Mission Statement

Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Beatbots is made of people.
Beau Finley (1980 - )

Beatbots is independent media: freeform, democratic, spontaneous, and unassigned. It's a new approach to publishing, where everyone's voice matters. Each member of our elite cadre of staff writers has complete control over what he or she posts to the site, like a blog. Our staffers are free to contribute whatever they want, whenever it suits them.

Beatbots is a clubhouse for free thinkers: it's your source for cutting-edge criticism, creative writing, and conversation. We value and support independent art and music, small publishing houses, and our local scenes. In keeping with that philosophy, we welcome your CDs, books, films, and comics for review. Sometimes it takes a while for our staff to get around to it, but we do our level best.

Beatbots is made of people: founded by a network of friends in the Baltimore - Washington area, the site has a perpetually open application process for new staff members, no matter where they hang their hat. Anyone who has that indefinable "it" factor can be a part of the action. Submit three pieces of original writing or criticism, and the entire Beatbots staff will put it to a vote. We don't discriminate in terms of tastes or writing background - what really matters is your ability to express thoughts clearly and creatively and maintain a high standard when editing your own work.

Established: December 2004


"Best Online Arts Community 2007"
Baltimore City Paper

Lately, Beatbots is the first place we turn to when we're looking for what's going on in the local arts community. Local web designer Justin Blemly developed Beatbots to have two separate facets: to showcase local writers and to provide a forum for discussing local arts. While we enjoy the reviews, fiction, and poetry on the main page, what keeps us coming back are the message boards. Instead of your typical haven for combative internet-addicted dorks, Beatbots message boards are composed mostly of local artists, writers, and musicians. There are plenty of useful postings about things going on around town and thoughtful discussions on local art events. One word of caution, though: Throwing that many locals together online with only avatars for identification can lead to some sticky situations. Before roasting the band you saw last night on the boards, try and make sure the band members aren't also online.

"Best Trend 2007" (Mention)
Baltimore City Paper

Explosion of online culture and lifestyle zines

Print magazines come and go, but the internet, she is eternal--as long as you maintain your domain. And numerous budding publishers, editors, writers, photographers, graphic designers, and all-around local culture enthusiasts have taken notice. The last few years have witnessed a steady increase in the number of Baltimore-based and -focused arts, entertainment, and culture web zines, and more recently a veritable brood has bubbled forth. With nightlife tracker Sen Baltimore (www.senbaltimore.com), local hip-hop enthusiast B-more Vibe (www.bmorevibe.com), fashion and arts magazine Gutter (www.guttermagazine.com), African-American lifestyle mag Channel (www.turn2channel.com), Gabriel's The Magazine (www.iamthemagazine.com), and the ongoing growth of Beatbots (www.beatbots.com), now locals looking for music reviews, artist interviews, or calendars of events have numerous options to visit. We here in the aging, so-called alternative press get asked all the time if we feel threatened by the growth of such internet publications, to which we have only one answer: Hell no. More opinions and sources can only help a local arts and nightlife community, not suffocate it.