CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog











{September 11, 2006}   Educate Me

For the first time since this blog started, I was proud of it today. We wrote about the anniversary of 9/11 and most of the comments were thoughtful and interesting. So much of the time, they are not.

I’m being honest here.

On Friday, the Living Out Loud blog will become a month old. Blogging is new to me and I didn’t really have an interest in doing it, but because the actual LOL column is becoming somewhat popular, it was suggested I do it.

To my surprise, actually to my total shock, this thing has caught on fairly quickly. I can’t believe the number of comments we get and the traffic we generate – already. That’s good I guess, but you need to tell me why that is.
In my view, so much of the time, this blog is dumb. I test it sometimes. I put up posts about what people have for lunch. I write about fleas on my cat. I tell you the bathroom repair problem I’m having. I tell you stupid shit.

Why do I get such a big response from this and why when I write a book review or write about something fairly serious (except for the 9/11 post), readers tend to tune it out?

I’m looking for feedback. Please tell me why you like the bullshit stuff instead of the posts that really have something to say. Educate me.

Larry Gross

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Jim Stanton says:

You ask a good question. I can’t speak for everyone but I’ll tell you why I track it at work and while now at home I will check in sometimes too.

Your blog really isn’t dumb just all over the place. That’s part of the attraction. I liked the 9-11 piece today but I also like the simple things – like what was for lunch, the girl that was having the dating problem, the fleas on the cat. It’s all human. It’s all real life.

The other people who write here I also like. I like Heather’s posts and the way she stands up for herself. Jim Allen is a hoot. So is C.A. who gets you to thinking. Because of her posts here, I now read her music pieces in the paper – not that I know anything about the groups she writes about, I just like her style.

When I go to City Beat’s web page, I know they are always promoting the Porkopolis blog. I like it fine, but it’s never funny – just news, news, news. I like variety and a little humor sometimes. This blog provides that.

I hope this helps and I hope this blog doesn’t become super serious. As someone said here on this blog, we get enough of that.



jake says:

it’s funny. so get all serious and fuck it up



Karen says:

My dear, dear Larry

Don’t question it, just go with it. A lot of the time it’s mind candy. Nothing wrong with that.



Beaver Head says:

Strange you should ask. I’ll get this off my chest.

I don’t read your paper for news. I read it for the arts and music. your paper has an arts and music blog but IT IS NEVER UPDATED. Why do you have it up if you are not going to do new posts.

The porkopolis blog is stuffy and boring. Alot of us don’t give a fuck about what city council is doing. It is no fun to read.

Pork and the music blog even look boring. This blog at least has a sexy look to it.

I just read Karen’s post and she is right. Don’t question what you’re doing. I come here because I don’t know what I’m going to find. It is always different and interesting. On your paper’s music blog, I will find NOTHING new and on the news blog – it’s just news.

PLEASE DON’T MAKE THIS BORING TOO.



I think you should definately just “go with it.” Keep the variety. The fact of the matter is that everyone has a different idea of what is boring.

I don’t find your book reviews boring, but I don’t comment on them because I haven’t read the book, so I have nothing to say.

As for the people who threaten to stop reading if you don’t post what they like, let them stop reading. Others will pass through, some will like it, some won’t. The blog will blog on.

Keep it interesting. I think a long list of lunch blogs will get old fast if we don’t spice it up with few a catfights. Even YOU could tolerate the inane banter indefinately, I doubt everyone else would. I think the unpredictable nature of the blog is what keeps it interesting.

And as for the fleas on our cat and your bathroom woes, that’s just everyday coversation, which is nice also.



Jack says:

For lunch I had…crow.

As stated from other comments, go with what works. And your blog really works.



C.A. MacConnell says:

Much of my life has been tragic and/or ridiculous. I know I’m not unique here. If I can’t see humor in the simple things, like J. Allen’s pizza, I’m in trouble.

But there is a time to be gutwrenchingly honest with myself. I may joke, but underneath it, I struggle, just like everyone else. There’s a time to address Marcus. There’s a time to address 9/11, to reflect, to be real, to remember the moment, to pray.

