Thanks to you and your votes, praxistheatre.com has advanced to the final round of voting in the Canadian Blog Awards. What is especially exciting, is that in the first round we came out at the top of the polls in the Best Blog and Best Blog Post categories, and in 2nd for the Best Culture & Literature Blog.
What does this all mean? Well, we still need your help. Voting for the 2nd and final round is on, and you can vote for us EVERY DAY, and on your smart phones too! We’ve got some stiff competition in that Culture & Literature category, as the defending champions we are trailing currently and could really use your vote(s).
You can find all three polls below. Would you consider making this post your homepage for the duration of this round, which ends on October 26th at noon? That would be the easiest way to remember to vote each day.
But let’s not forget: one of the reasons they have this competition is to bring new readers to new blogs, so you can find the complete list of finalists here.
2010 Municipal Elections getting you down? praxistheatre.com, winner of the 2009 Best Culture & Literature Blog Award, has been nominated again for this year’s Canadian Blog Awards, this time in three separate categories: Best Blog, Best Blog Post, and Best Culture & Literature Blog. The three categories have been embedded below, and you can vote for us in each category once per day… no strategic voting necessary!
You can read more about the Canadian Blog Awards and the other categories here, and refresh your memory on our popular piece “Why Stephen Harper Will Continue to Attack the Arts”, which has been nominated for Best Blog Post here.
There are two rounds of voting, and the top 5 blogs in each category will advance to the second round. Round one ends at noon on October 17th, so get voting!
by Michael Wheeler
Two events of note this week where people will get together to talk about the confluence of the arts and the internet:
- Thursday April 22, 12pm to 2pm.
- Alterna Savings Boardroom, at Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Avenue, 4th flr.
- With Matt Blackett (Spacing Magazine) and Michael Wheeler (Praxis Theatre).
- Deadline to register for this session is Tuesday April 20, 2010.
Yours truly and Matt Blackett, Editor of Spacing Magazine, will be speaking about blogs and blogging as part of the TAPA Trade Series presented in partnership with The Creative Trust. (First order of business: Lets start the gradual phase-out of the word “blog”.)
To register please contact Alexis Da Silva-Powell, TAPA’s Corporate Partnerships and Membership Associate at email@example.com OR Shana Hillman, Creative Trust’s Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arts Journalism: Staying Critical in the Digital Age
Tuesday April 20, Presentation 6:30 p.m., Reception 8:00 p.m.
Innis Town Hall. 2 Sussex Ave. @ University of Toronto
Moderated by Bronwyn Drainie, Editor of the Literary Review of Canada. Featuring Kamal Al-Solaylee, Assistant Professor at Ryerson and former theatre critic at the Globe and Mail, Seamus O’Regan, co-host of CTV’s Canada AM and host of Arts & Minds and The O’Regan Files on Bravo!, and Globe and Mail columnist and feature writer Kate Taylor, currently on leave as the Atkinson Fellow for 2009-2010.
Presented by the Canadian Journalism Foundation, this forum looks at the cultural giants of the past to the celebrity culture of today and how arts criticism and literary journalism have changed. Mainstream media cutbacks and the proliferation of blogging means everyone is a critic. Can the web save arts journalism?
Tickets are $5 – $15 and can be purchased here.
Image by Paul Ingles licensed under Creative Commons 2.0
This week praxistheatre.com was voted the #1 Culture and Literature Blog in Canada in the 2009 Canadian Blog Awards.
We are super-happy about this and really appreciate everyone who participates with the company digitally and in reality.
Thank you in particular to these people:
- Graham F. Scott, for coordinating and designing the great integration, when our website and blog were integrated into a single place on the interweb at praxistheatre.com.
- All of the contributors to praxistheatre.com in 2009:
Gideon Arthurs, Tara Beagan, Maev Beatty, Augusto Boal, Mark Brownell, Deanna Downes, Emily Farrell, David Ferry, Brendan Gall, Joel Grinke, Chris Hanratty, Christine Horne, Daniel Karasik, Ravi Jain, Richard Lee, Hayley Lewis, Bridget MacIntosh, Ian Mackenzie, Ross Manson, James Murray, Leora Morris, Tony Nappo, Simon Ogden, Simon Rice, Aislinn Rose, Michael Rubenfeld, Sarah Sanford, Adam Seelig, Samantha Serles, Rupal Shah, Caroline Sniatynski, Vinetta Strombergs, David Tompa and Aaron Willis.
