[#NATEGATE] Wherin Nate Berkus Screws Up Royally

I already knew that Nate Berkus was gorgeous, and charming and incredibly talented, but based on what happened today for the design blogger show, I’m sad to have to add “totally friggin clueless” to the list. I mean, this shit was BAD, ppl. Like so bad, I didn’t even think it was *possible* for someone to screw things up as badly as he and his staff did today.

To catch everyone’s asses up: based on an impromptu Twitter campaign that ended up going quasi-viral (started by my 2 fave beyotches, The Moggit Girls), hundreds of design bloggers all blogged about Nate Berkus one day this summer in a collective, worldwide social media lovefest. They called it #nateday. And after such an amazing response, it was suggested that Nate should follow Martha Stewart’s lead and do a “blogger show” one day where he filled up his entire audience with design bloggers. Brillz, right??


So we waited and waited and waited and waited, and finally, last week many of us got word that the day had finally come. The blogger show was scheduled for 9/21! We were only given one week’s notice (which was kind of annoying), but many bloggers still managed to take time off, make travel arrangements and take time out of their very busy lives to be there. People bought plane tickets and train tickets and got bikini waxes. New outfits were purchased (Nate likes bright colors!)…new business cards were printed…and hotel reservations were booked. People spent a lot of friggin money to get their asses there, but it was all for Nate! So it was worth it! Only it wasn’t! Like not even a little bit!

I had honestly anticipated sitting down tonight to write a gushing, love filled homage to Nate Berkus. This shit was gonna be so sugary sweet disgusting, you were going to need a barf bag just to get through the whole post. And instead I’m left feeling disappointed, dumbfounded, and pretty damn annoyed.


Design bloggers were not:

  • mentioned
  • referenced
  • celebrated
  • acknowledged (at least on-air).

Nothing ppl!? I mean, AYFKMWTS???

I thought that the entire show, and I mean EVERY LAST SEGMENT was going to relate to design bloggers in some way. Emily Henderson, the winner of HGTV’s Design Star was there and she did a segment. SHE IS A DESIGN BLOGGER, PPL. And this was not mentioned once…by anyone. Then there was some stupid segment with a woman who claimed she lacked confidence cause she just gained 40 pounds, so she needed help pulling her fashion sense together, except, oh yeah! She’s a visual merchandiser who works in fashion!? Oh, and even though she has no confidence she felt no qualms about strutting around the stage and mugging for the camera 11 times. Christian Siriano from Project Runway did that segment and he’s cute as all get out, but still: WTF DID THIS HAVE TO DO WITH DESIGN BLOGGERS??? Let me answer that for you: NOOOOOOTTTTTHHHHHHIIIIINNNNGGGG.

Then Nate’s last segment was with my homie Susan Brinson, who recently started a new blog called House of Brinson. Nate claimed he read her blog, only he clearly didn’t cause *I* read her blog, and everything he said about it was totally fucking wrong. He showed 3 cool things in her apt, though having been to her apartment several times and drooled over everything in the joint, I can tell you that the 3 things he picked out were like numbers 876, 877 and 878 on the list of cool things there. Oh, and best of all, he didn’t even mention the name of her blog, or even her last name for that matter! So if you gave a rat’s ass about anything she had to say and you wanted to learn more, just go ahead and google “Susan, blog” and see wtf you come up with.

Then the whole show was over and Nate spent 10 mins generously answering our questions. Really…there is no sarcasm here. I did think it was nice that he took the time out to talk with us for a few mins. And once, in between takes during the show, he did say thanks to all of the design bloggers who made it out, and thanks for Nate Day. And he seemed genuine. So that was also very nice.

But other than that, there was literally no other references to the 90-something other blogger btchz like me in the audience who spend all the live-long day blogging about design. And here I sit, hours later just completely dumbfounded by this fact.

I mean, RIGHT???

To say that the Nate Show missed a tremendous opportunity would be the understatement of the century. The audience was packed with bloggers who were ready, willing and able to evangelize the shit out of his show and his brand across their own sites and their own social networks. There were likely hundreds of interesting stories and angles that were easily gleaned from all of our blogs, but here are some more ideas:

  • Nate could have chosen a design blogger to “shadow” him for a day, and write up a post on their blog about what its like to be Nate. The story and experience could then be featured on the show.
  • A design blogger could have tag teamed with Emily to work on the design challenge.
  • Emily could have done some mini design challenges at various design blogger homes.
  • The entire show could have been questions that design bloggers send in to ask Nate. Each blogger, URL could have been run across the screen when the question came up.
  • A design blogger could have been paired with a notable interior designer to help them get up-and-running on a blog; In exchange the interior designer could have helped the blogger with a challenge in their own home.
  • A group of design bloggers could have received makeovers.

What else? They could have had a blogger section of the audience where people were encouraged to live tweet and live blog everything going on. They could have had a blogger meet-and-greet before or after the show where Nate took pics with us and we answered questions. Cause honestly, you should have been asking our asses some questions too!

And p.s.: I have a KILLER fucking Nate Berkus story of my own, and have talked to a producer, and have sent them follow-up pics and then nothing.

Just imagine 90-something blog posts, x 100’s of add’l links and reposts on other blogs x thousands of tweets x thousands of Facebook links. I suck at math, but still: I’m pretty sure that equals up to a shitstorm of publicity. FOR FREE. And that’s not even taking into account the press outlets that would have also picked this story up.

I mean, do I need to produce your entire friggin show??? Cause even if they had only done even ONE of the above things, that still would have been way the hell smarter than doing nothing.

Oh, and one more tip, Nate: If you know your audience is going to be filled with almost a hundred bloggers, I think it would make sense to spend 10 mins or so, clicking through some of their blogs!? During the Q&A some brave soul asked Nate his favorite blogs, and he confessed to not really having time to read any. He has a researcher who does that, and prints out posts for him. Uhm…!!!??? Dude, just lie! Memorize 2 or 3 of our blogs, look at a post or two and be done. Cause that shit just put an exclamation point on the deep level of cluelessness we were dealing with.

This whole thing was just a gigantic, Jabba the Hut sized fuck-up.

And I hate to say it, but the most interesting thing I saw today, was the Q&A that they did AFTER the cameras were rolling. Cause you heard it here first, ppl: The Nate Show is a total hot mess. I’m talking like 4 alarm fire hot mess (and I’ve tivo’d and watched every day since the premiere). And this is not just a bitter blogger getting her digs in, this is the gawd’s honest truth. And this is also coming from someone who loves Nate more than a fat kid loves cake, so if *I* don’t like the show, who does? (allegedly, NOT Oprah)

Nicole from Sketch42 said it best: Oy.

You ppl can do what you want, but I’m officially switching my #nateday and #nateday921 hashtags to #nategate.