I was very sad reading my local rag last week. So sad that i started to write a letter to the paper and the people of Stourbridge, a letter to reach out and communicate. Peace comes of Communication said Ezra Pound.
And here comes everybody
We will see if it gets published at all, i'll feedback as soon as i hear or see anything.
Stourbridge News Website feat. the inspirations for this letter.
[Title = "Stourbridge 2.0"
Dear Stourbridge and The Stourbridge News.
In these shattered times, i often turn to the Stourbridge News for information and knowledge about Stourbridge and its surrounding area, to get the swing of whats going on locally. It often makes me smile and sometimes sigh. Last week your printed pages made me literally cry.
I might have cry'd because i was feeling sensitive or maybe i cry'd because of the powerful combination of articles and letters published with such a compelling political aura? Politics or a kind of political commentary always appears in your paper, its literally full of it, but last week it was jam packed full with such powerful politics. I just welled up, "Jesus" i thought, i need to communicate more. So this is how i propose to help. With a new idea. Stourbridge 2.0
The Stourbridge News LTD. now has a web site that publishes selected stories and letters (And hopefully this letter), and for the first time in History has the wonderful added bonus of a feedingback function. (although very primitive as web feedback technology goes) None the less, its much like the printed letters section of the actual paper paper itself but on an "open" public computer network. This network is still under moderation by your editing board, so i assume your capable of keeping a scholarly, balanced and democratic environment. Equal to any News Services goal of objectivity, fairness and equality when representing information to the public.
I was upset and frustrated partly because of the tragically wasted opportunity for a real community service, a real democratic interactive political environment; an interactive democratic Stourbridge based forum to discuss the most important issues facing us today. Maybe featuring various models of politics (from the Greens, BNP, Liberal Dem's, Labor, Conservatives, Independents etc), Various economic models, various models of community activities in progress, all in various models of communication: (Multimedia - Video, Audio, Text), various models of Government, various models of anything you fancy? Anything the PEOPLE fancy or wish to discuss that they feel strongly enough about. To quote a popular phrase "We have the Technology". But do we have the collective will power?
A closed circuit attitude towards the electronic integration of "Stourbridge" into the World Wide Web of Globalization and Global Communication can only stifle our culture. If Dudley is introducing electronic voting systems for example, then where's the electronic public feedback forum? You can't have one without the other brother. Just 23 Megabytes of feedback space for each voter, at a conservative guess, would suffice. Imagine an electronic democratic forum for voters to have THEIR say about WHAT they are voting for, and to provide THEIR alternatives? You better imagine faster because the whole world is waiting, a whole "Other" world. Who knows, more people might come to visit Stourbridge who never heard of it, so helping the businesses which seem to be in need of more custom.
I ask of Stourbridge or the gentle readers of the Stourbridge News - why have they (The Council, Newspapers, Political Parties, Major Corporations) NOT joined together on the internet yet? with a PUBLIC FEEDBACK Forum for us, your subjects, your workers? and not just e-mail and private use of the Global internet communications available in 2007, why, not as yet have they created an interactive community forum, integrating both the local community, businesses, education centers and POLITICAL think tanks, and, the non-local "World Wide Web" all together? Why not a Public open feedback forum?
Not forgetting the Stourbridge News itself. In fact the Stourbridge News would have to be the hub, the nest if you like from which this inevitable communications revolution will remerge as if by magic to those people with insufficient technological awareness of Globalization, Internet 2.0 and the long lost and ancient bones of what a political democracy IS: An Open society with multiple models, open debate, free criticism, free speech and freedom of the press, right to assembly etc. Healthy fast FEEDBACK!
What i propose then, considering my own shock and terror after reading your articles last week that resulted in much emotional drama is a "Public forum" based around Stourbridge News .COM, but maybe opening up the editorial to different public groups like the local Churches and Learning Institutions for example, why not LINK us all up together or at least allow for those who would like to Link LINK, at least temporarily, at least.
I figure if enough people vote that this is a good idea and vote for it to be implemented, then its pretty easy to add such a "forum" section to your website, which incidentally already has NETWORK Links to all of the major Council, Media, Political Parties, Major Corporations active in and around Stourbridge. Who knows if we pray the .Gov might have some funding for you to set this all up? IMHO this "Forum" is exactly what they should provide THE PEOPLE with. When we have such political emergencies to deal with, and we have many political emergencies to deal with.
A slogan i like that outlines good internet etiquette is that if your can't achieve tolerance at least attempt a little courtesy. I often wish political councillors could understand this phrase, in the non-internet world.
Collaborate, Communicate, Coagulate
-fly (Chief Commissioner of the River Stour)
Names and Addresses Irrelevant.