Thursday, November 30, 2006

Need 10 (or more) folks to email me to assist with a new e-forum hosted by international / national expert

Steven Clift, founder of E-Democracy.Org, is a net advocate that I've followed for years. He does fantastic work. Steve has been around the block and around the net on issues and with plenty of tech-based tools and thoughts.

We now need a dozen or so from Pittsburgh -- and from Allegheny County too -- to email me, Mark -at- Rauterkus -dot- com, so we can make a steering group and form a new online community forum. Steven Cliff's associates provide the infrastructure and leadership.

They've got a nice tech partner in New Zealand and a forum there. They've done great things in Minnesota, and I've lurked and participated there too.

Now, they are trying to roll this out in various markets in the country. Others have wanted to lift-off in various cities and Pittsburgh should ride this wave with our own community forum too.

Excellent. Any more takers?

The first step is to create a steering committee with at five members. The more diverse politically, gender-wise, etc. the better. If you can get some representation from community institutions even better, particularly on larger steering groups.

Once you have a small steering team, then we'll set you up with a place-team@ group so you can work on your charter - forum purpose statement and any special rules above our common rules framework. Circulating a draft around the community helps build buy in and interest.

As Carol said, then you need to select a volunteer forum manager.

Then the forum is created and together we put lots of energy into recruitment before the forum opens for posting. Our built-to-last model, requires 100 member to launch. That might seem like a lot or to some too little. The key benefit is it creates a sense of community - I was there from the beginning - ownership. It also forces you to be strategic in your outreach!

So one step at time, create a short e-mail letting people know that you plan to start a local Issues Forum if other join you in the effort. Ask them to e-mail you if they are interested in the idea or might participate. Perhaps what they might want to see discussed. Then in your reply ask them if they have any objection to being part of the steering committee. Feel free to share a draft if you like - make it short and

When you think you have enough interest, come back and we can discuss steering committee first steps (like a meeting) and charters. Let's plan to reconnect in two weeks when you have the base of your steering committee recruited. Sound good?

Cheers, Steven Clift. E-Democracy.Org
So, I need to email Steven and provide him with a list of names and email contacts from folks who want to be on this new venture's steering committee.

Please consider this request, if you can use email. And, most of all, we need to get folks from all parts of the political landscape. We can only take three more white guy Libertarians who live on the South Side Flats who have two kids.

First come first served. I'll submit a list at 20. If you don't want to email me, leave a comment in the blog.

FWIW, this won't be a effort. It won't be a specific campaign tool. This is a community forum and all are welcome.

UPDATE: I've got three takers within the first day. We still need more. And, I don't yet need to cast a wide net.

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