- Celebrity Theatre creator Greta Papageorgiu and features writer Lindsay Schwietz, for producing regular engaging content in addition to their demanding schedules as arts professionals.
- Ian Mackenzie, for having the idea that we should use our website to engage with our community, and for creating an online culture around the company that put us in a position to succeed in the blogosphere in 2009.
- Everyone who took the time to vote for praxistheatre.com
- Praxis Theatre Board of Directors and Donors. Resources can make art, and arts-based websites, better.
- People and organizations that are kicking our ass in terms of achieving praxis through the confluence of ideas and internet. These inspirations include Mike Daisey, Naomi Klein, The Yes Men, Beautiful City, Avaaz, and Vote for Environment. There are a lot of folks setting the bar high out there by achieving concrete results though their internet-ing.
Happy Holidays to all!
Guest Post by Simon Ogden of Vancouver’s The Next Stage – second in a series…
Greetings, my fellow Canadians (and theatre fans around the world), my name is Simon and I’m a blogging advocate. Which basically means I’m enamored with the potential power of internet self-publication as a business tool. I’ve been using it to much success in the past few years, and so I’m officially convinced of both its practicality and potency. Mike asked me if I would care to elaborate here (and over on my own blog), and having just publicly declared myself a blogging advocate, I had really no choice. We’re going to ping-pong a conversation about the Canadian theatrosphere spurred by Michael Rubenfeld over at Summerworks between us for a while, and see where it goes. We would be delighted if you would join the conversation, if you do your comments may be published in the hard-copy compilation in Works magazine. And we hope you do.
Preamble over, on to the business at hand…
CLICK HERE TO READ ROUND 1 OF THIS CONVERSATION
(it will really help to understand what follows)
Thanks M-Dub (if no one calls you that they should, it’s dope. S.O. just sounds like a shrug). It’s a topic that I have a peculiar amount of verve about, so this should be a good conversation. And hopefully an inspiring one.
“While the digital revolution hasn’t changed theatre much…”
Four years ago I made a prediction that the rise of the blogosphere would radically change theatre in Canada. Change it in the way practitioners thought about the way they produce work, in the way resources were shared and in the dramatic expansion of the audience base. At this point I’m prepared to say that I wasn’t altogether wrong in this prediction, but I would certainly excise the word “radically” from that sentence. The internet is proving to be a tough monster to wrangle for our particular discipline, the growth of the Canadian theatrosphere so far has proven to be relatively slow. That is, relative to tech-centric arts communities; photographers and digital artists have a surfeit of chatter to engage with on line.
It’s essential here at the outset that we define what we mean by ‘the theatrosphere’, and what exactly it means when it uses the term ‘theatre blogging’. There are a lot of active theatre blogs that aren’t really part of the theatrosphere, these are self-contained sites – usually company blogs – that post solely on their own business. These are marketing sites, and have little or no interaction with the rest of the industry online. The theatrosphere uses social media for two distinct agendas – and yes, sometimes those agendas get muddied – to market our work, and to engage in dynamic, real-time conversation with our fellows. If you’re not connecting across borders, you’re not part of the conversation. This, in a nutshell, is the great hope of the core concept of theatre blogging: to create an inter-connected, self-supported, crowd-sourcing resource hub that anyone can plug into.
To put it another way, the theatrosphere is a big ol’ cocktail party that’s always running. It’s a klatch full of a crazy array of personalities, from brash and irritating to gentle and wise. But always highly opinionated, and therein lies its true promise. I hear young theatre artists constantly complaining about how cliquey an industry independent theatre is, about how tough it is to break into ‘the scene’. What they’re talking about is information sharing; where does your audience come from, what is it about your process that works for you, how do you get to know the critics? Etc, etc. I don’t believe that we’re cliquey at all, actually, we’re an art form that does its work in little groups in little dark rooms that require a certain bond of trust to get the most from the process itself. We’re not snobby, we’re just busy. And we’d all like to meet regularly to socialize and network, but who has the time? Making the time to make connections is the next stage in the evolution of the indie theatre industry, and the internet offers the most economic solution to time-manage our networking and marketing efforts.
