Question of the day? Noble experiment or futile effort?

Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 17:46.

Has REALNEO been a noble experiment doomed to failure?  People tune in from all over the world, but apparently the center will not hold. 


mCs It doesn't matter.   Failure builds equity.  Success builds confidence. 
Trial by fire!  Spots in time! We can't fail if we preserver!
I would love to learn more Drupal.  Thanks for all your posts...

what in the world are you talking about?

what center, what's not holding?

are you languishing today?

bemoaning some sort of fate?

what's up?

End of the World

You do like that crptic, bad catholic, end of the world stuff :)  Ask Susan and Jeff.  I don't know what the 48 months refers to, but I do know that Susan needs some help with maintaining the REALNEO site.

going thematic?

or, are we somehow going thematic on this?

A suggestion

Imagine what would be different if it didn't exist. Then come back to your question. And I wouldn't be afraid to modify the question, or answer, to be complete and specific.

A suggestion

Ok - I hope you don't end up with all kinds of duplicate comments from me but I keep getting error messages.

I just suggested that you think about what would be different if this site didn't exist. Then go back to the question and don't be afraid to modify it.

a very exciting reality

I don't think of this as an experiment but as a community that I find very interesting and insightful. People may be more and less active at times. The past two months Evelyn and I have been so swamped renovating the house in East Cleveland and with other work we've barely had time to follow what is going on anywhere else, but seeing people on REALNEO has been a great connection. So far, for the renovation, I've gotten lots of great ideas from postings on REALNEO - like about Bioshield and other no-VOX paint, rainbarrels and solar - and I'm about to post lots of updates about the renovation and other East Cleveland projects and I'm counting on REALNEO members to help me solve some problems, like with designing the graywater system and doing some homemade solar. It is very exciting that through this virtual community I have learned so much and met so many great people who offer so much value - so many people right in my neighborhoods I wouldn't have met any other way.

For the rest of my life I will social network and I am certain many of the people I know from REALNEO now will be part of my social network until I die, and that is awesome. Whether the social network is called REALNEO or runs on Drupal is not important - they are the best social network we have, as flawed as they  may be, and they will get better. I'm working with Jim O'Brien launching the East Cleveland Observer and other offshoots of the Lakewood Observer and he has invested in social computing technology that I'll be working with as well, and there are many other tools that need to be integrated into the social network environment of the future. It is not that complicated, and REALNEO is not at risk of collapse but rather positioned to have an astounding role in the future... and that will include all that has been REALNEO in the past... a very exciting reality.

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It would be nice

It would be nice if somebody would fix the posting error message, when you post it errors and if you refresh it post dublicates sometimes triplicates. 

It would be nice

It would be nice if somebody would fix the posting error message, when you post it errors and if you refresh it post dublicates sometimes triplicates. 


user error: Table './realneo_us/accesslog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO accesslog (title, path, url, hostname, uid, timestamp) values('Post comment', 'comment/reply/4001', '', '', 1198, 1189920051) in /usr/hm/initial/webroot/includes/ on line 66.warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /usr/hm/initial/webroot/includes/ in /usr/hm/initial/webroot/includes/ on line 194.

I just sent a message to support

Hey Tim - sorry about the tech difficulties on REALNEO. We're flying without inhouse tech support right now but the folks I use to host our box are amazing so I'm sure they can fix this - I just sent them a message.

I'm living the construction worker life of up at 5:30 AM and off to the site and all over town for the day... and in the evenings I need to work on the business side of that if I'm not passed out. This is the first moment I've had to try and troubleshoot tech issues and update sites in weeks (and I support quite a few of them)... and I just have a moment now.

The renovation has been going full tilt, on top of all the other movements and projects I'm involved with... and next week I'm making offers on two more properties in East Cleveland... and planning for the Star Complex is really moving forward... so my mind is wrapped around urban development and understanding a new and very different community and set of cultures, not to mention developing real estate... REALNEO is always there as well but it is hard to block off a chunk of hours to do anything like stie upgrades... I just try to keep up with all the interesting discussions going on.

The good news on the tech side is that EC CIO Abu is stepping up to help out and we have great service providers so we have plenty of hard core tech support... we just need to use it well.

Lets plan a REALNEO tech support meeting - only for people who want to be administrators and be directly involved in tech support (not a bitch session) - whenever other interested members would like and I'll update you on tech issues and resources so you are empowered to help administer and grow the community with me. We can meet at the Roxbury house any day and time - if we meet off site I'd prefer night or weekend.

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priorities, and desires

Norm, I don't want to be an administrator, but I would like to see the house.

