discussion group & new year’s resolutions

Brent Finnegan -- December 22nd, 2006

Well, I’m taking a break from hburg news for a while. I’ll be gone until January 2, and may or may not have much Internet access over the holidays. Hopefully other contributors will be posting between now and then. I’ll check in if/when I can.

As you may or may not know, Kai and I have been working to make the idea of local discussion meeting(s) a reality. See Kai’s earlier post on this topic. The folks at the Massanutten Regional Library on Main Street have been kind enough to let us use their building for the first meeting. This one will primarily be an organizational meeting to decide how future meetings should be run. If you would like to be involved in getting these meetings organized (we’re looking for doers), be at the MRLibrary Thursday, January 18 at 6:30. More info at OrangeBand.

My vision for these meetings is a place where concerned citizens, bloggers, public servants, and possibly politicians can get together to respectfully discuss issues important to them. Of course, “my vision” isn’t really what this is about. We want your input… I’m aware there will be a certain amount of skepticism (what’s the political agenda here, what if everyone just argues, these meetings won’t make any difference, etc) but I hope everyone can postpone criticisms until after the first few meetings. I’m inviting as many local bloggers as I can, both conservative and liberal, since these meetings shouldn’t be dominated by any one political agenda. I think it’s worth a try.

Oh, and the meetings need some sort of name. Any suggestions? Also, this is an open thread for ideas for the meetings (how should they be set up, etc).

I’m pleasantly surprised at how many people have become regular readers/participants of this blog over the last six months, especially considering it just started as a hobby. I’m glad others have been contributing. It’s my New Year’s resolution to make more people aware of what’s going on in the area (local issues, music, art, politics, etc) and get them engaged in dialogue and discussion, via this blog, and face-to-face meetings, like the discussion group… Oh, and to give this site a much needed makeover. I’ve been using the same default Kubrick template since I started it in July.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their holidays. Peace on earth, good will toward men.


8 Responses to “discussion group & new year’s resolutions”

  1. Annelise says:

    I’m glad Kai’s involved, cos he has experience with conducting discussions. It’s the whole idea of the public square, each of us having a voice. Too often public discussions disintegrate into immature name calling, and people accusing each other of having evil motives. I mean, all of us really deeply want what’s best for our country, our community, our family. If it begins with that assumption, then it will always be respectful.
    There should defininely be ground rules, like, no name-calling. No interrupting a speaker. Stuff like that.

  2. David Troyer says:

    Rats. I see name-calling as central to my ability to dialogue.

  3. briggman says:

    No developers, either. ;-)

  4. Thanh says:

    Both Brent and Kai have told me about this idea of theirs. I think its a great idea! See you January 18th.

  5. Barnabas says:

    (My thoughts):
    And a time limit on speaking unless that person has been invited to speak to the group.
    You don’t want one person monopalizing the time. So if some one is taking up to much time they would need to be interupted by a preasigned meeting mediator.
    It’s better to have a rule like this ahead of time and not need it than to need it and not have it.

  6. danno says:

    For the template, I suggest this color scheme.

  7. zen says:

    Greetings all…I’m looking forward to the local pow-wows starting in the new year. I am looking forward to listening to and learning from the attendees.
    Is it to be completely free-form, with discussion evolving? Or maybe a number of topical issues proposed to the group?

    Peace to everyone for a good new year!

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