Monday, January 21, 2008

February 2nd: Community Media Coming Together

Mountain Area Information Network (including WPVM) and BlogAsheville are coming together on February 2nd at the Rocket Club in west Asheville for the chance to put our heads together and get our community media on. This get together is long overdue.

Wally Bowen is the founder and leader of MAIN. He's working on a lot of different angles and planes, and when we got together for a cup of coffee last month, the ideas started flying fast. When we were running out of time, having only just scraped the surface of our common interests, I realized that we've really got to get all the bloggers' brains in on the conversation. Then it occurred to me that MAIN and WPVM would be really fun to party with. Let's get even more motivated, intelligent, witty, media-savvy folks with common interests in the same room together.

So in the twin interests of being as creative as possible about community media in Asheville while having a good time with really interesting people, we're co-throwing the MAIN/BlogAsheville night at the Rocket Club. 7pm - 8pm we'll have a relatively organized discussion. Keep your eyes on BlogAsheville, where we'll post ideas and get your creative juices even juicier. Wally's been thinking about this stuff for a long time and has a lot of well fleshed-out ideas to run by BlogAsheville, and my hope is that we'll have plenty to bring up as well.

So those of you who don't want to have anything to do with all that organized whatnot, 8pm - late we'll do away with any sort of attempt at organization and just hang out Community Media/Rocket Club style. If Rocket Club ends up being too loud or too crowded, we may bail over to The Admiral, which is right across the street.

So there's something for everyone. Meegan from MAIN is working on getting some kind folks to donate some good food for the event. There's big ideas to bounce around. There are relationships to create. There are scores of motivated, intelligent, witty, media-savvy Ashevillains who've been orbiting each other at too great a distance for too long.

I don't know how many of you folks know about MAIN, so here's a brief intro:

"When MAIN was launched in 1996, only two counties in western North Carolina were being served by commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As a non-profit ISP working with many local partners, MAIN now provides reliable, low-cost Internet service both in western North Carolina and nationwide."
"...projects include the Blue Ridge Web Market, which provides a free, customizable Internet presence to hundreds of small businesses throughout the region. The ReBoot Coalition, spearheaded by MAIN, places recycled computers in the homes of economically disadvantaged WNC residents, and our Latino Digital Literacy Project is helping one of our area's growing populations access the Internet through hands-on training and online classes.

MAIN is also the driving force behind WPVM, WNC's low power FM radio station broadcasting local news, views and music over-the-air in the Asheville area and throughout the region (and the world) via webcast. The station shares MAIN's goal of providing access to voices that are overlooked by the mainstream media. WPVM is on the air now at 103.5 FM.

As a full-service ISP, MAIN is able to provide free or reduced-cost web hosting services to businesses and non-profit organizations throughout our service area. As part of our mission to extend Internet access beyond the middle-class and wealthy, we also offer reduced-fee dial-up accounts to people in need of such help."

Please spread the word at your blogs. If anyone wants to create a killer graphic, that'd be awesome. If anyone wants to come up with a terrifically witty name for this event, go for it. BlogAsheville hasn't gotten together since the Extrava, and I can't wait to catch up with y'all while shaking it up with the MAIN/WPVM crew. See you there!

1 comment:

zen said...

Cool man! Count me in!