Friday, November 24, 2006

A Green Community

The Green Party of California (GPCA)has multiple online expressions. They reflect the divergent interests and many moods of Greens. If we were all the same shade of Green, there would not a need for such diversity of media expressions.

The most formal expression of GPCA Green-ness is the GPCA web site itself. This is the formal public face of the party. The platform has been provided by the IT Committee. It is stable and performs fairly well.

The GPCA Media Committee is responsible for the "content" that is one the site. That is not entirely true. Ever Committee and Working Group is responsible for their own content. But the overall structure, look and feel, basic information is put ther by the media committee, which is as it should be. Considering that the most visible work product of the Media Committee are the many press releases that go out, the definition of Green Activity to the press, it is only a simple extention to that to say that Media should also be responsible for the rest of the public content, defining Green Party activity to the rest of the world.

There is a second level of online expression that is encapsulated in the many email lists by which various subjects are brought up for discussion, sometimes to the point of open battle, sometimes to the point of boredom, but almost never is anything every brought to any conclusion. People just get tired of one subject and move on to another. However it takes little work to particpate. Emails show up in your inbox, you respond or not, but the material is pushed at you whether you want it or not. However, anyone can start a thread just by sending their own email with a different subject.

Then, there are the blogs. This one has three nominal authors, though only two of us (Oval and myself) have every written any material. Others could become authors by writing a note to me and explaining why they would want to. Unlike the email lists, only a very few people (authors) start a thread, though anyone can contribute. Blogs are also unlike the email lists in that they are a pull media. You need to decide to go to a blog and look at it. Otherwise, you would never know it is there. But, once it is there, it is there forever (or until the owner decides to shut it down.)

Now, on the GPCA owned cal-forum email list, there is a discussion about the development of a Standing General Assembley, an online, democratic, decision making function of the GPCA.

Since that is not so well defined, I suggest using this post as an open thread to collect suggestions about how we build the online community that a Standing GA requires.

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