I am rubbish at this. Can you do better? Ever thought: “I could make more sense.” Well now is your chance. The Transition Town blog on the Bucks Free Press was always intended to be a collaborative effort with multiple bloggers. These days it often sounds like one hand clapping. Swish, swish, swish. Do you have something to say about High Wycombe’s future? Got a burning issue to get off your chest? The time has never been better. A while back we invited the local green community to form a blogging team but nothing came of it. So maybe this is not about one community. Maybe it is about all of us?

What have other Transition Towns done? Norwich have a rotating team of twelve bloggers. Read their work at http://transitionnorwich.blogspot.co.uk/. The Transition Network has expanded this idea into its “Social Reporting” project and gathered together bloggers from all over the country to blog about whatever is on their minds. Recent blogs have included titles such as “Chocolate – something we should really do without?“, “A Naked Look At My Shower” and “Home, Sweet Home“. The Social Reporting project began last year with 12 ‘social reporters’ around the United Kingdom, producing one blog post every day on a different topic set each week. You can read these and many more at http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories Of course Transition doesn’t inspire everyone which is why we are making this far broader. Just think about High Wycombe in the next 100 years. That’s enough. So, for example, we could hear from a local shopkeeper about the difficulties of the trade. Maybe a local politician might want to do a guest spot on local money & economics. The curator of our local museum could describe the challenges of keeping history alive. Someone from the local Health Services could describe the issues and risks of moving services further afield. Anyone could talk about local issues that effect High Wycombe. Sometimes the letters page of the Bucks Free Press might be a guide. For example, do you think this town lacks adequate local Farmers’ Markets? Should street lights be switched off to save money? If it is changing our world and you can write about it then it can be a blog.

So, what is a blog? To be honest it almost defies classification. It started as personal online diary entries but quickly evolved into opinion pieces. From there it has become what the Transition Network has done – it becomes grassroots reporting on issues that effect people and communities. A newspaper reporting culture within a culture. It is the world from OUR point of view. This will be High Wycombe from YOUR point of view. It is personal and it contains an opinion but it isn’t rocket science. Anyone can blog. If you can write 300 to 1000 words about anything then it is a blog. But people must want to read it.

What will people want to read? Well, if the topic interests YOU then it will interest other people too. If it is about High Wycombe and issues that effect the people who live here then you have an automatic audience already. It just needs to be pertinent to the future, to sustainability and a durable culture. It can be outrageous, passionate, political, angry, happy, controversial, clever or quite simple but it will always be polite and considerate. Everyone is different. We will obviously exercise some editorial control to keep it relevant and within the guidelines set down by the Bucks Free Press. Most of all it should be reasonably entertaining, original and different.

What is a blog not? Well it is not a good home for anyone who wishes to be nasty or name names. Personal attacks don’t make good reading. If you have nothing nice to say then it is best not said at all. It can’t be one long commercial advert for a local company (however worthy). We can’t let the same topic be chewed over again and again. That’s boring. Other than that, the sky’s the limit. One tip: always include a good, big, picture in JPG format. (If you can’t then we can find something suitable.) A picture says a thousand words! Blogs always look better with pictures.

What sort of themes would we like to explore? Well if you have a green or eco-bent then you can write a piece of fiction or non-fiction describing the High Wycombe of the future. Write about biodiversity and green spaces and how they will relate to the long term well-being and economy of the town. If you are in local business describe how you are contributing to long term sustainability and helping your employees flourish. If you work in a local school then tell us about your hopes and fears for the children in education today: what will be their challenges? What sort of world will they grow up in? If you are in local government tell everyone about the challenges of Big Society or Localism and how they effect us. Maybe a pensioner could tell us about the changes they have seen in this town since the war and what we have gained versus what we have lost.

The more you think about it the more you wonder why there isn’t an unstoppable tsunami of locals with some great story to tell and share. Imagine the debate it could spark. For guidance: THIS blog is roughly 950 words long. If you think this is too long then makes yours shorter. Submit your blogs to TTHW via email to the address on our website. Happy writing. We look forward to hearing from you.

To respond to this blog go to http://www.post-carbon-living.com/blog/index.php/2012/06/02/bloggers-wanted/ or drop us a line on Twitter (twitter.com/TTWycombe) or Facebook (facebook.com/TTWycombe) or via our web site at www.transition-wycombe.org.uk. You can hear Mark talk about the future of High Wycombe as part of his talk to the High Wycombe Society on the 6th July at the Guildhall. You can next meet Transition Town High Wycombe at the Hamilton School Fete on Saturday 16th June. We look forward to meeting you.

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