by Shelton Bumgarner
Executive Summary: Since the demise of both The Village Voice and Gawker, a market and audience in New York City is currently being completely unserved.
I do not live in New York City.
Let me repeat — I do not live in New York City.
Having said that, I was recently in the city New Year’s Day and I found myself in a nice dive bar in the East Village, the name of which eludes me. While I was there, I was wasted and I had an “ah-ha” moment — right now, there’s no small gritty publication that covers New York City that is known outside of the city itself or individual neighborhoods that micro publications might cover.
As such, the following is not even a daydream. It’s more of an idle observation about the state of the publishing world in New York City. As of right now, there’s a young, hip audience in New York City (one that frequent sets trends nationally) that is not being served in a manner that is known outside the confines of the city itself.
I’m not saying I’m the person to fix that issue because, well, like I mentioned, I don’t live in the city. What’s more, I don’t have any money and don’t really know anyone in the city. I do, however, have a unique skill set that if I was to magically find myself in the city for, say, six months, I feel could probably endup in something pretty cool happening.
But absolutely no one, but no one, owes me anything, so the following is more about me letting off steam while I develop a novel that any belief that it will cause anyone to help me out. I have a proven track record in strategic thinking when it comes to a publication, in the guise of the late, great ROKon Magazine in Seoul about 10 years ago.
All this verbiage is me simply me realizing that an audience and its associate market is currently not being served in any demonstrable manner. Of course, there are two things that are causing this — one is the Web is mature. Blogs really don’t have the cultural cache that they used to have because of the other big issue — the diffuse nature of social media.
What young people used to find on a site like, say, Gawker, they now find on Twitter or whatever video platform of the moment they might be interested in. So, in a sense, this post is more about me lamenting my lost youth than anything else, I guess.
I would idly note that you might be able to game the system by doing essentially a zine at first that you handed out in front of major publications around the city and then once it got some attention then you could launch it as a Website.
But it’s just fun to think about.
No one owes me — or anyone else — anything. And besides not having any money, not living in the city and not having any contacts in the city, the entire idea of a blog is now kind of passe.
Anyway. Maybe this blog post will inspire someone else to do what I can’t.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.