Sam Diener, editor of Peacework Magazine, muses on global thought and local action. He will also highlight the online musings of the authors of Peacework Magazine. Please read the guidelines of Peacework's blogs and forums to participate in the discussion.
This is a version of a handout I'll be sharing at my workshop at the US Social Forum in Detroit on Blogging for Nonviolent Social Change.
1) Blog about issues you know a lot about, share your expertise, critiques, and constructive feedback.
2) Blog about new information you're just learning - chances are, many others don't know, either. Blog about what you learned. Blog about creative innovations.
3) Share perceptions of what you see, hear, observe, and feel (but avoid telling people how to feel themselves or assuming that everyone would feel x).
4) Blog what was said that interests you - concisely. Most people don't want to read a blog entry recapitulating an entire speech. Summarize, share good lines, write about ideas you think are thought provoking, informative, and important for more people to know.
5) Blog your questions. "If this is true, I wonder if we could...?" "Which organizations are working on this?" Questions can motivate people to comment.
6) Blog your impressions and your opinions. Only _you_ can write this blog entry.
7) Add to and amplify missing voices. If you think, "I wish person x was the one on stage right now," then ask person x what they would have said if they were on stage, and then blog about that. You can ask someone at the conference, or call a source up and say, “I just heard StageSpeaker1 say blanketyblank. What’s your take on that?” You provide the stage. (Person x might be you.)
8) Blog the buzz. What are people excited about? What are people talking about in the halls?
9) Include quotations from other attendees. You can even quote folks, especially folks you find interesting, as journalists do. Ask, "What idea are you most excited about taking back home with you?" "What has upset you most about this conference so far?" "What organizing approach or idea has inspired you?" But you can blog perfectly well without interviewing anyone, too. It's up to you.
10) Blog the controversies. What are people disagreeing about? What are the difficult issues which people are grappling with? Write honestly and compassionately about a range of opinions, and vigorously and assertively share and explain your point of view.
11) Provide external and internal links - links to info about things you discuss, speakers, links to organizations, links to related blog entries of yours, link to related blog entries on your blog site, links to effective writers/bloggers writing about this topic, links to reference info, links to provide historical and political context, etc. If it’s not a media giant, ask for a link back from the places to which you link.
12) If you weren't able to attend this event, what would you most want someone to be blogging about for you? Blog about that.
13)Be specific. Instead of, "I met many interesting people. It was fantastic!" try something like, "I met person x who developed a model for organizing against domestic violence which they are now trying to replicate nationwide." Instead of, "I attended the plenary, and then went to some workshops." try, "I agreed with the plenary speaker, Movement Bigwig1, when they said that in order to end the war, we need to sit-in at every Congressional office in the country, and keep sitting in every month, and then every week, until they defund the war. But when Bigwig1 said that we just haven't been effective so far, I strongly disagree. As I learned at MovingWorkshop2...."
14)Blog the actions and the action ideas. What are people doing? What might we do? Review actions and/or presentations as if you were a constructive movie critic. How could it be improved?
Interested in blogging on the New Peacework Blog for Nonviolent Social Change? Please contact me at peacenow (at) rcn.com