Tell us; write a letter

Posted in Duff 'n Stuff

Duff ’n Stuff, Feb. 25, 2013

I’d like to say a few words about what Whidbey Life Magazine strives to do and to appeal to our readers to send us some feedback.

The Seattle Times announced this week that it will start charging its online readers for full content in March. It’s inevitable that all news organizations will take this route as The New York Times did two years ago. Full, unrestricted access to many of the major news websites will no longer be completely free. It’s the economic foundation of our online world and the idea of the Internet being “free” will eventually fall by the wayside. Everybody needs revenue to make a quality product.

Whidbey Life Magazine is not a typical news organization. We’re a small, nonprofit project and rely on members, donors and ad sales to keep this train running. Our model is similar to the member-supported radio stations, such as NPR and KEXP. If readers want it, they’ll support it; we’re counting on that.

On another note, making it work means finding a balancing act between the blogging realm and the art news.

I’ve been exploring the blogosphere quite a lot lately trying to get handle on the blogging form. It’s mind-boggling to discover just how many blogs are out there in the ether sphere. Some work better than others, of course, but there are definitely things that don’t work in a blog. Ranting, I think, is not a good idea for the blog. One can head down to any downtown city financial district and get their dose of rants from the guy on the soap box. Nobody needs to read a ranter.

I’ve learned, too, that memoir is best kept away from the blog. My good friend Molly Cook, an excellent writing teacher and an exquisite writer/blogger, reminded me of this fact.  Molly also defiantly calls her blogs “websketches” due to the fact that she never suffers fools, especially those who name a form of writing “the blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahg,” for which I respect her.

Blogging as a form, I think, takes an immediate first-person tact similar to a traditional column in a newspaper, yet different still.  I see it as an interesting, spontaneous kind of writing and I think when it’s done well, there’s an honesty that’s important there,  a conversational feel that’s essential to it. Kind of like jazz; spontaneous but still excellently played. It’s the voice that counts in the blog. So that’s what I hope the “bloggers” can strive to do well at WLM.  None of us reads everything online, but between the various bloggers, perhaps there’s one to whom you relate and can find an interest.

Blogs are different, of course, from features. The stories and spotlights we write on the artists and events happening on the island are written from a non-personal, objective reporter’s point of view, so we hope that distinction is coming through. Tell us.

In a recent WLM survey, we came up looking pretty rosy. Thank you very much to those of you who responded. This kind of feedback helps us to know what to keep and what to change. One of the biggest goals of this magazine is to give readers what they want concerning the artistic community of Whidbey Island. We would love to get even more feedback from you through the letters section, so please scroll down to the bottom of the homepage to see it. Write a letter to the editor and let us know what you think. It’s worthy of an ongoing conversation; one we would love to keep going.

Thanks to all of you for your support and for reading Whidbey Life Magazine. With your help, we can make it the best it can be.

From the heart,

Patricia Duff


Penn Cove Musselfest is this weekend:

Don’t miss the Penn Cove Mussellfest in downtown Coupeville; headquartered at Coupeville Recreation Hall from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 3.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce, the bayleaf and Aqua Gifts. Any remaining available tickets will be sold for $25 at the door.  Mussel chowder tasting tickets for the following day will be available for purchase at the Mingle.

Friday, March 1 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. is the Mussel Mingle Kick Off with mussels prepared by Serendipity Catering, wine and Flyer’s famous house brews will be available, as well as live music by Tambourine Sky:

The fun continues Saturday, March 2, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Read Molly Cook’s excellent blog here Good Golly Miss Molly.

Check out the WLM bloggers at Thank Blog It’s Friday with Kelman, Gipson, Belov, Bardarson, Walcutt, Mulholland, Brown and Takanikos.


Patricia Duff is an award-winning journalist and an editor, creative writer and theater artist.

If you’d like to see this magazine continue to cover stories like this one on the arts and culture of Whidbey Island, consider becoming a member of Whidbey Life Magazine or support it by buying an ad, making a donation or becoming a sponsor.


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