October 15, 2013
Here’s a video we shot at last night’s Weekly Poetry Open Mic. For more information on our indiegogo you can check out this link:
or just scroll down.
October 14, 2013
can we talk about this:
these are the share tools on indiegogo, and they are my greatest nemesis right now. …depending on how you look at it. As many of my dear readers and worried family members already know, I have been seriously devoting myself to starting an Art Bar, the world’s first Arts Education Philanthro-pub. Overwhelmingly, responses to this idea have been positive. Everybody seems to want to make it happen…so I started asking everyone to help. I put it up on indiegogo and just waited for the world to love on it recklessly.
…it turns out this isn’t how the internet works. To clarify, (and vaguely defend myself) I am and have been at many points in my life, proud to self proclaim myself as a neo- luddite: I work most of my hours next to a typewriter from 1928, I have never owned an ipod, kindle, or tablet…my cell phone flips open, and before this “Art Bar” project started up…I had never tweeted.
Indiegogo goes to great lengths to make sure that everyone knows that your rankings are based on what they refer to as your “gogo factor.” Which is basically an algorithm that identifies how well connected you are to the rest of the internet.
Without getting into too much detail, we’ve spent a bunch of time trying to research how to get more recognition on the site, and in the process have created a cohesive online presence for the Art Bar including a facebook page, twitter, and an official website!
We’ve done lots of work to crack the gogo factor and finally landed on page 3 (out of hundreds!!)
but when we went back and compared our stats to stats of those on the front page, here’s what we found:
These are our stats:
These are a random sampling of front page stats:
The numbers are pretty straightforward: we need to generate some more comments (you know…anywhere between 150 and 700) before we get on page 1 where the whole world can see us and we go out in indiegogo‘s national mailing, and the world decides it’s ready for an art bar, we go viral and get funded with a one-time investment which we can then turn into a steady supply of tens of thousands of dollars to local arts education every year. (really? Yes, really. contact me if you want to talk these numbers.)
So it seems pretty simple, right? I’ve got friends, my friends have computers, why not just ask all my friends with computers to put a comment up, we’d have thousands of comments, we’d go so viral the internet wouldn’t believe we were human beings and not posting robots. Why not just say:
“Hi everybody, myself and a number of artists, poets, and musicians are working to build an Art Bar and Cafe: the World’s first Arts-Education Philanthro-pub: a bar, gallery, cafe, and performance space that uses the profits from the bar to fund arts education in public schools. We’ve started to raise funds on indiegogo.com, a crowd funding site, it would be a huge help if you could check us out and, if you can’t donate, please log in and leave us a comment.”
It’s an awkward ask. Here’s why (I used my mind reading powers [super useful] to transport myself into the heads of everyone I’ve talked to about this, and here’s what they’re thinking):
“Hi everybody, myself and a number of artists, poets, and musicians are working to build an Art Bar and Cafe AN ART BAR? WHAT STRANGE NEW INFORMATION: the World’s first Arts-Education Philanthro-pub HERE’S A WORD I DON’T KNOW…THIS “NEW INFORMATION” THING KEEPS HAPPENING: a bar, gallery, cafe, and performance space that uses the profits from the bar to fund arts education in public schools OH COOL, I LIKE ART. We’ve started to raise funds on indiegogo.com I MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THIS WEBSITE AND I’M DONE TAKING IN NEW INFORMATION, a crowd funding site I MAY NOT BE FAMILAR WITH THIS CONCEPT, it would be a huge help if you could check us out and, if you can’t donate ARE YOU GUILT TRIPPING ME INTO DONATING?!?!, please log in WAIT, YOU MEAN I NEED TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT, AND GIVE THE INTERNET MY INFORMATION? and leave us a comment IF I SAY I’LL DO THIS, THEN HOPEFULLY THIS STRANGE MOUSTACHE MAN WILL STOP TALKING TO ME.”
