I started this blog at the end of 2006, when I was just starting to work on the web, and had no idea of how it really worked, technically, socially, intellectually or ethically. Everyday I would go out on the web and try to learn about something, then blog about it to reinforce it (yes, I appear to have a fairly rigid learning style).
That quickly got tired, and I ended up writing more and more about the visual arts in New Zealand and responding to international art coverage. It was good timing and I felt in great company, with Over the Net, Peter Peryer and One Moment Caller all being bloggers I admired and followed.
I'm conscious that posting on Best of 3 is relatively sporadic this year. That's partly because 2009 is turning out to be one of the best and busiest years of my life, and partly because I do more and more of my short-burst conversations on Twitter. However, I think it's also because over the past two years, my working life interests (social media, access to content/data, community engagement, openness, sharing, transparency and generosity on the web) and my non-working life interests (NZ visual art, the operations of public and dealer galleries, art criticism, community engagement) have come closer and closer together, and now they overlap in such a way that attempting to keep them separate by running Best of 3 anonymously seems fruitless (thanks, Twitter, for undermining these boundaries irrevocably!). I'm spending an increasing amount of time, both at work and out of it, talking to people about the opportunities I see for cultural organisations on the web, and thus I feel less need to agitate for for action by writing about it here.
I've never been that concerned about anonymity on Best of 3. It used to be that the people I wrote for/talked too here were quite separate from the people I talked to / wrote for when I have my work hat on (this is no longer the case, and there's been a few times over the past months where I've shamefacedly outed myself as Best of 3 to people who I know perfectly well in my other 'real' and online worlds). I knew many of my readers offline, and I've always figured that if you don't know me but continue to visit the blog nonetheless, you've come to trust me as a source of a certain kind of information, idea and opinion.
But. This week I'm gonna do something on the blog that I think requires readers to know who the "real me" is. So - here goes. My name is Courtney Johnston. I live in Wellington. If I were forced to choose one word to describe my relationship to the NZ art world, I would probably pick 'collector', closely followed by 'interested&informedobserver'. I work at the National Library, but I try to keep my work stuff out of Best of 3, as I already write about it elsewhere.
So. There you go. One small blog post opens up a whole new world. Thanks for reading.