I’d like to interrupt our regularly scheduled flow of news, arts and culture coverage and commentary to bring you an important announcement. Well, maybe not so important for you, to be honest, but for us here at FTB it’s kind of a mini-milestone. You see, the post which you are reading is the thousandth to appear on this site.
Think about that for a second. We’re a small group (yes, an ever growing one, currently with just under 30 people, but small by media standards). No one’s being paid, from administrators and editors to writers and photographers, we’re doing this because we love it. We’ve all got other things going on in our lives and have other ways to pay the bills.
Despite this, in roughly two years’ time, we’ve managed to produce 1000 pieces of content (mostly articles and columns but a decent amount of video posts and some original works of poetry and fiction thrown into the mix) covering everything from local artists you may not have heard of to big news events from an angle that you may not have considered.
We started small, with an original comedy talk show and a handful of writers and premiered four columns that are still part of the site today. Green Bean Tuesdays tackled the environment with commentary on big eco news items to profiles of people like Native activist Elizabeth Penashue trying to save the patch of green she calls home. Friday Film Review shone the light on somewhat forgotten classics and indie films like CRAZY. Forum M reviewed video games, tech and even Woodland Pizza in Verdun. Meanwhile Laurence ranted about everything from high gas prices to plastic water bottles.
Around the same time, we started covering stories like the battle between the artists of Cafe Cleopatre and the City of Montreal partnered with a developper bent on evicting them (we’re still following this one, although it looks like the Cleo may have won). We also commented on everything from new passport laws to taking a sick cat to the vet in Montreal.
Fast-forward to August 2010. Our arts section kicks into full gear. We start reviewing independent musical acts like Darling Ghost and entire festivals like Pop Montreal. We cover plays like Joe Louis: An American Romance, art shows and galleries like Usine 106U, burlesque troupes like Glam Gam and Blood Ballet and festivals like Fringe, Infringement and even the Jazz Fest. We also started covering shows and festivals outside of Montreal like Sasquatch, Canadian Music Week and Movement.
Our news section recently expanded as well, with veteran (on this site, more than a year counts as veteran) commentators like Quiet Mike being joined by a slew of new writers. Our topics range from international news stories like what’s going on in the Middle East to Canadian political topics like the NDP and the Harper majority to the campaign against Usage-Based Billing (this one with a funny video, too) to social issues like medicinal marijuana, the homeless to the need for better rail travel in Canada to local events like the recent Montreal SlutWalk.
Meanwhile, over the past few months, our culture section has been offering up humour, food reviews, local business reviews and even a sex column tackling hot button (pun intended) topics like the vibrator versus dildo debate and what really goes on at Cinema L’Amour. Soon we plan to expand the section and cover LGBTTQ issues, drug culture, more food and much more. We’re looking for more writers in this section presently and we’re also looking for arts writers to cover all the types of arts we’re currently reviewing.
If you want to join our growing team, check out our callout and send us some samples. You won’t be sorry you did. After all, it’s people like you who have something to say and want a space to say it that have kept the conversation going and brought us to 1000 posts.
I strongly believe that the net is the future of media. It’s an unshaped future that we can all help mold away from the dogmatic corporate dominance that shapes our present media landscape into something more inclusive and community-based.
It’s not that hard really, we’ve done it a thousand times before.
* 1000 image: mylegalunion.blogspot.com, other photos by Chris Zacchia