State of the blog, end of 2010

The year 2010 comes to a close and I find it once again is time to reflect on the state of the blog and how far it has come in the preceding year.

I had hoped 2010 would be the breakout year for Quinn’s Big City. Back in 2009 August when I started this blog, I had hoped it would become the blog for which I am best known, my “flagship” blog and perhaps even my new personal brand. This year saw the time finally came to sunset one of my blogs (Iced Tea and Ramen, archives still in place) due to lack of time and motivation. Rant Roulette is seeing fewer posts than it once did, due to a variety of reasons already enumerated there, and is also facing radical format changes.

Are there fewer people who actively follow what I’m up to this year? Maybe. I’ve done my best to stay interesting and relevant. Despite the fact I had to put this blog on hiatus not once, but twice, during this year, I did not do so without good reason both times, and always with the idea of coming back bigger and better. I’d like to think I’ve done an admirable job for what has literally a one-man show to date. And that leads me to my next point.

I think long term, for this blog to be a success, even though my name is prominently featured, it has to be about more than just me. The problem is finding the right people to add to the editorial team alongside myself. It would help to know that someone else is covering the recap for event X, freeing me up to go to and possibly recap event Y, and in the end we are all part of a higher quality blog in the end. Anyone who is interested, do realize it’s a volunteer gig, but you would get full attribution for your recap post. Drop me a line if interested.

In the process of writing my most recent recap (Canned Acoustica, 10-W50-3) I recall something someone told me at that event. And that’s that if you’re “out of the scene” long enough, it becomes a bit harder to find out where things are going on. The vast majority of events I’ve featured in the weekly and monthly LOVIEEs, I found out about from either Facebook invites, fishing expeditions on the existing press calendars (mostly the Houston Press calendar), or sometimes from the upcoming events listed on the Fresh Arts Coalition or Spacetaker websites. For a while I looked at online venue calendars (most notably Continental Club’s because it’s the best example of how to do one right, at least for my purposes). However, let’s face it, it serves neither my nor your best interest if this turns into “the best of what’s going on at (insert venue names here).” I mean, if you wanted the Continental Club’s calendar, you’d go to their site. So it’s a tough balancing act. I still have plans to make the “making of” video at some point, but building readership takes
priority. If you like what I’ve got here, by all means, spread the word, “like” the page on Facebook, follow the Twitter account, share the latest posts.

I’m now focusing, once again, on events I’d actually attend. It’s not that I don’t think the word should get out about black tie galas benefiting our arts community or other great causes. Right now I’m in no position to attend them myself and I just feel like they are out of place next to shows I would go to if I could pony up the admission fee, however small. Let’s face it, $10 or $20 is a lot of money when gasoline costs nearly $3 per gallon, and I live near Willowbrook Mall now, which puts me no closer to most ITL events. That leads nicely into what I was about to say next…

While the LOVIEEs will still feature many centrally-located events, I’m mostly getting rid of the “ITL or up to 2 miles OTL” filter. This isn’t 1970 and the Houston area has expanded far beyond the confines of I-610, and the “up to 2 miles OTL” was never a hard-and-fast rule, and was always bent for truly interesting happenings a bit more distant from the city center. Given I’m near Willowbrook, there will probably be some north/northwest bias, maybe even stretching as far around as the Memorial City area, The Woodlands, and Humble (let’s face it, Sam Houston Tollway traffic around to Memorial City is never as bad as traffic going into or out of downtown on, say, Texas 249). I’ll try to drop the occasional south/east event in when I can remember.

I’ve had the “On The Horizon” feature sitting on the shelf for months if not nearly all of 2010. I think I’ve finally found the perfect event to debut it with. I want it to be a nice surprise, so everyone will find out in about a week.

Here’s hoping 2011 is the greatest year yet for Quinn’s Big City, and the Houston area’s arts, music, and event scenes. Catch you on the flip side.

(The change made on 2011-02-10 was to correct a minor typographical glitch and add this notice for the benefit of readers of the blog’s archives.)