Monday, June 16, 2008

BROOKLYN BLOGGERS ARE BUILDING COMMUNITY

Three years ago, when I moved to Brooklyn with Mike, I had a very clear goal: to build community here. I wanted to lay down some solid roots in the way of relationships, and I was open to the forms they could take – creative collaborations, friendships, work partnerships, neighborhood acquaintances.

Writing a blog has turned out to be an excellent vehicle for building community. First, there are the people that I interview: I gathered some of those folks and started a monthly goal-setting group for women artists. Then there are other bloggers: I found them in 2006 when Louise Crawford of Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn organized the First Annual Brooklyn Blogfest. From there, a group of us decided that we Brooklyn bloggers would meet monthly. So we formed The Brooklyn Blogade .

Here’s what the Blogade does: In order to promote geographic diversity, we rotate the job of hosting the monthly get- together. So far bloggers from seven different areas of Brooklyn have hosted the brunch in a neighborhood restaurant or cafĂ©. We also created a Google group so that we can communicate online. We talk about everything from how to get more folks involved to how to handle attacks from readers.

Last month, I helped organize the Third Annual Brooklyn Blogfest. What was great about this Blogfest is that at least half of the Blogade members, plus non-bloggers, stepped up to the plate and took on jobs to make the Blogfest a big success. My friend Pete Solomita, who I had interviewed for my newsletter, volunteered to be the DJ. Julio of E-String Technologies was the stage manager. Joyce Szuflita made the signs. Adrian Kinloch organized all of the technical aspects of the evening.

I’m talking about the world of Brooklyn bloggers because I want you to know that it possible to create community wherever you are. You can build community around your faith, your paid work, your work as a parent, your love of dogs, or your love of hiking in upstate New York. Start making in-person connections with people who share similar passions and concerns and watch the quality of your life skyrocket.
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