Get the newsletter · 2018 essays (PDF) · Featured · Recent

Hot off the presses! Scrapbooking scandal!

Continuing from my previous post "Do you ever say, ‘MySpace is soooo ugly’" that touched on scrapbooking, I was amused to read about the following scrapbooking scandal that’s been compared to the baseball steriods scandal:

Scrapbooking bloggers called it "Hall of Fame-Gate," naming it the top
scrapbooking scandal of 2007. They compared it to the
performance-enhancing-drug controversies involving major league
baseball player Barry Bonds and Olympic track star Marion Jones.
Someone wrote that Contes was as polarizing a figure as Martha Stewart.

The rest of the article has some interesting tidbits about the motivations behind scrapbooking, which, as I argued before, has a lot of the same hallmarks of the "self-expression" driven MySpace profiles:

The edgier scrapbookers thought of it as an outlet — much like keeping
a diary — in which they expressed political views, decorated pages of
their poetry or paid tribute to television shows like "Project Runway,"
using torn and faded materials not guaranteed to last long enough for
their grandchildren to see.

… and, another data point on the market size of all of this:

As popularity soared, scrapbooking — in all its forms — exploded into
a $2.6-billion industry where enthusiasts young and old, conservative
and radical, grudgingly put aside differences to compete in national
contests, attend global conventions, build blogs, join chat rooms,
create online portfolios, and view YouTube and other online
instructional videos.


In 1987, Rhonda Anderson of St. Cloud, Minn., co-founded Creative
Memories, a company that aimed to take scrapbooking to people of all
backgrounds. Creative Memories now has 90,000 consultants who sell the
company’s products in stores, online and in classes they teach in 12
countries. The company earned $300 million in 2005, and slightly less
in 2006 because many people shifted to computer programs to create
digital albums, a niche the company is now expanding.

Definitely worth reading the article if you’re interested in the industry.

PS. Get new updates/analysis on tech and startups

I write a high-quality, weekly newsletter covering what's happening in Silicon Valley, focused on startups, marketing, and mobile.