Media

Capital New York: Now Officially, Totally, Completely Alive

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We’ve come a long way from Talk Magazine, back when a bunch of writers doing something new meant a Robert Isbell-planned party on Liberty Island and George Plimpton drunkenly screaming at Salman Rushdie while he was busy trying to close on Padma. Yet, now, in an era when “editorial launch” means The New York Times finally gets on Tumblr, it’s not that there isn’t any excitement. No! It’s that there simply isn’t much new stuff out there to get excited about. And that changes today.

Or it did a week ago when Capital launched but you weren’t invited. Sucker. But yes! Capital New York — the website launched by former New York Observer editors Tom McGeveran and Josh Benson — is alive and kicking as of today, and open to the public. In a welcoming post, Gillian Reagan notes some of the changes they’ve made (the links: more blue than ever) and some of what’s coming (a calendar) and some of what’s been done and what to expect. Some the notable ones:

Just to name a few. It’s New York-centric pop, a kind of higher (but not upturned!) look at culture that falls somewhere between, of course, those old Observer sensibilities, with the strange breed of hip cred of, say, WNYC and the obvious and tangible association with Thirteen. Think of it like the web version of those entities — built out not just for web-savvy people, like so many blogs like it started — and you’re gonna start to get the idea: It has the distinct feel of a web publication, and of New York’s web publication in a way that so many New York Blogs (ours included) doesn’t. And that’s a good thing! They’ve also lined up some pretty decent social networking widgets and user pages that are supposedly going to grow out as the site moves forward.

Is there anything bad to say about Capital? Well….no. Everyone’s launching products that are decidedly inaccessible internet-centric editorial products, or editorial products that only serve to aggregate and dilute other editorial products, or editorial products that are clearing houses for Google-happy search terms and cat videos. The fact that people are putting money into something like this is a good thing — an exceedingly rare thing, too — and if a competitive news operation gets moving in it, all the better. New York’s homogeneous, proctological media landscape (and especially the digital side, now) needs some shaking up. So here’s to high expectations.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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