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May 11, 2007


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Sorry to hijack your comment thread but I'mhoping to steal five minuts of your time today. Kwall me! (906-8804)

We now resume the hyperlocal teeth-gnashing...

Danny Wright

Keith Debbage is Greensboro's very own Tom Friedman. It seems like most of the impacting big-picture studies of our city have been led by him -- and they have been very revealing. The current report should scare the hell out of people who are concerned for the economic vitality of our entire city, rather than just bits and pieces of "mover areas".

That creative character plan is one of the hollowest initiatives I believe I have ever seen. When I scrolled to the bottom, I thought, "Okay, this first part is good -- nothing like some 30,000-foot views to help get us going."

And then nothing. No plans of realistic action at all. In other words, the plan is not actionable. And this is Action Greensboro. Who is responsible for REAL follow-up on these pie-in-the-sky agendas?


(Better late than never)

The State of the City Report (Benchmark Report) is online at the Action Greensboro home page and wasn't there the other day due to sudden out-of-townness" I recently suffered. My company is working with all area nonprofits to be more online-ready and anticipatory (which is a process), then yes, it's a shame that Action GSO missed getting it online when the newspaper printed the story. It wouldn't have happened on a 'normal' day, but we don't have too many of them. [BTW, we don't charge for online hints and helpful phone call reminders.]

Ed, did you contact Action GSO when the report wasn't online to helpfully suggest they do so? [What really happened, I believe, is I saw your post, contacted Action GSO and got the report online as quickly as SMS would allow.] Maybe you can be their online coach/tutor and help volunteer civic organizations learn about the importance of timing of online information. You can call 336-379-0821 and volunteer. I know they'd appreciate your help and expertise.

A reminder phone call would have been in order before a chastising-sounding blog post, ya think? I was disappointed with how you wrote what you wrote, but have thick-enough skin to just move ahead with the new online plans and do whatever I can to help organizations, like Action Greensboro, be better online tomorrow than they are today.

Ed Cone

Nope, didn't see the need for a call to them. That wasn't the point.

They discussed the report with the N&R but not with other media and not at their own website; that's the story I was reporting. I see it as part of an ongoing problem with the organization and its relationship to its community and the new media.

"I know they'd appreciate your help and expertise." Really? My experience suggests otherwise.

They've heard my ideas, in person, at the meeting of the supporting foundation boards mentioned in the linked post. I got some nice lip service about stuff like municipal wifi and building on the grassroots effort behind ConvergeSouth to add depth to the creative culture initiative and then....nothing. I followed up on behalf of the TSF board on the phone. Nothing.

Skip Moore

Thanks for the comments and questions about Action Greensboro in relation to Keith Debbage's report on the economy and the Creative Character initiative.

Debbage's report is the first of a three-part effort. He is providing the statistical and comparative information with competitive cities. The second part involves a number of personal interviews with business, community, and government leaders. The third part is a community poll and survey. All of this information will be then analyzed and assembled into a larger report that points out themes for further action. It is actually that report that we are looking foward to and this first step is interim information.

We did meet with both the News and Record and the Business Journal to review the information so that their stories could be as in depth as possible. The first public view of the information was at the Groundbreakers meeting on May 10 where both an executive summary and copies of the full report were available. It was planned that the report would be on the Action Greensboro web site the next morning. Evidently we muffed that. But it wasn't a matter of non transparency. It is there now.

The Creative Character initiative has been very helpful in keeping a number of issues at the forefront of Action Greensboro and Partnership thinking. The programs that the committee has suggested don't form the whole of the Action Greensboro effort but they are pointing toward a number of important issues that need to be examined.

Since we have undertaken a new study effort, that will result in new task forces and projects, the work of Creative Character and other new ideas and suggestions are being held until the task forces begin. Then we will feed the ideas into the mix and a new program of work will emerge. I am sure that "creative character" issues will be seen throughout the work.

Ed Cone

Thanks, Skip.

I hope that the warm reception given at the multi-foundation meeting 18 months ago to the idea of incorporating GSO's grassroots and web communities into the creative character effort can be acted upon in some meaningful way.

ConvergeSouth is a good example of a grassroots project that seems to overlap with many of AG's goals. The conference is headed into its third year. Neither AG or the City seems to care. It is frustrating.

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