I was interviewed for the WQXR Conducting Business podcast yesterday! Take a listen here.
The incident is the latest example of political-style web advocacy that’s moved into the realm of classical music and the arts. In this podcast, we get three views on the trend, including that of Hogstad, who writes the blog Song of the Lark.
A Minnesota Orchestra spokesperson told NPR Music‘s Anastasia Tsioulcas that the organization reserved the URLs to protect the orchestra’s name, knowing well that the labor talks would be contentious. Such purchases are a standard business practice, although they’re usually masked by a third-party buyer so that it’s not quite so obvious what’s taking place. Even so, the revelation drew a wave of negative commentary and the orchestra had to acknowledge Hogstad’s blog, which she said it had previously ignored.
This is the start of a really important conversation that everyone in the arts world is going to need to have sooner or later (and preferably sooner). It was a fascinating discussion, and I was honored to be a part of it. I’m heartened and humbled by the immense power of blogs and social media.
My next entry was going to be about the extraordinary Tuesday night we had at Orchestrate Excellence’s forum with Dr. Alan Fletcher. And there’s still a part of me that wants to cover that.
But, um. Something happened on Wednesday. Namely, I posted an entry about the MOA cyber-squatting, and then went to a doctor appointment.
Here’s a reaction GIF of what it felt like to get back home:
WHAT – IS – HAPPENING? I JUST WENT OUT TO A DOCTOR APPOINTMENT AND GOT SOME PIZZA; THAT WAS IT!! AND THEN I GET BACK HOME! AND SUDDENLY EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE!!! I CAN’T LEAVE YOU GUYS ALONE FOR A SINGLE AFTERNOON, CAN I??
Stats! Going through the roof!
Facebook likes – by the thousands!
Lame jokes about The Fifth Estate!
Coverage on NPR and MPR!
Plus: Alex Ross!
The failure to mark these purchases as private seems indicative of the general level of competence in the current management.
[Editor’s Note, 24 May 2014: The domain names expired today and the Minnesota Orchestral Association no longer owns them. So as a memento of days gone by, a reader snapped one up for me. SaveOurMNOrchestra.org now links back to this entry.)
At this point, few things trigger my rage at the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Lying about fiscal stability in front of the state legislature? Sure, whatever. Old news. Shrugging at the potential loss of all their principal players and world-renowned conductor? Yup. That happens. Completely ignoring important patrons and donors? Par. For. The. Expletive-Deleted. Course. I mean, of course the lockout upsets me – hence the year’s worth of obsessive writing – but it no longer makes me want to start throwing suitcases around in a fit of incoherent rage like the American Tourister gorilla.
But I swear, my suitcases were in serious danger the other night.
It was right before bed. It was late. I was doing a favor for some friends and looking up a domain name for an organization they were thinking of launching. But it turns out, the name they were curious about wasn’t available. Someone else had bought it. And it was a really absurdly specific one, too: saveourminnesotaorchestra.org.
Out of curiosity, I checked the owners. And my mouth dropped open.