Half-Way to a Year: A Quick Editor’s Note

by Tom Watson
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Six months ago, it was cold. So I downloaded WordPress and started this blog. And stayed inside. Time well-spent, I’d say – though it was just the smallest spark that provided a hint of hint of fuel for all the cultural combustion that has come this way since. I just keep the lights on here most of the time: the bloggers and commenters make this place live.

Yes, newcritics is six months old now, a blogging toddler learning to walk. Are you pleased with it? I am, certainly. The range of posts has been stunning. Sure, we trend a bit toward boomer tastes in music, we look backward for film greatness in lieu of the local multiplex, and we obsess over television shows that never saw the light of the 1980s. We write about obscure cartoonists, off-Broadway minutiae, and bands that never existed. Yet, somehow it works – or does it? I’m asking seriously: How can we make this better? Should we continue? Have you learned anything? Met anyone? Read a book you otherwise wouldn’t have read, downloaded a song you otherwise would have ignored, added a strange new title to your DVD list?

Does anyone notice the changing art in the header?

In six months, we’ve had 210 posts from 35 authors, inspiring more than 1,700 (real) comments. Those are the stats that matter. I’ve had the please of meeting many of the authors in person; others are virtual relationships. Yeah, it’s been a rich six months. So what’re you looking for, kid?

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Comments

  • July 1, 2007

    Am I first? A little thrilling to be the first one commenting on newcritics’ half-birthday. Every time I check the blog I find at least two very interesting new posts. The comments can be as good as the posts, and are terrific to read.
    Through the comments, I met met a hard-working and unsung poet, Jerry Prager, and because of it, I was able to meet the indefatigable M.A. Peel. All in all, I feel as if I belong to a great community.
    As for the few posts I’ve contributed, they were all spontaneous responses to music, a story, a movie, and especially that one that was nothing but a personal reaction to a derogatory remark I kept hearing regarding “bad, very, very bad” writers.
    I love the changing banner. But otherwise, my opinion is: don’t change a thing. Let it develop on its own.Look at the great flow it’s achieved in six short months.

  • July 1, 2007

    Yep, I’ve noticed the evolving banner art and I love the current guitar players. Who are those guys? Is that young Bobby Zimmerman and Robbie Robertson?

  • Old Jack
    July 2, 2007

    You’re bookmarked (subcategory, “Art Supplies,” don’t ask), so that sez alot. If you’re not getting the traffic you’d like it’s probably ’cause of the overstuffed condition of all things blog, which is one of the problems you get with too much choice.

    On my initial & subsequent entry to your page I get something like the feeling I got when first descending into a walk-down boho joint in the Village: there’s something different here.

    Congratulations.

  • July 2, 2007

    Non-contributors will be aware of Tom’s writing here and of the fact that the whole thing was his idea but they won’t be aware of his behind-the-scenes diligence: tidying up entries, adding photos and links and correcting egregious HTML errors. He’s like Tina Brown and the New Yorker’s fact checking department all rolled into one!

  • July 2, 2007

    I agree with Kathleen. Seems to work for me as is.

    I also agree with Steve that most of the credit goes to Mr Watson. He makes it all possible.

  • July 2, 2007

    Yes, many thanks to Tom for inviting me to contribute and for cleaning up my posts.

    I like how things are running, so no suggestions for major changes. If I could get myself to a bigger city, I’d probably write about more contemporary films and bands.

  • July 3, 2007

    Tom, I can’t believe it’s six months already! Things are going swimmingly!

  • July 4, 2007

    Thanks all – I even got a note from someone’s Dad – I won’t say who.

    Really, it’s all about the conversation. how can we make it better?

    Also, Dan Leo nails the photo – well done, Mr. Leo.