Breakfast of Champions 5/2: We're Famous


Like El-P said, we're famous. David Brauer's long evaluation of City Pages for MinnPost is out, and it's quite fair and, dare I say, thoughtful.

There's a lot I could talk about here, from the praise for staff writers (which is wholly accurate) to the criticisms, most of which I agree with (we are too chock-full of testosterone sometimes, and it's my fault as much as it is anyone's; we should go after more hard-hitting political stories, and we're trying). But because this is the web, and because that's a recurring theme in the MinnPost story, I want to say a few things about what we're trying to do online.

We're trying to bring you great exclusive-to-the-web journalism, for one thing. We also always try to enhance the print content. Sometimes that means giving the writer an opportunity to say more about the story through a Reporter's Notebook blog post, or create some multimedia content that you just can't do in the paper.

Because Brauer's piece reports a lot of data on our web traffic, I feel like I have to utter this truism: Good journalism does not always equate to tons of web hits, and vice versa. Often we can make those lines intersect, with a story like Jonathan Kaminsky's "Slumlord of South Minneapolis" or Jeff Severns Guntzel's "Wedding Crashers," to name just a few.

Take this week's feature on Martin Dosh, for example. Me and Guntzel had a bet about whether it would crack 1,000 views. (Note to all would-be proposition gamblers: don't play cards against someone named after a city, and don't bet against the web editor on predicting hits, sir). But this story, and the insanely detailed expanded content, ranks up there with my favorite CP story packages we've done.

It's never going to compete, pageview wise, with some of the other stories we do. But so what? Jeff Severns Guntzel offered a window into the life of a fascinating local artist, writing an in-depth profile you can't find anywhere else. That's valuable, whether 1,000 people read it or 100,000.

I truly believe that over the long-term, quality material draws people in. We try to strike a balance. Not every story you read here is going to be an investigative piece, or a narrative travelogue, or a fun feature. We try to make all of it interesting, engaging and evocative, and we try to keep you guessing about what to expect.

If I could ask you to expect one thing from City Pages online, it would be this: more. This town deserves a superlative alt-weekly, and we're doing our best to come through.

In related news, maybe you scrolled to the bottom of that MinnPost piece to see what the most popular online stories were. Since this is something of an anniversary for me (I started Nov. 1), it seems appropriate to celebrate the past six months by looking back at the most popular items during that tenure. There's been one or two small changes since I shipped David Brauer the data a few weeks back.

Features 1. Real-life superheroes 2. Boy, Interrupted (male anorexia) 3. The Full MOA (Mall of America) 4. Wedding Crashers (gay marriage) 5. Diablo Cody 6. The Slumlord of South Minneapolis 7. Skinheads at 40 8. High Bridge jumpers 9. Jesus Weekend 10. Soldier suicides

Slide shows: 1. Naked Sushi 2. Superheroes 3. Boy, Interrupted 4. Fine art nudes 5. Hair metal history 6. ARENA dance bikini show 7. Diablo Cody 8. Polar Bear Plunge 9. Skinheads at 40 10. First Ave Fetish Bash 11. Powderhorn Art Sled Rally (yeah, it's No. 11, but that's a great event)

Blog posts: 1. Naked Sushi 2. Ms. Pac-Man Poses For Hustler 3. Minnesota conjoined twins 4. Gene Simmons sex tape 5. Bill O'Reilly lynching 6. McCain mistress 7. Boy, Interrupted expanded content 8. Real-life superheroes expanded content 9. Philosopher or Warrior 10. Peter S. Scholtes' top 20 music videos


With the rapid-fire posting on Culture to Go lately, ranging from music to dance, I don't want you to miss this interview with erotica writer (and cupcake blogger) Rachel Kramer Bussel. She's giving a reading and teaching an Erotica 101 workshop at Smitten Kitten this weekend.

Nate Patrin's 24-UP video game project concludes. Read the preview, part one and part two, and part three. For the denouement, peep the video from the final installment:

The Pawlenty-o-Meter takes a dip in the VP race, with insiders saying the nod may go to Mitt Romney.

To go along with yesterday's photo slideshow, Andrea Myers offers a review of Wilco's performance in Rochester.

Atmosphere is about to blow up, like the ionosphere in response to HAARP.

When I covered an Obama rally at O'Gara's several months back, someone asked me if I was with the Uptake. Apparently, the GOP asks the same question, but if you answer incorrectly, they throw you out.

For the latest Drink of the Week, Matt Snyders offers one of the Town Talk Diner's boozy milkshakes. It's called the "Silly Rabbit," and sadly the post is absent any Flavor Flav jokes.