Today, Createquity turns five years old. Huzzah!

Since my last “blogiversary” post two years ago, Createquity has come a long way. Most significant has been the introduction of the Createquity Writing Fellowship program, which has been fantastically successful at diversifying the voice of the site, generating more content for the Arts Policy Library, helping some newer arts professionals get exposure and hone their writing chops, and generally turning Createquity into more of the virtual think tank it was always supposed to be. This year, we’ve also seen a jump in audience as posts (notably “Creative Placemaking Has An Outcomes Problem“) have started to get picked up in more “mainstream” non-arts outlets such as Salon, Slate, and Fast Company, and Nina Simon sending hordes of her admiring fans our way this summer didn’t hurt either. Finally, I was tickled to see that Createquity got its first ever Wikipedia cite this year (and no, neither I nor Aaron had anything to do with it).

Here are a few Createquity facts and figures, for the stat geeks among you:

Number of subscribers: 2,794 (as of today)
Number of posts: 530, including this one
Number of words: 520,320
Number of Createquity Writing Fellows: 8 (and counting)
Most popular post: Creative Placemaking Has an Outcomes Problem, by a long shot, at nearly 10,000 page views (which doesn’t include times it was viewed in a feed reader, email, or on the homepage). The next one on the list is Katherine Gressel’s Public Art and the Challenge of Evaluation, which very briefly held the top spot before being overtaken by Creative Placemaking shortly afterwards. I’m very proud of the fact that the 2nd-most-read post all time on Createquity was written by one of our Fellows.
Proof that all y’all have longer attention spans than people give you credit for: When writing for other blogs, I often face pressure to limit my word count for fear of losing readers. But the best-read Createquity posts are also some of its longest. In fact, of the top 10 all-time, all are over 1,000 words, six are over 2,500, and two have more than 5,000 words!
Wordiest author: Excluding one-off guest posts like that of Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall, that would be Katherine, averaging 2,796 words per post. It may surprise you to learn that I have the shortest average post length of any Createquity writer.
Most common search terms: Createquity, arts sustainability, create equity, how to solve calendar problems (because of this post)
Most bizarre search term: “some benefits to user and some developer that a rise from realising software as a moss?”

If you’d like to leave Createquity a little present for its fifth birthday, I would be much obliged if you would participate in a little “roll call” in the comments. Tell us a little about yourself and your experience with the site – when and how you first discovered Createquity, what makes you keep coming back, your favorite post or series, and most importantly, any suggestions/thoughts/ideas you may have for the future! Createquity is what it is because of you, after all, and I thank you for your continued engagement and interest after all this time.

  • Congratulations, Ian. I’m hitting six years with Museum 2.0 in a week, and I know how hard it can be to keep this kind of thing going over time.

    So I want to appreciate you for two things:
    1. Sticktuitiveness. Most blogs fade quickly. It’s a BIG deal to keep writing and sharing on a consistent basis for five years. Life changes, but you have to keep feeding the blog. Thanks for keeping us full and happy.
    2. Finding ways to invite in other voices. I’m really impressed by the fellowships and the quality and diversity of topics that get covered here because of the fellows. You’ve made “guest post” a less terrifying prospect.

    Here’s to another five… right?

    • Barry Hessenius

      Congratulations Ian. You have become one of the defining stalwarts of the nonprofit arts blogosphere – a must read for decision makers at every level. Your analysis is always carefully and rigorously thought through to the point where it is reliably authoritative. I look forward to your posts as you have the courage to question the sacrosanct, and when you challenge a prevailing assumption, you back it up with persuasive arguments. The sector benefits enormously from your contributions, and I hope you continue Createquity for a long, long time. It has been a great pleasure to watch you soar.

      With great respect

      • Thank you so much, Barry. You’ve been a friend of mine and the blog for a long time, and I hope you feel validated in your early championship. :)

    • @ Nina – Thank you so much for these kind words, which mean so much coming from you. “Life changes, but you have to keep feeding the blog” is a feeling that I know all too well. Luckily, the blog feeds me back in at least equal measure. And I’m so glad to read your praise for the fellows. I’m very proud of the work they put in and feel that I learn just as much from them as the other way around.

