I believe in quality content over quantity. I think more people show up when you actually put some thought, effort and originality into what you’re putting online. If that means you’re only posting things once a week or once a month instead of every day, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The people at the local online magazine Post Defiance feel the same way. Though they only recently started, they’re making a name for themselves as a source of quality content about Tacoma. So, for the first time, the participants of 5 Question Friday is more than one person. This week’s 5 Question Friday is the staff of PostDefiance.com
1. What motivated you to start Post Defiance?
Katy has been working with the Tacoma art community in multiple ways through various organizations for years. Dan worked with Derek Young as co-editor of Exit133 for a while. The two of them, together with Kate Albert Ward, worked together on an internship program called Tacoma Arts in Review, a recurring feature on Exit133 which gave students and members of the community an opportunity to experience local art and produce thoughtful reviews. Through this effort, we began to see a certain gap in the way Tacoma art was covered in the media. City Arts, Tacoma Weekly and The Volcano have been doing an admirable job with certain aspects of arts journalism, but each had a certain niche that didn’t necessarily add up to a cohesive whole. Dan began a dialog with Robert Gale, a Tacoma musician and computer guru, and soon, ideas began to emerge about producing a community-based, eye-catching, holistic approach to cultural reporting. Alicia had been planning to start her own blog geared towards newcomers to Tacoma – something that might appeal to the kind of professional, culturally curious demographic. Our common sense of community brought us together and culminated in Post Defiance.
2. Why did you choose to make the magazine digital only?
The digital format provides a more accessible, affordable, responsive, and timely format, which in turn provides faster word-of-mouth. It was important to us from the outset to make this an amalgam of many various viewpoints, and the web was simply the best conduit for that.
3. What’s something you feel is missing from Post Defiance?
A lot, actually. Our meetings usually consist of animated brainstorming about all the various directions we’d like to go. Our ultimate vision is to provide a sophisticated commons for blossoming arts partnerships in the community. There are a lot of different aspects of Tacoma’s culture, and we don’t have all the writers we need to properly address some of those areas – but we are actively reaching out to find those voices.
4. What does Post Defiance have for non-Tacomans?
When we began to plan Post Defiance, we wanted to have a publication that would present Tacoma to outsiders in an appealing and approachable light – because it’s certainly not difficult to do that. It can be difficult to find information online about Tacoma unless you already know where to look, which makes it challenging to get a sense of what the City is. Our “Neighborhood Profiles” series addresses this problem by providing information relevant to someone who wants to understand Tacoma better. Our hope is that these profiles, paired with our wide range of archived articles, will serve to provide an informal “Guide to Tacoma.” The key to this is that we are passionate about Tacoma, but not so protective of its gems that we’d try to obscure them or devalue them.
5. What’s next for Post Defiance?
Expansion. We are working on attaining non-profit organization status. We are meeting new contributors literally every week. We’ve been lucky enough to build a platform from which people can express what they are passionate about. We have been so warmly embraced by the community, it’s hard to not feel propelled forward and upward. We will be working to grow internship programs at the universities in Tacoma, and will be seeking out ways we can serve cultural organizations by providing thoughtful coverage. We really want to make an impact on the way Tacoma talks about itself.
You can find Post Defiance at PostDefiance.com. I’d like to thank Katy Evans, Robert Gale, Kate Albert Ward, Daniel Rahe and Alicia Wilkinson for participating in this week’s 5 Question Friday. If you or anyone you know is interested in participating in a future 5 Question Friday, email me at email@example.com .
– Jack Cameron