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Rest in Peace,
CLEVELAND COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS - A LIGHT IN NEO
Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 15:13.
One of the few organizations in Cleveland that seems to have truly meritorious objectives is The Cleveland Council on World Affairs.
Organized in 1919 by the League of Women Voters of Cleveland , the Council is like a little United Nations.
Jeanne Romanoff, Program Officer, International Visitors Programs asked Meet The Bloggers (and Gloria Ferris sent out invitations to other bloggers which is the hospitality custom for MTB) to sit down on Monday afternoon (March 10) with a group of 24 information and media representatives who are US State Department employees working at the UN or at US Embassies around the globe.
The meeting took place in the Warner Room at the Residence Inn on Prospect Avenue. The Residence Inn is in the Colonial Arcade building which runs between Prospect and Euclid.
At the two hour open discussion were US Embassy Foreign National Employees (receiving information and media training and US cultural orientation) from Madagascar, Cameroon, South Africa, Niger, France, Uganda, New Zealand, Norway, Austria, Montenegro, Armenia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Pakistan (2), Tajikistan, India, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Jamaica, and Bolivia.
The topic of discussion was blogs, and how blogs, and the network of connections between blogs, have become an element of community building in Cleveland and in North East Ohio (NEO).
There was a question from the Algerian representative about whether blogs posed a terrorist problem, and should therefore be controlled. Roger Bundy made the point that the present media was very concentrated – perhaps 5 main media corporations globally – and that the solution for preventing terrorism wasn’t restriction of blogs, but more blogs. Democracy and the peripatetic school of Aristotle thrive on the free transmission of ideas. Restraining blogs in the name of terrorism control will only drive the discussion underground - was a point made by another US attendee.
But spreading the word about blogs and getting persons to engage and produce original content on the web isn’t as easy as just talking it up. Tim Ferris demonstrated this point when, at the conclusion of the discussion, he helped one of the visitors from Pakistan establish a new blog (photo above).
Of the attendees that were from Cleveland, 3 spoke to me when I mentioned I blogged on Realneo. Each of the three (all women) made comments about Realneo’s “header” which changes day to day. One of the women had her photo in the header a year or so ago when Norm did a extemporaneous “restaurant review” of Johnny Mango’s. The other two indicated they enjoyed the visual variety of the header.
I thought it was significant that none of the 3 made any comment about the content on Realneo, but did mention the header.
If there ever was a great opportunity to carry on the social network building started at REI four years ago, this international audience provided it!
Thank you to Jeanne Romanoff for the opportunity to spread the web gospel and thanks to Tim and Gloria Ferris, and Roger Bundy from MTB for providing the platform.
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