Information Streams

Desktop pressure

Just because it's on the desktop doesn't make it happen...

I had great plans for this morning involving Very Clever Additions to this blog. Unfortunately widget technology has defeated me. But hey, what’s two hours wasted effort in the life of a busy person?

I had been idly glancing through the statistics page which shows how many people have viewed what posts on Life and Art. I felt slightly guilty when I noticed my ‘What’s on in West Yorkshire?’ page had received more than a few hits, since it hadn’t been a priority for updating. I also realised I was possibly guilty of promising more than I could deliver; the page had been intended to publicise events I was participating in but suggested rather more than that. I felt it called for a rethink.

A friend recently highlighted on Facebook the difficulty in finding out about cultural events in Leeds. It’s fine to get information if you are tapped in to a particular information source, but it’s easy to miss good stuff unless you are focussed and determined about keeping up to date. I am always missing good stuff; not least because even when I hear about it, I don’t diarise properly, and the weeks go by far too quickly. So I have decided I will make an effort to note interesting sounding events on the page in this blog now published under the (only slightly) less demanding title of ‘Art in Leeds’. It is an admittedly very personal selection of what’s on, but it’s a start, and it may help me to set aside the time I need to visit exhibitions locally.

Visiting exhibitions even farther afield calls for even more dedication. Since the end of last year, I have been using Google reader to organise reading of blogs, newsletters and other items of interest as they appear, rather than six months after the fascinating exhibition has closed. There is probably some Parkinson’s law on the fact that the more interesting an exhibition sounds, the more likely it is to have been and gone. Sometimes you can be lucky, and catch it later on a tour; my classic experience was missing the Francis Bacon blockbuster whilst in London, Paris and Madrid at the relevant times, but seeing it eventually in New York. What a globetrotter I am.

Through Google reader, however, I have been able to try out all manner of sources of arts information over the past month, and one of my greatest discoveries has been ArtRabbit. ArtRabbit not only lists events in a clear and readable format with useful links, but also helpfully reminds you before exhibitions finish. They also do a fascinating widget for blogs which lists your current favourite events… Fascinating, but sadly rather challenging to incorporate. I will not be defeated, though. Watch this space. Or rather, the sidebar space alongside.

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