality, I don’t claim ownership of the act of pointing itself.
How many tabs have you got open right now?
Haha. 16. That’s probably about normal – 80% are for work and the rest are things I want to read and may bookmark for later, too. Lately I’m bookmarking more and more, making the pruning-down a little harder, but I hope to keep to a mix that is interesting to a wide range of people. But I love the process of reading, saving and sharing, and I love how many conversations now begin with “So I read this thing, and I have to send it to you…”
Follow Ana on Twitter here.
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun