Posts Tagged ‘Carolina Arts Newspaper’

An Editor’s Nightmare

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Yesterday I was working on processing articles for our Oct. 2012 issue ofCarolina Arts and I came to one which will show at the Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, and it struck me – I left an article out last month. I remember receiving the press release, I remember working on the press release because the artist was having a reception on two consecutive days – which is a little unusual.

I did a quick scan of the issue, on my working copy of the paper, and didn’t see the article there. Man alive – that is the worst thing to happen – someone sends you a press release about an exhibit and I lost it somewhere in the process. It’s an editor’s nightmare.

After 10 minutes of checking the e-mail files I found the original e-mail. It came in on Aug. 23, the day before our deadline and a day where we received over 75 e-mails. Maybe that’s why I lost track of it? Too much flow of info. But I remembered it.

Next, I checked our image file and there was nothing there for this show – unusual, but not uncommon. I even checked my “send” file to see if I requested a photo and there was nothing there on Aug. 23 – very unusual. So I go to the artist’s website and do a Google search to find a photo to use and get two nice images, which makes me even feel worse as the works look good. And, I also learn this artist used a Kickstarter project to do this exhibit – which made me feel even more bad. More bad – people had helped make this exhibit possible and I left it out of the paper.

So I copy the e-mail and start processing it to post on our blogs and announce my big screw up. The show ends on Oct. 2, but I was ready to include it in our Oct. issue – just for the record.

As I’m processing the article the feeling of déja vu hits me. I feel like I’ve worked on this press release before, so how did it not make it into the paper? I decided to open the PDF of the paper which I downloaded to my desktop at the first of the month like over 100,000 other folks had done this month. While going back over the section covering the Columbia, SC, area – there it was. I missed seeing it the first time in my working copy. Why didn’t I check the PDF in the first place? Why didn’t I check the Index?

The good thing is – I didn’t screw up.

So what made me uneasy about this article to begin with? Why did I have the feeling I failed somehow? Was it the feeling that Vista Studios is one of our longtime supporters and I let them down – they had three articles in the Sept. issue. Was it the feeling that I let the artist down by not requesting a photo? I don’t know. I just don’t know what happened, but this feeling took two hours out of my work day and I wanted to get something constructive out of those two hours so I’m posting this article here – with the images I found. And I hope people go see this exhibit by a native son returning home from Georgia to exhibit in the city of his origin. And, I hope I get some peace by doing this.

Here’s the article:

Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, Offers Works by Jonathan Callicutt

Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, will present the exhibit, Full Circle, featuring works by two dimensional mixed-media artist Jonathan Callicutt, on view in Gallery 80808, from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2, 2012. Receptions will be held on the evenings of Sept. 28 & 29.


“My work is driven by a need to bring the iconic imagery of the past into the visual present. Inflected by both the Renaissance and Rauschenberg, pop culture and formal training, I look for a new translation of seemingly disparate styles in a modern dialect,” said Callicutt.

Full Circle has been conceived as a tying together of key thematic elements of Callicutt’s life. A native of Columbia and exhibitor in 2011’s Florence Biennale, the artist hopes to join his experience with the birthplace of the Renaissance to this show in the city of his origins as an artist. The past connects to the present connects to the past, Full Circle.


Callicutt tra

Tracking the Numbers of the September 2011 Issue of Carolina Arts

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011


Well – it’s official – holidays that fall at the very beginning of the month are real bummers for online newspaper distribution. Labor Day weekend took the wind out of our sails and we never recovered. Our total downloads for September were 37,344. That’s better than the damage the July 4th weekend did making our total for July 33,726. But I bet the totals for the October issue of Carolina Arts will be much better. It was our largest issue ever with 76 pages.

Look, since this is our first year at this online stuff I’m not totally expecting one thing or another as far as totals go, but once you’ve had an issue like May that brought in 61,199 downloads, you wonder why they all can’t be that way. Life has its roadblocks – like holidays, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. We have to work around what life throws at us.

Our first place winner in September was the (other) category with 61,048 and I think this is the last time I’m going to include it as it seems to be just a bunch of – maybe, perhaps and or it could be – stuff. I’ve explained so many times that our server says that they could be downloads but we just don’t know what they represent that I’m ready to just say – yada, yada, ya.

Number two was the downloads of the entire paper at 37,344.

We have a new third place contender with the June issue bringing in 2,599 downloads with July right on its heels with 2,495 downloads.

The former cult issue of March only brought in 2,275 downloads, but it was still twice as many as our January issue which had only 1,362. But March is still the all time leader when you add up all it downloads from month to month – nearing 100,000 downloads.

In sixth place was February with 743 downloads and seventh place was taken by the August issue with 587 downloads.

Coming in at a distant eighth place spot was May our all time monthly leader with 355 downloads. And, for the first time is many months we have 67 downloads for our long lost April issue. All previous issues showed up in the top 200. It’s good to see April back in the mix. I bet if people took a second look at April they’d wonder why it’s being so ignored.

