Saturday, October 27, 2007

SPI and Whatnot

Twenty-one years ago, back when I was freelancing for the entertainment and "going out" section at the Times-Picayune, I was amazed how little the people who ran the place seemed to know about what young people were doing, listening to, reading, thinking, and whatnot.

I told myself back then, "one of these days, I'm going to be in charge of one of these here entertainment sections, and it's going to have cool stuff in it. It won't be run by people who say things like 'Who is xxx? Do people listing to him/her? Should we write about that?' It'll be run by me, and I'll know all the answers."

Flash forward 21 years. Yesterday I launched an online-only, mostly entertainmant-y magazine covering the music/hanging-out scene in Seattle. I have an amazing crew of former mes -- read: interns -- who seem to know about every band in the city, which ones to cover, what's cool and what's not.

I know squat about the local music scene. My former creds as a former person who formerly was totally wired on the music scene in New Orleans is meaningless. I am her, the chick asking "Who is xxx. Do people listen to him/her?"

But I never ask "should we write about it?" Because I know that I don't know anything, and I have totally turned the magazine over to the amazing interns. Since they are the experts, (a no brainer here) they decide what to cover, they schedule, cover it, write about it and post it all as they see fit. All I do is edit it.

As it should be. What do I know, besides where the hyphens should go?

The setup feels good to me. I don't think the old people who work for newspapers need to know everything. They just need to know who does know everything, and that they should hand the reins over to them. Sometimes they don't want to do that. Me, I'm doing what I wished for back in the old days, 21 years ago: handing over the magazine to former me, the person who knows stuff.

Tonite, I met a bunch of new intern candidates at the launch party (as Mark mentioned, a gig a the Showbox, featuring a band called FLOATER). Awesome intern Rose (who had the hookup with the guy who put on the show at the Showbox, and arranged the whole launch party thing) invited a bunch of students to help us shoot the gig, and many of them were interested in signing up as interns. Things are looking good for the future of SPI.

At least, it feels that way, the night of this SPI launch party. Which I left early, telling Awesome Intern Rose, "I'm leaving now, because I'm old." The 21 year ago me would cringe at such wuss behavior. But 43 year old me says hey, hand me my cozy socks and a martini. It's Rose's turn, yo. She seems to know what she's doing. I'm happy to move aside and see what she makes. Go Interns, go!


kateco said...

need I tell you how well I understand? Nice to see:

cool+20 years=cool.

Congrats & love -- K

Michelle said...


Greg Hernandez said...

This is cool!

Janice said...


freda said...

glad to see you remember how you felt, so many people seem to have selective memories, the older they get the less they understand. good for you