why do they call it concentrate?

I’ve agreed to write a few guest posts for the new Washtenaw County-centric web magazine Concentrate. It’s the most recent spin-off from the Detroit-based Issue Media Group, the folks who produce MetroMode and Model D. As with the other new-media creations jetisoned by the IM mothership, Concentrate will be focused on that sweet spot where economic development and culture collide. And, assuming the logos at the bottom of the page come with pricetags attached, it looks as though folks in government like what they see. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Ann Arbor SPARK, MSHDA, and the Ann Arbor DDA are all represented. I’m somewhat inclined to complain about our precious tax dollars being spent to do something like this, but the truth is that it’s necessary, and the folks at Issue Media are doing a pretty good job… And I’m not just saying that because they’ve said positive things about the Shadow Art Fair in the past.

Some might complain that it’s too positive. I just read a comment at Arbor Update that said Concentrate has a “Chamber of Commerce for the under-40 set feel,” and there’s something to that. Personally, I’d like a little muckraking. But, maybe that’s coming. They may not be breaking news about the crimes of Kwame Kilpatrick now, but who knows what the future might hold, once advertising reveues start coming in. They may begin hiring reporters and giving the print dinosaurs around here a run for their money. But, for now, I think it’s probably enough just to draw people’s attention to the good things happening in the area, which is what they’re doing. There is, of course, a risk. If people begin to see them as an official propaganda channel, they may stop paying attention. It seems to me, however, that they’ve been able to walk the line pretty well so far. They aren’t saying that things are “Dandy in the D” — they’re just saying that we can learn from the few successes we have. At least that’s my take on it.

So, they asked me to write for them for a week, and I said, yes. I thought that it would be good to plant the Ypsi flag in the ground right at the outset, before the new site got crawling with Ann Arborites. So, look for some of my stuff to appear there in the next few weeks. I suspect I’ll write about all the usuall stuff, like the Shadow Art Fair, the role of Ypsi in the local ecosystem, our responsibility as John Dingell’s constituents to hold his feet to the fire on global warming, and the importance of supporting local business and agriculture. I may even use the space to sell Ypsipanties, back issues of Crimewave, my comics, and severed unicorn head merchandise…. Oh, and I also plan to use to space to rally support for the rehabilitation of Ypsi’s Freighthouse, and my pedal-powered film series in Riverside Park. If you have other thoughts on what I should cover, leave a comment.

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7 Comments

  1. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I know you’ve got to pick and choose, but a mention of the new Growing Hope plans and the Community Gardens might be worth a line.

  2. Crain
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Be sure to mention how “hip” we are!

  3. TK
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Much of their content as I understand it is paid for my developers looking to manufature buzz around their projects.

  4. Posted March 31, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget Ypsilanti’s own on-going scavenger hunt, “Found In Ypsilanti.”

    A note about the Washtenaw County “Cultural Assessment”. Of course with a twist promoting Ypsilanti as the heart of the county’s culture.

    If you really want to play Ypsilanti up big in one posting, why not compile a list of all the events that will be taking place in Ypsilanti through the end of the summer (SAF, Hertitage Festival, Elvis Fest, DT Cruise Nights, 2nd Friday downtown merchants staying open longer, etc. etc.)

  5. egpenet
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    OH … and the historic walking tours of Water Street.

  6. mark
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    We should make an Ypsi infomercial… Maybe it could be like a pyramid scheme. We could ask people all over the country to send in $99 checks to invest in Water Street, and then promise to send them $10 back whenever they get someone else to invest, or something like that.

  7. Mr. Crabtree
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of selling shares in Water Street. The Green Bay Packers are community owned. Why not a development? Are there models that exist for such a thing?

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