A Dutch-American blogger, Marc van Bree, has compiled a preliminary list of classical music writers and institutions on Twitter. The list, displayed here, makes no claim to be comprehensive and Marc warmly solicits additional contributions.
There is something of the zeitgeist about this catalogue. Last week Alex Ross, pioneer of the music-crit blog, froze his main site and announced that his future contributions would be rather more occasional and under his employer’s banner.
Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, in a thoughtful article on media trends of the decade, cited google, wikipedia and twitter as top three and omitted blogging altogether, except as a by-product of his newspaper’s reader-response policy.
Two twitter storms have just generated a minor constitutional crisis in the British Parliament and an advertisers’ retreat from a newspaper site that carried an article criticising the gay lifestyle of the late Boyzone singer, Stephen Gately. These are very much signs of our times, and both were driven by the agendas of print newspapers.
So could it be that the cultural blog has had its day? Certainly many of its functions are gravitating to twitter, facebook and other places of savvy congregation. Many writers use them as eye-magnets for articles they have placed in traditional newspapers.
Some of those newspapers are now planning to put up paywalls, which means that if you’re intrigued by the tweet you may not be able to access them for free.
A new convergence is emerging between old print media and new social sites. Does this signal an economic revival for arts journalism? Too soon to tell but the straws in the wind are not uninteresting. As this long-running mini-series indicates, we are in the thick of a fast-moving story.