Earlier today Janet (@xarkgirl) messaged me that our filmmaking buddy Geoff Marshall was in trouble: His 48-state documentary roadtrip had been interrupted in Greensboro, NC, by a smash-and-grab auto break-in. He lost about $6,000 in video and computer electronics, and apparently some of his material for the film (which he has been videoblogging along the way).
Janet wanted me to contact our Greensboro friends, which I did, getting quick responses from John Robinson, Sue Polinsky and Ed Cone. And as I was doing that, Chrys Rynearson popped up in my Google Talk bar:
A few hours later, Geoff had bloggers in Greensboro and Charleston working his case and offering help. We had a Help Geoff blog, a Help Geoff Twitter account, a new e-mail address, plus accounts at Tipjoy and PayPal.Someone suggested a #helpgeoff hashtag. We'd worked through numerous technical difficulties, all without anyone "being in charge."
The best place to follow all this? At Charleston's TheDigitel, where Geoff's former boss, Ken Hawkins, is covering this like the community story it is.
Here's what makes it all particularly sweet to me: The most influential moment in my turn toward networked media occurred in 2005 at ConvergeSouth , the Greensboro conference organized by Sue and a host of others. It's where we met John Robinson. It's what inspired Janet and I to launch Lowcountry Blogs in April 2006. At the final free ConvergeSouth in 2008, one of the largest and most enthusiastic groups in attendence were bloggers from coastal South Carolina.We owe a lot to those people in Greensboro.
As his friend, it's my duty to say that Geoff is a dumbass for leaving his stuff in the car, but as Chrys said, "He's our boy." And frankly, I just don't want want his documentary to end in a way that portrays America that way. Online communities are communities nonetheless. Let's see how well they function.