And there’s a time to suck it up and admit when I’m very wrong, learn from it, abandon my warped thinking and let go.

Then find out what kind of adult toys Ykari’s selling.

This is the essence of Living Out Loud.



Jill says:

C.A. has nailed what this blog is about. Larry thinks too much. As Heather says just go with it.



John says:

Think about it: your column hits on a variety of topies and so does this blog. That’s why both are getting read.



Mike says:

From the comments you’re getting, it should be clear that you need to keep doing what you’re doing. Many of us enjoy the mix of seriousness and being just plain silly. Remember the old saying, if its not broke, don’t fix it.



Phil says:

I’ll agree with Beaver Head (what a name) and say I would visit your paper’s music blog but there is seldom anything new to read. I often read the Porkopolis blog and while it is interesting sometimes I never feel compelled to comment.

This blog is looser and as others have said it is a variety pack of life. That’s the attraction and that’s why people comment.

I wouldn’t change much. You got something going here.

Phil



Beth says:

Sorry, Larry, but don’t be a dummy. You have taken the concept of your regular column and applied it to this blog. It’s about life and life is about a variety of things. That’s why it works. Don’t second guess yourself.



Karen @ the hood says:

In the words of a famous song “I love you just the way you are”.



Tom Anderson says:

I want to add a little to what Jim Stanton said.

It seems like when you go to City Beat’s website, you can’t even find this Blog. The only place where it is mentioned is in the Porkopolis blogroll. It’s sort of like the paper doesn’t really want you to know about it. Why?

I find Porkopolis usually interesting. As Beaver said, The arts and entertainment thing might as well be deleted. They make a new post maybe once a month.

While this blog seems to not get much attention with the paper it is associated it, it seems to have larger audience. I would like to point that out to the web masters who decide what to promote. I would think you would want to promote something that is actually being read and that is updated everyday.



Julie says:

I stopped visiting CityBeat’s Arts & Entertainment blog a long time ago. For a paper that seems to pride itself on being the leader in arts & entertainment news, they have developed a blog that is poor and never updated. What was the point?



Erin says:

I have this strange feeling this blog is about to sell out and become uninteresting. Why else would this post have been made. Change is not always good.



numb says:

your column is dumb, your blog is dumb. you do shit because you’re not capable of doing anything else.



Richard says:

Go away numb. You are a pain in the ass.



Brad says:

Wow! Julie is right. I just went to CityBeat’s Arts & Music blog and the last post was August 10 with only two comments.



Man of the Hour says:

This is the blog that’s happening and then maybe Porkopolis.



Steve says:

The “premier” paper in our town for arts and entertainment can’t even keep there blog updated. I’m beginning to think CityBeat is not the premier anything anymore.



Jackie says:

I think Julie has made a good point. Newspaper blogs are common now and most are updated. That paper’s bread and butter is arts and music. No constantly updated blog to support it? Why even start?



paul says:

i go to city beat’s website sometimes, and here every once in a while, but the whole paper has become boring. there’s nothing new in it.



Joe says:

I think the Living Out Loud Blog is just fine, about the only blogging worthwhile at city beat. You all need to check out Cin Weekly. Their blog posts are actually pretty good. Sorry to say that here.



Kevin Weber says:

I’ve enjoyed reading the comments on this post. A little sorry I’m getting here late.

As far as this blog goes, I discovered it a couple weeks ago and like others who have commented, I like the mix. I believe Mr. Gross should look at the number of comments made vs. the other CityBeat blogs and also Cin Weekly. You are by far out doing them all. Until that changes, I would keep doing what you’re doing.

As far as Porkopolis, I read the blog sometimes and I usually like what Margo has to say. Kevin just reads like a reporter and Greg doesn’t write enough. I’ll give it this: It is updated almost every day.

I basically read the paper for the Music section and by and large it’s the best in the city. However, having a arts & music blog up and running with few and far between posts looks lazy and I find it annoying. Premier arts & music paper? Put your words where your mouth is.

With the Mid-Point Music Festival coming up, it would be nice to see daily updates or will we have to wait until the paper is issued? Whoever is responsible for arts and entertainment in CityBeat, and according to the staff listing it’s Jason Gargano, you need to step up to the plate and keep us posted daily. If you don’t, you’re going to disppoint a lot of music fans who stick with your paper despite the lazy blog postings.

