This Modern Art of Publishing

At the beginning of May, the print version of Listen & Be Heard Weekly made the move to becoming Listen & Be Heard Monthly. Listenandbeheard.net remains a weekly. The daily feature of the Poem of the Day, which you can find Monday through Friday at listenandbeheard.net/poem.htm, pays homage to our roots in poetry and spoken word. Featuring a fresh poem each day takes advantage of the instant nature of publishing on the World Wide Web. You can expect us to add more exclusive features to the website as we progress (like an interesting collection of RSS feeds relevant to You the Artist and Creator), giving you more reasons to visit us daily. If you are weary of all the litter on the internet, the pop-up ads, the outdated coupons, the virtual carpet baggers, and the highway robbers, just go ahead and make us your homepage. We are your portal for jumping right into what’s going on in your community, and avoiding the pitfalls and outright dangers of the information superhighway. If you would like to get a weekly e-mail with links to all the fresh content on our site, please send an e-mail to subscription@listenandbeheard.net. We will add you to our list, which we do not share with anyone, and will never sell to anyone.

Newspapers, radio shows, and tv shows all have websites. No medium exists today without a companion website, and in many cases that website becomes more of a focus than the original medium that spawned the site. Websites contain all of the mediums we knew before the advent of the internet, and also allow for interaction with the reader, listener, watcher, (and shopper) who needs only be literate with a mouse. A website can be published as fast as it can be created, which is pretty darn fast. If a mistake is made, it can be corrected instantly. If information is old, it can be updated right away and made available to anyone with access to an internet connection. The World Wide Web is the source for the most current information on almost any subject. If not always accurate, it is also not limited to just a few publishers or broadcast companies.

The consumer of information has far more choice about content and who provides that content, than ever before. The consumer can in fact become the publisher himself, or herself, at far less less cost than the old days when it was all in the hands of the man with the machine. When I spend time searching, researching, or shopping and paying bills, I appreciate the sites that give me what I?m looking for without delay or distractions. Here on Marin Street in Downtown Vallejo, and also through an extended network of tele-commuters, we produce a truly impressive amount of information each week, providing you with depth of content that is entirely free, and remains archived for you to peruse at your leisure. I can truly say that we are offering you Value and Depth for your time.

Listen & Be Heard Weekly actually got started as an e-mail newsletter about our poetry activities and features. (You can still subscribe to the Caf? newsletter by sending an e-mail to mailinglist@listenandbeheard.net.) It was and is a way for us to spread the word about the Listen & Be Heard Open Mic, which has since found a permanent home on Friday nights at Listen & Be Heard Poetry Caf?. The print version greatly expanded on the e-mail newsletter. We knew that pretty much the entire arts community on this side of the Carquinez Strait could not rely on any of the established news sources in Solano County or the Bay Area to write about, take pictures of, or promote local arts. So we took on the motto “Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity” and included everyone into a format that has brought you good, useful and interesting news and reviews every week for the past two and half years. We have, in fact, put Vallejo on the map as a burgeoning art community. We began providing the same weekly content on our website in 2005.

Now, in June of 2006, the website is no longer a mirror image of the newspaper. It has taken on a life of its own, and because we do not have the same space limitations that we do in print, we actually have more columns on the site than we do in print. One of those is visual art by Q.R. Hand Jr. We have plans for some new web columns. If you have a burning desire to participate, please first check our writers guidelines at listenandbeheard.net/guidelines.htm, and then query me at editor@listenandbeheard.net. No phone calls please 🙂

We know many of you looked forward to your weekly newspaper copy of Listen & Be Heard, and that some people do not go on-line. We heard from many readers in May, when they didn’t get what they were expecting. The way I see it, we made a trade-off. Newspapers are now competing with websites for advertising dollars. Many people prefer to search on-line for jobs, (go to listenandbeheard.net/classifieds.htm), audition and submission opportunities, (go to listenandbeheard.net/auditions.htm), and real estate agents and listings, (go to listenandbeheard.net/realestate.htm). It is in fact a more efficient way to accomplish those important tasks. Our Auditions/Submissions listings are extensive and updated each week. No other source in this area is as comprehensive in listing opportunities for artists of all stripes living and working here.

With the change, we have made improvements to what is now Listen & Be Heard, Arts, Entertainment and Culture Magazine, and it still has a very important function. Please take note that we now have full-color and more pages. We will be moving to a glossier magazine look that will provide a better showcase for the arts events and artists we serve. Print still goes places the Web will never get to, so the Magazine serves as a vanguard, an invitation to participate in “Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity.” What the reader discovers between the pages should serve as a starting point for getting involved in something much bigger. All your favorite columnists are still inside, and there is still no smut in the back of the paper. Our calendars include activities for the whole month, but if you’re looking for more events, or recent updates, we update them weekly on-line, and include extensive listings of upcoming events as well. So think of the website as a companion to the newspaper that will add depth to your experience of arts, culture and entertainment where you live. If you would like to be sure to get your copy each month, please consider taking out a subscription. For $40 a year you can have it either delivered to your doorstep, or your mailbox by the first of each month.

Listen & Be Heard has been about providing quality and depth from the very beginning. Whether you want to listen to poetry, read our magazine, or visit our website, you know you can rely on us to provide something worth your valuable time. You know you will obtain some useful information, and be handed multiple opportunities to participate in what is going on around you. As always, I welcome your feedback. Please send an e-mail to me at editor@listenandbeheard.net, or write me a letter and send it to SpeakOut!, Listen & Be Heard, 818 Marin Street, Downtown Vallejo, CA 94590.

Wishing you Peace and Poetry,
Martha Cinader Mims

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