Granville Running A Local News Site Is Making Me Feel Weird Things

Should a Fresnan be worried that local dominate developer, Granville Homes, runs a local news based website?

Well, I wasn’t. When I saw GV Wire pop up earlier this year I thought. “Well, this is silly. You guys are covering stories that the Fresno Bee (probably wisely) deemed too boring to post. Have fun with that.” Then I went about my nerdy Fresno Internet day.

Then, last week, came the news that Granville courted the Fresno Bee’s Bill McEwen over to their site. [insert surprised emoji here]

Wait. That’s a real dude who knows what he’s doing. A guy I trust. A guy that has written a lot of columns I like and agree with. And he’s leaving the Bee to work for a developer’s attempt at a news site?

This. Just. Got. Serious.

Granville running a news website brings up questions.

Yeah. Why DOES a developer need a news site? A developer with ownership that fights Fresno’s attempts to not sprawl, every step of the way. Ownership that can be at odds with local media.

The answer is, Granville wants to control the local narrative. Duuuhh.

Them damn liberals at the Fresno Bee won’t talk about the latest cool opening of another development! They like bike lanes and buses and think our air should be cleaner. Yeah, they don’t know what they’re doing. We’ll start a REAL news site. One that covers issues us old dudes care about!

Have fun with that guys. Even with Bill Mac working for ya, people are not going to give a shit.

I can not think of a worse type of company to run a local media website in Fresno, than a housing developer. They have made such a mess of this town over many years, I can not trust that they will be neutral about anything regarding city planning.

Before you say “Hey, but doesn’t the Bee take advertising dollars from Granville?” Sure they do. But being a paper run by journalists with a very serious separation of marketing and reporting:

I trust the Bee has Fresno’s best interest at heart. I do not feel the same about any developer getting into the media game.

*Pic yanked from here.

How Are We Going To Make Fresno “Cool”, Yo?

We have a problem here. A problem I bounce around in a post from time to time but never take on directly.

What will it take for Fresno to be considered a cool city?

If you’re thinking “Hey, but wait, I already think it’s cool!” I don’t disagree with you, but we both have to acknowledge that we are in the minority, chief.

How do we make Fresno appear cool to an outsider? This is what I’m talking about. To a Fresno State grad, we lost to brain drain? What can we do to win that person back? It’s a question that Fresno creatives have been wrestling with for many years.

First. The Immovable Object.

We are land locked, no getting around that. Except that we are not as landlocked as Denver, or Boise, or Dallas, or Every City Not On The Ocean. We can go to the beach for a morning surf session and be back in town for a late lunch.

So while this is tough, we have workarounds, it could be a lot worse.

The air sucks. It does. But, the past couple years, it feeeeels like it has gotten better?  And if California can (continue?) to lead in clean air…stuff and things? Maybe I’m being naive but I feel like future technology and regulations will make the terrible air a thing of the past. But we definitely need to be a lead-city on clean air initiatives.

Booze May Be An Answer.

Here might be a cool city suggestion we can work on:

Rooftop whiskey bars, eh? I definitely like the idea of rooftop things – like the pic at the top of the post from a Phoenix rooftop bar. And adding a niche element like whiskey is the kind of thing that pushes something from being “Oh that, you can find that in every city.” To “Oh that is rad, I wish we had one of those in our city.”

That unique, “can’t put my finger on it why it’s cool but I just know it’s cool” thing is really what we need to get at here in Fresno.

Touting our agriculture backbone. Being sunny almost every damn day. Embracing our sports, like the soccer community that gets bigger every year:

We’re just spitballing here.

The Cool Roots Are Taking Hold.

We have things already going for us. Not many cities can boast that they are a “basecamp city” to three National Parks. One of which, Yosemite, is considered by many to hold the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite Valley – and I am in complete agreement with that.

There are other signs of coolness brewing as well. Bitwise pushing Fresno into the tech and startup scene is a big one. The rising craft beer and coffee scene. Branding ourselves as the Capitol of Tacos. These are the kind of things to ride into the cool town sunset.

So let’s tally up some of the cool stuff we got and the stuff we can do more of:

  • Agriculture.
  • Craft Beer – even more breweries.
  • Bitwise and tech.
  • Tacos.
  • Sports – including soccer.
  • Diversity.
  • Leader In Clean Air.
  • Outdoor city – more trails, parks, and owning the Sierra Nevada closeness.

This is but a humble start of a list by a blogger that only went as far as Fresno City College – a great community college, btw. I know only bits and pieces of things. So I choose you to comment and help.

