Burning Man Org pulls the plug on The Black Rock Gazzette

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Burning Man pulls the plug on The Black Rock Gazzette

Postby Gothalot » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:49 pm

Unfortunately BMorg has pulled the plug on the infamous Black Rock Gazette due to insufficiant funds. We'd like to do this paper if the public support is there and they can rally up to justify this classic institution.

Help!

-Gothalot
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:34 pm

Just curious, but what would you like to do with it?
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Postby Gothalot » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:42 pm

Keep it going for starters.
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Postby Gothalot » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:44 pm

Good tip. Now got any tips to keep the paper going?
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Postby Kinetic IV » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:02 pm

What kinds of support are you looking for? Emails to specific LLC staff? Private financial support? IMHO I hate to see this happen. I like both the BRG and Piss Clear and my on-playa experience would not be the same without both. It's like yin and yang...it just needs to be there. Let us know what you think would work best...if an email blitz will help I'll gladly send a few out to support the Black Rock Gazette.
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Re: Burning Man pulls the plug on The Black Rock Gazzette

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:22 pm

Gothalot wrote:Unfortunately BMorg has pulled the plug on the infamous Black Rock Gazette due to insufficiant funds. We'd like to do this paper if the public support is there and they can rally up to justify this classic institution.

Help!

-Gothalot


How much are the tix, and how much has BRC grown, which translates to how many more $250 tix they have, which means more infra but more capital intake...

Cool... so the newbies who *don't* get the BRG will be able to buy and sell stuff, pee on the playa, leave hectares of MOOP, and hey, they didn't know as they never received notification from BORG in wiiting that this was prohibited....

I sense a crappy year to be on the Guardians, and DPW, and, well... it's like a strut in the dome breaking. You want to clean up after 50K uninformed people? Even the music fests have published rules they give everyone. WHich cost miore than newsprint.

I can see cutting costs, but NOT where the ORG has to get info out to the public. It's not a good business decision, IMHO, when you have 40-50K people showing up for your event and you stop providing them rules and reminders as to wehat to do and what is permissible. My examples above may seem way harsh... but if you're new, and you don't get your copy of the BRG, how do you know? Hell, I have yet to see this years survival guide... and we're under 5 months till go.

The other thing is this - what are the legal liabuilities of the org for not keeping their participants informed? Someone gets hurt and can prove no one told them, ticket waiver or not, and can lay it at the ORG's feet... I've seen more closed down for less...

Sure, everyone has a right to turn a profit... but when the company degrades the event to increase the profit to the cheif and her/his minions, the end result is the event falters and usually dies... or don't we remember the Renaissance Pleasure Faire's lesson from Novato and Agoura? Happened to them, so... are we next??

Just thoughts...

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Postby spectabillis » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:39 pm

Gothalot wrote:Keep it going for starters.


Sorry, should have been less vague. I meant how many print-offs you want to do, if you want to keep the original intent of content... etc.

It might help your effort if you do things like link to remind people what it was about http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... zette.html - as well as what you need: photocopier, laptop/printer, share someone's generator for a few hours...
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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:48 pm

I'd mention contacting the other rags, but they probably wouldn't forgive me.
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Re: Burning Man pulls the plug on The Black Rock Gazzette

Postby spectabillis » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:49 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:How much are the tix, and how much has BRC grown, which translates to how many more $250 tix they have, which means more infra but more capital intake...


Personal problem I have with that, people start expecting more for what they pay for. Dangerously encroaches on commercialism and erodes the 'community effort' aspect from turning a profit. But then again, there is the cafe...

I can see cutting costs, but NOT where the ORG has to get info out to the public.


Unless the org has some other plan to diseminate info, but hey, sometimes there is not a lot of insight on the decisions. I can think of one org person who will probably respond though.

The other thing is this - what are the legal liabuilities of the org for not keeping their participants informed? Someone gets hurt and can prove no one told them...


Isn't the survival guide required reading?
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Re: Burning Man pulls the plug on The Black Rock Gazzette

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:19 pm

spectabillis wrote:Personal problem I have with that, people start expecting more for what they pay for. Dangerously encroaches on commercialism and erodes the 'community effort' aspect from turning a profit. But then again, there is the cafe...



