First off many congrautlations to the Created in Birmingham team who with the benefit of wholehearted support from big swathes of the Birmingham creative scene, recently won an award for Best UK Blog.
Its thoroughly well deserved too.
This post was also inspired by a typically thoughtful and insightful post from Pete Ashton and some really interesting comments left by the likes of Dave Harte and Jon Bounds in the comments thereafter.
Id like to echo some comments suggesting that Brum could really do with a more critical arts forum.
As Chris Unitt (recently stepping down as autho if CiB) says, CiB takes a neutral and informative stance and I think we could all agree that the “best blog in the UK” (no less) works extremely well just as it is. Tampering with it by adding subjective comment at this point be to fly dangerously close to the classic “if it aint broke, dont fix it argument”.
But even including the world of print media, Brum doesnt strike me as having a forum for really good, informed, constructively critical reviews.
Which is a shame.
I hope Im not dissing what there is when I say that, cos there are examples – Project X got an absolutely wonderful review on Whats on in Brum for instance, but still, I think theres a big opportunity to expand in this area.
Maybe its just down to us, the bloggers to review things as we can, and collect them all in a central place
Perhaps something on the scale of CiB could be devised that a number of different reviewers could contribute to (actually this is sort of what we have tried to do on the local stand up comedy scene with www.whoslaughingnow.org.
Knowing that other local web mastermind Josh Hart as I do I wouldnt be surprised if future extensions of the excellent listings site Live Brum offers the right sort of forum for more collaborative critical analysis and discussion to take place – all of which would surely be of immense benefit in helping develop and informed and engaged audience for all things creative in our dear old “vibrant” city of culture.