New Urban Bloggers

   I've started a Google Group called New Urban Bloggers. It's for people in the place-making professions (planners, architects, developers, builders) who focus on the New Urbanism, and who are either blogging already or are thinking about it. It's a closed group to avoid spammers, but if you'd like to join, go to this link and click the "Apply for group membership" on the right side of the screen.

   It's only for those who are interested in blogging or who have already begun to blog. If you're not in one of those two categories, then by all means, please DON'T join this group, because it would just be more email clutter for you, with no benefit in return. But if you are, then it could save you a ton of time as we learn from each other (unless you're highly adept at blogging already, like John Massengale, for example.) If you are, please join us anyway so we can learn from you.

   As to the bigger question of "why should I blog?"…


   As movements, the New Urbanism and the New Classicism were once tiny niches... and we're not much bigger today. The mainstream press, and the architectural and planning presses, either ignore us most of the time, or when they do publish something about us, it's fairly often negative, especially in the architectural press. Blogs are the best way yet invented of allowing non-presidents to do the Reagan/Obama thing: bypass the press and go directly to the people. For years, we've made the case that the people love our stuff even if the experts do not. Here's our chance to connect and prove our point.


   As individuals, the best opportunities most of us have today to establish authority in a much wider audience than our current friends and colleagues are to blog or engage in other Web 2.0 interactions. If the ideas you're writing about are compelling and useful, then they can go viral, spreading around the world. The Original Green cause on facebook, for example, has over 4,000 members from every continent except Antarctica. A tiny fraction are people I know; most are people I never would have had any contact with.


   Our movements and the individuals within them focus to varying degrees on traditions. I'm highly interested in the fact that blogging is a living tradition that has begun within the last decade... showing that there are living traditions out there, just not in architecture. And there are several parallels between the blogging tradition and potential future living traditions in architecture. In other words, there is much that could be learned about the ways wisdom is spread and shared in the blogosphere that could be useful in our work.


   One more thing... the point of creating the New Urban Bloggers network is to make sure that we're each aware of the others' blogs. By linking and by blogging to expand on a colleague's post, we're enhancing the vibrancy of our network, accelerating the chances that we'll all get noticed in the blogosphere. There's no reason any of us should want their colleagues to be unaware of their blog.

© 2012 The Guild Foundation Press