Bldg 43 - a new kind of blog channel

Submitted by marccanter on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 12:24.

My friend Robert Scoble announced a new kind of blog channel this weekend st SXSW - a geek and music conference in Austin, TX.  It's called Bldg 43.

Robert played the blogosphere like a fine violin and launched this new 'sponsored' channel - with the help of TechCrunch, the Gillmor Gang (including yours truley) and an expectant group of fans - who all love Robert's geek oriented content..

I'm telling you all this as there are many lessons to be learned from Bldg 43 for the Citizen Dashboard project I'm proposing for Cuyahoga County.

1.  First off - it's an insider's game world - so we gotta do whatever it takes to get some cash, build some coolio software, setup bureaus, start content projects, put on live events - all the while offering this new kind of 'dashboard' to folks far and wide.  Once we get enough 'churn' - all of a sudden they'll be jobs, knowledge and inter-connections which weren't there before.

2. Robert won't be committing to any one kind of technology and so too with the Citizen Dashboard.  We'll keep using this Drupal driven REALNEO site, we can mesh into any kind of RSS feed and they'll be huge usage of Skype, Zoho, SugarCRM and OpenX.

3. But the Citizen dashboard for Cuyahoga County isn't for geeks - so even this Drupal site is too complicated for typical citizens of Cleveland.  We gotta produce an integrated environment which puts all the pieces together.  We gotta aggregate from a whole slew of sources - and put it in one place. And we gotta provide a highly customizable environment - so folks can hone in on JUST what they're interested in.

4. Robert's channel is a coordinated effort of his sposnor (Rackspace), a production team, lots of live event appearances (around the world) and street cred.  YES - that's what we need to do - as well - but just within Cuyahoga County!

5.  Robert's project is all about content. So too will our Citizen Dashboard be about content. Local content.  The story of the underground railroad, about Lake Erie, about the Rock and Roll musuem, and sports and health and Kent State.  What we need to do is produce an interactive mymedia encyclopedia.  Think wikipedia meets YouTube.  Fully tagged like Flickr.

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SXSW, Austin, Environmentalism and growing a strong new economy

I lived in Austin during a much earlier SXSW - about 17 years ago - it didn't have the tech/multimedia thing going yet, but it was an amazing music festival. It has been interesting to watch the event evolve... I haven't kept up with how Austin has been doing.

At that time, Austin was growing like mad - Apple has just been added to an already huge, world-class high tech industry base - it was a blast... an economy driven by the new economy.

I need to research how they've done over the last 15 years, versus how we've done here, with our old economy strategies and leadership models.

What impressed me most about Austin, when I first visited - why I moved there from New Jersey - was the fanatical, grassroots activism of CITIZENS to protect their natural environment, as they expanded their built environment. The government reflected the beliefs of the citizens, and went green in the 1980s, or before

The benefits of that should be measurable, as well.

Wonderful city and region, in my time. I hope still!

Marc - we're you at SXSW this year?

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