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Cultural blogging in Europe

by Annette Wolfsberger | Credits


New publication: Cultural Bloggers Interviewed

Cultural blogging is not (yet) a well-known category within the blogosphere and LabforCulture wanted to find out more. Who blogs? What are they blogging about? Which audiences and communities are being engaged? What are the economic models and how sustainable are they? These are some of the questions that are explored in the new Cultural Bloggers Interviewed publication.

With Annette Wolfsberger, we delved into the cultural blogging scene in a series of interviews with nine renowned European bloggers including: Anne Helmond, Robert Misik, Alek Tarkowski, Marta Peirano and José de Vicente, Alessandro Ludovico and Régine de Batty.

The bloggers were interviewed in 2009 and were challenged to answer questions about their motivation, business models and subsequent opportunities that came from starting their blogs. With a thought-provoking introduction about the role of blogs by Guardian journalist and blogger Mercedes Bunz, this publication is a must for anyone considering the future role of cultural bloggers and online publishing.

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Cultural Bloggers Interviewed
Editors: Nicola Mullenger and Annette Wolfsberger
Publisher: LabforCulture
Contributors: Mercedes Bunz; Régine Debatty; Anne Helmond; Michelle Kasprzak; Alessandro Ludovico; Marco Mancuso; Robert Misik; Marta Peirano; Alek Tarkowski and José Luis de Vicente
Price: £ 6.50

Map the European cultural blogging scene

As part of the ongoing series about exploring cultural blogs across Europe, LabforCulture launched an interactive map of the European cultural blogging scene. You can contribute to the project by adding your blog and/or your favourite blog to the map. We’ve already added the blogs from this series and other cultural blogs selected by our editorial team. Now you can make your mark by adding your own bookmarked blog.


Interview: Régine Debatty (we-make-money-not-art)

"Bloggers (...) do not necessarily benefit from the same recognition and privileges as journalists."

As founder of the highly influential blog we-make-money-not-art.com, Régine Debatty has been nicknamed ‘Queen of Bloggers’. She writes passionately about the intersection between art, design and technology, as well as curating art shows and speaking at conferences and festivals about the way artists, hackers and interaction designers use – and misuse – technology. She talks to LabforCulture about how she chooses what goes into her blog, her economic model (or lack of one!) – and how her blog feels so much part of her that it’s like an arm or a lung...

Click here to read the full interview

Interview: Alessandro Ludovico, Neural

“In the beginning print was king and online was an accessory. Now it’s exactly the opposite.”

LabforCulture interviews Italian media critic Alessandro Ludovico, who edits the offline and online media art magazine, Neural. Alessandro started publishing Neural in print back in 1993, when digital culture was still in its infancy. Today, Neural is distributed to a worldwide audience in its print incarnation and the Neural website has developed into an enormous culture-oriented online resource that is followed by thousands of readers. Alessandro talks about how the relationship between online and offline publishing has shifted over the past 16 years and how Neural has managed to survive where other ventures have failed.

Click here to read the full interview

Interview with two co-founders of Elastico

"...Twitter is more like a cafe conversation, blogging more like a newspaper."

LabforCulture talks to Spanish cultural bloggers Marta Peirano and José Luis de Vicente, who were instrumental in the launch of the influential collective Spanish blog Elastico in 2003. When the blogosphere was still in its infancy in Spain, the writers on Elastico started blogging about digital rights and copyleft, digital art, video games and multimedia.

Today, all four founding writers have become influential in the cultural scene in their own right – and they update their collective blog less frequently, using it as a repository for longer essays and reflection pieces. With less time on their hands these days, they have turned their attention to Twitter or Facebook for publishing short messages and updates.

Click here to read the full interview

Interview: Robert Misik

“You need to have your very own style. Otherwise you drown in the blogosphere”

LabforCulture interviews Austrian-based video blogger Robert Misik. Famous in Austria for his work as a print journalist, 43-year-old Misik first started his blog as an online archive for his newspaper articles. About 18 months ago, he became the first Austrian journalist to publish a weekly video blog, which appears on the website of the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. Misik believes that blogging is a great way for new writers to get their voices heard.

Click here to read the full interview

Interview: Anne Helmond

“I think a lot of the commenting/ conversation has moved away from blogging to other related platforms such as Twitter and FriendFeed.”

LabforCulture talks to ‘hard bloggin’ scientist’ Anne Helmond, who writes a New Media Research blog from her vantage point as a New Media Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. Anne reveals how she first started blogging as a master’s student, using her blog as a research archive as well as a platform for her views. Even though Twitter is starting to supersede some aspects of blogging, Anne believes blogs have a vital role to play in the cultural sector, and she believes that bloggers should be seen as journalists with a different set of skills.

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Interview: Marco Mancuso, Digicult

“I consider blogging or web journalism and critique the present and the future (…) one of the most important voices in the cultural sector.”

LabforCulture talks to Italian-based critic, art curator and journalist Marco Mancuso, who specialises in digital art and culture. Marco is the founder and director of Digicult, a multiple communication channel focusing on digital art and culture – including a news channel; a monthly online magazine; an audiovisual podcast; and an art agency. Over 40 journalists, artists, curators and critics contribute on a voluntary basis to Digicult, keeping the costs of running the project extremely low. Marco reveals that this is crucial to the operation of Digicult, which does not have any external funding. Marco also shares the secrets of his successful marketing strategy to attract more visitors – from mailing lists to Google searches to social networking.

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Interview: Alek Tarkowski, Kultura 2.0

“...if there is discussion, it is almost always in the comments, and not between blogs.”

In the third of LabforCulture’s weekly series of interviews all about cultural blogging, we quiz Polish-based new media expert Alek Tarkowski about his blog on cultural practices related to new media. Alek has been writing Kultura 2.0 since 2006, when he co-organised a conference of the same name that explored culture in the Web 2.0 era. Read Alek’s interview to find out how he uses his blog to introduce new issues into the cultural debate in Poland.

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Interview: Michelle Kasprzak, Curating.info

“Blogging is an excellent way of establishing several streams of discourse. It’s not just about the art critic in the newspaper anymore.”

In the second of LabforCulture’s series of interviews on cultural blogging, we meet Scottish-based curator and artist Michelle Kasprzak. Since 2006, Michelle has been publishing her views on contemporary art curating on her blog, Curating.info. In this in-depth interview, Michelle reveals how her blog was first born, how she multi-tasks to combine blogging with her day job at the Scottish Arts Council, and how she has taken the first steps towards promoting her blog using Facebook and Google Adwords.

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Interview: Claire Welsby, InterventTech.net

“I think blogging is important if you've got something to say that isn't being said.”

We launch the series with an interview with Claire Welsby, creator and main contributor of InterventTech.net. Claire has a background in contemporary art history and holds a position of Media Producer at Kew.

InterventTech.net was created in 2007 as a platform for the UK's art and technology movement. In this interview, Claire explains why she created the website; the difficulties of establishing an active and loyal user community; and how to reach out to more visitors, even if cultural blogging remains a 'niche' market at the moment. Claire also explains how she chooses subjects to blog about and the various ways of getting funding.

Click here to read the full interview