Promotion

I am rubbish at promotion in both senses of the word. In this instance I am talking about telling people there is a thing happening, and it would be nice if they came to the thing, rather than climbing the greasy pole.

But this feels pretty greasy too. Google and Facebook have eviscerated the very things small, local, independent promoters rely on.

Whereas once you’d have had several local newspapers, a couple of listings magazines, and some websites and bloggers willing to give you the time of day, now print is pretty much dead and online is a mess of awful, sketchy sites designed for not much more than SEO scamming, and mysterious algorithms more interested in selling you things than telling you about cheap and fun activities in your area, on Google and Facebook respectively.

If this all sounds a bit old man yells at cloud, you’d be right. Younglings, such as those murdered in tv documentary Revenge of the Sith, are social media natives, and if you follow the right people and spend your time on the correct social networking sites you can still find out what’s going on.

But it is exhausting. We all read about how the gobbling up of the Internet between two or three ludicrous behemoths is bad for democracy, but it’s bad for art and culture too. The big boys will thrive, as they always will. But it’s tougher than ever down at the bottom.

Still. Despite all the moaning above, I’m happy to say I’ve managed to do two interviews: one with Southwark Press, the other with Phoenix Remix.

The latter is an exhaustive and relentless old-school blog kept up in their spare time by its indefatigable and often night shift-working editor. The interview was very much of the “type your answers into this document” affair, as you would expect for what is essentially a labour of love; a successor to the old-school fanzine[1].

Southwark press is an actual newspaper; the only one I could find covering London Bridge, where our venue resides.

I found the arts editor’s email address online and wrote to him, outlining our night, explaining why it’s good, interesting, and worthy of his attention, and suggested he interview me about it.

His response was “No.” Instead, he asked me to interview myself, suggesting that this will at least lead to an amusing stand-up routine.

I was amused – local journalists, after all, are the last of the great English eccentrics – but also a bit bemused. An interview is time: time spent doing your research; time thinking up questions; time writing up your notes or transcript; time editing for sense.

By essentially getting me to do all the work, he was taking the piss.

But like I said, I am bad at promotion. I did as he asked, allowing myself, to maintain a modicum of dignity, plenty of sass.

Here is what I wrote, and here is what ended up in the eventual article.

And yes: tickets are still available.

[1] and who would Edit a fanzine these days

Published by jamesofwalsh

My past blogs haunt the internet like ghost ships on a digital sea.

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