Signs of the Time? Say it Ain’t so Carrboro!

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Bit of a shocker this evening in Carrboro

Tonight I made the rounds of the major municipal precincts to pick up my Honest Abe “A house divided…” referendum signs. Beyond recovering those and some for various candidates, I also made numerous stops along the way to retrieve others. By the time I hit Carrboro’s Town Hall, I’d already visited 12 polling stations – covered 16 miles – almost filled the bed of my truck.

Some signs were drooping from the rain, some had come loose from their staples, some were leaning precariously, some had blown off their stakes but NOT ONE – Republican or Democrat, popular or not – had been maliciously mangled.

And then came Carrboro’s Town Hall. Carrboro, “always one degree cooler” as WCHL’s Ron Stutts says. Carrboro, the Paris of the Piedmont. Carrboro, advertised as a bastion of liberal idealism and progressive profoundity. Carrboro, the only precinct to get two of my homemade signs – placed prominently front-and-center.

Carrboro, where the only signs mangled, torn and completely destroyed were mine.

SxSWi: Inciting Self-Organizing Mobs for Local Progressive Activism

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

I submitted a panel proposal for Austin’s South-by-Southwest Interactive (SxSWi) 2007 titled Inciting Self-Organizing Mobs for Local Progressive Activism

Educated and opinionated, netizens are a fractious bunch. Rarely does on-line irritation translate into “real-world” local activism. With the proliferation of no-cost, net-based infrastructure and the power of the “long tail”, why do so few arm themselves on-line to battle off-line? Or even run for office? Join us in discussing how to rouse your local mob, tap their collective wisdom and promote progressive change.

SxSW is a combined music, film and new media technology (‘blog, vlog, podcast, social networks, etc.) conference spread over nearly two weeks. Local ‘bloggers Ruby, Kirk, ae, Fred, Henry went last year and, I believe, there was total agreement that it was fantastic.

SxSWi organizers have setup a system to let the public at large vote (10 at a time) which panels they’d like to see. I’ll be headed down South next March in any case – working on a panel, though, would be gravy.

Here’s the link if you want to help select the 140+ featured panels.

Voting ends ominously Friday, October 13th.

By the way, Fred has a proposal titled The Long Tail of Identity:

As we embrace social technology, the consequences of sharing our identities on the web are unknown. How will our social network profiles or weblogs affect our future possibilities? Does a search engine or archive really have the final say about who we are online? In the panel, we’ll discuss practical and theoretical approaches to online identity management, how our identity is perceived, and what innovations are serving our yet-to-be-defined identity needs.



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