Former Phoenix staffers try to give Boston a second alt weekly again

The Media

Former Phoenix staffers Liz Pelly and Faye Orlove last week launched the Media, which they hope can alt up the Hub again, initially online, maybe some day in print. Even though they're online, they'll be following a print-like publishing schedule:

[S]oon you'll find photo essays and video footage documenting creative communities around Boston; zine reviews from librarians at the Papercut Zine Library; a forward-thinking "Know Your Rights" column covering everything from dealing with bad landlords to throwing house shows. We'll have horoscopes, comics, and mixtapes.

Pelly adds:

We're trying to do this through donations, microgrants, and fundraisers because we believe there's a way to be sustainable and community-funded without guilt tripping our friends into giving us money via Kickstarter. This might work, it might not. For now it doesn't matter because regardless of whether anyone ever makes a cent off of this website, we wouldn't be able to sleep at night if we weren't trying to do it. Not like we’re sleeping much now that we have a paper to get online every week...

Also, a lemonade stand.

Only days after the first issue, she's already annoyed Jeff Lawrence, publisher of Boston's only remaining print alt weekly.

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Took me all of about 7 seconds before

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I was bored out my mind.

Funny how there was mention of the possibility of weed ads saving alt-weeklies in other states, but not here. Of course the fundamental hypocrisy of those involved in this little experiment is that they just simply refuse to acknowledge the flesh peddling that paid the bills for our intrepid hipster journalists while they learned their craft at what was left of The Phoenix.

Add to that Ms. Pelly's implied umbrage at the treatment of Boston's bargain basement "concert promoters" and her insufferable need to display her indie music cred by listing every fucking song she's listened to while The Phoenix burned and you have a surefire recipe for about one tenth of one percent of the web traffic that Maymo the Lemon Beagle has.

My favorite line is the one quoted above:

We're trying to do this through donations, microgrants, and fundraisers because we believe there's a way to be sustainable and community-funded without guilt tripping our friends into giving us money via Kickstarter.

People either want to give to Kickstarter or they don't. I'm sure it was more of a sense of community pride that helped the Brattle exceed their Kickstarter goal by almost 10K rather than guilt. I would also suspect these hipster idiots just want to spare themselves the embarrassment of a Kickstarter campaign that no one donates to.

I also took note of that particular paragraph.

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We're trying to do this through donations, microgrants, and fundraisers because we believe there's a way to be sustainable and community-funded without guilt tripping our friends into giving us money via Kickstarter.

Are there any examples of this having been successful already? I'm guessing the answer is No.

Surprised with the malice

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Surprised with the malice towards this. It doesn't look like the best thing I've ever seen, but given the state of the local rags who doesn't want an alternative?

Which reminds me: thank you to Adam and all who contribute to Uhub. I could not imagine life in this city without you.

I admire the effort...

...but they'll have to evolve quickly.

1. They'll have to ditch the traditional publishing schedule. If people have to wait a whole week for new content, they'll forget the website exists. Why not post a story as soon as it's ready, or timely?

2. I love the hand drawn calendar. I hate the hand drawn calendar. It makes me nostalgic for pre-website music venue schedules, but it can't possibly fit everything they might want to include, and kind of makes it hard for last minute changes or additions.

3. Don't be afraid of ads. Keep it simple and affordable, and reach out directly to small businesses, bars, struggling record and book stores., etc. No flash. No animated gifs. Just static squares and banners will do. Your clients may end up your biggest supporters and in turn advertise you. Small shops need affordable ad space, too. That's not selling out. That's community.

4. That's enough free, public advice for now.

5. One more thing: It will be a LOT of work.

Ditto

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Especially 1. Not every post has to be an opus, but, yes, you want people to just come every day, rather than remembering to show up on Fridays. Look at Big Red & Shiny as an example.

Well, also 5 :-).