Journalism That Matters prep

The following is a message that I’ve sent to various friends, reformed into a blog post. I hope it will help all of you get a greater sense of where I hope to see citizen journalism going, as it relates to the Edwards campaign and beyond. It captures some of my thoughts about how we as OneCorp participants can help change our country through our writing.

I am participating in a Journalism That Matters conference in Memphis later in January. As part of the prep work, participants have been asked to interview each other. Below, you will find my answers to the questions asked. As you read through them, it will help give you context of some of my journey to where I am now in supporting Sen. Edwards. It will also help give more complete context to my blog post about the first blogger meet and greet I attended with Sen. Edwards back in October 2005. (Details of that are here).

With that, Happy New Year everyone. 2007 is going to be an exciting year.

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Sen. Edwards addressing the overflow crowd

Before the Town Hall in Portsmouth NH, Sen. Edwards addressed the overflow crowd outside the elementary school where the event is taking place.

The crowd energy is incredible.

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Transformational Candidates

(The following is a comment I made on a thread at MyDD about whether Edwards should run, which got into a great discussion about transformational politics.)

I think Trippi is hitting the nail on the head. We need a transformational leader. I supported Gov. Dean in 2004, not because he was a transformational leader. When I started paying attention to the 2004 race, I wasn't thinking in those terms.

Nonetheless, I found myself transformed by Gov. Dean and his campaign. Many of us were changed by the campaign and we are all better off because of it.

Who will be the transformational candidate in 2008? I like what Sen. Edwards is saying and doing about poverty. I hope it transforms people and gets them to contribute to local food banks, to help rebuild our houses the way Sen. Edwards has in New Orleans or the way President Carter has done with Habitat for Humanity. As well as bring about meaningful change in Washington on issues related to poverty.

As I've written elsewhere, I hope it spawns a new generation of Freedom Riders; perhaps this generation's Freedom Riders with be Freedom Writers leading a war on poverty through blogs, video blogs and citizen journalism by helping all of us see the side of America that is rarely on broadcast TV.

Whether or not Vice President Gore chooses to run, he too, could be a transformational leader if his message translates into people's lives being changed with the way they use energy. I sure hope that many of us are transformed in our relationship to fossil fuels.

Will any of the other candidates help transform our system? I don't know enough about Vilsack to comment about him, but I will mention one candidate who took me by surprise by the transformational attitude of one of his staffers.

I ran into a staffer of Sen. Dodd at an event in Washington. The staffer talked about using Dodd's campaign to help bring about lasting change in our electoral system. Now, I'm from Connecticut. I like Sen. Dodd. I know that he's been in the Senate for twenty-five years, was a former DNC chair and is the son of a former Senator. The idea of him bringing about meaningful change to the electoral system took me by surprise. He did co-sponsor the Help America Vote Act, which while it may have been well intentioned seems to have done as much to help America vote as No Child Left Behind has done for education.

So, as it stands right now, Sen. Edwards is the candidate that I believe has the greatest potential to bring about transformation, so that's where I'm putting my energy.

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Exploring Second Life

I really don’t have time or energy for my first life right now, but several different groups I’m part of are talking to me about Second Life, so I thought I should put up a quick post about what I’ve been up to there and what I’ve been finding.

Friends of mine who are videobloggers, non-profit technologists, and political activists have all been talking with me separately about Second Life. To me, these three groups have some interesting potential overlaps and I would love to see them connect a little better.

A videoblogger had recently posted on BlogHUD. BlogHud is a blogging system for Second Life. You can send a message from Second Life and it will show up on BlogHUDs page. They have nice feature to find who blogged what, and from where they blogged it.

For example, check out my recent posts from SecondLife as well as posts from Commonwealth Island.

Ideally, all of my friends should probably use this to publicize places and events in Second Life.

From there, I stumbled across Snapzilla. Snapzilla, aka SLPics can be found at http://www.sluniverse.com/pics. It is sort of like the Flickr of Second Life. It is even supposed to support cross posting to Flickr, but that hasn't worked for me yet. Bloghud includes pictures from Snapzilla, and you can associate them with your profile there.

As I was learning my way around Snapzilla, I also came across SLProfiles. If Snapzilla is the Flickr of Second Life, SLProfiles is the MySpace of SecondLife. I haven't really started putting up much of a profile there yet. Like MySpace, I’ve been contacted by people I don’t know very well asking me to add them as friends. Ideally, I would love to see all of my videoblogging, non-profit tech, political activist friends add me on SLProfiles. The we could do some really interesting Second Life based online social networks. My profile is at http://www.slprofiles.com/slprofiles.asp?id=5450.

SLProfiles also has a blogging tool, very similar to bloghud. I’ve posted one quick note there.

When I get more time, I’ll explore more and think about how we can really use some of this for positive change.

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KLHT Stairwell Singers


The KLHT Stairwell singers perform a couple songs for their holiday concert

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