Where is Susan? Block by Block Sept. 23-24


I am heading back out of Oakland next week to attend the Block by Block conference, sponsored by the RJI in Chicago, IL and organized by Jay Rosen and Michele McLellan,  The focus of the conference is to understand and support the “hundreds of local news sites–many of them non-profits–that have been springing up around the country. The goal is to bring together local site
operators with news, revenue and technology experts to share what
they’re learning, find out about resources for news sites, and
collaborate on meeting the challenges are ahead.”

Do you think I am excited about being a part of this conference? Heck, yeah!  And is the topic close to my heart. Oh, yes.

There are going to be about 125 (?) participants at this event.  I have an amazing group who will kick off the conference with an opening panel–

“Making Community Engagement Work”
9 – 10:30 a.m.   Moderator: Susan Mernit, Oakland Local
David Cohn, Spot.us
Tracy Record, West Seattle Blog
Andre Natta, The Terminal, Birmingham, AL

What are we going to talk about?  That space between content and community where–as grassroots, community media plays–we support and engage the people in our cities in contributing to our sites–rather than talking down to them, or at them, or NOT talking to them, as traditional media has all too often done.

But it’s also a conversation we want to have with you–and with everyone who is working to create local sites that not only reflect their vision, but support specific communities–and are open to as many people as possible (isn’t that what local media is supposed to do?)

Over the next week, I’ll be posting more notes from the panelists at the BXB conference here, and when it happens, I will be blogging and sharing information real time–with my peeps back at OL in Oakland and everyone else who cares out on the net.