A dream about Setúbal
Talking to Setúbal-bro Pedro of Centopeia (well, exchanging e-mails) and I started fantasizing about making the universe a better place. My local universe called Setúbal, that is. Setúbal is the fifth biggest city in Portugal and reputed to be as exciting and on-the-go as a fallen raspberry.
Pedro showed me Regional Post a now defunct project he started with Luís of Reciclemos and David of Songo. It's an online "espaço aberto ao jornalismo cívico e a uma vivência diferente em sociedade!" and they are wondering where to take it.
Their initiative got me dreaming. A blogger's dream.
There was a community space (a portal) where I could go and see the RSS feeds of other people blogging in Setúbal. Someone from the chess club was blogging as was a skater from Largo de Jesus. People blogged about the films they had seen at Charlote and the Fórum, others about toxic waste at Secil. People from Clube de Montanismo Arrábida blogged about the wonderful things they were doing. Someone was writing a satirical blog about people in the Câmara. School kids were blogging about school and students at the University and Polytechnic were blogging about .. whatever they blog about. An imaginative restaurant owner wrote a humerous blog about his clients and others wrote about how they managed to make the woman behind the desk at the Registo Civil smile.
In my dream not one of these people was using blogs merely to "transmit" information. No-one was using blogs to broadcast, they were using them to tell their stories and share ways of solving their everyday problems . Every day I went to the portal (or rather it came to me through my subscriptions) and I dipped in and out of the lives of different communities in Setúbal. Some made me mad, some were boring, some I commented on, some even got me to go out and meet people! I picked up technology tips from people writing about technology, cooking tips from people writing recipes, and learned to navigate my way collectively round Setúbal social and political life.
Somehow we were all making little tiny connections and, yes, we were creating a local identity that was more than the sum of lots of individuals - and Vitória wasn't its only name. People even started feeling accountable to each other. And going to Lisbon became a treat rather than the only way to get a life.
Tags: setubal, communityportal