by Ron Cooper

This is the fifth and concluding article on the NNB project. In articles #1-4, we outlined our efforts to build volunteer based “Neighborhood News Brureaus: (a) using Word Press on-line softare to organize remote digital media content for a new “aggregated” web site – AccessLocal.TV, (b) design on-line community reporter training (including bi-lingual – English/Spanish) & eventually expand to include other languages, (c) start with “brick & mortar” NNB’s in 5 trusted community & teen centers in the racially diverse south County, (d) expand training to grow NNB’s regionally and (e) learn important lessons from the “Tipping Point” – how we can influence 20% of the population to spread an “information epidemic”, impacting our entire community. The key points included the following clarifications:

  • Why “NNB”? – Why Now?
  • Why is Access Sacramento Provding Leadership?
  • How Will NNB Impact and Change Local News Coverage?
  • Why a New Web Site – AccessLocal.TV?
  • The Five Neighborhood Partner Organizations in South         Sacramento
  • Orchestrating a “Tipping Point” – Lessons From Malcolm Gladwell
  • Identifying “Connectors” and “Mavens” and Training the Trainers
  • Marketing the Idea to Others – Who Might Be Interested?

The “architecture” of AccessLocal.tv uses WordPress, a software platform familiar to many “bloggers”. WordPress MU (Multi User) allows new members to have their own blog, which can be pre-customized and plugin enabled to allow new user content to integrate seamlessly into the existing community. For those familiar with web development lingo, WordPress MU is built on PHP for a scripting language, and MySQL as a database. Java and Javascript are also used to provide interface and backend scripting. Over the next few months, the web site will grow by adding new digital content:

  • Video Intake: The uploading or recording of new video, available for  on-demand viewing at any time, from anywhere in the world.
  • Digital Still Intake: The uploading of new photos and digital stills.
  • Digital Slide Show: Organize stills into a slide-show with audio comment.
  • Audio Intake: The uploading or recording of new Audio files.
  • Crowdsource tracking: Identify GPS locations of uploaded content.
  • Advertising content: Ads may be included for each distinct blog.
  • Link AccessLocal.TV “Web 2.0” data to your existing web site.
  • On-line training in English and Spanish

WordPress MU helps us to organize information submitted by community members using a very “user friendly”, template style, interface. If you are familiar with adding information to Facebook, if you send photos to friends via e-mail, or if you do your banking online, the instructions for adding new digital content to AccessLocal.TV will be easy to learn. These skills number you in the 60% of the general population comfortable with Internet use.

However, if these skills are unfamiliar (about 40% of the general population), we will establish workshops to teach basic skills in cooperation with local computer skills classes. We will seek out grant funds and business support to attract Internet savvy youth leaders, our “connectors”, who will patiently empower “mavens”, our beloved and trusted senior community leaders, to better use social media technologies and add digital information directly to the Access Local.TV web site for others to enjoy. Our goal is increase the “relevancy” of local “news” attracting those in our community who currently do not use the Internet. Professional journalists in short-handed newsrooms, have agreed to use AccessLocal.tv as a source of “leads”, watching for interesting hyper-local news stories to surface and covered in greater depth.

Does this sound interesting to you? Are you involved in a nonprofit community organization with teen and senior members? Can you already envision teen “connectors” and senior “mavens” you want to include?, Are they willing to invest their time telling the many stories within your community? Do you want to update your current “brochure-style” web site with AccessLocal.TV content generated by leaders locally and regionally? Here are several opportunities for you to get involved.

  • Local Leaders? – Attend the Neighborhood Summit on Friday May 21 at the Convention Center – See the ad below? One of the 21 FREE workshops will be all about the NNB’s. I will present the basic information and answer your questions. Sign-up TODAY online.
  • Youth Interested in Digital Media? – Plan to attend the FREE “Youth Media Forum For Social Change” in the KCRA Channel 3 studios on Saturday May 22 from 9-Noon. Contact Kindra Montgomery at (530) 752-6090 for registration details. See eleven different youth media projects demonstrated by youth under 21 and sign-up for future training as a social media “connector”.
  • Nonprofit Organizations? Contact Ron Cooper to discuss upcoming training for your staff and key volunteers. See how simple the process can be for your community to add content online and join the “connected community”.
  • Grant Writers and Community Organizers? – Contact Access Sacramento today and discuss how the NNB training and information “epidemic” can serve your cause. We are looking for partner organizations to seek out funds in the areas of health planning, youth training, Internet job skills, community organizing, nonprofit marketing, digital media development, and more.
  • Join Access Sacramento for only $30 per year or $20 per year for seniors and full time students. We are developing member only workshops to teach basic “blogging” skills and once you are ready, receive a “blog” of your own at the AccessLocal.TV site. Contact us by calling (916) 456-8600 #112 or e-mail us at postmaster@AccessSacramento.org

Watch our newsletter for ongoing updates and NNB status reports. Together, we will “make a difference, one voice at a time”.