See what I mean? There is the cafe. There's also the RV service truck. Where does it end?

spectabillis wrote:
Unless the org has some other plan to diseminate info, but hey, sometimes there is not a lot of insight on the decisions. I can think of one org person who will probably respond though.


What would that be? Radio? Limited use. Rangers? Even more imited. Plus, where is it in writing that everyone got, as was traditionally done at the gate as people came in. Legal field day. If it's not in writing...


Isn't the survival guide required reading?


But the survival guide is from LAST year - the org was looing for someone to do it. If they don't, and it's required reading - what? They gonna re-issue last years with this year on the cover? Then guaranteed, no one will read it next year, as it'll be obviously the same as the last 2 years, even if they *do* change it for '06...

The bggest thing BORG has to do is get the confidence and support of the burners back, get people to help them do that, and quit chasing talent away but nurture and support them, even if they're primadonnas in some cases, to get the morale and esprit and, hell, the **FUN** back into being a part of - people who can do the job and get it done and run the crews, even if they and the echelons disagree on some areas... Get the ego and the Love me or I keel you" mindset out of here, and take a half step back and re-examine just why the hell BM and BRC exists - on both an organizational and participatory level, and adjust it so it WORKS.
Otherwise, well, I'll go back to my Renfaire anology.

Gotta go - it's late, & I'm zonked...
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:40 am

BBS I would love to reply, but since I think it would be a long and continued discussion (that I would actually like to hear your thoughts) I am not sure Gothalot would appreciate the drift.
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Postby alsmusic » Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:09 am

Have you considered other media? I imagine it's as uncomfortable for a print-based thinker to consider broadcast as it is for me to try to do what I do on paper. But there you go.

I plan to produce a radio offering this year, which I hope will be an appealing blend of real information and baseless fiction. In my search for creative (read: efficient) ways to achieve maximum benefit from minimum effort/cost, I have stumbled upon a couple of things that radio can do very organicly/efficiently in the true spirit of The Man. Best, in this case, is that it is infinitely scalable.

One of them is to carry the information torch of "the press" with minimal consumption of resources. Radio has no archival value -- but that seem to me to be harmonious to the transient nature of the beast.

would you consider moving to "the air?"

If you're not married to ink/paper, just a few small sytlistic changes and you can accomplish most of the same stuff and get similar jollies with radio. And once you're "on the air" the next 10,000 copies (and 10,000 more after that) are free. And not a single one will end up out on the trash fence.

Alternatively, have you considered looking into some form of grass-roots electronic publication? (IE: something WWW-based perhaps? There are ways...) They come with their own challenges, of course, but may provide you with an alternate vehicle for your expression -- Without having to shell out for all that paper out of your own pocket.

I got plans, baby! Maybe even a few (good?) ideas. Yawanna talk?
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Postby Janka » Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:54 am

Can you give us something to base ideas on? The (rough) budget for past years? The absolute minimun resources you'd need to pull it off (not necessarily in $$$, just what stuff you would need)?
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Postby robotland » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:55 am

Yes, Information, Please.....I treasure my BRG back issues! I even fold them to carefully preserve the playadust in the creases!

Need paperboys? Grunt labor? Capital?

And why did BMorg pull the plug?
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Postby Gothalot » Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:33 am

K, give me a few days to see whats up. Maybe a re-org by the Org. Paper costs are around 20k, 15 to actually get it printed and produced and 5k for running costs such as production trailer etc. I dont want to jump the gun here and it needs to be seen from the BMOrg if they are just regrouping the hierarchy. Lets let the dust settle a little. Im just the small man on the totum pole here but I always seem to end up being the person to re-group the camp as it were. Please be patient as I gather info and further details.

Thanks for your continued support, you all are the greatest and make the paper what it is. We make the paper, but its the readers that keep it alive.

