I have an idea for a spinoff site. It would just be images of me, either folding my arms in front of, or leaning against, the artwork of others. What do you think? Is that the kind of site that you can imagine yourself going back to again and again, week after week?
“I wonder what Mark’s leaning against today?”
Maybe I could even interview the artists whose stuff I’m leaning against.
The above shots, by the way, were taken a few days ago at the Water Street Sculpture Garden by the very talented Doug Coombe, who had been sent out by Concentrate to take photos of Ben Connor-Barrie and me.
This is Ben. He publishes the blog Damn Arbor.
He’s the smiley one.
I think they wanted to shoot me with Ben as, next to him, I look significantly bigger, older and less happy than I do on my own.
In addition to me and Ben, the Concentrate article, titled “Five Local Blogs You Need To Be Reading,” also focuses on Juan Cole from Informed Comment, Barbara Wylan Sefton from SLICE Ann Arbor, and Megan Halvorson from Meg Goes Nom Nom. I’d like to think my inclusion is some reflection on the work that I put in here, but I suspect it has more to do with the fact that I’ve outlived much of my competition, as most everyone else has come to realize that blogging is a colossal waste of time and energy that’s only likely to make you enemies.
For those of you who are interested, here’s the part of the article, written by Patrick Dunn, dealing with this site.
Site visits: 35,000 per month
Why you should be reading it: Because founder Mark Maynard is one of Arbor-Ypsi’s OG blogging bad-asses. Maynard published the notable ‘90s zine Crimewave USA, and the fierce punk rock spirit of the zine world pervades his online presence. He’s an outspoken political commentator, particularly when it comes to defending his city of residence, Ypsilanti (although he’s certainly not afraid to call out city government for lame-brained moves). He’s a decidedly left-of-center voice on state and national issues as well, and he’s got his finger on the pulse enough to scoop local news outlets from time to time.
The blog isn’t all Maynard’s opinion, though. Maynard is an excellent and extremely inquisitive interviewer, and his Q&As with local business owners and artists (and his ongoing “Exit Interview” series with outbound area residents) are always fascinating. But most importantly, Maynard is a skillful moderator, fostering intelligent and respectful discussions in the comments on even his most provocative posts. A vital community resource, a virtual back fence, and an outlet for Maynard’s admittedly obsessive-compulsive tendencies, MarkMaynard.com embodies everything a great local blog should aspire to be.