Welcome to CitizenWill

Over the last year, I’ve written about 300 posts now split between campaign.willraymond.org and blog.willraymond.org

Covering my 2005 Town Council campaign, I started with WillRaymond.org, a hopefully memorable Internet location for the local electorate to find both my platform and analysis of relevant issues.

November 2005, I rebranded the site as Concerned Citizen, shifted the campaign rhetoric to campaign.willraymond.org and continued with a focus primarily on local issues, events, governance and politics.

Along the way I’ve added ruminations and digressions covering volcanoes, 2006’s SouthBySouthwest Interactive (SxSWi), the dissolution of our Constitution, our country’s unexamined rush to build an Orwellian surveillance society and a slew of guest editorials from the Daily Tar Heel and Chapel Hill News.

It’s been a wild year for this netizen who originally built a reputation in the blogverse as the prolific commenter WillR (to the extent of getting a Koufax Award nomination!).

A recent Pew Internet and American Life study claims %76 of ‘bloggers concentrate on documenting their personal life with only %11 on government and politics.

I have no interest in publicly documenting my personal life.

Two years ago I asked erudite ‘blogger and local Councilmember Sally Greene, then new to the blog-o-sphere, her thoughts on managing her “personal” and “public” voices.

What about schizophrenic bloggers, like Sally, who have a political blog and a personal blog?

She answered:

That’s a fascinating question, Will. Last year I ran for office; I had never run before, although I had been on the Planning Board. I knew that I needed to get my message out and I too knew that I couldn’t count on the media to do it. It may seem strange since I’m married to one of the gods of the internet, Paul Jones, but I just didn’t know anything about blogs…..While most campaign sites fold after the election, I have maintained mine and I continue to update it with content and links to town-related news stories (which I selectively pick)….Now, for a couple of months I’ve been blogging. But it is separate from my Town Council web site. Each is linked to the other, but they are separate….But on the other hand—and this is something that I haven’t consciously thought about very much, until Will’s question—I think I do want to keep some space that is just my own, my “greenespace.” I mean, there is a difference, although of course they overlap.

Like Sally, I have generally distinct, though sometimes overlapping, concerns. Based on an analysis of a years worth of site visits, so does my readership.

During my March 2006 sojourn to Austin’s SxSWi, following Sally’s lead, I purchased the Citizen Will sites (.org,.com,.net). Why Citizen Will? This punster (yep, sorry about that) couldn’t pass up a small play on “the Will of the People”, “will power” and this citizen’s will for progressive change.

It’s finally time to split my personal, professional and public “brands”:

  • WillRaymond.org will serve as a gateway to the Will-verse.
  • with CitizenWill , I will continue my activist focus. I’ll also put reprints of my “real world” columns, editorials and letters-to-the-Editor.
  • And blog.willraymond.org will serve as a convenient dumping ground for my occassional ruminations on orthogonal concerns – technology, travel tips and other personal digressions.

Not wishing to confuse my growing audience, not willing to kill my old “brand” and trying to be a good netizen by maintaining my permalinks (the long tail of a years worth of net-based local activism) – I’m mirroring all sites for the next 90 days (roughly until the Nov. elections are over).

Over that time, each site will begin to take on a more distinctive, unique character reflective of their end purposes.

Thank you for your feedback, thank you for your readership and thank you for bearing with me as I make this slow “tri-cameral” transition.


2 responses to “Welcome to CitizenWill”

  1. Sally Avatar

    Congratulations, Will. I understand most blogs don’t make it even a year! You’re doing great. Best wishes in your new schizophrenic life.

    By the way, you know I also maintain a listserv for posting council news. I try to post to my list after every council business meeting with highlights of the meeting and my take on them. Readers can sign themselves up by going to my web site. (I just noticed that the archive link is broken; I’ll get my webmaster, Tucker, on that right away.) I find that venue to be a good way to elicit responses from concerned citizens, who often do write back with questions or comments.

    Meanwhile, my thoughts have changed some since two years ago when I was new to both blogging and public office. I’m pretty comfortable by now in being both a councilperson and a regular person on the same blog.

    Also, on my blog I no longer pick the newslinks. I just have a link to the Town of Chapel Hill news site, relying on our information officer Catherine Lazorko, who is doing a good job of getting out news releases, etc. It’s a more comprehensive strategy that gets readers straight to the Town source.

  2. Administrator Avatar

    Thanks Sally. I used to be on your listsrv but stopped getting emails awhile ago. I assumed that you’d switched totally to the ‘net. I’ll be signing back up.

    Hey, your guest ‘blogger John Moye has really hit the ground running. I notice that Eric’s isThatLegal has a guest blogger too. Is this a UNC Law school thing?

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