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February 28, 2007


Charles Giuliano

Dear Mr. Kick
I caught up with this posting and mention of me and critical issues just now while surfing my name through google. Overall I enojoy what you are doing but I also feel that my approach is different and nor really a blog. What you are doing is clearl a blog: A diaristic journal of your seemingly daily thoughts about what you are seeing. While my sites are updated frequently they are not intended as diaries. I come from many years of journalism and approach this as feature writing on line and accordingly I see what is posted as an Internet Magazine without the pulp and death of any trees. Also I like that it is free and that readership is both open ended and measurable. All those years of writing for print media there was never a sense of reaching an actual audience or any means of couunting heads. Of course, as little as it was, as small as $10 for an article, there was some payment involved. Now, actually, it costs me money to maintain the sites and there was a considerable investment in design and technology. But also a resultant freedom from the whims and restraints of advertisers and their pressures on publishers and editors. I am out from under the smarmy politics of publishing and the general incompetence of far too many editors and their cronies. I never had much interest or luck in playing the game of the art world pecking order. Hence, the notion of Maverick. But by having the means and energy to just put the text out there on the internet there has been a steady and ever increasing traffic of readers. Last month the sites had a combined 35,000 visits and there were days of 1,500 visits. Again, why they came and what they were looking for is difficult to determine. But, for whatever reason, that is circulation above and beyond most art publications. Yes, it is nice to be a member of the art club and fraternal order of pundits such as Plagens, and to look down your nose at the Bloggers. But it is also the last gasp of the Ancien Regime of critical writing. All of the indicators are that the traffic and juice is toward the web and less and less to print. Which is expensive, precious and glossy. But also represents the established benchmarks for quality and professionalism. Those are aspects yet to be established by the blog world. But it is an art form and technology still in the early phase of growth and development. Over time readers will sort through their own decisions as to where they want to put their time and energy. One ambition, for me at least, is to post writing of interest and integrity on a free range of issues and areas of creativity. Having the chance to do this has allowed me to develop both as a writer and editor by attracting gifted contributors to join me in the effort.
Charles Giuliano


Thanks for your comment, Charles. I agree that what you do (as opposed to what goes on here) isn't a blog--it is, like you say, an online magazine (and one which I enjoy reading.) I didn't mean to imply otherwise, just to note that your article took issue with Plagens and his view of both blogs and online writing more generally.

While I'm all for encouraging standards and rigor, I'd also agree that sites like mine (and many others) don't really offer that. Some people aspire to be journalists and critics on their blogs, but others, like myself, aren't (though I don't really consider this a diary of any kind either--it's much more public in nature and less introspective than that word implies.) What's nice is that blogs can accommodate both approaches and many others besides; they'll accept whatever the writer brings to them. In my case, I'm often surprised at the seriousness with which this site at times gets taken. It's not meant to be that big a deal.

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