Expanding the Map
CultureMap Austin launches, bringing a new voice to the city that celebrates theweird
Love karaoke? CultureMap urges you to try the Highball's six-themed rooms.
How about some independent music? Give dark and moody The Parish a shot.
Veggie fare at Beets Living Foods Cafe? Sounds like some healthy nom nom.
If you are in Houston and confused by these suggestions, it is because they are all coming from CultureMap Austin. The CultureMap brand has now doubled due to an expansion into the Austin market, since CM Austin went live shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.
"It has always been our goal from the beginning for CultureMap to expand into multiple markets and Austin was a perfect fit for the CultureMap brand," CultureMap CEO Stephen Newman said. "Houston and Austin are very different cities and so while the underlying platform that powers the site is the same, the editorial voice is unique to the communities we serve."
It was roughly a year ago that Newman identified Austin as the next to be place on the Map. Five months ago, he began assembling a locally-centric team to begin launch preparations.
The team lives, breathes and knows Austin.
"We take an active role within Austin's diverse communities and cover the broad spectrum of topics and issues important to them, including arts, film, music, food, fashion, design, innovation, entrepreneurship, outdoors, fitness, sports, events and culturally relevant breaking news," said CultureMap Austin editor-in-chief Kevin Benz. "There are few news organizations (in Austin) willing or able to cover these important topics that are immediately relevant to the people living in our community."
On the Austin site, you will find some of your favorite CultureMap features, including the sassy CultureLists, your guide to the city's happenings in an extensive Events Calendar and the best of the Texas capital in the City Guide. But if you glance at the sections, you'll encounter a handful of Austin-specific headings — like Music + Film, Innovation, Outdoors + Fitness — that celebrate the city's unique culture.
Local photographers will be regularly featured on the new site, with special photo essays telling Austin's story. Video also promises to be prominent. And CultureMap Austin's growing list of contributors will add colorful columns and thought-provoking opinions.
"We will share our passion for this city both on our site and in the real world," Benz said. "We want to meet as many people in person as online sharing meaningful conversations and collaborating with friends and like-minded organizations as a member of this community."