We had 71,760 individual sessions on our website with 513,049 hits – slightly down from August. I guess people have more to do now that Summer is over.

That’s the numbers. We’ll have a report on how the October issue did in its first ten days – in about a week or so.

If you didn’t receive notice of the Oct. 2011 issue be available the link to download the paper is (

The End of the Month Wrap-Up on the March 2011 Issue of Carolina Arts

Friday, April 1st, 2011


Well, it goes without saying that Carolina Arts had a good month in March – as far as viewers go. We had 45,298 downloads of the PDF of the entire paper. Thank you to all who helped spread the paper around.

Of course the big unknown is the (other) category on our statistics final report for March. If you haven’t read this before, we have a category of visitors to our website at ( that is identified as (other). It was explained to us by our server that this group represents a variety of pages that were called up from different points – not directly from our web page, but can not be broken down as individual page counts. “What?” My same thought. Anyway, it amounted to 94,274 in March. What it comes down to is this – there could be another 45,000 visitors to the March issue in that group – or not. It could be 90,000 or not. It could be 2, but we don’t know for sure and neither does our server and getting info out of Google seems to be a life long wish. Google now owns the stat counter we use.

That’s why we are sticking with the 45,298 number. Which is great. Having just launched the April 2011 issue of Carolina Arts ( it makes me wonder – will we double the downloads again this month? Is that possible?


Of course it should also be noted that many people access the paper from their browsers and never download the PDF. So we think we can be safe in saying the many more than the download number are seeing the paper.

It’s like in the old days when we printed the paper back in 2010 – three months ago -someone would pick up a copy of the paper somewhere and take it home and look it over and put it down on a table. Someone else in the house might see it and pick it up and read a few articles. Eventually someone may take it over to a neighbor to show them something and they ask if they can bring it back later after showing their spouse something in the paper. We have four viewers but even if someone where the original person picked it up saw them do it – they only saw one person connected to picking up the paper. Of course in the same reasoning, that person could have picked it up because it was raining and held it over their head until they reached the next place and dumped it in the trash – never looking inside and to top it off – no one saw them pick it up. It works both ways. Circulation, viewership – whatever you call it is a guessing game. No one can be sure of anything.

The only number that counts to advertisers is the one where someone says they saw their ad or comes in because they read an article about their show. Or better yet, buys something – a work they saw in Carolina Arts.

Other numbers that have some meaning include: the Feb. 2011 issue was downloaded 2,312 times and the Jan. issue was downloaded 1,106 times – which is down from last month. But it is still nice to know that over a thousand people visited the Jan. issue to take a look. But, again the funny thing there is on March 31st – 83 people downloaded the Jan. issue while only 12 downloaded the Mar. issue. That’s twice that at the very end of the month – there was an increased interest in the Jan. issue over the current issue.

Our visitor sessions were up from an average of 60,000 to 68,513 – which is good, but really tells us that the PDF link is being spread around by others. But, these others are the good others – our friends – unlike those (other)s who hide information from us.

Hits on the website for the month of March were 723,940. I can remember a few years back when I was excited about reaching a million in one year. With April’s issue being 71 pages that number should jump drastically.

That’s the facts, Jack!

Carolina Arts Has Facebook Envy

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011


I don’t know what it is but Facebook and I don’t get along. Maybe it’s because I ignored it for so long, but when we converted to an online paper, people told us – we need to get on Facebook.

Unfortunately after setting up the page, I did something (don’t let me near your computer) that has set us a back a few light years. I can’t even explain what I did, but there also doesn’t seem to be anyone at Facebook who will answer our pleas for help, so we go forward – limping into the future.

Our Internet guru Zelda helped straighten us out some, but I’m still the weak link in our organization. With a monthly newspaper that has doubled in size and two active blogs, I find myself left with little to add on Facebook, but I’m sure I’ll find my voice – someday. I didn’t understand blogs at first either.

So far, 102 people have liked us, and I’ve liked a few back, but I’ve been warned to stay away from the Facebook page until I understand what I’m doing. So, here I am – in a medium I understand – asking any and all out there who are reading this – to go to our page and like us.

I know we should have more people out there who really do like Carolina Arts, but some don’t do Facebook, or like me don’t know how to do it. Oh, they have a Facebook page that someone set up for them because they were also told they needed to be on Facebook, but like me – they have now been warned – don’t touch.

So, you folks who do Facebook and still read blogs – go to our Facebook page at ( and like us. Ask your Facebook friends to like us. I want more likes. I need more likes. I have like envy. People won’t believe so many people are reading Carolina Arts, (over 17,000 so far this month) yet it has so few likes. What those two numbers have in common I don’t know, but we could use a few more likes.

Now, could someone explain to me what a like is?

The Feb. 2011 Issue of Carolina Arts is Available Now

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011


We have just uploaded the Feb. 2011 issue of Carolina Arts( Downloading the entire PDF file is the best way to view the paper – then you can enlarge the pages to any size you like. That’s what 9,000 people did last month.