Now, it has been called to my attention that my mind-reading powers are at an all time low, due to a low-pressure midi-chlorian system heading through central California right now. But when we went door-to-door at the Tannery Arts Center, we suspected that this would blow us up on the comment count, and this mind reading feedback was the only reason we could figure that it didn’t happen.
We did however find that soliciting comments from people was effective when they were
a) already familiar with the concept of the art bar and
b) at least mild to moderately internet savvy
So I thought: “who do I know that is internet savvy, and is already familiar with the Art Bar?” That’s when it hit me dear readers: you! You’ve already read through this extremely long-winded (compared to our tweet-able attention spans) blog post, and you clearly care about the art bar, so please, if you can spare an additional moment, check out our indiegogo and leave us a comment.
September 12, 2013
So as we go on in our mission to start an Art Bar, we’re closer than ever before. The closing of the cafe at the tannery has been very difficult for the community, and I feel lots of support from folks around here to make a play for the space. Right now much of our energy is being focused on promoting our online crowd-funding campaign:
One of the claims I made in the original campaign text was something about our mission and how we’ll dedicate ourselves to finding “new ways for art to intersect with daily life.” …which I thought was a pretty vague claim. A few days later it came to my attention that there was a video that had been produced of a night when I had a group that calls themselves “The Poetry Brothel.” and I thought, “oh my, this absolutely demonstrates that vague claim we made! I should post this video to my indie gogo page!”
This is a performing group of poets. Nobody in this group engages in sexual acts in exchange for money. They exchange a private reading of a poem for money. It’s an incredibly innovative fusion of performance and the written word that avoids all the competitive showmanship aspects of the slam, and replaces it with suggestive outfits, and really nice shoes. The Poetry Brothel typically functions out of an outstanding venue in NYC called The Back Room, which still has the look and feel of an old speakeasy. If you can ever go to one of their events I highly recommend it. Everything that they do essentially is done to create a poetry theater experience that one can lose themselves in and they do it outstandingly well.
Here’s the video that was shot primarily in my old apartment (installation by Jericha Senyak):
Turns out the name “The Poetry Brothel” which includes actors and poets who are calling themselves “whores” and also sometimes wearing not very much clothing might not be the best way to present ourselves to the general public. Especially if you’re going to be asking your parents to pitch to their friends on your behalf. So…
the video has been taken down now Mom, go ahead and send the link to Sharon.
August 28, 2013
…we’re about to launch a crowd funding campaign on this one, but we just got delayed for over a week. Hopefully we’ll be good to go soon (yesterday would be nice, unless something else has to be verified). We also had to change the track behind this video, but I want to give credit to the original video produced by the outstanding Molly Mcleod (http://mollymcleod.com/) for her work. Stay tuned for direct links on how to make the Art Bar happen, and how to give American Arts Education the chance to be vibrant!
August 14, 2013
Hello wide world of the internet. Just thought it would be about time to catch up. What have I been up to, you ask?
Well I’ve just stopped running events 3-5 times a week, and started really plotting potential ways to run an Art Bar out here in sunny Santa Cruz (more details on that to come soon)!
Also I’ve been keeping myself fed and paying my rent using the power of poetry. I promise this is a true story. Here are some videos that folks have made about it:<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/67938473″>Story Of A Street Poet</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user18383220″>Daniel Hoffman</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
…also, this one.
You also just might have the chance pretty soon to get your hands on one of those books of street poetry and support the Art Bar in the process. Stay tuned. Or if you’re local, come check out Santa Cruz’s Only Weekly Poetry Open Mic this upcoming monday (August 19th) to see me do a 25 minutes of poetry!
Also, in a dramatic turn of technology, I’ve begun to tweet. Which is only vaguely obnoxious, until you realize that I don’t have a smart phone, and it’s a real pain to tweet from a laptop, especially when you realize that my laptop has a bunk battery and can only opperate when plugged into a wall, so is basically a portable desktop.
Twit at me. twitter.com/SCStreetPoets