What are some of your suggestions? Leave a comment! On the August episode of Flowing With Famous, myself and Joshua Tehee will parse them out and talk about them on the podcast.

Cool? Cool.

 

Who Else Likes Fresno Video?

Years ago, doing this blog, there wasn’t much Fresno video content out there to talk about. Any time somebody shot a video at all Fresno-ish that wasn’t horrendous, it became post worthy.

Things have changed. Video is easier to do.  Although, I don’t shoot local shows like I used to, so it must be tough for me.

So, I thought I would check in on some folks I remember that were just getting started in the game. Folks like Windsong, Blare, Ppl and Meza Films.

Shots of Downtown Fresno and Eva Scow? I feel like I will like this:

Yep. I did. Now who has some rad drone shots of Downtown Fresno?

Thanks, Terry. Please don’t fly over my pool at 10 o’clock at night – you will not like the footage that comes back. And by the way, did NOT see that as a video that would be possible 10-years ago.

Don’t forget, Arthop is Thursday:

It’s exciting seeing all the creativeness going on in the video space in Fresno. I’ll keep watching if you keep making stuff.

Flowing Into Fresno Districts – Flowing With Famous Podcast #R62

Fulton Street Fresno
Fulton Street Fresno

CLICK AND LISTENBieberStreetFlowing.mp3

Fresnans. This is your culture podcast. It is called Flowing With Famous. Mr. Joshua Tehee of the Fresno Bee and I have been doing this for many years, mostly talking Downtown Fresno and interesting Fresno culture and music stories. This month’s episode is no different.

We revisit the Fulton Mall groundbreaking and our feelings for that day. We stay in Downtown Fresno and talk about the Culture Arts District and if South Stadium is a good name for that area of Downtown.

The Audie’s Olympic era has closed and we reminisce about the historic Tower District music club which leads us into the Band Of The Episode: Let’s Go Bowling.

The playing of Let’s Go Bowling sparks yet another version of the game: What’s The Greatest Music Act In Fresno History?

We then talk about last month’s Fresyes Fest at Tioga and how we may be getting too old and if there a culture shift in Fresno nightlife. Plus Josh saw Justin Beiber… so that happened.

Thanks for listening!
Show feed. Subscribe on iTunes.
Hosted: Joshua Tehee and The Fresnan.

The End Of A Fresno Nerd Era

Hi Fresnans. Welcome to the last official post on The Fresnan.

We…alright, it’s time to drop the “we” bullshit. I will no longer write new posts on The Fresnan. A little local blog journey, that never felt like it got out of beta mode, has come to an end.

[Actually this little Fresno blog is back, but let’s see where this goes…]

I feel douchey doing a closing post but I always hate it when things I like (blogs, TV and radio shows, whatever) just end without a goodbye or a series finale. So this is for that little group of readers that happen to have liked this blog through the years.

WHY IS IT ENDING?
There are several reasons I feel it’s time to stop The Fresnan. The biggest reason is I’ve blogged myself into a corner, so to speak.

The main content for the blog has evolved, over time, into posts about the music scene. Mostly posts about what show is happening that particular night. This requires me to be writing on a near nightly basis (Friday and Saturday usually being an exception). That kind of blogging schedule is no longer sustainable for me. With work and family, the only time I have to write is late at night. I simply can’t keep up with it any more.

Now maybe changing the format back to the way The Fresnan was in the begining (more posts about general Fresno culture and media) would free up some nights here and there. Problem solved, right? Not really. I seemed to have lost the ability, or energy, or drive, to write about that stuff. Just lost it.

Facebook and Twitter have robbed a lot of that spark blogging once had as well. And that’s a factor. But really that’s a cop-out. Good blog content can still trump social media, I just can’t come up with enough good content to be relevant anymore.

I’ve always wanted to write more things like profiles of Fresno bands and bands that were coming to town. More journalistic style local content of stories that don’t ever reach the media. But lack of skill and time always prevented me from that.

STATS
To those that don’t know, asking a blogger about their exact stats is kind of frowned upon. It is sorta of an un-written rule amongst bloggers.

But since we’re done, I’ll tell you that there are currently 152 subscribers to The Fresnan and the blog averages 156 unique views a day.

I’ve never actually turned a profit doing this. There have been a couple years when links or banner ads have paid for the site, but I have never earned a dollar in my pocket.

The biggest post ever on the Fresnan was when I (in a tounge-in-cheek way) said that we should open up River Park to traffic. It was an attempt to make the argument for opening up the Fulton Mall to traffic, look silly. It got about 750 hits in 12 hours. One of the few things that went locally viral on this blog.

