Paddy Johnson is having a fundraiser and I just made a contribution. A writer for a New York newspaper recently emailed me asking (i) why I thought people were attracted to Johnson's blog, and (ii) what she does that other people writing about art don't.
Here was my reply:
Johnson's blog blends thoughtful writing about art, news, humor, original reporting, lively comment threads, guest contributions, and "dish."
She was an immediate hit because she calls 'em like she sees 'em in an art world where everyone watches what they say.
She is also one of the few writers that can talk intelligently about two fields, art and new media, and their points of crossover.
This has attracted two large readerships that might not otherwise mingle.
Speaking of new media, Rhizome.org is also having a fund drive and I contributed there, too. (Just call me Santa.) Things I'd like to see happen there in the next year:
1. Redirect old posts to their new editorial numbers. Just noticed that sometime between July and December 2008 Rhizome completely renumbered its blog posts so "permalinks" to posts prior to that time period are broken (including many links from this blog*). No redirect, just a 404 message.
2. Restore reblogged content from the non-Rhizome web community. After its short-lived but vital "glasnost" era of guest editors and heavy reblogged content from non-staffers (around 2006 or so) Rhizome removed the reblogged content (including posts of mine) from their blog archives. Eyebeam also zapped years of guest content--what is going on? The Rhizome posts are still there if you dig for them, they just aren't coming up in the monthly archive.
*example of what happened when Rhizome changed its posts: My link to their article about painter Dan Proops used to go to http://rhizome.org/editorial/fp/blog.php/611 (see Google's cache of the post). This was changed to http://www.rhizome.org/editorial/297 (see my revised post, only because I happened to catch it). With the link dead the discussion makes even less sense than it does with it.
Update: Item 1 above has been fixed; regarding item 2, a browsable list of the reblogged content is in the works, per Rhizome.