(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr)
So remember my post on Citizenship? Where I’d post monthly or so on my experiments in being more civicly engaged? Taking it in a slightly different direction.
Welcome to the Civic Diary.
I figure as opposed to a monthly roundup, I’d share my experiments sort of whenever. That way I can get feedback and ideas and it may inspire others to do likewise on their attempts to be more engaged citizens.
(I also figure it adds structure to the whole endeavor).
I should note this is not an attempt to show off – nor should it be for anyone. This is more chronicling a journey to see if it helps anyone – but it is a journey, since I’m not there yet.
So what did I learn since last time:
- If your town/city or whatever has a Twitter, Facebook, newsletter, or RSS feed get it. A lot happens locally that can affect our life and the lives of others, and there’s often many chances to get involved. It also keeps you aware of issues from the bottom-up. Here in Silicon Valley just one week into following my town I already feel more educated.
- A lot of citizenship seems to be about the power of weak links (just like networking) – many small, not really strong connections that you leverage when needed or that add up. In the case of citizenship that combination of friends, RSS feeds, retweets adds up. No one little bit of citizenship-connection is going to be The One that makes you some epic civic wonder – its having many options and inputs.
- Libraries – if there’s a local library get their newsletter, check their page, etc. Libraries provide a lot of social services – you can find a class, keep up on community news, or even do presentations or each.
- Keeping up on news is invaluable to citizenship – on all levels. That seems obvious, but when you’re thinking “how do I be a better citizen” regularly (say, in making an effort like this) you see how valuable the news is.
- Everyone has their own “news rhythm” that keeps them informed. Maybe you check once a day, maybe regularly, whatever. Just develop one.
Finally, I also find keeping a civic diary like this helps me think about how to be a better citizen. So hey, why not try your own.