First the admin stuff.
If you’re not already doing so, please start sending email to createdinbirmingham [at] gmail.com so that they go directly to Chris.
I’ll still be around as a kind of “blogger emeritus” making sure the handover is smooth. I might even post occasionally but not too much.
Now for the why.
If you’ve been following the blog for a while you’ll have noticed a slowdown in posting recently compared to the heady days of last year. The blunt truth is I’m not as interested in running this blog as I was. The blog worked as a document of someone who knew nothing about how the arts and culture as they explored that world and figured it out. After a year I’m not on that journey anymore. That’s not to say I’ve figured it all out – that would be impossible – but I’m thinking about other things. In short, I’m not the right person to run this site anymore.
But the process of blogging here has been tremendous. I owe this site a lot as it’s given me access to people and ideas I wouldn’t have had otherwise. If I’ve become anything of worth this last year it’s thanks to having a platform on Created in Birmingham to do so. So it makes sense to make that platform available to others.
In discussions with co-founder Stef Lewandowski and Helga Henry of Creative Republic (who source the Â£500 per month funding for this blog) we came up with a number of ideas for how to take CiB forward most of which were kinda complex and needed some serious planning. Meanwhile the blog was in danger of getting less relevant as I posted less and less. So a decision was made. We’d get someone to take over full time for 6 months. After than we’ll figure out where it goes next.
Chris is, I think, relatively new on the Birmingham arts scene. He’s comfortable with the blogging medium and has started exploring the arts world with his own blog and blogging work for Fierce and New Generation Arts. In other words he’s very similar to how I was last January. He’ll be more focussed on digging out relatively obscure pockets of activity in the city and pushing them on the blog as well as continuing to link to all the relevant online activity – the sort of things I should have been doing but haven’t lately.
More importantly, he’ll be running the blog the way he thinks it should be run. One of the nice things about running CiB is I’ve been making it up as I go along, trying new angles and ways of reporting on the city within a loose remit. While I’d imagine he’ll use what I’ve been doing as an initial template he’s free to tear it all up and start again if he sees fit. The blog format is flexible like that and it’s his to make his own, just as I did.
And then, after 6 months or so, we’ll see where we are. Maybe Chris will be ready to hand over to someone else. Maybe he’ll have set up a team of people with him as editor. Maybe he’ll have done something completely different. All that matters is it’ll be a weblog that links up Birmingham’s artistic and creative communities and inspires others to do the same.
As for myself, this frees me up to take what I’ve learned this last year or so into new places, hopefully exciting and relevant ones. You can, if you want, follow my progress at peteashton.com.
And, needless to say, thanks to you all for providing the reason and subject matter for this blog to have worked as well as it has. I am eternally grateful.
And so, once we’ve removed all the references to me on the site and replaced them with him, take it away Chris!