MuzArDanZ

The first MuzArDanZ Variety Showcase will be on Sunday, August 24, 2008. For more information, go to MuzArDanZ’s site. This is part of the Community Communication Project, encouraging the use of music, art and dance for expression and sharing information.

CommuniTV launched!

I’ve launched a new part of the Community Communication Project, concentrating on that slice of the communication pie called “Television and Video,” finding a way to bridge that gap between actual people and how they can share with each other. The name of this effort is CommuniTV. In other words, community + TV = CommuniTV.
bridging the gap with CommuniTV
There are CommuniTV-oriented posts on the CommuniTV blog (predictably), as a way of consolidating information about community-oriented video in one location. And as other “slices of the pie” begin to be implemented (such as, say, public access to art, mediation, print, facilitation, web, community memory, and so on), I’ll be sure to let you know.

Manifesto (the first draft)

Communication is essential to how we learn to live with each other.

There are as many ways to communicate as there are people. Indeed, there are more ways than people.

Some methods of communication are known and understood. Some are known but not understood. And many aren’t known at all.

Much as a community is composed of unique individuals sharing their gifts with each other, true immersive communication can be a synthesis of unique methods, applied in a comprehensive fashion.

A comprehensive approach to how a community communicates can lead to the use of efficient and effective tactics. These tactics can build up to form a strategy of how people can share with each other. This strategy should be able to scale with different sizes of communities, as well as provide recursive feedback for self-correction and accountability.

Each method or mode of communication must be studied, explored, applied, and shared. As well, each mode should have links to other modes, perhaps by developing a protocol or interface between multiple modes.

The modes encompass all of the existing ways we communicate, in addition to leaving room for the new modes that haven’t been discovered yet.

This is a journey. Some maps may tell us about certain parts of the landscape, but most of the terrain ahead of us is unknown. This is a journey to help communities communicate. We are explorers on the brink of a revolutionary advance, but we seek more than fragmentary maps. We seek the globe: interconnected, lively, expressive, thoughtful, human.

Our communities are content-rich, but distribution-poor. Share the wealth.

Project Progress

Check out the wiki for updated sections, particularly the List of Projects. Also, I’m putting together an “introduction kit” to help explain the Community Communication Project.

Communify Shirts & Mugs Now Available

If you’re interested in a T-Shirt or a Coffee Mug with a Communify theme, check out our new store!

WikiWikiWiki

I’ve been dabbling with the use of Wiki technology as a way of keeping project information accessible (and editable). One test of this is available at community.wikicities.com. What’s a wiki, you ask? In short, it’s a way to present information in a format that can be updated by others on the web, like the Wikipedia. To quote, ” A wiki is a website that allows users to easily create pages and edit pages others have created. The markup is very simple and requires no knowledge of HTML. For example, surrounding a word with [[double square brackets]] will turn that word or group of words into a link.” Intriguing ideas and philsophies.

Upcoming Features

During my annual visit to San Francisco the second week of January, 2005, I visited some organizations involved in their own slice of community communication: Creativity Explored, AccesSF, and BAVC. I intend to write a series of articles over the next few months discussing how they affect their community, and how their lessons might be applied to a comprehensive approach.

Book Recommendation: "Going Public"

“Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action,” by Michael Gecan, is a useful book that illustrates the power and humanity of having relational-style organizations. Just 192 pages, cover-to-cover, this guide is easily digestible but definitely unsettling — unsettling in that its themes and lessons tend to strike home. Gecan, associated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, divides his book into four main sections, presented as “habits:” Relating, Action, Organizing, Reflection. His anecdotes help define the intangible nature of how to get individuals involved as a community, especially in seeking power. Here’s a paragraph taken from within a description of a community meeting:

“Start on time and end on time. Recognize yourself and one another. Hold yourself accountable (“South Bronx Churches has thirty-five leaders here today!”), so that you can demand public accountability from others and hold them to it. Take the power you build and test it against the power of others. Bring energy, joy, and irreverence to the public square, not just ideology, self-righteousness, and rote reenactments. Don’t be deterred when others won’t engage. Flow around the obstacles. Persist in unexpected ways.”

His style of writing is fairly easygoing; I got the sense that these were ideas and stories he accumulated during his time working with actual people on actual causes, as opposed to an abstract treatise. Still, it’s more than a memoir — “Going Public” has a useful approach for those who wish to involve people in a common objective. Check it out!

(Thanks to Priscilla for the gift of this book.)

“Going Public,” by Michael Gecan. Published by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, New York. ISBN 1-4000-7649-8.

The September Project

I just heard about The September Project: a national effort to encourage everyone to meet at their local library to discuss their community on Saturday, September 11, 2004. Intriguing concept. I wonder if this would be a good starting point for the next incarnation of this Community Communication Project as we seek to communify ourselves. Hmm…

Book Recommendation: Better Together

“Better Together” by Robert Putnam is a fascinating look at several community initiatives. Highly recommended. More in-depth review to come in the future.

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