Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Last Word

At the end of the day nothing written in the last few weeks has changed my mind, and no-one has stepped up to take over, so I am preparing to let the North Vancouver Politics blog disappear.

If you would like to share some fond memories, now is the time.  Later this month we'll turn off commenting.  Once we've backed up and archived the content, and allowed the Wayback Machine to give it one more capture, we'll put it to rest.

Believe it or not, I actually think that there is merit in preserving what's been posted here in the last few years, and will make sure that happens.    Surely future historians will want to have access to things other than Council minutes and North Shore News archives.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Call For Volunteers

Folks, I remain unconvinced that the North Vancouver Politics blog serves a useful purpose any more.   I'm at one of those points where I need to abandon or hand off a few projects to better focus on core activities, and this is a job that I'm giving up.

If you would like to step up and take a shot at running this place, just email me and I'll hand over the keys to the kingdom.   

My parting advice to anyone who steps in to manage this place is straightforward:  It's of little value to have the same dozen people making the same dozen arguments about the same dozen topics.  Echo chambers never changed anything.

If you want this site to have real value, and to have real influence in the governance of our communities, you'll need to find a way to reach a much larger audience, to get them excited about local politics, and (perhaps most important and difficult) convince them that their opinions and actions will actually make a difference.

Ultimately that's why so few people use this blog, why voter turnout is so low, and why the default in North Vancouver is just to complain about any and all new ideas.  People feel disconnected from their local governments, just as they feel disconnected from senior levels of government, and from the corporations that loom over so much our lives.

That sense of powerlessness is not accidental, and affects each and every one of us. (book recomendation)

If there is one reason to keep this blog alive, it is the continued dismantling of the traditional news media in Canada.  As the giant media conglomerates shut down more and more newspapers, and reduce the actual reporting at those that remain, it is even more important that we develop alternatives.

To be blunt: for the vast majority of North Vancouver residents all news about their local government comes from two sources: The North Shore News or word of mouth.  That's not enough.  The former has too few resources, and the latter is too unreliable.

The challenge here, as in almost every community in Canada, is to find a vehicle that will allow everyone in our community to be well informed in an easy and trustworthy fashion.  A lot of smart people are working on that, but thus far they haven't found the magic formula.

So step up and offer to take over,  If there's no serious interest I'll archive the content and turn out the lights.

Otherwise, so long, and thanks for all the fish.