-Gothalot
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Postby Kinetic IV » Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:13 am

I'll be glad to wait as the details work themselves out but my offer to help won't change. I've really enjoyed the work of the BRG staff...I'm at work and have a copy of the gazette right here beside me. It's been a gateway to introducing others to the event....I know of 4 people from the KC area who saw my copy, looked it over and started asking questions...and they ended up at the event. It has power both on and off the playa and I wanted to post that little detail in case it can help you influence someone somewhere down the line.
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Postby robotland » Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:56 am

It's also something for me to bring back home to former campmates stuck in the default world during the last burn.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:11 am

And don't forget, an "Evil" person might just take the opportunity to fill the void with a BRG that is sarcastic or down-right filled with mis-information (DPW will have huge dump trucks to haul away your trash! don't bother to clean-up, we'll do it for you as part of the ticket price! ...or "Join the hidden photography contest! $10,000 for the best photo!"). How would people know the difference if they have never been before?

Whenever an institution falls, a void is created.
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Postby Gothalot » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:18 am

Well at the moment we are working on keeping the BRG going in some way or another. Possitive suggestions are appreciated. Im hoping that the Org is just shaking the tree of deadwood, but so far there has been little word from them as to whats up.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:57 am

Sometimes patience is not my strongpoint; I didn't know who to contact so I sent Marian an e-mail about it and asked her to forward it along. I couldn't stand sitting here doing nothing while someone makes a decision based on crunching a spreadsheet and not realizing the impact of that paper. As an advertising vehicle, the LLC gets a lot of bang for the buck from the BRG. And IMHO it's certainly worth speaking up about. Gothalot once you find out more info or if you have specific e-mail addresses you would recommend writing to, I'll fire the cannons at them too. Whatever it takes.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:08 am

So, how many copies per day? 10,000? 25,000? How many pages (double-side of course)? Still use the 11x17 format? Or smaller?

How to make copies in the desert (or was this done outside and brought in daily)? A laser-printer? A copier? Does anyone have access to this? How much would this cost per copy? How much total money is needed? Where will this come from?

How to get the writing done? Any copyright / trademark issues if a private party took over the BRG? What would the LLC think?

Who would set editorial policy? LLC oversite needed? What about interfacing with the various local, state, and federal agencies (who might take exception to what is written)?

How to distribute the copies (this is probably the least of the issues, as there is a solid tradition of volunteers distributing the paper)?

I hate to see the end of BRG, would be willing to make a small donation to a serious group who could answer the above questions....
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Postby d6 » Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:11 pm

FRUSTRATION = MOTIVATION.

irritatingly curious,
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Postby Lassen Forge » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:26 pm

dragonfly Jafe wrote:And don't forget, an "Evil" person might just take the opportunity to fill the void with a BRG that is sarcastic or down-right filled with mis-information (DPW will have huge dump trucks to haul away your trash! don't bother to clean-up, we'll do it for you as part of the ticket price! ...or "Join the hidden photography contest! $10,000 for the best photo!"). How would people know the difference if they have never been before?

Whenever an institution falls, a void is created.


I'm not too sure I'm personally worried about something like this (because I think they will realize disbanding the BRG isn't in their best intrests) but I can see someone dong just that - after all, people hack websites because they're there, right? What's to stop someone witha chip on their shoulder against BORG (or even Burning Man as an event) going in with the intent to f*** it up and get it shut down?

So... I really wonder if it's a void BORG wants left void - ... after all, everyone knows to rely on the BRG and a lot of what they want to get out is disseminated through the BRG. Plus, the virgins fall back on it to answer questions and figure out who's who and what's what... Someone comes in, puts out bogus information to these people who have heard "look at the BRG for the truth", and it's a disaster the likes of which BRC has never seen. And if I can see it I *know* someone with less alturistic goals will, too... (Can you imagine 15,000 virgin burners being told that LNT is no longer in effect, that commerce is allowed, it's OK to pee on the Playa, etc?? THAT'S scary!!!)

Gothalot wrote:Well at the moment we are working on keeping the BRG going in some way or another. Possitive suggestions are appreciated. Im hoping that the Org is just shaking the tree of deadwood, but so far there has been little word from them as to whats up.