BLOGGER RESPECT
Over the years many blogs have come and gone. I’m not proud to admit it but, I always enjoy it when new blogs come out strong then fade out just as quickly.

I know what it’s like, you get that early little bit of success and recognition, think you’re hot shit, then realize it takes a lot of grinding, day after day, to keep a blog relevant. Then you give up. I guess that’s what I’m doing now, I just grinded it out a lot longer than most.

Much respect should be given to local bloggers Mike Oz, Joshua Tehee and Heather McLane. Through the years they (and some others) have motivated me to be a better blogger. Not so sure the “better” part worked, but they motivated me. They’ve been doing it for as long as me and GET what blogging is. It’s not an article, it’s not a column, it is its own thing. Glad to know they are still out there fighting the good fight.

Bryan Harley needs to be recognised too. He did The Fresnan logo for free and was also part of the Dumb Drum blog that was a motivator as well. Old timer bloggers like Ed Stewart also pushed me. Incredible people and commentors, Blake Jones and Dale Stewart, I really have to stop and say thanks to as well.

In the early years, the biggest motivator and influence for local blogging, for me and for most everybody else, was Jarah Euston and Fresno Famous. This was the beginning of blogging for Fresno and I can still remember her writing a “how to blog” post that I used to teach myself how to actually do this.

BANDGEEK
If there will be a gap left by The Fresnan not posting anymore it’s the end of the Friday “Bandgeek” posts. This one I feel the most guilty about abandoning. It was personally rewarding but took two to four hours to write every Thursday night. It was tough. I remember some times too when I would lose the post (delete it accidentally or have it freeze up and go away) after writing for two or three hours straight, then have to do it all over again.

If you want sources to find out what’s happening in music on the weekends, make sure to check:

There’s more but that will get you started. By the way: SUPPORT FRESNO’S MUSIC SCENE! There is a lot of talent around here, especially for a small city, get out there and see it.

OTHER PROJECTS
Sorry but I will not be off the indie media radar totally. I still love doing the long runing podcast I’m a part of: Dorktown. I will be recording shows like always and posting Dorktown and podcasting related material on the blog.

This is easier for me to do because it can be done when time allows rather than having to make time for it on a nightly basis. Plus, I get to podcast with two of my best friends in the world (Producer Becky and “Bells”) so it’s easy to motivate myself to do it.

I also plan to still use my spot on Fresno Famous (I use the handle “Wiffle”) to post stuff when inspired to and have re-booted Flowing With Famous podcast with Josh Tehee. Additionally I will keep the Fresnan Twitter account active (ironically) by RT-ing and linking to relevant Fresno stuff.

I will keep The Fresnan going in ‘archive mode’ for a while too and try to keep the links updated.

So please support that stuff and Dorktown Podcast if you’re a supporter of The Fresnan. Support for Dorktown especially would mean a lot! I hope that not posting on this blog will force more creative content on Dorktown. Time will tell.

FRESNAN OUT
So thank you so much for reading this. Fresno is a good city that has potential to be amazing and that’s what I love about it. Support things like Creative Fresno and anything and everything creative in Fresno.

Thank you thank you, thank you.

-Mikey “The Fresnan”

Listen To This: Eating Out Fresno – Dorktown #120

Dorktown120

This one won’t make the Podcast Hall Of Fame but we’re posting in anyway, because, well, we had fun. The Dorktown gang hangs out and talks all kinds of local and what nots:

  • Laser Quest must be a front.
  • Tioga Sequoia Brewing has hooked Bells.
  • A review (sorta) of the Catacomb Party and the Fulton Mall.
  • Forit Or Againit: Bringing the COCO Bobblehead to Fresno.
  • Fresno Home and Garden Show: Horrid.
  • Castillo’s impresses.
  • MUSIC BREAK: Werebear “Night Of The Werebear”
  • Podcaster advice.
  • BEER DORK: Beer mules and Dust Bowl Brewing.
  • REMOTE: Spokeasy’s.
  • FONZY EYYS!

LISTEN HERE: Dorktown120.mp3


More Notes:

Dead In 60’s Catacomb Party video
.
Ear Candy podcast
.
FUSE Fest
.

Support Tioga Sequoia Brewing because they are big supporters of Craft Beer, Downtown Fresno and Fresno podcasts!

Check out Dorktown’s home, leave a kickass review on iTunes, like their Face and Tweet’um… you know… if you have the time or whatever.