How to use the web--to save our greenway

This blog has been a journey of discovery for me.  As I find out new things, from crawling into pipes, or crawling on the web, I'll share them with you.

Here's why I think our cause is important, and worth the effort.
  • What happens in this greenway will set standards for the whole city, about how to protect those priceless little spots where children play, and where adults relax with nature.
  • We can stop the pollution of our lakes, and return them to health.
  • We can turn around a bureaucracy hell-bent on burying every last stream, and make it more responsive.
  • We can attack the problems of the greenway from a watershed perspective--one that makes more sense.
I've been discovering how we can use the web, both to save the trees in the greenway, and to promote these larger goals.  Here's a recipe for how you can join our web-based network... to get out the word!  The people who set up this site have already made a good start.

Recipe for web action
  1. Open an account on Facebook or on Twitter.  It can take only a few minutes--or a few hours, if you go to the trouble to put in a photo, and add as many contacts as you can.  When something important happens about the Greenway, then you broadcast it to all your contacts on Facebook or Twitter.  If you have more photos or information to share than fits on Facebook or Twitter, you can post them on Blogspot as I do.  All these sites are free.
  2. Visit local forums on the web, listed below. On these forums, you can post comments, or leave photos, links, and  information.  Each of these sites has a number of forums or chat lines.... You have to find the right forum--where people receptive to our message hang out.  Think of a forum as a local coffee shop.
  3. Take photos (or collect other mementos) related to the greenway.  Remember how powerful Craig Miller's letter was?  Send these out by Facebook, or post them on forums.
  4. Keep an e-mail list of friends and acquaintances.  Subdivide it--one for hard-core people, one for all neighbors, etc.  I find that e-mail gives a better response because it demands attention.  But use it sparingly, only when you have something important to say.
  5. We all need to specialize.  Someone to photograph wildlife in the greenway.  Someone to monitor trees when construction begins, someone to collect research materials....     It takes time to cruise each web forum on a regular basis, so we should have one person working each forum.  Tell me what you want to do--I'll make a list.
  6. Scan the newspapers, web, and community for relevant info and events.  Think how they apply to our cause, then let us know.
  7. There are more imaginative things we can do--like set up a webcam to monitor construction in the greenway.  Or podcasts.  Any takers?
If you follow even some of these steps, together we'll set up a powerful community to make our voice heard!

I don't mean to say the web is the only way to go.  I know that some of our neighbors don't even have computers, so of course, door-to-door action, lawn signs, contacting your representative, and talking to neighbors are all important.

List of local forums (partial)

For any of these, you start by setting up an account.  It takes just a minute.

The Daily Page
Craig's List  Yes, they do have community discussion groups.
Caffeinated Politics
Madison.com  This is really the same site as the two papers listed below.
The Capital Times  There are comments after each story--so find a story related to our cause, and make a post.
Wisconsin State Journal  Same comment.
WKOW-TV  Same as newspapers.  Find a relevant news story or blog, then post a comment.
Madison Forum
UW Madison Forum

Not as useful?

WPT  (Wisconsin Public Television)  If there's a relevant show, or if there's something relevant on their blog, then you can leave comments.
The Business Forum  "A professional organization for women who want to expand their network of meaningful business connections and to make a difference in other women's lives."  Not sure if they have a web forum, but I'm sure they would be interested in helping in some way.
CleanTech Though Leaders Community Forum  ??

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