Like it or not, bloging is here to stay. The Living Out Loud blog seems to know this and so does Porkopolis – but the paper’s most popular section is music. Somebody needs to wait up.



Matt says:

What he said. Kevin makes a ton of sense.



Tim Graves says:

I happen to know Kevin and he’s a pretty good young businessman. After I found out about and read his comment and others, I went to CityBeat’s web site to look for the Living Out Loud Blog.

Of the three CityBeat blogs, this is the one that does the most business, but you can hardly even find it. Apparently, word of mouth has found an audience for it – certainly not the publication that bears it’s name.

Good business sense? I’ll ask Kevin tomorrow, but I already know what his answer is going to be. It’s the same as my own: No. Comment: the suits at CityBeat need to get their heads out of their…fill in the blank…and promote what people are actually reading.



Have you been to CityBeat? I’m telling you, there are no “suits.”

Literally or figuratively.

šŸ™‚



Jim Allen says:

No “suits” Heather? I’m wearing my birthday suit tomorrow. How do you like them apples? That sounds good for lunch…



StephE says:

Last night I almost went to the store specifically for an apple so today… “Anything while I’m out?” I’ll take an apple. If you are wearing your birthday suit tomorrow I am taking a sick day!

Larry, I would like to have that Discussion on why other nations or groups hate America. I imagine there are many different reasons to hate America and I am tired of only hearing that they hate us for our freedom. I would like a substantial reason(s).



Larry Gross says:

Hey!

I want to thank all who took the time to comment on this post. I do indeed now feel educated as to what you want and I also want to thank those who had an opinion on the other CityBeat Blogs too. Those comments have been forwarded to the people responsible for the blogs.

As far as The Living Out Loud blog, I hear loud and clear that you really don’t want changes – that you like the mix. That’s the way we’ll keep doing it for now. Don’t be surprised if I come back and ask questions sometime in the future.

Thanks for reading.



Ed Ramsey says:

While I find your post today about the “smaller penis” just plain silly, I have to realize that’s what I kind of like about this blog. It’s a variety of topics and issues and you have to take the good with the bad.

I will say what others have stated here. You seem to have found an audience. I wouldn’t play with that too much.

I’m hoping for a smarter post tomorrow.



Jim: I don’t know what I think of them apples. Perhaps you should send me a picture.



Jim says:

I think the paper is still in good shape and I read it every week. I think the paper is stuck in the l990’s and has a hard time moving forward with blogs and so on. This blog you can’t even find on CityBeat’s web page which is very strange to me.



Karen says:

I will always love and read CityBeat but I think Jim is right when he says the paper is kind of stuck in the 90’s. I mean their web site: The paper comes out Wednesday morning, but usually their web page isn’t updated until mid afternoon – kind of like it’s an after thought.



Karen says:

. . .and come to think of it, it is odd that this blog is not really found on CityBeat’s web page. I know Larry is a writer for them because I read his work all the time and CityBeat’s name is on this blog. I mean, I found out about it through someone who works there. How come it’s not promoted? Can Larry Gross answer this for us?



Vic says:

Well it sure isn’t on City Beat’s web page at all – it is all Porkopolis



Beaver Head says:

I’m back and the comments have got me going again.

Yeah, the web site – up mid afternoon at best. I frequent other alternatives and their sites are updated even before the new paper hits the streets.

This site: mentioned in the Porkipolis blogroll and that’s it. How odd that is and how unfair. For fun or to make me angry (I don’t know which yet), I counted the comments on the Porkipolis blog. Maybe a couple of recent comments. On THIS blog 70. But this blog isn’t good enough to be really included on their web site? What is it? A stepchild or something?

The Cool Issue: who cares? I’m tired of their “Cool,” “Hot,” “Lukewarm,” “Best of, “Really Cold,” whatever issues. Nothing special about them no quality writing involved, just a way to sell ad space.

I will mention it again: Really good music coverage in the paper, god awful and few blog posts on their music blog.

