by Alexandra in WMass
Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 03:12:40 PM EST
Barbara asked some probing questions in her diary "Just a few questions" yesterday and reading the responses gave me an idea.
Afew outlined some of the tools ET has tried or discussed using to develop a voice and concluded "The hard thing is to say what we can actually do with the time at our disposal. Try doing all these things at once? I don't think it's possible."
I agree with the time constraint issue - after all I'm writing today because I've had to stay at home to nurse my bad cold. However, maybe there is a way to combine, to use Afew's list, community exchanges with some monitoring and influencing of the EU, the development of an ET think tank personality, networking, and building site membership and new narratives. Maybe even somewhat increasing ET accessibility to those for whom English is not their first language....
This will probably sound terribly academic but what if ET members started a guest diary series for which members of ET would invite someone who is doing concrete work, such as the Peruvian woman (Albina Ruiz) Barbara mentions, to post a diary. Here is how it could work:
- The inviting ET member would choose someone who does hands on work and they feel has a contribution to make. This person may well be someone you have never spoken with before but whose work you admire and/or feel is important and would be of interest to the ET readership.
- The inviting ET member would be a host to the new, perhaps one time, diary contributor and would assist them in setting up their ET account, understanding the ET audience and culture and the technicalities of posting a diary and handling comments. The host would also help get visibility for this diary if needed. The host could also choose to invite someone who has limited English but for whom they would act as translator or language mentor.
- If a version doesn't already exist ET members could develop a short "The benefits of contributing to ET" or "what is ET?" piece that members can use when contacting people they want to invite. It might include some examples of past diaries and discussions.
- Guest diaries could be coordinated ahead of time so that we don't have 5 guest diaries one week and none for the following two weeks so as to ensure the diaries get visibility. Similarly, depending on ET member preferences, one could add more or less structure to how the guest diary series is organized.
- The ET membership at large would have a new diary to comment on and a series of perspectives and ideas from people doing the hands on work of building coalitions, implementing new energy policies, legislating or advocating in the EU, writing the news, or running a local farm or community based organization or any other hands on activity ET members might be interested in.
For the new members this may be a one-time contribution or may develop into an occasional or regular diary series or a lifelong ET addiction. It would be a way for them to share their knowledge and expertise and publicize their work.
Even one-time contributors would be beneficial since they might recommend ET to others and broaden the site's reach and knowledge base. The ET host member could maintain links with the one time contributors they invited and perhaps keep them abreast of ET contributions that might be of interest to them in the future, thus continuing to expand the reach of ET and bridge the gap between those who are online regularly and those who cannot be online often.
So what do you think?