Center is holding

  Thanks Norm.  As much as we want to think that a healthy society can be self-supporting and self-governing,  we need  someone who is not afraid to step up and be the leader.   We will all do our best to help out, but speaking for myself, I know that I could not fill your shoes.  You have vision and I applaud you and your network--including Susan, Jeff,  and every one who posts and is not afraid to talk, so we can hash out our problems and keep this unique egoless project moving full steam ahead.


  Looks like PD site has the same problem.  I am embarassed to say I just posted 3 times at for
Guess I have to wait awhile and stop sending over and over until it shows up in triplicate.  Patience is not my virtue.  I see Oengus has figured out how to post pictures in posts.  We will have to meet and make an effort to sit next to each other at parties a la Dorothy Parker.

since this is my community too

I contacted the person responsible for the new drupal website at the Cleveland Public Library, Laura Solomon. I thought perhaps we could contract with her for a few clean up items and perhaps some training for a few of us--maybe some well placed help files for beginners. A consultant -- paid per fix sort of thing. She might be able for example to fix the duplicate thing and discover why we get the error messages and bold face type and orange type sometimes. We might even contract for a cosmetic surgery -- the installation of the drupal video module. Imagine Jeff Buster being able to post the video he has taken of some of our public officials -- or even Ed Hauser who has videotaped every port authority, county commissioner’s and even ODOT meeting in NEO for as long as I can remember. There are surely a few things people might be interested to know about from these meetings where our money is being spent.

Aesthetically, this is the best site in the region. With the photos by Jeff and Norm and the rich content coming in from Bill McDermott, Zebra Mussel, John McGovern, Sudhir, Norm, Evelyn, Jeff, Karen M. Clark-Keys, Oengus (whoever you are) and Laura and the occasional post by Ed Morrison as well as the links and comments by Tim and Gloria Ferris, Mary Beth Matthews and the BFD crowd, there is lots to learn here. Where else can you post your images on a social networking site in the region?

It has always been great to see Norm posting a response to each post. His encouragement has been key to our continuing and we hope that soon his house will be done and he can post more frequently again, but in the meantime we cannot rely solely on Norm to keep this ship in shape and sailing smoothly.

Realneo is not the only drupal site where there are issues. I have the posting error issues at, too. Marc has mentioned that he would love to have a consult to see what is happening there. Maybe it is not as Cartesian as I imagine, but it seems that a few of these issues could be remedied.

I have no intention of giving up on this site. My content is here and I rely on the content provided by others. The site is read by countless nonmembers and non commenters. There is value here.

And there is inestimable value in the social aspect of the social network. Here's an example. Yesterday I was looking for someone who might fix an old neon clock from the Keith Building whose neon has never worked since it has been in our possession. I knew Norm had a friend who works with neon. Just as I was about to pick up the phone to ask Norm for a contact, he called. He needed me to help him get some help at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. He had found more than he could carry and pay for in that moment and could not locate Evelyn who had the credit card. I made a quick phone call to my husband who works there, he called through his chain and the deal was established -- pay and pick up mid next week. Then I told Norm I had planned to phone about the neon. He said I might just need a transformer and he had one that we could use to test the theory. Would I be home this afternoon, he asked. Yes, I said, I am scraping wallpaper. He asked if I would like to borrow a steamer. OMG, yes! In a few hours, I had a steamer to make my job considerably easier and Norm spent an hour working on the clock. We know how to fix it now. Norm has also introduced me to Peter Whitehouse of the intergenerational school and I have in turn introduced Peter to my friend Liz Lerman in Washington, D.C.

Via realneo, word got out to the Recent Past Preservation Network about the endangered Breuer Tower and numerous preservationists worldwide added their thoughts and efforts to the cause. There are many examples. And look at what we have learned about lead poisoning, and green building and water quality issues and dance and pollutants and art and literature and our region! Read a few older posts and see how important these ideas have been to those of us who strive to be better more well informed citizens and to share our findings with others. The value of the content is vast. There are a few technical issues that are a pain in the butt. I’m sure we can all agree on that. I just want to have the site tuned up and hope that perhaps by pooling funds we might be able to find someone who can do that for us. My efforts are entirely selfish – I want the site with all my content to remain in good shape and I would love to see issues that may deter folks from posting be resolved. I want to remove barriers that may deter people from joining the discussion. Norm made this possible, but we can’t rely solely on his generosity to keep it well. That’s what I meant to say when I called you to ask about the webmaster at CPL, Laura. I hope this has clarified my opinion for other readers.


PS I spoke to Jeff Schuler as well about this. He is pretty busy, but agreed to take a look when he has a chance, too.

