Monday, 2 July 2012

All change on This Low Carbon Life

This midsummer we changed lanes on the blog. Since October 2009 we've been writing posts non-stop, in a rhythm of individual pieces (in three day slots), topic weeks and Transition themes weeks - and we now have a massive archive of 941 posts. Recently however this has become more difficult to organise. Life has stepped up in pace, people have moved into other projects, moved away from the region. So we made a decision to experiment and forego those daily deadlines for a less formal, more spontaneous style.

At the recent Sunrise Festival (where I was working at the Tin Village), there was a defining moment. There was a rota for all the jobs that needed doing: prepping in the kitchen, keeping the fires going, making pizza, running workshops etc. And then the big rain came and washed everyone's names away. So we forgot the rota and got on with it anyway. Everything miraculously self organised. We did what we wanted to do at the time we needed to do it.

Even though I have been a great advocate for having a rota (decided at our quarterly meetings) and an editorial structure, I loved this anarchic approach. You do stuff because you believe in the enterprise, because you want to be part of the crew, for your own reasons, and you are not depending on an outside form, or any kind of leadership to direct you. Lately, I have to admit, being in charge of things has become a drag. Acting as editor on a cutting enterprise, like the Transition Free Press, where the crew is highly and equally committed, is one thing; holding the fort and reminding everyone to post is another. You're "just there", and so people depend on you, rather than on themselves, for finding stuff out. This doesn't feel like Transition, it feels like one person carrying the responsibility for the initiative, and everyone else dipping in when they feel like it. Old style.

This isn't just this blog of course (I feel like this on the Social Reporting Project too), it's many people's experience in Transition. It causes those of us who carry projects to feel overburdened and resentful, and those of us who don't to be half-hearted about our involvement, and flaky. Neither truly benefit. Some feel it matters too much (and burn out) and others that it is arbitrary (and drift away). Nil-nil either way. For projects to work we all need to pull our weight and put ourselves on the line, and know when we can cut the slack. As individuals and as a team.

So how will the blog work? We have divided the week into days for different people and themes. We're free now to post when we like, so this means there might not be a blog every day, but there will be three at least a week.

Here's the list:

Monday - Charlotte (Communications)
Tueday - Low Carbon Cookbook and Norwich FarmShare contributors
Wednesday - Simeon
Thursday - Mark
Friday - Jon
Saturday - John, Chris, Kerry and our occasional and guest bloggers
Sunday - from This Low Carbon Life archive

Later we might reintroduce our topic and Transition theme weeks, but for the moment we'll see how this arrangement goes. We hope you will stay with us in our new format, and do get back if you have any comments. Transition is all about experimenting and finding different ways to connect and communicate. Stay in touch!

This week on our sister blog, the Social Reporting Project, we are introducing a new series of regional weeks, starting in the East. Here we are gathering at Downham Market in 2009.

Mark reading Transition Free Press now available on-line or in printed form at The Greenhouse; some of the Norwich bloggers in Chapelfield Gardens after a quarterly meeting

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