Saturday, April 12, 2008

Omnibus Weekend Sinkhole

There is cyclical regret in the active membership of East Theatreblogostan that there is so much bitterness and whining, and so much sniping, and that Scott Walters persists in turning his computer on despite being old and not in New York.

Which, Scott aside, shows an awfully poor understanding of blogging, even after all this time.

Non and semi professional blogging (i.e. 99%) requires the author to overcome day to day inertia to write at all. Even the best of that class of bloggers need something to fire the engines. Which is why it seems like so much of the stream of posts have the volume turned up. If you're not fired up why would a group of people who are already working at least two jobs take the time to toss words into the void?

There is also a gate problem with blogging. Bloggers don't want to write newspaper articles, which have to have a low bar to entrance and spend a lot of time circling back to pick up stragglers, they want to write insider editorials with deep insight into their field.

This means (in the case of the theatre niche) that there is a lot of the first few pages of theatre blog hits concerned with what is wrong with theatre, a very valuable discussion that is unfortunately taking place in public as opposed to at the dinner table. A problem because Google doesn't differentiate between In-house fixing and busking for the outsiders. So this volume of "what's wrong?" means that all theatre bloggers are whiners who don't appreciate what they have and want the world to pay them to play in their sandboxes?


It should be so much more forceful. But the answer is simply: No.

I can't speak for other niches but the vanguard of theatre bloggers are ALL people who are doing the work. These are people who care deeply about their art and their community and want to be able to pursue their art under better circumstances and have more people take part. Isn't that exactly the group of folks you want up front?

Of course it is. But we need to stop assuming that if someone isn't with us they are against us, and that if they challenge us or our way of doing things that they are Unamurkin. They are writing from their frame of reference on their way to another frame of reference neither of which is likely yours. Like acting theory - take what works for you and leave the rest. The blogger's innate desire to snark a dissenter into submission really needs to be eliminated in niche discussions, and the expectation that everyone's blog will be fact checked or more professionally edited than your own is patently assinine.

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