The Indiana Energy Conference

Last weekend I had the opportunity to head to Crawfordsville for the first session of the Indiana Energy Conference, a series of film showings, discussions, and presentations designed to help us explore our culture's relationship with energy. The conference was organized by my friend Frank Cicela, who has been a long time participant in the IshCon conferences I've been involved in putting on since 1999, and he and I have collaborated on a few other projects as well. The IEC comes out of our trip to the Peak Oil conference last fall, and so much of the content of this new event is derived from the excellent presentations and materials that we encountered back then. Frank did an excellent job putting it all together at the local community theatre, and we had at least 60 people from around the region show up ready to learn and discuss. I was running around doing lights and sound and greeting and popping popcorn so I didn't get to do a whole lot of networking myself, but I could tell there were some good conversations happening. You can see some photos from the event, as well as the amazing press coverage Frank has generated, on the success story page of the conference site. The conference continues throughout the month; make sure to stop in if you're in the area!

EDC airs out dirty laundry in Pal-Item

I was surprised to pull up today's Palladium-Item online and see four more articles about Don Holbrook and questions surrounding his role with the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation. Last Thursday's article, "EDC leader takes hits from all sides," already seemed unnecessarily harsh in that it publicly framed the EDC's current budget concerns around Don Holbrook's working relationship with the EDC board; the implication was almost that he'd been stealing cash from their bank account. And then today's articles, "Heat's on Holbrook,""'Character assassination' played part in the past,""Raising concerns may cost board member leadership post," and "What EDC members say" make it sound like the EDC is falling apart at the seams with political earthquakes and personal smears. What the heck is going on here?
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Random: collaboration, affiliation, journalism

One: Dave Pollard has posted a really interesting (and quite long) series of essays, studies, and narratives about how to build the ideal collaborative team and the collaboration process in general. Though I haven't grokked all of the implications yet, I generally find their primary conclusion, that attitude is more important than experience or specific knowledge in collaborative work, to be quite true in my own experience. Two: I've posted a list of my personal and professional affiliations. As the traffic on my blog increases and I get some more feedback about some of the more "controversial" posts, I want to make sure I fully disclose what kinds of organizations and projects I'm involved with and have allegiances to - noting just as emphatically that none of them necessarily endorse or agree with what I write here. Three: As reported by Slashdot, the Federal Election Commission has issued a draft advisory opinion essentially finding that bloggers can qualify as journalists for the purpose of the 'press exemption' in federal campaign finance laws. As a blogger, I don't really consider myself a journalist, but I know plenty who do and it's interesting to see this conversation evolve about what protections and privileges bloggers should have.