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After a year of collaborative work, the Mt Tabor Central Yard & Nursery Planning Group had the opportunity yesterday (12/17/08) to present our proposal to Portland City Council cocerning our plan for updating the central maintenance facilities and nursery.  Much has been written about this process – a lot that is available on this blog (specifically in my Master’s thesis project for Portland State University), so I need not rehash many of those issues. But there are two things about yesterday that I feel that I need to point out.

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Though I have often turned a critical eye on this process, pointing out that the limited amount of time and large number of meetings have strained the nature of collaboration, it is important to point out that the planning group is making successful progress.  The MTCY&NPG is accomplishing everything it has set out to do: committees have formed to delve into research on the various facets of the project, architects have signed contracts for the design process (though we are awaiting final budgets), PPR has opened up conversations with employees outside of the planning group, the greater Portland community has been kept apprised of the headway, and we are meeting our established deadlines.

For all intents and purposes, there is no reason to think that this partnership won’t continue along a successful path.  Read the rest of this entry »

The interactive Internet, coined “Web 2.0” largely as a marketing term by businesses and media pundits in the mid-2000s, takes the passive medium of the Internet (passive for the majority of users without IT departments, servers, graphic designers, etc.) and turns it on its head.  Wikis, blogs, instant messaging, and mail lists are just a few of the tools that are empowering users of all abilities to have two-way conversations with audiences across the globe. 

Tim O’Reilly, one of the first to evangelize the concept of Web 2.0, reflected at the start of the trend that the key lesson of the technology is that “users add value” (2005).  Ian Davis, in his Internet Alchemy blog, asserts, “Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology” that enables participation not only on open software, but also in an open society (Lin, 2007). 

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