Wikipedia defines the concept as:
"web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities, and individuals."
That's basically a fancy way to say that we are doing a whole lot more talking to each other through technology. We share things via a hyperlink, rather than passing a book or newspaper across the table. As new ways to connect continue to spring up and change our relationship dynamics, they also change how businesses interact with us. And even, how they market to us.
Marketing becomes more of a two-way street as businesses monitor what's being said about them on Twitter, Facebook, and various review sites around the internet. They check out what their target market is posting about, and what they are "liking." With the rise of Pinterest (described as "a content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pinboard" by the site itself), regular people are aggregating content from around the web to create a visual depiction of what's cool/interesting/fun to them.
Is it any wonder that the effects of this seismic change are being felt, even in men's style?
Pinboards like this one on men's style from Tim Baker aside, Pinterest has often been seen as a domain for women (and especially creative, artsy types). In the wake of Pinterest's explosion in popularity though, more overtly men-oriented sites are beginning to pop-up and gain traction - like Gentlemint and Manteresting, for example. These though, are not ostensibly dedicated to style, although they do feature some style-related shares.
But men's style is making its mark in the world of social media, and you don't have to look any farther than Minnesota to get started. In 2010, some of the stylish guys in the Twin Cities saw what some of their lady friends were doing with the #summerofdresses movement, and started their own movement: #summerofdapper, launching a wave of stylish guys on the summer and a whole lot of press. With their user supported blog, they are about to open their third summer of capturing great sartorial moments brought to you by guys just like you.
And to think, it used to be that The Sartorialist was one of the only places you could see "real" style happening. (Frankly, it's still a fantastic site for inspiration, ideas, and killing a few minutes. But you now have a source for Minnesota style as well!) And, others have started to figure out (just like the Dapper guys) that a picture is worth a thousand words. Retailers and magazines like JCrew and GQ have launched their own Tumblr sites to highlight style trends and fashion advice. [Tumblr is a microblogging site, like Twitter, that is heavy on image-driven posts.] But regular guys are also pulling together their own Tumblr blogs - like Man of Style, 30 and Broke, and He Got Style.
Even this column is evidence in the growing wave of social media and how it has changed the way we get information. So tell us, here at Minneapolis Men's Style, what do you think? Are there sites that inspire you, or do you not even notice all of the online inspiration now available to you? Sound off in the comments below, and tell us what you think.
For more on men's style, check out Bethany's other work, or subscribe via email to get it delivered piping hot to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and you may just see it here.