RealNEO rally

I've been a REALNEO regular and member since site inception and I feel that I must add a rallying cry to many of the other posts responding to a very potent question.  Though REALNEO has long been plagued by technical difficulties many have worked through these or indicated or demonstrated the resolve to help navigate what has been a great learning and social networking experiment.  I, for one, believe we have had far too many successes and collectively contributed far too much rich and innovative content to consider any aspect of our ongoing efforts a failure.  Consider how little funding we've had to work with - most of us have funded all we've accomplished from our own pockets. 


Imagine the potential we can achieve should we actually organize more efficiently and perhaps develop REALNEO or some core aspect of it into a legitimate 501c3.  I know my individual Digital Divide efforts have begun to reap enough interest and contribution to warrant such status alone.  Considering the fantastic REALNEO roundtables pioneering members helped organize and orchestrate, featuring so many community leaders, and the outcomes we helped drive forward from such connections, we have much to be proud of.


We will only fail once we fail to try and succumb to any kind of doom-set mentality.  I've enjoyed learning more about Drupal technology and some of the irritiating intricacies that are now becoming much more lucent (i.e. photo posting via GIMP manipulation).  I've found this technology so interesting I'm now dedicating daily doses of time to more intimately studying Drupal CMS, from both user and administrative perspectives.  We should stand tall and remember that Norm's initial founding vision (2002) and all we've all done to drive it forward collectively the past several years are truly pioneering efforts for our region technologically - REALNEO brought Drupal to NEO first - and so many other great sites - Green City Blue Lake, Cleveland Public Library, etc - came afterward.  Ultimately the opportunity for so many of these sites to effectively network, merge and interface represents a very exciting future outcome.


 As some positive financial outcomes have very recently come my way, this has allowed greater time to be focused on some great transformative community efforts we pioneered at the same time REALNEO was founded - particularly the East Cleveland Transformation efforts, which we will highlight at the upcoming Beaming Bioneers Conference at CSU Levin College October 20th - 10:45 to noon.


Going back to rich content, I feel REALNEO has provided a platform for my own development as a writer, researcher, and aspiring social entrepreneur.  I've been able to provide pop prose and expository commentary that I feel provides us with unique and innovative solutions toward a better world and possibly saving our world, and some of these pieces have garnered expert Kudos and responses from Spokane, Washington even the Virgin Islands (a global expert in sustainable living machines and aquaculture, nontheless!).  The other day a lovely young lady from my apartment building in East 4th (which I am leaving soon for an East Cleveland domicile) mentioned how much she loved my poem, which she happened upon through search engine search of my name rather than any effort of my own.  Works and contributions can and have inspired many to return to REALNEO, to join the community, and share their own reflections and perspectives on content posted here.  Many concepts I exhibited at the last Ingenuity Festival (A Sustainable Future) were first conceived and developed on this platform - and some of these have gotten truly global recognition and will be the basis of a lifelong research and dissertation effort on the cutting edge of sustainability-oriented solutions.


These new connections, once bridged and continued, provide new and lasting value in cultivating a global community of thought and change leaders.  Such is the immense value and power of social networking that I have learned and loved firsthand.


So REALNEO community take heart - We have just begun to fight - mark my words - and watch!



Well said.  

but not a nonprofit

Sudhir, I think you're on the right track here, except for the part about being a nonprofit. Becoming a nonprofit is the refuge of those with good ideas whose first economic model seems not to be working. It is the first resort of those innovators who seek an easy way out of their current financial dilemma.


To become a nonprofit essentially indicates that you're giving up on the worth of your idea and throwing yourself onto the hoped-for generosity of like-minded others, trying to add in a tax incentive to get them to give you money. Absent the current tax system, we would not have the concept of a nonprofit business entity as it exists today.


If you believe in the worth of realNEO, somebody ought to be willing to pay for what realNEO does, either as advertising or public relations or organizing/building community. Also, you need to have a for-profit structure, because there is an upside where realNEO might make a good amount of money and become profitable. You don't want to limit your upside.


You also don't want to compete with legitimate charities. There are reasons for charity; entrepreneurship isn't one of them, and you provide no real safety net.


We all need to figure how to become sustainable without trying to pretend we are Mother Theresa. We're not; we're people with ideas about economics, conservation, art, and ethics.


Video would be cool, but the

Video would be cool, but the storage, video files are very big. 


I think if you are into making video, then Current TV is a good place to post. 


