started in March 2013 as a way to meet people... find work... hooked up with
places and stuff I like... without saying who I was... big challenge! Not
because I am a criminal on the run... just see if I can gather crowd... I
always have! I gather crowd, bring money
up... to others but I never gain much... I didnt’ even tell my friends in order
to play fair.
However, I am pleased that some people are
using more London buses and have even travelled back to their countries by
coach following my “bus promotion” on my posts. Of course, I am also very
pleased that some people have visited galleries or watched films I advised. And
quite happy to have received some kind words by those who are great writers or
not so great actually. So, in that sense, I have managed to get people accept
another of viewing without encouraging a number of “likes” on FB or twitter.
What is un-challengeable is the media
furring-up or what I would call the media apartheid. As a blogger, I have on a
very regular basis appeared or disappeared from some press lists...
Unfortunately, I have a great interest in
Michael Clarke (or choreography of his kind). When I managed to get a press
officer contact, I received this questionnaire below –
I am told that all art institutions send
these questionnaires based on a blog figure. I find the questioning on numbers
rather dubious, but what is quite unacceptable is the request made by the
institution that actually expect us to act as marketing agent as well. As a
blogger, I am, indirectly, expected to send my posts to my mailing list in
order to increase the number of viewers and clickers. I would be very keen on
knowing if Time Out or The Guardian bloggers are also expected
to do so?
In regard of numbers, I was quite keen at the
beginning of starting my blog, to mention my viewer’ numbers to press officers
as I was told I was doing well... Well, I don’t really understand numbers and I
don’t even believe in them in real life. Am total crap at it. If I have 20
viewers from Venezuela within five minutes, I don’t actually assume that 20
people in Venezuela are reading my prose at the same time. I just assume that a
geezer or a geezeuse is suffering power cut... well, it is quite likely!
Now, in regard of numbers... here is a little
On 1 April 2013, I simply mentioned Rachid
Taha new album as part of my Middle East post. His UK press officer, then
kindly sends me his album. I had no idea at the time of writing that he was
going to play at Barbican until a reader mentioned it to me. A quick look on
Barbican site and a few tickets had been sold for his gig due 22 June. Three weeks
prior to his gigs, I realised he was actually part of the Shubak fest. Not many
tickets had been sold and I decide to re-run a post on him and Shubak 12 days
before the gig (around 200 tickets to be sold). Two days after my post, the gig
is almost sold out.
Looking around the webs, it looks like I was
the only one who mentioned the gig, so quite confidently, I asked my contact @
Shubak to put me on the guest list. I’m told there are many free events I can
enjoy + if I want a ticket, I have to dig it myself as they wouldn’t provide
any press contacts. This is not how I know the media system, but my friend
Hutchie had given me the music press dept contact @ Barbican and very
confidently, I emailed the contact. No answer and... no answer... finally, I got
in touch with Rachid Taha UK press officer who emailed my contact at Barbican
and within 5 minutes, I had my press ticket.
Within the next two days following my post on
Rachid Taha, I didn’t have a huge increase of viewers, less than 100. What I
suspect, is that a few people who read my post didn’t send my post to their
friends but send the Barbican link to them, so they could buy their ticket.
A warrior I am, but I am now tired of having
to fight because I want to defend a film or an exhibition or a music act. The worse
thing is fighting to get a press release and pictures once I have been invited
to a show. Sometimes it is fighting to receive the booklet that goes with its
screener... sometimes it is fighting because the new trend for film
distributors is to send a film vimeo link, so I don’t have to mix with NUJ film
critics in a private press screening cinema... that is most of the time empty!
I don’t want to stop the blog, but the amount
of time I spend requesting for a press release or pictures is simply
ridiculous. Press officers might complain they are very busy and have better
things to do than dealing with bloggers – oh yes, they do say they prefer
dealing with mainstreams – but this is not my recession. And if they actually
like what I write, then it shouldn’t take them any time to send me the same
info as anybody else. Mea culpa... I have been indecently retarded at
downloading music, but now am a professional and I only download what I am sent
and do not share any links! I am pretty sure it is traceable anyway.
Some press officers @ BFI Southbank have
implied that my blog doesn’t impact on their season sales. Well, i don’t know
how it is traceable but surely it takes time to get credibility. If they are
capable to give tickets away to their friends – well, as an example, any DVD
shop in Hackney manage to see free films in exchange of free rentals – so, why
can’t have the same benefits? Do I stink? Apart from my posts on BFI DVD
releases, I have mentioned BFI mediatheque on my Somerset House or V&A
posts as references as well as a Punk exhibition where I listed BFI films at
the mediatheque. Was I invited to their Punk season? I only realised when I
picked up a booklet! If someone can ask them... because I did and have no
answers (Hello Brian). I don’t want people to stop going to BFI. They are not
the only ones to have this kind of discourse. In my regard, it is a huge
disappointment because I started being a member in 1994 and have supported them
up until now. If they can only rub shoulders with the rich and famous...
well... I don’t have anything pertinent to say here! Maybe I need a break or
maybe something has to change, but for now it is ciao!