Monday, June 4, 2007

New Approach to Community Activism: Blogging

Many of already know this, but there is an interesting article in the Washington Post about how you can advocate for your community by establishing a blog. There are already community blogs per se, where organizations can all join on one blog and residents can go there and find out information. But this gets to the heart of grassroots efforts which a lot of us are well, advocating! Christian Antoniades is the author. Remember my post about reporting pot holes to the City in Lorain? Well she brings up a good point! You can set up a blog that basically allows you to do that about potholes, or any other issue of importance on your street or block or neighborhood.

She interviewed bloggers who have set up community blogs in Maryland neighborhoods and they had some tips.

1. Take a camera! (absolutely!) if there is a recently vandalized home on your street, take a photo, blog about it, and email the blog to your Council person I say).

2. Get other bloggers involved. (Or get other neighbors involved, in my opinion. Have them come to you and tell you what they are concerned about. It's rare to have a lot of activists in one spot. It does happen. For example there is a Yahoo! Group for Ohio City that pretty much acts as a neighborhood watch group and it does an excellent job. But in reality one or more bloggers can get the job done for a small area.

3. Get a few people to have different areas of interest. (For example, the Business people on the Euclid Avenue Corridor could have used a blog to get help before that one poor woman wound up arrested because patrons could not get out of her establishment.)

We have fine bloggers in NE Ohio but I'm not aware of a series of neighborhood blogs. Could be I am just not seeing them it's a big blog world out there!

And by the way, it doesn't have to be a 'complaint' blog! Maybe you want to get the neighborhood teens involved in a project for the summer. Maybe an elderly resident needs help with home repairs. Teens working to help neighbors could get started on a blog. You get my drift.

Anyway, the more people who get involved in each of our neighborhoods, the better off we are and just maybe we can make a difference? Peace Out - 3C