Well, blogosphere, the time has come for a revolution. After various encounters with the Australian magazines I write for, it became clearer that Australian content was becoming harder and harder to secure, which was slowly diminishing the writing gigs I have. Then, FHM Australia folded, and as I was their main music contributor, that left me with a huge dent in my income and nowhere to write with sardonic humour.
So I created Soot Magazine (www.sootmagazine.com) which launches on July 14. Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. Why give it away for free? Are you not a high-class escort rather than a cheap, one-night-stand kinda girl? The answer is not as simple as I’d like to be (and, for the record, I’m neither an escort nor a fan of one-night-stands, in case you were wondering, I KNOW you were). Well, our plan is that the internet is the way of the future, plain and simple. Print will have its place in certain situations but in order to build Soot as a brand, the internet is the best way to reach people and share common interests. Also, a lot of the current magazines are very “set” in their patterns of readership, advertising and content. Stories I pitched previously for other publications were, 1, not getting published because of their “set” patterns and 2, being overlooked as others could not see the potential/relevance/interest/not enough Australiana in it.
So I decided that I couldn’t possibly be the only one in this entire universe that is frustrated with this print media pattern AND am also exhausted with the crap writing online. Since when can someone who has not even proven to be a capable writer (or someone who has never been employed a journalist for that matter), able to pitch and create stories, chase down leads and file copy to deadline, even ALLOWED to be granted an interview with a band/actor/designer or whomever? I found this incredibly insulting (and not to mention detrimental) to my craft and to the English language as a whole. Getting a press release, slapping it online and tweeting it out there is NOT journalism. Asking someone questions in an interview because you think you can talk to people is NOT journalism. Wikipedia is NOT research. Being a groupie or fan DOES NOT make you a writer. It makes you a groupie or a fan. Let’s leave the writing professionals to do their job, and you can read something professionally written and not waste the artists’ or readers’ time with your fan questions; nobody cares about you, it is about the music or art or whoever you are interviewing. You need to understand, writing is a skill. This has slowly diminished over the years and being trivialized with the internet. It’s time to bring good writing back and these respect writers for their skill.
I thought, well, this online environment has to change. It has to be more professional.
So I created Soot. And with some very talented, proven writers and photographers who I’ve come across in my travels, who have written and photographed for Gibson, Australian Guitar and even Q Magazine, they helped bring this vision to life. I also was very, very fortunate to find a web developer who shared my vision – an instrumental piece in the creation and launch of Soot.
I chose to take on a big task. I have not only embraced music with this online publication, but also literature, geekery, tech, entertainment, fashion and pop culture. We focus on quality and substance with the writing and reporting. We want the publication to have meaning and create a community that we wanted to be part of. We want to make a statement with integrity, soul, creativity and quirk. I made the tagline: get dirty. We also want it to be playful and fun.
I was very fortunate that for the seven years I have been writing as part of the media, I’ve built some wonderful professional relationships with people at labels and PR companies and they have been so supportive and excited about Soot, which has also contributed to the vindication of Soot’s importance.
My next big task is to secure advertising dollars to pay the wonderful team I have, and then expand Soot to other media platforms. Watch this space, we plan to change the online environment and we’d also love for you to be a part of it. You can have a look at Soot here. (We’re running a CD giveaway on our Facebook, if you like some FREE music, click here to enter.)
Until next time. Get dirty. And stay that way.