Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Every month, Brooklyn bloggers get together in a different neighborhood of our beloved borough. We are film-makers, teachers, writers, artists, and community activists. We care about the communities we live in and we're willing to go behind the scenes with cameras and notepads to get the scoop.

We call ourselves the Brooklyn Blogade and we grow bigger by the day.

This past weekend, I hosted a blogade at Faan, an Asian restaurant on Smith Street. There were eleven of us there and we all sat banquet style 'round a long string of tables.

Before folks came through the door, I decorated the table with generous gift boxes creatively assembled by Pete Solomita of Little Buddy Biscuit Company and Ann Lopatin of Blue Ribbon General Store.

(For more coverage, including photos, of this event, please go to Flatbush Gardner and The Brooklyn Optimist.)

Pete's pink 'n' blue boxes were filled with a sampling of his delicious cookies. Ann's were filled with an assortment of the whimsical gift items she sells at her store.

After mingling, each blogger introduced him/herself and and his/her blog. We chowed down and then I asked the participants to brainstorm ideas of what they wanted to do as a group. People came up with some great stuff. Examples:

* Put together a book called The Best of Brooklyn Bloggers
* Use video equipment to interview people, get exposure for people
* Video activism: use video equipment to show social problems, then organize events to address those problems - e.g. neighborhood cleanups
* Have a wire service - e.g. Reuters - so there's a repository of stories that people could draw from
* Host debates between local politicians
* Monetize our assets - figure out how to get paid for our work
* Host an annual bloggers conference where we meet and transfer knowledge
* Have a blog carnival hosted by a particular blog where everyone blogs about a specific topic each month
* Share best practices
* Reach out to other parts of the country and world
* Talk more about fair use and creative rights
* Put together a Wiki for Brooklyn Bloggers

So what happens next? Chris of Flatbush Gardner, an amazing organizer I might add, is going to host a blog carnival. Morgan of Brooklyn Optimist plans on holding a neighborhood cleanup.

There's plenty of room for folks to collaborate, and the ideas presented at the blogade are a great place to start.

Here's to our bright future!

PS - The next Blogade will be hosted by Joyce Hansen of Bad Girl Blog on Sunday, March 9, at 12 p.m., in Kensington at the Old Brick Cafe, a little Italian/Balkan/Mediterranean restaurant on Church Avenue. For more details and to RSVP, please go to her blog.

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