Culture Magazine

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
The state of Superconductor, July 2018.
by Paul J. Pelkonen

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Art from The Simpsons episode "Marge on the Lam" © 1993 Gracie Films

Hi all. Paul here. Some of you may have noticed that posts on this usually stalwart blog have gotten spotty of late, with a couple of posts a week instead of the usual steady stream of words about the classical music and opera scene in and around New York in elsewhere. We’re not pleased about this either and I thought I should lay down here what’s going on.
My well-traveled Mac is once again back in the shop. So I spent most of today working to format a computer thoughtfully laid aside by a most generous neighbor, stripping it down, reformatting the hard drive and using an external keyboard as the typing surface on his computer also has problems. Part of the reason for this post is to give me some familiarity with working on a differently sized and spaced keyboard.
The other problem with the blog (as you may have noticed) is a current dearth of financial remuneration. Superconductor is not terribly expensive to run, but life in the big city has certain expenses. And those expenses are alleviated by the generosity of supportive advertisers. Unfortunately, our anchor tenant of the summer season for the past five years has chosen to go into a different direction and we have not had a chance to set up a new client relationship to replace it.
So that means I’m working…for what? For exposure? For thanks? For the greater common good? All those things are noble but unfortunately you cannot eat them. We need advertisers to survive.
Another idea being considered is setting up some sort of system with a company like Patreon where you, the readers could put up a small monthly donation and help support and affray the cost of things like Mac repairs, MetroCards, Metropolitan Opera tickets (we still don’t get press seats) and occasional day trips to cover orchestras and operas in other cities. Such a model would require many donations to make it work, but many donors make for small amounts. Something to think on for this year.
If a Patreon system were set up, where donors got special privileges, what would you, the Superconductor audiences want in return? Video casts? Bad jokes about bassoon players? A detailed breakdown of the long and meandering second act of Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina? A Sixtus Beckmesser sound-alike contest? Or special exclus

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