Chris Eddie and Chuck Creacy are confident that their latest enterprise will be a successful one. That still doesn’t mean they aren’t crossing a few fingers as the weeks before its initial release tick away.
Smiley Pete Publishing — co-owned by Eddie and Creacy and the parent company of this magazine — is nearing the launch of tadoo.com, a digital initiative that will provide the Lexington area something of a one-stop shopping experience when it comes to central Kentucky’s arts-and-entertainment scene. The curated website will be constantly maintained and updated as needed, with everything from a schedule for live music in the area to a listing of what’s happening at local galleries.
According to Eddie, the website, which is on pace to be fully launched in November, will fill a gap he says residents have for years told him needs to be addressed.
“All of our projects start out with people coming to us, saying ‘You know what we really need in this town? We need blank,’” Eddie said.
That same process has led to the creation of tadoo.
“People came to us and said they need one good source, one place to look for what’s going on,” Eddie said. “Right now, they’re looking at five or six different websites, and they want something with a little more insight.”
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been questions, obstacles and even some apprehension about the tadoo project. Despite constant assurances from residents that it could be well-received, Eddie said the project has “been on a backburner” for more than two years while Smiley Pete focused on other areas. He also concedes that part of the reason for the hesitancy is because his company tried a similar initiative earlier this decade with less-than stellar results.
Smiley Pete produced W Weekly, a weekly print publication that attempted to consolidate area arts-and-entertainment information into a weekly periodical. But at the time, Lexington’s arts and entertainment scene had lapsed into a funk, and as a result, the publication failed to pay for itself. Production was eventually stopped after two years.
“It was a well-read product for its low circulation,” Eddie said. “But the business never materialized.”
The Smiley Pete partners moved on to other projects, but a funny thing happened along the way: Lexington’s nightlife and downtown interests blossomed, creating increasing demand for the type of service W Weekly would have provided, were it still being published today.
Now that the marketplace has finally caught up to a sufficient level, Eddie — noting that “it’s a different world now” — broke down the initial W Weekly business model to create a product that would not only deliver curated arts-and-entertainment content, but also be self-sufficient. And, it is strictly online, eliminating the increasing costs of print.