Paddy Johnson is having a year-end fundraiser for her blog. Please consider contributing (here), even though times are lean. I concur with her self-assessment that her blog "represents a strong presence in an otherwise thin field of art world professionals working on the web. Considering how traditional media is currently gutting arts coverage, sites such as [hers] are not only important, but essential to the field of art criticism."
Johnson's blog is a necessary counterweight to the institutional writing that constitutes current criticism: magazines chasing ad dollars, 501c(3) organizations that have to say nice things about everyone, and museum curators at the beck and call of powerful board members. Johnson produces a staggering amount of original content each year, including interviews, essay series, and reportage. Her comment boards are moderated in a civilized fashion and are a good place to hash out issues that aren't being discussed elsewhere. Plus she is that rare writer that can cover both the art gallery scene and the online scene with equal knowledge and confidence.
If that's not enough reason, she has upset her commenter "Lisa":
I think highly of your site and wish you all the best with your fundraiser, but there’s still an underlying problem:
Newspapers have cut back on their coverage precisely because bloggers (many of them former newspaper writers or top freelancers) have been giving away the same kind of coverage for free. Now readers expect this content to be free. The idea that writers ought to be paid for their expertise seems to have vanished.
Dear Lisa, the demise of certain print writers' cults of power and personality and concomitant elevation of articulate but previously voiceless commoners is one of the best things that's happened in my lifetime. It's worth $25 to see that bloggers keep giving away content.