Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rust Belt Blogger's Summit Update

I never got to Erie for the first Rust Belt Bloggers summit so Ive tried to to link to a few people who were there. Hopefuly, this is the first of a number of events aimed at linking together members of the informal and formal, online media accross the Rust Belt.

There is some debate as to the value of networking accross the region which contains many communities with a full plate of local problems. I think it's very, very important. Perhaps, one of the most negative characteristics of most Rust Belt cities is their relative lack of connections to the outside world. Aside from a few obvious college towns, the region has extremely low levels of foreign or internal migration, Insular political structures and highly localized single newspaper and TV monopolies. The result of which is a lack of information and capital flow accross the region and an inability to learn from other places successes and failures.

I'm very happy and grateful to Jim Russell for trying to break this mold.

As near as I can tell, there were probably not many more than 20-25 bloggers present at the two day summit with representatives from Erie, Cleveland, Youngstown, Pittsburgh and other places like Washigton county and Butler.

Dale Hannah, who contributes on Outside Erie has two updates; One, Two.

"The Rust Belt Bloggers’ Summit wrapped up Saturday afternoon with a 4 hour roundtable discussion about our own personal goals and achievements as bloggers. For some of us(me), it was a learning session. Several visitors came in from the Youngstown and Cleveland areas and one from Butler. The guys from Youngstown gave a great shared presentation about the founding and successes of the New Media in their town. A gentleman from Cleveland, a former city planner there, is now working in the same capacity for Youngstown. It was obvious from their stories that they have put together a very workable plan."

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