More tweet experimenting

This one is another experiment. I can't tell you what it's for, because I'm not sure what it's for. But, I often say things on Twitter in the moment, and I want to be able to get more people to read them. 

So here is my journalistic work-day digested via tweets. 

Council began at 7:00. One of the first items on their agenda is always Matters from the Public. Anyone can speak up to three minutes on any item that doesn't have a public hearing on the main agenda.  Often these are on issues I don't write about, but I think are significant enough for people to know what's being said. The tweets do not do what's said justice, most of the time, but they hopefully inform people and whet appetites for people to want to know more.

Both of these people need to be heard to fully explain what they were saying. I often think about creating podcasts that are just annotated versions of Matters from the Public. Real people's voices say much more than I can summon in words.

I'm hoping my fellow journalists are paying attention to this and are readying stories on the third anniversary of Sage's disappearance.

My job, though, is to monitor what's happening with Charlottesville and Albemarle government as it pertains to the built environment. The phrase "built environment" is jargon, I know this, but it's all around us, and there are ways to affect that happens.  Part of that is through monitoring decisions that are made by passing the consent agenda.

I love that people are paying attention.

Oops.  I left off the unit in the tweet. $12,500, not $12.5 million. I'm not perfect, but corrections can help me become more accurate.

I have a policy of not tweeting things that I'm likely to write about. I want to save the facts for my article. I'm going to write in the next few days about many transportation items that happened at this meeting. But, I had to make an exception for this.

I took a break from tweeting for a while. I'm not writing about the next issues I'll tweet, so the medium was perfect to help me pay attention.

So, that would appear to be that. I'll spend several hours later this week revisiting the meeting, and these tweets help me remember where I was by connecting me to the moments I was in City Council chambers watching it all. That will help me as I sort through what's going to be a confusing story to write, but I'll get something good written by attacking the confusion with research!

This is my life. You can look through what I do and see that I'm sad about my lack of a personal life. But, I'm much happier than I've been in a long time because I genuinely love this. I'm excited to be able to share what I know, because I want more people to pay attention to local government and to spend less time paying attention to national government. We can't affect national government, but we can change our "built environment" by understanding better how complex our communities are.

I'll conclude this experiment by previewing tomorrow.


Recapping a meeting in tweets

This one's experimental. Heck, they all are, really. If you go back into the deep archives of this blog, you'll see that I often used it ten years ago to try things out and to say where I was with my experimenting with podcasting and the Internet. This was before Facebook and Twitter, and in general I was probably a bit more candid than I am on those platforms. Even this blog, until my 42nd birthday, was not very active anymore because I was afraid I would say something I didn't want everyone in my community to know. 


I define that broadly, and I think most people do now. I think that Facebook in particular has given us all the chance to explore our own reality through the all of the previous communities we have been in. My friends on Facebook come from growing up in Lynchburg to my time in New Hampshire to my family across the world, but I'm mostly connected to the people I know in Charlottesville. 

Twitter, though, I use to be a journalist, mostly. I'm not as personal and I really dig into the details of how my community is put together, past and present with an eye to the future. 

So, on that note, let me try embedding some of the tweets from today's roundtable of former Mayors and Vice Mayors of the City of Charlottesville. 

At this point, I'd like to apologize to Nancy O'Brien for not tweeting her cvillepedia entry.
Huja began the meeting by asking those who were present to mention two issues they faced when they were Mayor or Vice Mayor.

Let me break in here for a second to say that Daugherty had a lot more to say. They all did. These are just tweets that were recorded in the moment. I'm going to post the audio at some point, and I encourage anyone who's read this far to just listen. Anything I ever write is just an account of what happened. It's my version of what happened, and I don't ever want to pretend that I have the final say on anything.

It's the same thing as when I was a radio reporter. You take soundbites and hope you get it right. Hope you got something that distilled what happened in that moment. You can so easily get it wrong.

I took a risk live-tweeting this, because there's so much that can go wrong. You will note a lot of punctuation errors in the above. I'm just trying to get the information out there quickly, and I want to be as thorough as possible while staying in 140 characters.

Anyway, back to the people from today.

The Buck Mountain reservoir never happened. During an environmental check, the Jamesriver Spineymussel was discovered and the project was cancelled and another search for a larger community water supply would play out at the end of the 2000's. But, that's for another day.

Alvin Edwards arrived late, so he didn't get a link to his cvillepedia entry.

Holly Edwards then began to explain why she wanted to convene this meeting. I didn't capture this as well as I could have, so I recommend you listen to the recording.

O'Brien also made the point here that they didn't have emails or cellphones back then. Again, listen to the audio if you've taken the time to get this far into this account.

I'm going to end the account here, because I want to go back and listen to what the elected officials said. You can follow me to see what I said, or otherwise look at the timeline. But I want to write a fuller account of this when I can go back and hear the audio.

I want to do more of these. I'm not going to publicize this page. I'm thinking of creating a new blog that just archives my tweets on a daily basis. I can maybe send that out as a newsletter or something. I think I write some interesting things and I want to build a bigger audience for it. I want to reach more people and get more people interested in their local community.



The summer is over. Long live the summer, as we've got it for another month or so, along with the hint of fall. I can feel the potential for joy as the leaves fall from the trees and survival instincts kick in. How shall we survive the winter? Have we collected enough? Have we stored enough fat? 

I am not sure. I just know I'm working furiously to prepare, to fix myself, and now that summer is over I can work without thinking I need to go on vacation, I can just get on with it, and I can take joy in anything. There is nothing that can stop me now but my own falling leaves, my own decay. 

Music from the past can help. I'm reading Kim Gordon's memoir, Girl in a Band, at the moment, and I began my work day by listening to an album I'd not ever heard before by the Raincoats, a British all-woman band from the 1980's and I'm tempted to just listen to the whole thing again a second time. 

Seems appropriate to hear as I begin the last four months of a year that I had high expectations for that has turned out to be more of the same. I'm halting the slide, though. I'm on the way towards something a little bit different. I'm on the way towards a new middle.