Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Freecycle-inspired brainstorming thread

It was Kimmy who first told me about Freecycle. If you haven't heard of it before, it's definitely worth checking out.

The Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by clicking on the region on the left. You may then go directly to your local group by clicking on "Go To" or you may immediately joining by clicking on "Join." It will generate an automatic e-mail which, when sent, will sign you up for the local group and send you a response with instructions on how it works. Can't find a group near you? You might want to consider starting one (click on "Start a Group" for instructions). Have fun!

The Freecycle Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!

Anyway, I'm signed up via Freecycle Columbus, which is a Yahoo group. Posts all have in their title line the words "Wanted", "Offer" or "Taken".

I realize, at this point, that I've let you onto my train of thought in between stations. Here's what started this...

I was getting ready to put out another call for contributors. But not, contrary to what people have sometimes believed, because the workload of this blog is a big deal and I need help. After the big redesign I did a while back, posting to this blog has never been what I would consider a lot of work. If I don't have an idear for a main thread, I can always just post a few interesting links, or something from Cute Overload, or I can use an open thread to shamelessly promote the Cafe Press products that Demetrius has designed.

What I really want is for this blog to be a community blog, where people feel welcome to contribute what they have to offer, and with a variety of interesting, productive, discussion-provoking content that would make people want to link to it elsewhere, even if I didn't ask.

Ideally, I kind of wish that we could be set up more like one of the Scoop-style blogs where anyone can post a diary. But even though I could repeat the words "Scoop is free" in my sleep, I don't know the first thing about setting up that kind of system. I have tried, and it appears to be beyond me. In addition, just because *I* think that sort of setup would be ideal for a number of reasons, doesn't mean everyone else would like it, and I try to be sensitive to those here who are "change-averse".

I'll repeat the basics as far as contributing front page posts. If you are not currently a front page contributor and would like to be, just e-mail me and I can send you a Blogger invite. If you don't feel like making that commitment, or feel like the "technical" aspects are beyond your abilities (or what you have time to learn), then you can always send a single blog entry to that same address, and I can publish it for you.

But I've said those things any number of times before, and frankly I'm beginning to bore myself.

On my drive home from work today, I started thinking about the Freecycle model as a way to start talking about new front page content.

Wanted: what sorts of posts would you like to see, on what topics?
Offer: if you'd like to offer to post on a regular or semi-regular basis about some issue, let us know
Taken: if you see a Wanted post and think, "Hey, I'd like to do that!"

So...let's discuss.

Alternate link for comments

No comments:

Post a Comment