A smattering of you may have noticed, over the past few weeks, a dearth of updates on this page. That’s because I’ve been stuck in neutral rethinking the overall tone of these articles while page traffic -- not surprisingly -- took a precipitous nosedive.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful to those who, from time to time, have popped in to see whether the page was still alive and kicking. I’m happy to report that it is, albeit with a different commonality of purpose.
You see, writing under the nomenclature “Baltimore Celebrity Examiner” didn’t open as many doors as initially anticipated. Over the course of a year, I’d been turned down for so many celebrity interviews, shut out of so many celebrity press conferences, and branded persona non gratis so many times, I’d begun to wonder whether it was me, my lack of clout, or the confines of regional reporting keeping me on the outside looking in.
And slowly, as I made merry at various holiday gatherings, it began to dawn on me that when it comes to celebrity news and gossip, Baltimore has very little to offer an Examiner in the way of original material. Not unless one comes to the position well connected (I don’t), is willing to invest oodles of time cozying up to publicists, venue managers, party planners, and the like (these articles don’t generate enough income to justify), or decides to hunt down visiting and local celebrities paparazzi-style (too low class even for my celebrity tastes).
That basically left me trolling newswires for Baltimore-related fodder, often writing articles reporting similar information from more popular, well-maintained celebrity news sites. Not exactly the ideal situation for cultivating a following, not to mention a tremendous blow to my bottom line (‘nuff said).
Hence the long hiatus while I pondered various alternatives.
I could throw in the towel, say I gave it my best shot, and set my sights on greener pastures. Or I could retool and take this page in a new direction. There’s probably a middle-of-the-road-happy-compromise option floating around out there as well, I just don’t want to waste my time connecting with it.
In fact, I don’t want to waste my time, period.
Before taking this position, I regularly published articles at my personal blog, The Spewker, spewing opinions about the celebrity news of the day. Sometimes I struck a chord, sometimes not, but I did manage to develop a regular following. Small as it may have been, it was mine, and that was huge for someone trying to get a leg in the door of celebrity news reporting.
Then, as I switched to a regional focus, my momentum shifted. Unless I could wangle face time or phone interviews, my articles began to read just like any other face in the crowd. Definitely not what I had in mind when I first came on board at Examiner.
As an Examiner, my goal was never to rehash celebrity news and gossip reported elsewhere. My goal was to develop an original voice in an already crowded field of celebrity news reporting. Somewhere along the way, I missed the mark. Consequently, readership and my desire to maintain this page waned.
But as of today, I’ve decided to wipe the slate clean. I'm going rogue. No offense to Sarah Palin, but she’s not the only one who can follow her gut when it comes to exploring new territory.
No longer will I confine myself to the meager celebrity pickings Baltimore has to offer.
No longer will I battle PR Directors for press access.
No longer will I plead with flunkies to connect me to bosses who don’t return phone calls (or, for that matter, reply to emails).
From this day forward and for as long as the head office will allow, I’m turning this page into a celebrity news and gossip column featuring my take – a native Baltimorean – on whatever strikes my fancy.
It may not contain a scintilla of anything having to do with Baltimore. Or you may be surprised by a fascinating original interview with someone I’ve had the good fortune to actually speak with or meet. One thing I promise, this page will, for the most part, begin to exude the flavor of a blog, i.e., short, crisp little paragraphs that I can knock-off in less than an hour.
And rest assured those paragraphs will always be infused with a Baltimore perspective. On that, you can bet your sweet Nipper.