I read CityBeat, like CityBeat and all that, but they are getting completely out of touch with what the public wants.

And yes, GET INTO THE 21ST CENTURY!

I’ve said my piece in total and I’m done.



Ben says:

man oh man. i am certainly enjoying all this free speech about citybeat! who’s idea was this? it’s about time.

i still read the paper but they don’t seem to be having any fun anymore. i remember the best of issue really being good and special and now they try to dupicate it with hot, cool, and all the rest they have come up with. now none of them are special. as beaver says, maybe its just a way to sell ad space.

remember that april’s fool issue they did some years back? that was really funny! how come they don’t do more of that type of thing? maybe people come to this blog for a little fun. you don’t find it much in the paper anymore.

i still pick it up for their music and movie listings but seldom find anything to read in it. i think the paper is just going through the motions now. maybe they need some new blood.

that’s my opinion and thanks for letting me say it.



Elly says:

A friend told me about this site and I enjoy reading it because it’s a fun variety but I stopped reading the actual paper years ago. For me, it just got old and tiring.



Lisa says:

Wow, the comments here seem non-stop.

For the record, CityBeat is still the best paper in the city. All you have to do is pick up the Enquirer or Cin Weekly.



Name withheld says:

I’ve been too busy to write but I’m glad I’m finally getting in on this one.

CityBeat is still a fine paper, but if there’s any one thing wrong I would say it needs to shake itself up a little. Since Kathy Wilson left, the Voices section had gotten prety stale and uninteresting – that is until Larry Gross turned the heat up. I had to respond to his “Reefer Madness” editorial and also the “Trashing the Nati” story. With these two columns, the Voices section got their balls back. I said that in a letter sent to Mr. Gross.

I enjoy his blog because it’s a little of everything, but I enjoy his column more. Nothing against CA who wrote the column this week, but it wasn’t anything to give any thought to. Mr. Gross makes me think – to taking taxie rides to dogs to smoking pot. It’s a fresh voice and if CityBeat needs anything it’s that.

And just one more thing. I have sent a lot of e-mails to CityBeat over the years and have never gotten a reply back. Mr. Gross took the time to reply to my e-mails, thanking me for reading and writing him. Maybe it’s a small thing, but it means a lot to a reader.



Marilyn says:

Yes, “Name Withheld” is right. I have been reading Larry’s Living Out Loud column for three years and I always send him e-mails about his work. Sometimes his response is brief, but he ALWAYS replies back in a nice polite way. Others at the paper, you never hear a word back like they can’t be bothered.



Jeff- or-ly says:

alright, i’ve been drinking but here’s a toast to larry. he’s a good guy, ya know? and thank him for this blog. i keep my computer sat on it all the time.it’s fun and it’s real life and its like he pays attention to who reads him. with me he has to.



Phil says:

I think Larry Gross is up and coming. Look at his work. What a shame that the editor and general manager – Fox and Bockrath – don’t have time to pay attention. Out of touch.



no name says:

i worked there for a while – actually more than that.

will larry give away my email address?

the paper changed when it moved to it’s new location on race street. people stopped talking to one another – now on three different floors. bigger? better? no. just even more out of touch.

cin weekly is knocking at the door. it’s sad.



K-e-v says:

following this has been fun. maybe i’ll put up citybet some time again.



I don’t know if anyone will have time to respond to this, but the CityBeat “Best Of” issue was mentioned. I’m going to a meeting tonight for the San Diego CityBeat (no relation) “Best Of San Diego” issue.

I’m new here, and I have no ideas, so I was wondering if anyone else does. Now, of course you probably wouldn’t have an idea for San Diego specifically, but maybe you have an idea about the kind of stuff you like to see.

I don’t know, it seemed ironic that it was mentioned when that’s where I’m headed.

Larry: Any ideas? Email me. (I want to make a good impression)



Bev says:

Ten years ago, I said CityBeat was cool. Today I say it’s all right. Sorry, it’s not cool anymore, just easy to pick up.



Roy says:

I don’t visit newspaper web sites. I like turning the pages.



Will says:

I sort of agree with Ben. City Beat use to be more funny and now it takes itself too seriously.



