This week I’ve been asked to temporarily join the moderator team at FireDogLake. It’s flattering to fill in on this important blog which has been so supportive of the Occupy Wall Street movement through the Occupy Supply fund. FDL has also supported my writing by putting my work on its front page, so it’s nice to return that support.
I’ll also helping with a social media class at Skillpoint Alliance, where I will be sharing my Twitter & WordPress knowledge with a class of adult learners. This is a type of work I’m enjoying more & more; I think Twitter and other mobile-based innovations in communications are really changing how we interact as people, how we get information, and how we learn about our world. Right now it’s easy to find people in the media — mostly old, dying conventional journalism — arguing about whether social media is saving or destroying society. As always with major changes of this kind, it will take longer, with more opportunity for hindsight, to understand how we’re really changed by these new ways to connect. I’m hoping to offer my skills to more people in the future, including the dedicated activists at ADAPT of Texas.
My regular readers will remember that Occupy Austin held its 6 month birthday a couple of weeks ago. Here are two from the street march after the teach-in. In addition to having fun and reaching new people, we learned some valuable lessons about throwing street parties. One is that we either need much larger numbers, or to wait until 6th street closes down to be effective in that area. People don’t show up at the clubs in the numbers we need till after we got our party started.
Two mounted officers briefly shut down our party, telling us we did not have the right permits for amplified sound use. There might be some irony in telling us we needed a permit for amplified sound in the middle of a booming club district, but our party does not earn money for the city the way the clubs do. Of course, sound regulations increasingly threaten Austin’s music scene in favor of the peace and quiet of expensive 1%’er condominiums.
After 6th street finally closed we had a little time to party in the streets before ending at one of our favorite local parks.