Saturday, July 31, 2010

Arts Dispatch: Family business

Frederic Remingon: The Coming and Going of the Pony Express/Wikimedia
We've just rushed through the first week of life here at Arts Dispatch. From the powerful analytic devices attached to the site (you guys love to read and bathe regularly!), we know that way more of you showed up than expected. Thank you! If this had been a party, we'd have run out of beer.

The "debate" between The Oregonian's David Stabler and Arts Dispatch over the true meaning of a balanced budget at an arts organization attracted the most readers (metaphysical question: Is a page viewer the same as a reader?). But many of you also lingered to read our investigation of the "Mad Men" assertion that Jantzen Swimwear in the 1960s was run by the Taliban. Yes, Portland, "Mad Men" got it wrong. (It's ground-breaking investigative journalism like this that's going to win me that Pulitzer!)

But really we're just feeling our way along at this point. Which means if you some ideas about the direction Arts Dispatch should take, we'd love to hear them.  One thing that is coming (with any luck at all): some new voices.  If any you are interested in joining our merry band of cultural outlaw/critics, just email me: Video, audio, text, public forum organization, social media? We're interested in all of them.

Twitter and Facebook. When I started Art Scatter in the dim dark past (with Bob Hicks and Vernon Peterson), social media didn't figure into the equation. It does now. Those creepy analytical devices reveal that many of you, close to a majority, are arriving from Facebook and Twitter. And that means many of you are following me on Twitter and are friends on Facebook. I encourage both! Unless you're selling me something I don't need or can't afford, I'll follow you back.

One last thing: I'd like to acknowledge the field of other fine sites that provide ongoing conversation, mediation, explanation, argumentation and investigation in all matters cultural and most often, local.  You already visit many of them, no doubt -- Art Scatter, Ultra, PORT, Oregon Music News, Blogtown, Portland Architecture, well, we could go on, and will as soon as we muster a blog roll for the right-hand column.

Oh, and one really really last thing: Thank you again!