And yet we still lack a true National connectivity. Or even a regional one. I have amazing connections in my niche across the country (not even counting the inspiration and assistance I get from theatre bloggers in the US – which has a busier if not a more comprehensive blog community – and the rest of the world), but the actual amount of theatre practitioners walking into this cocktail party is shockingly small. Engagement is so easy to measure on the blogosphere, because the platforms themselves tell you when someone is talking to you or about you. There is still only a handful of engaged theatre bloggers across the entire country. I know of exactly zero East of the Rockies until you hit Toronto, then a couple in Ottawa and…that’s pretty much it. Where are the theatre bloggers, Canada? Edmonton? Winnipeg? What’s up?
As for the question of comics marketing themselves on social media better than theatre, well, maybe. But it’s kind of apples and oranges, stand-up comedy is YouTube friendly, it fulfils it’s core objective – to make you laugh – on the computer almost as much as it does live. But theatre’s objectives – to make you feel, connect, respond viscerally – just don’t translate that well to 2D. Televised theatre looks like crap, unless it’s shot well and then it suffers the iniquity of being mutated into a different medium. On top of that, the public at large understands stand-up, it’s something they already want, while they still mostly think of us as tight-wearing, Elizabethan-blathering bores. So we have to get mighty creative with how we sell ourselves on the web. It’s happening, there are some wonderful explorations in digital marketing going on in our corner of art, but it is truly in its infancy. To grow it’s going to need a movement. We have to find some way of selling the power of blogging to the world of theatre, to create a true National presence. To brand independent theatre as a mighty, united force to be reckoned with. And then the people will come.
Simon, I certainly agree with what you say in terms of comedy being a much friendlier video medium. I haven’t figured out any way to create a video to promote a play reading festival so if someone has ideas I’d love to listen.
I know for me that I’m a lot less engaged in blogs, even my own, because of needing more time away from the computer and from Twitter. Twitter’s much less time consuming way of receiving and conveying information. I’m not sure if that says something about me or if that’s a trend in general. The more growth there is, the more overwhelmed I feel by it all.
I’m curious to see where this experiment between the two of you leads. I’m one of those lucky people who have met both of you and have a ton of respect for how the two of you manage to stay engaged in the blogosphere on top of all the other things you do.
Twitter’s really got you, eh? I totally get it, there’s been a real waning of the blogoshpere since twitter tipped. And that’s probably a good thing, full posts tend to be fewer and farther between, but the quality has escalated.
Another tick in the win column for twitter.
There actually were a ton of theatre co’s here that had never blogged that jumped on twitter, it’s my sincere hope that it proves a gateway to full blogging. Because I’d really love to hear about their work from the artist’s perspective.
When in doubt, make a numbered list. That’s at least part of the thinking behind Praxis Theatre Director of Marketing Ian Mackenzie’s recent guest post at The Next Stage theatre blog: 10 things I learned about theatre in 2008.
Quasi-cantakerous, painfully obvious, or productively blunt?
Please check out the full list of 10 at The Next Stage, here.
Last week, we asked for help to create a definitive list of Toronto theatre blogs. Here’s what we’ve got so far:
BlogTO – Theatre
Case Study: The House at Twenty-Seven Edgedale Road
Notes from the 3Cs
Off the Fence
Theatre is territory
This is a great start, but we can’t help feeling like we’re missing some. Anyone know of any other Toronto-based theatre blogs? They could be actor blogs, production blogs, company blogs, or any other kind of blog, as long as they primarily relate back to theatre.
And while we’re at it, why don’t we broaden our search to include Canadian theatre blogs: We’re now looking for all Canadian theatre blogs.
As always, please pass along any relevant links by dropping a link in the comments section below, or by sending us an email. We’ll post the revised list next week. Thank you!