Monday, February 25, 2008

The Exhibitionist Pie Chart

Geoff Edgers makes a strange kind of apology for his work on The Exhibitionist today. He essentially claims that his posting methodology is driven by the numbers - by attempting to generate ad revenue, to be precise. With that in mind, I thought I'd look over the recent posts from Edgers to see if I could discern said methodology, or whether his site had become, as I said some time earlier, "a train wreck." This morning his blog listed the past twenty posts:

1. Mikko Nissinen Award - Boston Ballet
2. Why Newspapers are Failing
3. The Kinks, 1973
4. New Rep Season
5. Friday Reads
6. Response, Ban Chiang Controversy - MFA
7. New York City Check-In
8. Ban Chiang Controversy - MFA
9. President's Day
10. Thai Antiquities - MFA
11. Ray Davies Review
12. Ray Davies's Producer
13. Museum Dead Bodies Redux - Body Worlds
14. Shakespeare on the Common, Updated
15. Breaking: Shakespeare on the Common
16. Roger Voisin, 89 - BSO
17. Vadim Repin - BSO
18. Christoph B├╝chel's Rep
19. Police Officer, Young Ruffians
20. Birth of ASCAP

A quick analysis:

Posts about events or organizations based outside Boston: 55%
Posts about the BSO, MFA, CitiCenter, or Boston Ballet: 40%
Posts about Ray Davies and/or the Kinks: 15%
Posts about local arts events: 15%
Posts about smaller organizations: 5%

I'm sorry, but I feel somewhat vindicated; it's hard for even me to believe, for instance, that posts about Boston were slightly in the minority at The Exhibitionist (if you count the Body Worlds ref, you could make a case for 50/50, which still pretty much sucks). And notice Edgers found time to post exactly once in the last two weeks about a small arts organization - the New Rep; yet he posted three posts about a favorite pop musician of his, including, of course, links to his print review of same (a little self-exhibitionism there, I suppose).

Now maybe this mix is designed to drive traffic (although that, too, is a little hard to believe). But should that really be the defining goal of an arts blog on the Globe? I mean, the Globe can publish anything it wants, of course, but if it wants to publish Perez Hilton, it should publish Perez Hilton, and not pretend it's a blog about the Boston arts community. And would a genuine arts blog have to necessarily fall in the debit column for the Globe? I don't see why. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, for instance, has a fantastic blog on the local visual arts scene. With like ads and everything. Maybe Geoff should check it out.

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