For many of us who were young but post-college in Madison in the '00s, Dane101 was an important resource.
My first interaction with Isthmus involved a lot of yelling. In 2009, my live comedy/interview show, The Dan Potacke Show, was brand new. One of my running jokes was that Isthmus never put the show as a featured pick, even when I interviewed guests like then-Mayor Dave.
So I decided to take a bullhorn outside of Isthmus offices, beg them to come to the show and make the whole thing into a YouTube video.
Now, it's been a few years, and I've been co-writing the Isthmus political cartoon (Off the Square) for years, I've written a cover story and, for the last two weeks, I've been a blogger here. I don't get to be that guy screaming for attention anymore.
I've been thinking about that with today's announcement that Dane101 will suspend operations in January. For many of us who were young but post-college in Madison in the '00s, Dane101 was an important resource. In retrospect, it was a strange hybrid of news website and event promoter, but it seemed to get Madison in a way that most other media sources didn't.
It makes me sad to see that it is shutting down, but maybe its mission has been completed. While they used to be a bunch of upstart outsiders, the alumni of Dane101 have taken over much of Madison media. Co-founder Kristian Knutsen is an Isthmus employee and an editor of this blog. His recent article on State Street's changing nature would have fit in perfectly at Dane101. Editor-at-large Emily Mills is now editing Our Lives magazine (and doing half of everything else in the city). Contributor Christie Taylor is a producer at Wisconsin Public Radio.
Heck, Michael Donnelly went from reporting on the Alcohol License Review Committee for Dane101 to serving on that committee. The kids have grown up and they've outgrown their old clubhouse.
The end of the site does leave some gaps.
I can't name any existing group in town ready to take over the eclectic and slightly kinky events Dane101 put on. Between the end of The Onion's A.V. Club local content and Dane101, we've seen a significant reduction in local arts coverage. The arts folks at Isthmus, 77 Square and Madison Arts Extract all do a great job, but we could use more voices, particularly for campus events.
There have to be some young people looking for their own way to impact Madison. Outsiders and upstarts ready to shout at the establishment. The establishment that now includes the former members of Dane101 and myself.
I'll let the new kids have my old bullhorn.