Q&A: The Coolest Bloggers

  • Share
  • Read Later

Brian Lam

Sandra Day O'Connor
The retired Supreme Court justice talks to TIME about her work to stop attacks on the judiciary, her lunches with her former colleagues on the bench and her overbooked schedule

Sir Anthony O'Reilly
He boomed long before Ireland. Why the former Heinz CEO is still focused on premium brands.

Megan Mullally
The Will and Grace co-star talks to TIME about her venture into daytime television

Carlos Ghosn
The celebrated auto exec says benchmarking is the key to any good alliance

Trent Vanegas
TIME clicks in with the creator of celebrity gossip blog Pink Is The New Blog

Joan Claybrook
The President of Public Citizen and former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) talks about the merits of having black boxes in cars

Richard Evans
The CEO of Montreal-based Alcan, the world's No. 2 aluminum producer, talks with TIME about how he hopes to position aluminum to become a "precious" commodity again

Trent Vanegas

Q&A: The Gossip Blogger With a Conscience

In the August 14 issue of the New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann says, "Great citizen journalism is like the imagined Northwest Passage — it has to exist in order to prove that citizens can learn about public life without the mediation of professionals." If the measure of a successful citizen journalist is popularity, then Trent Vanegas comes out on top. Without any media background whatsoever, Vanegas has created a celebrity gossip blog — Pink Is the New Blog — that has become a favorite among celebrities, their publicists and the average American, bringing the blog over 200,000 visitors a month. Writing with tact, Vanegas fills his posts with entertaining captions and star-studded images superimposed with tongue-in-cheek thought bubbles. Vanegas recently moved to Los Angeles, where he will continue to post to Pink Is the New Blog while pursuing other interests.

When did you start Pink Is The New Blog and why?
I started Pink Is the New Blog in June 2004, but it was actually an offshoot of my original blog that I started in August of 2002. The whole reason I started blogging in the first place was because I wanted to get into the habit of writing every single day, and I thought that if I did it online, and if there was an audience — even if the audience as small as my parents and my friends who I made read my blog — that I would have this sort of commitment to writing. So the original purpose was just for me to exercise this thing I wanted to do. I wanted to write every day and because I only know to write from my perspective, I would naturally write about movies and music that were interesting to me at the time. Im such a huge fan of celebrity and pop culture that it grew into my daily writing and evolved into what it is today. I didnt set out to do this intentionally — it just happened and I just feel very fortunate that it did.

You take the stance of being more tame than a lot of other celebrity blogs. Do you have the audience in mind, or do you care what the celebrities think?
I dont know. Its so difficult. Ive thought about this so many times, and theres no way that I could please everybody. If Im trying to make a joke, say the whole elbow-in-the-ribs thing about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, everything cant be sugar-coated. Sometimes youve got to just go with it and make the joke. I cant really be worried if celebrities get the joke or not. I have been fortunate that all the celebrities that Ive met have been very nice to me. Theyve told me they like the website, they think its funny and they get the jokes. Cameron Diaz once told me that it doesnt go too far and thats what she likes about it. Cameron Diaz is one of the celebrities Im a little harder on because she doesnt like doing autographs and she doesnt like getting her picture taken, which I find completely annoying when youre a celebrity. In the early days, you want people to buy your product and you want people to follow you, but when they become rich and famous they dont have time for regular people anymore, which I find really irritating. For her to say to me that its funny and she gets it is a great compliment — she gets that I have fun with it and Im not trying to be mean-spirited.

Lets talk about the celebrity craze in America. Its at a point bordering on ridiculous. Others have argued that this obsession with the fabulous is part of the dumbing down of America. What is your reaction to that?
I dont know if thats necessarily where that comes from. My whole theory is that the rise of reality TV is when the fever-pitch need for celebrity news started rising as well. Reality TV breaks down the barrier between being a regular person and being a celebrity. One day youre a college student and the next day youre on the Real World and people recognize you all over the world. I think the rise of reality TV is what really has fueled the fire and made the insatiable need to know and to be one of those celebrities even more rampant.... The fast-paced way information is able to be delivered just throws gasoline onto the fire and makes it blaze more.

Why do you think your blog is better than other celebrity blogs?
I try to give it a little personality, to inject as much of me into it as I can. I dont necessarily cater the text toward audiences, but I kind of feel like Im talking with them. I try to make it very conversational and put in everyday speech. I dont say "holla" and I dont say "yall," but I think it gives it a more familial feel. People feel like theyre reading a friends website, and thats what I try to have in mind with every single post.

Let's talk about the future; what do you see for Pink?
I see no end to it. I see no reason to think that it wont go forever. Its still very much a fun thing for me... I reached a point two or three years in where I hadnt missed a day and I was like, "Im just going to see how far I can go." That sort of "work ethic" is what has led me to where I am right now... Theres always something to talk about. I try and make it interesting because its interesting to me. But yes, there are only so many Paris Hilton stories you can talk about.

  1. Previous
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5