Starting this blog

I’m starting this blog about connecting people and ideas in part to follow through past work on Networked City and Exploring EC1. Those projects focussed on how to use different types of maps and media to help make connections and build relationships.

I now want to look further at how to put those methods into practice, and also develop some online content associated with a new column kindly offered to me by Oliver Bennett, editor of the EC1 Echo.

The first column in June 2022 was a reflection on the many different names used for neighbourhoods in EC1 and EC2, and posed the question “Does a name follow a sense of community or vice versa”? and concluded “At the moment I’m not sure we have a lot in common beyond the postcodes.”

The obvious follow-on is to explore how maps, media and other methods could helps us develop a better understanding of our neighbourhoods, connect with our neighbours (if we wish), and generally make the most of a fascinating part of London. In doing that I want to operate as a socialreporter – a term I started using a few years back to describe making sense, joining up and also helping people use online tools.

I’ll be making a start with the idea of restaging Bartholomew Fair, which I wrote about with Matthew Bell for the Echo: articles here.

I’ll also cover the City Corporation’s plans for the redevelopment of London Wall West, currently the home of the Museum of London, and the campaign against. Back in the 1970s I was planning correspondent for the Evening Standard, and I’ve recalled here how the Culture or Money debate about building the Barbican Arts Centre then has echoes today.

In developing blog posts I’ll experiment with drafting them first in Dropbox Paper, so that I can share them for comment before publishing. That’s also an easy way to publish long pieces with just a summary on the blog.

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