Phila. fine-arts scene goes where youth are (Philadelphia Inquirer: 2/24/09)

By Christopher Wink | Tue, Feb. 24, 2009 | Philadelphia Inquirer

inquirer-cover-2-24-09On Valentine’s Day, Pennsylvania Ballet staff members stood in the Merriam Theater’s lobby handing out coasters that bore what might have seemed a strange suggestion coming from an arts organization: Go to our YouTube channel.

What the mostly graying matinee audience made of the invitation to an online video-sharing site is unclear. What is clear is that the Pennsylvania Ballet is not alone in lusting after online social-network users.

The Kimmel Center has a Flickr photostream. The Curtis Institute of Music is on LinkedIn. The Arden Theatre and the Franklin Institute use Twitter. The Philadelphia Orchestra has a MySpace page.

The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and just about every other arts organization in the city has a Facebook page. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has an RSS feed of its exhibitions on its Web site, and the Academy of Natural Sciences shares exhibit-construction videos.

The Philadelphia fine-arts scene has gone viral, and no one is hiding the reason.

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Inquirer: Philadelphia's fine arts and social media

social-networking

I was interested to cover the convergence of social networks and fine arts institutions in a story running in today’s Inquirer. While it focuses on Philadelphia examples, there are broader implications, I think.

On Valentine’s Day, Pennsylvania Ballet staff members stood in the Merriam Theater’s lobby handing out coasters that bore what might have seemed a strange suggestion coming from an arts organization: Go to our YouTube channel.

What the mostly graying matinee audience made of the invitation to an online video-sharing site is unclear. What is clear is that the Pennsylvania Ballet is not alone in lusting after online social-network users.

The Kimmel Center has a Flickr photostream. The Curtis Institute of Music is on LinkedIn. The Arden Theatre and the Franklin Institute use Twitter. The Philadelphia Orchestra has a MySpace page. Read the rest here.

Go read the story and comment, Digg it here, and then come back and see the extras that didn’t make it into print.

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Newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer need an attitude

It’s the attitudes that got them into this mess – newspaper executives thinking the party would never stop, but newspapers need to combine an appreciation and interest in learning the future with the confidence of being the most powerful news sources in the world.

Too many just seem to be running scared.

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Why all journalists should use syndicated feeds

What do you use for syndicated RSS or atom feeds?

If you are a journalist, blogger or news gatherer of any kind, you ought to have an answer.

Abandoning your browser and instead using a Web-based news aggregator can help you more efficiently consume the Internet. So, instead of chasing down top news, have the latest headlines immediately update in one place, right to you.

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Twitter, blog, new media, Twitter, blog, blog

Gosh, I do hate the buzz words that new media terms have become.

A friend shared a post with an interesting graf:

Journalists are obsessed with Twitter. Obsessed. They use it, talk about it, analyze it, deconstruct it, reconstruct it, love it, hate it, capitalize on it, become experts on it, monetize it, argue about it, and become micro-famous on it. They are mesmerized with what it is and they are as giddy as Tom Cruise on Oprah just thinking about what it could be. [Source]

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PW: Undesirable elements and an interview with Director Ping Chong

Charisse Loving, with Ping Chong and others of Secret History performance, warming up before rehearsal.

Charisse Loving, with Ping Chong and others of Secret History performance, warming up before rehearsal.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend in Philadelphia, I know what it should be. My byline on PhiladelphiaWeekly.com about a performance commissioned by the Village of Arts and Humanities:

Secret History: The Philadelphia Story debuts this Friday at Old City’s Painted Bride Art Center. The play, written and directed by Ping Chong, a New York–based theater director, explores six teenagers’ first–hand experiences with conflict and violence. The catch? Some of them have never acted before. Read the rest here.

Read the rest, comment, buy tickets, go to the show, then come back and read below a Q&A with director Ping Chong that didn’t make it into the story.

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PW: Frankford addiction recovery homes

Dignity Recovery sober-living home at 1734 Harrison St. in Frankford, as seen on Fri, Feb. 6, 2009. Add a Caption Save CaptionCancel

The heated debate on private addiction recovery homes in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia takes the front stage in a story I wrote for today’s Philadelphia Weekly.

It’s 1997, and Jeffrey Jackson is getting wet.

He’s balled up, trying to sleep inside New Way Out, an addiction-recovery house in Kensington.

The 28-year-old addict is in the process of kicking heroin after moving on from cocaine, but he’s starving and sweating and can’t somebody stop that damn rain from coming in?

“I told the director, ‘Hey, your roof is leaking,’” Jackson says now. “The guy looked at me with a straight face and said, ‘Then move your bed.’” Read the rest here.

Go there, read the story, comment and return here to check out the extra information and quotations that didn’t make it into my final story.

Number of Views:4799

PW: Reader response for Free Library expansion story

The following feedback came in regarding my recent article about the halted expansion of the central branch of the Free Library, as collected here:

I was at the library last week. I’m not sure the expansion is a necessary ingredient of the Philadelphia ego. Chasing technology as an improvement when the city is not flush is foolish. I can’t imagine it’s a good thing to chase down short attention spans.

Before building it the city should do an evaluation of how much is actually part of the library and not transitory technology.

ERIC RICHMOND
via philadelphiaweekly.com
A longer letter is after the jump.
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Required reading to own your name in a Web search

christopher-wink-googlesearch

I don’t want to repeat this anymore, so let me direct you elsewhere.

I got an e-mail from a young aspiring journalist, still in high school and already coming to the questions I just started coming upon late in college. Her question:

how do you buy spaces on a google seerch?

Hey, even she will tell you that I told her to work on her grammar and spelling. (Oh, word processors, what have you done to us?).

But more importantly, it made me realize I never wrote the obligatory “own your name in Google” post. I have surely touched on it in previous posts, but rather than repurpose that information or rewrite what has been written so many times, I say to young reporter or fresh-on-the-web journalist, find out why branding your name online matters, and then read the following – because they’ve already done the job.

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Community journalism: What's the job and what's your life

I live in Frankford, an old neighborhood in lower Northeast Philadelphia. Community journalism – the important and perhaps least paying element of the craft – is something I cherish and, as I understand it, begins, funny enough, in your own community.

So when I moved here back in November, I was excited to discover and learn and experience a new neighborhood. My interests reached beyond the professional, I wanted to help and learn and develop with Frankford, like I would wherever I lived. So, I reached out to my legislators – State Rep. Tony Payton and Councilwoman Maria Sanchez. I went to the first neighborhood meeting I found and began what I hope will be a monthly habit, sitting in on the Frankford Civic Association meeting earlier this month.

As life will do, I learned plenty doing just that, a lesson I think every journalist, freelance or otherwise, should recognize.

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