With the rise of Facebook groups however, the international lolita community has been largely decentralized, many members leaving EGL for the ease and quick pace of Facebook groups. Several separate groups with huge memberships on Facebook have made the lolita fashion and its community even more accessible to newcomers than ever before, proving to be an incredibly convenient social platform for the lolita community, though at what cost? Because of the quick and impermanent nature of content on Facebook, information and discussions are often reduced to little blurbs that are lost amongst a sea of several related posts, making it very difficult to archive and go back to any previous information. Because of this coupled with the seemingly constant flow of newcomers, many of the same, tired old questions that would normally be answered with a quick search on EGL are always coming up in Facebook groups, again, and again, and again…
Why not tell the new lolitas to come to EGL? A quick look at the Handbook and the Memories makes it clear that new information has not been added in a long time. Many of the old sources are no longer relevant to the fashion today, and won’t help new lolitas. While Facebook groups flourished in membership, EGL stagnated. However, where EGL was known for having quality and timeless content, Facebook fails to retain detailed information about the fashion. It’s time to bring back thoughtful discussions regarding all aspects of lolita fashion and to update the Handbook and the memories. EGL shouldn’t try to rival Facebook in amount of content generated, but instead we should focus on generating quality content. I think the best way to describe this idea would be to make EGL as an interactive and collaborative magazine or blog, rich with member-generated content.
Aside from encouraging members to post more photoshoots, artwork, comics, prose, poetry, garment and print designs, we should also encourage members to start posting new tutorials, reviews, sewing patterns, advice and more to help create a definitive body of texts to accompany the ever-changing fashion and replace old content. Here’s some other ideas I’ve seen thrown around lately:
-A monthly Lolita 101 Q&A post: this is a great way to contain easily answered questions to one topic, and the newer lolitas can receive help from veteran lolitas without clogging up the community and bumping out more interesting content.
-A monthly Outfit Building post: this could probably be merged with the previous one, but the idea would be to encourage lolitas of all levels of experience to post WIP coords and ask for advice on how to improve or perfect a coord. This can really help newbies be steered in the right direction before they make regrettable fashion choices, and can help more experienced lolitas really push the envelope with their own coordinates.
-Monthly discussion themes: EGL technically already has this going on, but I think a reminder is in order! The monthly theme is there to encourage lively discussion in the community, and we should take advantage of this. It’s a great opportunity to explore current prevailing opinions and try to create a cohesive analysis or overview about these matters. Aside from just discussions, I think it’d be great if we got bloggers in on this to contribute lengthy and engaging posts to the community based on these discussions, sort of like community editorials. These would make great reading material in the future for new and old lolitas alike.
*Remember, not all posts have to be related to the monthly theme, so if any members want to post about something else, they totally should! The key is that we encourage thoughtful and informative discussion and posts.
*Certain discussion topics could also be recycled every few months depending on their nature, such as “Wearing Lolita in Public” or “Family Reactions to Lolita.” These may not always need a new lengthy post every few months, but it’s always fun to read lolitas comments, because there will always be new stories!
-Event coverage: if a meet up or other lolita event is a big enough deal (AP tea party, ILD mega meet, etc.), participants should be encouraged to write up a post with plenty of info, pictures, and more to fill the rest of us in!
-Partial scans and translations of G&LB and other Japanese publications on lolita fashion to keep up with the trends and to have yet another source of information, tutorials, and sewing patterns.
In order to make an EGL Renaissance happen, it’s going to take a lot of effort not just from our mods, but from the community as well. By contributing to EGL we will be the ones driving the direction the content will go, so make it count! Mods and members alike, please comment and add your own ideas for revitalizing EGL and bringing it back to the forefront of this fashion’s community. What would you like to see more of? What kind of content can you see yourself contributing?