The New York Times has a piece on the resurgence of lecture programs in New York City. Lecture attendance at the New York Public Library, KBG Bar, MoMA, the New School (where I actually went to school) and the 92nd Street Y (where I actually go to work) has seriously grown in recent years, and the audiences are younger. The Times wonders why:> But why the resurgence now? In the 19th century the increase in the number of lectures and debates came at the same time that “there was an explosion in print,” Mr. Scott said in an interview. It was “staggering, equal in its scope to the kind of explosion we are seeing in electronic and TV and visual media.”
It’s the explosion of content on the web that I think is really driving this, and you see anecdotal evidence of this daily when you do online marketing for a frenetic cultural institution. NYPL, I’m told, does all its marketing online. At the 92nd Street Y, we blog and blog, and the content we publish is republished, copied, pasted, linked, emailed, commented on, dugg, tagged, farked, quoted, indexed, debated, archived, carried around the internets and eventually broadcast on Belgian TV (or referenced in some other unusual place). The conversations happening online are just spilling out onto the streets, at least in New York.