  • Congratulations, Ian, and thank you for your good and careful research and blog. I found you through Google Trends, looking up “creative placemaking”, which doesn’t even register until 2012 and your article caused it to spike. I’m a life-long museum professional with over 20 years directing small and mid-sized art museums in California and Hawaii. I am now putting all of that great experience and knowledge to work helping to reinvent museums for the 21st Century through my work as Vice President of Museum Management Consultants. Thank you for providing the data “bones” and thoughtful analysis to help us on our way.

    • Thanks Georgi! So glad to hear that Createquity is helping you with your work in some small way. Would love to know more about it.

  • Happy fifth birthday!

    Your birthday present is: ever since the first day I followed this blog, this blog has been incredibly rigorous in its examination of arts and its role in culture.

    On the practical side, this means uncovering and following and rounding up the actual NEWS going on in the arts space — the ins and outs of funding in local areas, the updates from movers and shakers on the national stage — in a way that I have not found in any other news source. When the Kansas Arts Commission was under attack, it was definitely here that I could follow it — there are many arts blogs (my own included!) which involve a lot of aesthetic examination but not a lot of updates from what’s out in the world.

    On the theoretical side as well, you, Ian, and your team put a lot of rigor into not just thought experiments and conjectures but examining actual studied research, with a critical lens.

    And as Nina pointed out, you’re always keeping an eye on other voices, whether internally (through the fellowships) or through the round-up.

    Five more years! Five more years! Five more years!

    (Just one request… in the next five years, maybe let’s have more good news for the arts?)

  • Ian, congratulations on your 5th year anniversary! While I have only been connected for a couple of years, I echo what Nina Simon has been saying about the blog. I love every word of it and deeply appreciate your pushing the envelope.

    As someone who has been in the arts over 30 years, I am even more committed to building more creative capital throughout our communities – personally and professionally – through my new consultancy. And I learn from and am inspired to think differently with your blog. I love your stimulating thought leadership and your willingness to go against the grain.

    Here’s to all of us keeping up the rigorous review and support for effective arts/creative programming throughout our communities!

  • Bravo, Ian! Amazing this blog is five. I still keep thinking of it as part of the “new” landscape, in part, I suspect, form the fact that it continues to refresh itself with new ideas, and now new contributors.

    And “bravo” as well for keeping the flame of he “long read” online. As an editor of the GIA Reader, another publication that champions the notion that there are ideas and topics that both deserve and require a rigorous examination, I can only applaud your commitment to this form. Your piece on placemaking and outcomes is a textbook example, and the attention is generated was well-deserved.

    All that said, I look forward to seeing where Createquity goes next.

    I also think it is totally cool that the background color changes, and wish I knew the code for this effect : )

    • Thanks Tommer! I actually think of the blog posts as “medium reads,” since there are certainly lots of 100-page reports to take in online as well. But I figure there’s got to be something in between that and tumblr-style photoblogs.

  • Hi Createquity team! Congrats on your anniversary. Up here in Canada you are widely read. I work at the Canada Council for the Arts and have often pulled interesting pieces to share with colleagues. In fact, our recent paper on Public Engagement in the Arts (which I encourage everyone to read and comment on – cites one of Createquity’s posts by Crystal Wallis.
    Alexis Andrew
    Policy and Planning Coordinator

    Canada Council for the Arts

    • Thanks Alexis! Great to know the blog is reaching our neighbors up north. :) Look forward to checking out the paper you mentioned.

  • Aaron Andersen

    I think I can lend a little insight into that odd search term. Not only is Moss your last name, MOSS is an acronym for Microsoft Office Sharepoint Services.

  • Congrats! I’m sure I found your blog via Fractured Atlas. I read it to stay connected to the non-profit art world beyond my small community of Reading, Pennsylvania, and for ideas to get my start-up theater company moving forward. I am an actor, arts educator and administrator, small-theater-artistic-director, playwright, and mom (I read a lot of your blogs while napping with my toddler, so thank you for keeping my brain sane!). I love the addition of the Fellows program and day dream about applying down the road. Thanks for writing and putting so much time in.

    • Great to hear from you, Vicki. You sound like the very picture of Createquity’s target audience. So glad to hear we’ve helped increase the amount of net sanity in the world!