This month the paper is 51 pages or 50 and 1/8. Our gallery listings were a little longer this month. There’s lot of stuff there about exhibits taking place in the Carolinas and some other things – a little commentary by me. Judith McGrath is back with us – all the way for down under. Her words are as popular as ever – her past articles received a lot of interest last month.

If you like what you see and decide you want to participate in our next issue – either with content or to advertise an exhibit, visual art event or your art – our deadline for the Mar. 2011 issue will be Feb. 24. Here’s a link to our advertising info (

And, as always we ask that you to help us spread the news that we are still publishing Carolina Arts in any way you can – by e-mail, social media, or some good old gossip.
Don’t forget to support and thank our sponsors!

Tom Starland
Carolina Arts

Tracking Internet Numbers on the New Online Version of Carolina Arts

Friday, January 14th, 2011


From the minute we first talked with some of our longtime advertisers about taking Carolina Arts totally online, the question asked was – “How will I know how many people see my ad?”

An important question for all advertisers, but one hard to answer for any media outlets.

A few days ago I went to our internet server’s page that tracks statistics and found out some of the info people are wanting to know.

As of Jan. 10th, 3,880 visitors had downloaded the PDF of the entire paper – all 49 pages. We don’t know if they looked at all 49 pages, but we started getting positive e-mails about the new look of the paper by the afternoon of Jan. 1. But, once you download the paper to your computer you can look at it whenever you want – as often as you want.

Now, we have no way of telling how many people just looked at the whole paper on their browsers – our server can’t track that. Some people don’t like downloading anything. Our overall visitations to the website are holding at an average of more than 50,000 a month. Considering the holiday and the weather – that’s good.

Actually the download is just over 10mb which is smaller than some images people e-mail to us. And the download takes less than 2 minutes – sometimes less than a minute on our computers and they’re not so new. But the older your computer or browser is – it could take longer.

Now, we posted individual pages for those who don’t like to download files and we could see those numbers in the hundreds. Some pages attracted more viewers than others – those were pages with colorful ads and color images.

Carolina Arts – the website got over 20,000 visitors in that same timeframe and they looked at 10,000 different pages – some going as far back as 1999. Usually what happens in a search, a viewer finds one link to our paper and then ends up going to different places in time in our archives which date back to 1999. Regular views go straight to where they have bookmarked a page. So ten years from now people will still be looking at pages in this Jan. 2011 issue and downloading the entire PDF for a walk back in time to see what was going on in the Carolina visual art community. It’s amazing.

But our advertisers are more concerned with the present time.

If you haven’t seen our Jan. 2011 issue of Carolina Arts( – what are you waiting for?

While you’re viewing that issue, we also ask you to click on some of our advertisers’ ads and go check out what they have to offer. After all, they make the paper possible. They need to know you appreciate their support.

First Blog

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

I am constantly amazed at technology – especially the Internet. We started posting parts of our paper (Carolina Arts) and extra articles which we didn’t have room for on a companion website in June 1999. Not long after we were posting pictures of each page of our paper – every month so everyone who visits our site could see the printed version of the paper. Now I’m writing my first blog. Not that blogs are a new thing, but I’m usually far behind the curve when it comes to taking advantage of new technology. It’s not easy for this old dog to learn new tricks. I thank my lucky stars that my better half (wife Linda) is able to pick up new technology fairly fast and then bring it down to my level – which takes months if not years in some cases.

Linda and I purchased our first computer in 1983 – an Apple IIe. It cost us a fortune back then, but it was well worth the cost and time spent learning how to take advantage of all the things it could do. Within years we had paid, what was at the time equal to a house payment to get an external hard drive with 30mbs of memory and another house payment for a 1/4mb of ram memory. Today, I can buy a laptop computer for the same price of those two items with 40 gigs of memory and 1 gig of ram – with CD/DVD players and burners, internal cameras, wireless internet connections and a host of other features – not even dreamed of back in 1983. Now, many versions of Apple computers later, we’re still trying to learn about all the things computers and the Internet can do to help us spread the word about the visual art community in North and South Carolina.

Although expressing my opinions about issues taking place in that art community is not a new thing – being able to do so without waiting for the latest issue of the paper to reach readers is – for me. It will now be possible to make comments on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis. That just blows my mind and concerns others who know me, but don’t worry, I’m pretty careful to make sure my opinions are based on solid ground. And, I have learned that those who talk when they are angry or emotional about issues – make mistakes and often end up saying things they didn’t mean to. Also, you are writing to a worldwide audience – you just can’t talk like your sitting in a local bar or in some friend’s living room. You have to bring your readers along with you on an issue – they need to know what you know and they need to know where that opinion is coming from, and that’s the beauty of a blog on the Internet – space is not a limitation – except for readers with a short attention span.

So, I hope you’ll join me on this journey and keep up with my postings. And, e-mail me your comments at ( – just make sure you put the word “blog” in the subject line.