Current TV  



(not supported)


<embed src="" flashvars="videoType=vcc&" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" quality="high" height="400" width="400"></embed>

" flashvars="videoType=vcc&" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" quality="high" height="400" width="400"></embed>" flashvars="videoType=vcc&" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" quality="high" height="400" width="400"></embed>


actually it is supported,


Yes video content would be very cool, Flash


Travis Tidwell seems to think it is easy.


Heck with going to DC how about attending  DrupalCon Barcelona 2007?     

Here is a link for a Video Module, this site is not a commercial is it?  Flash may need a licence?


Double your EGO!

Here's a thought.  Susan, pointed out to me that folks are reluctant to create an identity in the REALNEO community, because they may be subject to deletion. Well, that rarely happens, and if so, you can always repost.  So, keep two blogs--your individual blog and a REALNEO blog. Double post the content at both sites. That way, you can hum your own tune and sing with the chorus :)  Try it.



Definitely keep a copy of your posted material.  I write my posts in Word first and then cut and paste them into realneo.  I keep all my posts in my realneo document file on my computers. However,  I don’t keep those copies because I’m concerned about deletion on realneo, rather I want to be certain my time won’t be lost if the realneo server crashed (or shut down because of lack of financial support for the server and site software maintenance)  and there wasn’t any server back up.  READ ON

I have been involved with realneo since the week it was rolled out by Norm at Ed Morrison's REI.  In that time I know of no intentional deletion by anyone other than the author of a post.   I ask people when I see a post come down if they know what happened. There have been links lost to some images when the site was moved to a new drupal version (or was it a new server) about two years ago.  I have had to go back and re-load a few images into my earlier posts because the image url  became disconnected from the post.  I know of a post that I commented on which was pulled down by the original author - so my comment went down too - I wasn’t crazy about that.    And Norm's post about hating Jones Day is gone.  I mentioned that to Norm a few weeks ago.

McShane's "nightmare or justice" comment about the graffiti sentencing posted between ll:00 am and noon on 9/10/07 disappeared a week ago (Susan and I found  a reference to it cached on Google – but we were unable to find the body of the comment), but it was not deleted by Norm I can assure you.  And I had a friend take down a Breuer post I made a month ago because the post  had what might be considered controversial graphics which I did not explain well when I threw it up in a hurry and left town.   So things do come down from realneo – but not because of moderation or admin censorship.

I like the freedom to go back and add to, modify, insert new images into, etc etc your own material - this is an important feature of realneo.  A feature no print news has.  Show me another public blog where that can be done.

Norm does vet (when he gets the chance) the "whose new" list of wannabe posters because there are tons of bots hoping to get membership to list their viagra and other junk.  This authentication job needs to be farmed out by Norm so he isn’t solely burdened with it.

So far, to the best of my knowledge, realneo hasn't had any crazy inconsiderate posters.  We have had a few posts which I thought were too blatantly commercial - but those stayed up anyway and we didn’t see them post again. 


Deletion isn’t the headache I am concerned about on realneo, what concerns me is the tech difficulty some new authenticated users have in posting.  Some of the difficulty is related to drupal, and some is related to the fact that this site is an older drupal version. 


We need to upgrade to drupal 5.2.  That will cost money.  Tim says the site should not be a non-profit, and I agree with Tim.  Unique-user site traffic is what determines advertising space value.  From what I can find free on the web and (which both hit the same site on the server) combined have about 9,000 unique (unique IP addresses) hits on the site weekly.  (Can someone confirm this # please) Advertisers pay about $15.00 per 10,000 visits, so with that income from a few discreet non-blinking non-pop up ads we could cover the realneo server costs, but not site development (i.e. coding labor to transition to Drupal 5.2) 


My goal with realneo is to see it improved so it has audio and video modules, a list-serve feature, more intuitive use.  I want to see more original content about news and education and entertainment and environment from more authors.   I want realneo to be sincere, honest and open.  I want to see Realneo be a muck raker.    In

conjunction with, and in cooperation with other blogs and web sites in NEO

 I want Realneo to be proactive and move the political equation in NEO towards our people, and away from our business lobbyists.   


What is the business model that will get Realneo to financial subsistence and  help Norm pay for this civic service?

Problems will be corrected

  Jeff--one of the problems seems to be the membership function has been frozen and would-be posters have been foiled.  I have had more than one person ask me to post for them, because they have not been recognized by the site.  We stopped by the Inner Circle today....saw Norm's house.  Very inspiring.  Maybe we can find a young site administrator for RealNEO?  Norm seemed to think that he could call in the chips on various on-going drupal projects.

Waiting for the answer

What's your question?

What's your question?

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next year...?

  Wait for what? (Great header--of course)

Sort of like "just a couple of days"

Sort of like "just a couple of days" - very open to interpretation.

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