On Sunday I meet up with some other bloggers in Melbourne at the Workshop Bar on the corner of A’Beckett and Elizabeth Streets. The Workshop Bar had New Zealand beer on tap and a small temporary exhibition of paintings of faceless figures by Kirsten Benson. It reminds me that I still have to write an entry about Melbourne’s art bars and bars with art exhibitions. Michael, who writes My Aching Head, reviews cafes, restaurants and drinks, had organized the event.
I was pleased to meet Brian Ward, who writes Fitzroyalty and several mash-ups about Melbourne suburbs (see the end of this entry for a complete list). I have exchanged emails with Brian Ward but this was the first time that I had actually met him. It is a strange experience meeting people who you have only emailed for the first time but Brian was more even more friendly in person than his emails.
There were a few other bloggers at the meeting including the beautiful sisters who write I Found You In Melbourne, the guy who writes Electrorash, illustrator Ben Zen and a few other people. It was simply a chance to know people and exchange a few ideas. I was told about other blogs of an even more diverse cultural aspects like Op Shopping ( I Op Therefore I Am ) and one of the oldest blogs in existence Kottke.
The impact of blogs is growing. Contrary to the mainstream media blogs are not simply source of gossip and unsubstantiated claims. Many blogs contain first hand reports from educated and informed correspondents. Many blogs appears to be the very essence of traditional journalism. In the golden age of print journalism there would be writer at every play, exhibition and concert. Now, in the dying days of print journalism unless a blogger reviews it, it is unlikely to be reviewed.
I would encourage anyone with an interest or interesting experiences to write a blog about it. The most difficult part is the writing; technically writing a blog is only a little bit more involved than using email or shopping online. I have even managed to get my mother to start two blogs about her local history interests: Victorian Chinese History and Bendigo Heritage Cemeteries.
There are many artists with blogs. I have just been exchanging emails with the artist Peter Tyndall who has incorporated blogging into his art practice. He also mentioned a local friend and artist’s blog, workmanjones’s Garden of Self Defence that features a great video of body art meeting street art.
I am glad that other blogs reviewing or commenting on Melbourne’s visual arts and that sometimes now we even review the same exhibitions. There are more art and culture blogs in my blogroll this year – the more critical voices the better. I have just found Melbarts, reviews films, books, exhibitions and theatre, and I am considering adding it to my blogroll.
Brian Ward’s mash-ups are syndicate and aggregate posts from over 100 local bloggers blogs. They are:
The inner north (Clifton Hill, Northcote, Thornbury, Fairfield and Alphington)
Central Melbourne (CBD, Docklands, Southbank, North, East, South and West Melbourne)