We’re excited this week to have the opportunity to share practical insight we gained with using new media for advocacy at the Preservation Maryland Annual Conference. Our experience came about after the Elkton Alliance/Main Street program proposed that the Mayor and Commissioners turn over some recently acquired public land to a commercial developer. After hearing Commissioner Jablonski’s proposal, two other members of the town board, including the mayor, developed a strong interest in selling the land to the developer. It had been recently acquired through Program Open Space Grants.
After rumors of the sale of public land surfaced on Main Street, we worked to create a constructive dialogue on the importance of this valuable cultural resource, while striving to make the internal workings of local government on this matter known to a wider audience, Since we weren’t getting anywhere with either initiative or with getting the attention of the local newspaper, we launched this blog and gained valuable experience in using weblogs for a cause. By the time the town decided to forget the idea after about a half year of wrangling, we had discovered what a helpful tool web 2.0 products were for citizens with a cause or for nonprofits seeking broader outlets for spreading news.
At the 2009 Maryland Preservation and Revitalization Conference, we will draw on this experience to present a session on blogging for a purpose. In the session we’ll explore how preservationists and related professionals may use this cost effective medium, while getting their message across. From the time we figured out how easy and effective these web 2.0 products were, we’ve always encouraged others to use this information sharing methods as a new information and advocacy distribution method. This important state-wide session will allow us to share this case study