Established in 2004, Philebrity is Philadelphia's longest-running independent cityblog. email us at

Readers Write: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Readers Write: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Dear Philebrity,
I miss the old you. I miss the funny, clever articles that captured my city's weird side. I miss the reflective and thought provoking musings on Philly's topic du jour. I miss the photos that randomly captured our city's multiple personality disorder. I loved the articles on the music scene, cool art events that are worthy of checking out and under the radar but bizarrely cool events. There were well-written pieces that illuminated obscure but relevant aspects of the history of Philly.... I could go on.
I gave the new Philebrity a shot. I've been patient. I looked forward to reading the updated version. But I am struck by the consistent snarky tone that permeates the stories. It lacks humor, creativity and joy. Not sure what happened. Why did you have to change?
Once a fan,

Dear Alice —

Thank you for writing in, and also a very sincere thanks for being a dedicated reader. We truly appreciate it. 

I'd like to address your concerns directly, as the changes that have been made to the site over the last year -- from design to tone to areas of coverage -- are something I've taken very seriously. One of the biggest of those changes, and one that has most radically changed the vibe of the site, was a rule we'll call "no reblogs" — in other words, we stopped doing that thing where we cut-and-pasted part of a news story and then put some kind of zippy spin on it. That simple move, for the site, meant a turn towards more original content — no more lazy stuff, and if anything, a decided move towards the humor, creativity and joy you're saying you don't see.

I don't want to give you too hard a sell, but have you seen:

This thing we just posted about how listening to Sheer Mag is actually a profound act of self-help?

Or what about this meditation on the Twitter bot that's been posting pictures of every address in Philly, or this other thing about Philly viewed from space?

What about Blind Connie Williams, I ask you? Or this ode to "calling the time?"

Meanwhile, we've posted tons of arts and events picks, on a rolling basis, each week, with getting even more of them live in advance being an ongoing project (there's only so many hours in the day). 

Now, if you're looking at this stuff and not seeing what we see, then I guess there's no accounting for taste. But I would like to suggest to you two things before you go:

1. That the Philebrity you once loved is better than ever. (There's less of it, but we'd argue what is there is of a far superior quality.)

2. "Snark" is a term used mostly by people who are either uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the long and beautiful tradition of criticism in arts and current events, and just based on your email alone, that doesn't really sound like you.

Go if you must, but know this: Philebrity remains.

Your humble servant,

Joey Sweeney
Publisher & Editor

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