Time-limited community issue forums

Bruce Morlan My buddy, blogger, and another NCO co-founder Bruce Morlan mentioned to me this weekend that he’s thinking about moderating an online forum on planning commission-related issues. Bruce has done some F2F moderator stints at the Contented Cow’s Politics and a Pint series lately.

Griff WigleyIt prompted me to dig through my archives for transcripts of the forums that I moderated for NCO starting in 1996. The new Community issue forums page that I just created has background, but here are the 21 forums, 18 with transcripts, some of them relevant to current issues (library long-term planning, parks, transportation, etc.) On the right: me with my unofficial moderator hat on.

8 thoughts on “Time-limited community issue forums”

  1. Thanks Griff, now I have to do something instead of just talking about it …

    When NCO started offering these forums they were very well received, and represented a real advance over the technology of bulletin boards (BBS) and other new ideas. At that time ee were experimenting with blogging, I acted as coach and poster for a proto-blogger who attended lots of Rice county government events, she would send me her write-up and her take (editorial) on it, I’d format it up (using Notepad) and post it.

    When we added forums, Griff would organize the “panel”, set up a thread that only they could post to and coach the panel into carrying on the asynchronous conversation that the web permitted. The forums were designed to be similar to a live panel discussion with audience participation, as we would eventually open them up to others to post questions. Unfortunately they proved to be pretty time consuming for an all-volunteer organization.

  2. There was a year or two where NCO did get a stipend from the City to do some of the forums, Bruce. Former City Administrator Scott Neal used money from the public access cable TV fund.

  3. I remember that funding, but it also seems to me that the real cost of a forum was not met by the stipend, and you ended up donating way to much unpaid time to run them. We tried to settle on a coaching-only structure, but could not get volunteers to run the forums even then.

  4. Tracy just found the transcripts of 4 more forums in her archives. I think it was in her purse.

    • City Council election Oct 98
    • District 25A election Oct 98
    • Community Resource Center referendum Jan 98
    • City Parks Oct 97

    I’ve created pages for them and have updated the links above. She’s also found some archives of the last three, though they’ll have to be built individually.

  5. Bruce… in referance to your comment #3. I can certainly vouch for the amount of time spent on these forums! It took a tremendous amount of dedication and constant attention.

    I guess I have to reveal that I am Griff’s wife.

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