Sunday, July 25, 2010

Call for news: Do you have an event taking place next weekend?

There are a variety of events and sales taking place in conjunction with next weekend's Wicker Park Fest, which we will be covering in The Pipeline. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.

The WPB chamber played an instrumental role in the pipeline e-newsletter's inception and its first 14 months. The advertising support from the chamber ended with our June 8th issue. We are currently not aware of the status of re-engagement, but hope that the many positive testimonials and words written by chamber members in support of The Pipeline will aid us in receiving future support. In the meanwhile, we're having fun and grateful to the small businesses that have become advertising sponsors to keep the information pipeline going.

As I continue to receive emails from chamber merchant members who are not aware that we no longer receive support from their chamber, I did want anyone who happens to visit this blog to be aware of the status of our relationship to the chamber. A few people asked me why I did not mention this weekend's sidewalk sale in our last issue, and the truth is that I'd only read the chamber e-newsletter from mid-July, and the sale was not mentioned and I'd forgotten about it. Had the chamber still been an advertiser in The Pipeline I would regularly be visiting its web site or asking my point of contact what should be featured. Regardless of sponsorship, the sidewalk sale is a community wide event and I would have included it if I'd known about it.

We hope the advertising support will be re-engaged very soon for the benefit of promoting the overall business community and its various sales and happenings. In the interim, we are still as committed as ever to promoting awareness of area businesses and participation in the local economy. If you are holding an event in conjunction with the upcoming WP festival, please let me know via email,, and I will be happy to try to add your news to our next e-newsletter.

Over the break, new readers self-added themselves to our list and other emails were received about the neighborhood. Shortly before I left for a few days away, and after a few re-schedulings due to non pipeline commitments, I finally got a spare moment to head downtown and retrieve a 'press ID' for reporting on crime.

While it's nice to have official credentials, and I'm grateful to the 14th District for having suggested that I apply for them, if we don't have a sustainable platform for keeping the Pipeline going it will not matter that we have credentials because there will be no Pipeline. The little voice in my head says that if I can't make the pipeline sustainable I am doing something wrong. Another voice, from Sir Winston Churchill, reminds me that failure is okay as long as you're enthusiastic about getting back up off the ground and focusing on something else. Churchill observed, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

Each week there are new reasons or concrete 'signs' to 'keep on keeping on,' sometimes with genuine enthusiasm and other times manufactured because there's too much unknown and nothing certain except that I love what I'm doing and will have to figure out a way to keep on doing it-- not just for my benefit, but for readers too, because if I wanted to write for myself I'd be focusing on poetry and plays and working at a corporate job. For better or worse, I have the journalism bug.

This week the reasons to keep going were the new people added to the email list, and the fact that we are now a credentialed and viable outlet for reporting on crime. The week before that, the reason was all the cool people I met at the Local First meeting! I have no idea what reasons I will find to keep the pipeline going next week, but I am sure there will be some. And if there's not I'll go walking on the street and find them.

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