The State of the Blog Address

 

 

Hi there, Bob Perfect here. I’m the editor of this dubious slice of Durban life. It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything on here so I figured I’d fill you in on what’s been going on.

 

When we started DIY, the goal was to contribute to the Durban creative scene by giving it coverage and a voice on a national level. Not just coverage, but criticism and discussion… and shenanigans, lots of shenanigans (#CatVanDyk #neverforget). We wanted to give Durban artists a platform to be seen and heard, whilst providing a space for budding writers and photographers to get published. We wanted people in Durban and around the country to take Durban artists more seriously, whilst not taking ourselves too seriously. For a while, I think it worked. I mean, if you look at our comment sections of old, you’ll see that people actually gave a shit enough to try and tell us that we were wrong, often. Of course, they were the ones who were wrong. We here at DIY are never wrong, except for like, that one time. Still, it was nice to have what the soulless ones call “engagement”. We wrote about what we loved and hated about being young and in the creative scene in Durban, and people responded with what they loved and hated about about this website. Occasionally, there was a death threat or a lawyer’s letter. It was the best of times…

 

The thing is, when we started this blog, we were all pretty happy to work for free A.K.A exposure. For real, e-x-p-o-s-u-r-e. I know exposure is a dirty word, but if it wasn’t for creating exposure for myself with DIY, I’d have never written for Noisey or the first print issue of Hypetrak, and I wouldn’t be a working writer now. There’s value in having a space to learn and grow, even if you’re not making bank. We hoped that we’d be able to somehow make this thing profitable but weren’t exactly counting on it. We had no discernable business plan other than “If we make it cool, somebody will pay us”. That was probably a mistake. The first pay cheque this blog got went to whiskey and other pick-me-ups, and we had a team building experience like no other at Origin. We were a group of friends that grew bigger as more contributors joined the team and for most people, it was easy to contribute in their spare time – especially if it meant getting into gigs for free. As time went on, people left because they either wanted to do something else or wanted to move on to actual paying gigs. While many of us made our names with DIY, we sure as fuck didn’t make a fortune off it.

 

To be honest, I don’t think I really have the temperament for the advertorial side of this schtick. I’m too cynical about the relationship between brands and media. I hate being advertised to. I hate being complicit in advertising to others. Sponsored posts come across as insincere, because they are. And it really sucks that a lot of brands would rather send you free shoes so that you are the ad rather than buy ad space. Trying to monetise this shit without “selling out” has been a nightmare.

 

So, the more people left, the more work I took on and the more the quality went down. Instead of reviews and in-depth interviews, I was trying to churn out a blurb about new music or a cool video a day as a way to keep the blog going with constant content. But the content was vapid and shallow. Obviously, the hits stopped coming, and we’d lost us the audience we’d earned with our more in-depth and considered takes on life and art in the 031. The site wasn’t making money and I had to find other writing work and focused more on organising events, which meant even less time for the website. I eventually lost the hope I’d once had for this little slice of the internet.

 

That’s why there hasn’t been anything posted on this site in a few months. I’d resigned to shutting down DIY and moving on to other pursuits. I’m trying to make a go of this stand-up comedy thing, I’ve been writing for Bubblegum Club and a few other sites, and I recently joined DYR as a presenter on The Outbreak Show. I’ve got some shit going on, you know?

 

Recently though, some damn youths have been harassing me about restarting the blog. A lot is happening in Durban at the moment and there’s not enough coverage on the ground. While national sites are finally giving Durban love, and radio is starting to play our jams, there’s still so much going uncovered. Apparently, there’s still a need for a site like this.

 

With that in mind, I’ve gathered together a (mostly) new team to take DIY forward. They’re young, they give a fuck, and they want to see this city thrive. With their help, and yours, I’m hoping we can become a real online community that reflects the Durban we see. We’ll be opening the platform up a lot more to submissions and contributions, but I’ll let our new sub-editor Leah Jasmine fill you in on all of that on Friday.

 

So, what is the state of the blog? Well, we’re back where we started.

Comments
6 Responses to “The State of the Blog Address”
  1. Damien Fletcher Roodt says:

    Fuck yes! I’m so amped this thing is back on the bill! If you need help, hit me up!

  2. Will Smith says:

    For fuck sakes. The end of Durban music again ;)

  3. Tinso says:

    Sweet!

  4. Ewok says:

    Well effing played mate, this is excellent news. Salute on your continued stamina. That is indeed a Durban thing. No one makes a plan like Durban do. Looking forward.

  5. Gavin says:

    Good Job!
    Those that read it, really care! It means a lot. Big up to you for staying away from mainstream adverts money spinners – however its what keeps the bank account buzzing. Hopefully more will contribute and play their part!

Leave A Comment