Building a Better City for Biking Through Bike–Centric Blogs
Caroline Samponaro, director of Advocacy of Transportation Alternatives facilitated this panel discussion of NYC area bloggers, and Marc who came all the way from the Netherlands! This was followed by a Q & A session.
Ben Fried, the editor of Streetsblog (http://www.streetsblog.org/) has daily posts that gets people who ride motivated to pay attention to what’s going on, and creates an awareness that helps drive people to events on a local level. It contains an events calendar so people can see where their voices are needed, and serves a critical function to keep people informed.
David Schloss of Bikehugger www.bikehugger.com explained how blogs can tell people what is really going on, and inform them of the process of political change.
BrooklynSpoke’s Doug Gordon’s blog is www.brooklynspoke.wordpress.com an aesthetic marriage of historic photos and information as well as current views. He brought up a very interesting point. If a party reads something in a tabloid, and wants further information, and as a result of an internet search arrives at your blog – you then have the opportunity through your site to effect change!
Caroline asked about the role of visual blogs have in creating positive change.
Marc van Woudenberg ( www.amsterdamize.com )gave a brief slide show presentation of his blog, sharing stunning photos of friends, couples, and even a bride and groom, all cycling. He responded when people view his photos they’re in a context of storytelling. Graphs cannot resonate with people the way the pictures of actual people are able to inspire them. Marc stated how through cycling the city becomes so much more livable and enjoyable, as people interact and engage with each other. Amsterdamize very much promotes social consciousness, and shows the world it’s perfectly normal, and safe to ride a bike! “Amsterdamize is humanity in motion.”
And Noa Cortes of New York Cycle Chic, http://nycyclechic.blogspot.com/ illustrated how blogs positively promote cycling, especially to those who are non cyclists. NYCyclechic, Amsterdamize and blogs with a similar mission raise people’s comfort level when they show smiling, joyful bicyclists having fun. Blog viewers often conclude, “You know what, I can ride a bike in NYC if these people can”. Showing images of people enjoying themselves encourages those who are hesitant.
Great Advice Shared: KEEP MAKING YOUR MESSAGE BETTER!
I had the sincere pleasure of chatting after the discussion with Marc, the genuinely sweet and talented Noa, and also met Liz @ bikepeacenyc, and matthew @eightrack. We shared stories of riding, of our love of our bikes, and so much more.