Blogging In The Free World

Sean Kirst wrote a column in today’s Post-Standard about a group of bloggers in Central N.Y. that got together at the State Fair to continue our cyber-discussions in real time. It was a great time: Dinosaur BBQ, swapping stories and reveling in Central NY, in all its glory and all its warts.

I never really discuss my blogging with anyone. I find it’s a forum for me to write, work on some ideas and decide how I feel about issues that matter to me (oh, and rave about the new Springsteen album and repeat the horrible joke I’ve been telling for the past week.) Why post it in public? Well, I’ve always thought it was just to keep me honest and force me to correct the typos and comma splices.

I realize it is something more. In my job as a community organizer, I work to avoid having opinions, feelings, dreams etc. I work for the residents of our neighborhoods and my job is to provide them with the research, strategic analysis and encouragement so they can go out and change their world. It doesn’t matter what I think. It is a major failure when an organizer is quoted in the paper or gives background information to the press. The mother who walks her kids past drug dealers on their way to school should be confronting the police, Mayor and Common Council. It is her voice that needs to be heard.

So, this blog is one of two things. Either this blog allows me to express the things I can’t in a more public forum, or it is an example of my ego run amok. As with most things in life, probably a bit of both.


3 thoughts on “Blogging In The Free World

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  1. “It is a major failure when an organizer is quoted in the paper or gives background information to the press.”

    Not to imply that YOU are a failure, but this is a good saying. One of the things we did not have time to talk about (which I only realized after the fact) is what blogging “is and is not,” which is something I don’t really think about most of the time. But there are some political blogs out there (prominent ones that shall remain nameless) where people seem to have completely forgot this, or never knew it… and they waste their vast potential organizing power (the power to focus people) on media appearances and self-promotion. I don’t get it.

    And I also think of it as a workspace or scratchboard.


  2. What’s blogging? Journals of personal expression? Political punditry? Forums? (talk radio for the deaf). What about more reporting on local issues uncovered by local media?

    One of the things I wished we had time to discuss was some sort of collaborative efforts (like those existing in Buffalo and Rochester.) What if we were able to develop something like H20-town out of Watertown, Mass.–a truly independent media site?

    Of course, I don’t have much time to commit to my own ideas and I bet most others are in the same boat.


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