Rock - On says:

Maybe Beaver Head should be running the paper!

Seriously, he makes some good points, I still read CityBeat but I haven’t picked up a paper in years. I read it on line and yes, it is frustrating to have to wait and wait until the new issue is put up. Yes, other alternative papers across the country seem to have their act together on this. Why CityBeat doesn’t is a really good question.

I like the blogs including this one but as already stated, the arts & music blog is a waste of time. One should remember the old saying “finish what you start.” It looks like this blog was started and was left blowing in the wind.

But CityBeat is a good paper and I enjoy reading it – that is when I can find the new issue on line.



Erin says:

How come Larry has not answered Karen’s question?



Bill says:

Know what? The Village Voice SENDS ME their web page every week. I don’t have to go to their site to get it. How come City Beat doesn’t do that?



Katie says:

CityBeat is still a good paper. The only one I pick up every week.



Nikie says:

I pick up CityBeat for their music section and as far as I’m concerning they are the only paper in this town who knows anything about music.



Tim Graves says:

How wonderful to see such a lively discussion. People clearly have a lot to say about a paper they apparently love. My only question is will anything really come out of this discussion? The owners or people who run the publication should be reading these comments.



Matt says:

People are complaining about the web page being put up late? Well so is the delivery of the paper. I always pick it up in front of the library on Ludlow Avenue and it wasn’t there until Wednesday afternoon.



Sharon says:

Larry,

I like your blog and wouldn’t change anything. I don’t know about the rest of the paper because I don’t read it.

Sharon



Jill says:

I won’t like the music blog anyway. I like this because it is all over the place.



C.A. MacConnell says:

I like the feel and look of a real paper that smells like ink. More honest, adding to the writer’s message, a personal touch that could never be present on the Web. Whatever time a paper hits stands, I still dig it. To me, creativity is more important than speed.

Lately, many magazines add flashier colors and chop writing into “fast-food” blurbs containing no craft. Covers have polaroid-type photos with beer suggestions.

I am proud to contribute work in a magazine that allows for a massive amount of artistic freedom, both in written and visual art, while also maintaining a literary standard with well-crafted, creative writing.



Kelly says:

Matt,
You can always pick up the paper at Keller’s IGA fairly early in the day. The paper seems to get there first.



Karen says:

All –

Larry answers the questions (kind of) on the “worms” post.



Tate says:

Rock on is right. I don’t think anyone questions that it is a good paper – just a little backward when it comes to the blogging stuff.



Kim says:

I agree with “beaver” about all the special issues, way too many of them. The paper is much better when it can focus on a good cover story – like Leslie Blade does. She hasn’t done for for awhile. I like Margo’s cover stories and – Larry – your “foot” story was the best one this year.



Matt says:

The box is still empty in front of the libarary.



Jon says:

I’ve been out of touch on this but I’m back now.

I would to comment on a comment and what Marilyn said about how no one can City Beat will answer a e-mail or return a phone call. She is God-Damn right. It is like they cannot be bothered at all with the little people. I give them no feedback at all anymore because they don’t want it. But Cin weekly does. they are in touch with thier audience.

And Ben is right too. Show a little more humor and not be so dry all the time.



Nancy says:

Just way to many comments for me to read over but I have a question. How come your blog isn’t tied to your regular column? Shouldn’t the two of them feed off one another?



Susan says:

I have to agree. I find it more than a little strange that the arts & music blog is sooooooo nothing! How can CityBeat call themselves the arts and entertainment paper?



Richard says:

As Mr. Weber says, blogging is here to stay. It’s a little sad that our premier paper in town is a little late in coming to the party.

I’m not talking about this blog – which is updated and one I like.



Rodney says:

There are so many comments on this post and I don’t remember who mentioned the fact that CityBeat’s arts & music blog almost doesn’t exist. I pick up the paper for that information and it has disappointed me for months that the paper let the blog die.



To-Be-Or-Not says:

I had to join the party here.

For me, CityBeat is still the paper of choice. No, it’s not as good as it was, but keep in the mind the paper has been around at least a decade now. It’s hard to stay fresh and really they have no reason to. Look at Cin. That’s no competation, you know?



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