I have a way full plate, but I'd help where I could if I could. But it's something I think should be continued - kinda like the Lamplighters... or the Rangers... or ESD... or all the other little (and not so little) things that keep the city alive. IF they had someone who was a printer and wanted to gift it, then they should work out a transition (of maybe 1or 2 years) where the new people work their way in as BORG phases out... But to just drop it outright? >>shaking her head in disbelief!<<

I suspect, from some of the whisps I am seeing here and there (and since I'm not an "innie" I don't know one way or the other - just from rumors and innuendo) that things are being shaken at the ol' sagebrush tree of BORG. The thing about shutting down BRG is just another whisp, of sorts, but when you add a lot of the things similar to this together, it's...mmm... I'll say interesting. And again, if I can see it... it's gotta be kinda obvious. BUT... that would explain the tight-lipped-ness of the org of late.

My thoughts and 2 cents... YMMV.
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Postby bullD » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:43 pm

I suggest a poll.


for myself and my mindset, I am not really attached to the BRG. My first year back after some years off I did the intelligent thing, as I'm sure most newbs do as well, I went to the web-site and re-introduced myself with all of the essential information, and then some. IMO, the BRG, in large part, is a reiteration of what is found on the web-site, not to mention it is a printed version, senseless in my mind.

as far as informing newbs, this is a community is it not? I repeatedly say let our recognition and common sense prevail. that would be getting back to basics in my opinion.
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Postby Killbuck » Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:03 pm

Yes, all true...

But some additional info sources should be provided should the BRG stay blank... I'd prefer to see the old rag continue. There's always Piss Clear- but without the BRG, Piss Clear has no opposition for it's undergroundedness... eh?

Hmmm. What am I saying!!!!! May be a job for a renegade FM radio station, secretly broadcasting from an undisclosed secret location withing Kamp Apokiliptika... without official communications in print- this may be an excellent opportunity to exploit a preceived power vaccum with disinformation.

Diabolical! I love it.

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Postby bullD » Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:14 pm

yes Kernul! Devilution, eh hem, I mean evilution...
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Postby Kinetic IV » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:29 am

The more I read from The Kernul, the more I kick myself for not getting in on Camp Apokiliptika. I blew him off when he first came on the board thinking he was a sock puppet...I was wrong and so I'll say so in public and move on. And the posters absolutely freakin rock....except for the baby with the extended brain...that's a little on the creepy side for me.

Back to regularily scheduled de-programming.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:32 pm

Kernul Killbuck wrote:
But some additional info sources should be provided should the BRG stay blank... I'd prefer to see the old rag continue. There's always Piss Clear- but without the BRG, Piss Clear has no opposition for it's undergroundedness... eh?

Hmmm. What am I saying!!!!! May be a job for a renegade FM radio station, secretly broadcasting from an undisclosed secret location withing Kamp Apokiliptika... without official communications in print- this may be an excellent opportunity to exploit a preceived power vaccum with disinformation.

Diabolical! I love it.

The Kernul


Hmmm... With a Kamp like Apolikiptika, you would think that a print propoganda blitzkreig would be an easy dropkick!

I wish I had gotten in on it as well when it was young, before the recruiting office chained the doors and barbecued the recruiters (tho it was kinda tasty)... What am I gonna do with my camo Mitts now? Damn.

Well, at least our shade structure uses a requisite and respectable amount of O.D. Canvas (with that clean, refreshing scent of Cosmoline)...

Sock puppet? Would that make it a sock puppet government? No wonder government stinks! (DOn't tell me you didn't see that one coming)

Oh, my old avitar (Rosie saying "we can burn it") was reworked from a poster I have in my office of Rosie packin' a .45 (one of my drugs of choice, BTW, is cordite fumes) , the quote being "we can kill it"... and I got the idea to rework it from some of Apokiliptika's poster art... that stuff is *pure* genius!
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Postby Chai Guy » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:58 pm

From: viewtopic.php?t=8467

We looked carefully at our organization’s current communication needs and our expenditures, not only for printing, but buildings, golf carts, radios, staff support, and computers


Ummm.. are they saying that golf carts function as a communication tool, or that golf carts were part of the BRG budget?
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Postby Gothalot » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:04 pm

A golf cart was needed on ocassion in the AM to pick up papers at the gate (heavy and many), transport news stands. I know it sounds frivolous but its actually important to make use of time and manpower effectively. We actually hardly saw one and often it was sequestered by Borg for other BORG related activities to our dismay.
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