Announcement of World Streets. To go online on March 1 2009.
Paris, Monday, February 23, 2009
Executive summary: Check it out at www.worldstreets.org
Dear worldwide friends and colleagues,
I am delighted to announce the creation of a new collaborative toolset under the New Mobility Agenda, The World Streets blog which you can find in its almost-ready-to-dance version today at www.worldstreets.org . Let me explain what this is, why we have done it, and how it works.
Why: The basic idea is to create a much higher visibility public forum for some of the most outstanding contributions on problems and innovations that are coming in here from groups and colleagues around the world, bearing in mind that the messages we exchange with each other on The New Mobility Café or the other focus discussion groups are not only far too many in number but also hidden from public view -- that is to say are not picked up by Google or the other search engines. So this end, one of the jobs that World Streets is shortly ready to undertake will be to make this missing link. The issues too important and the stakes too high for us to give less than our very best.
Getting started: Even if the site is still in working form, let me invite you to come on in and have a look for yourself. Once you have generally shopped around to get a feel for the place, you may find it useful to click your way down the small Table of Contents that appears on the top left bar -- we call it the Streets Map -- where you might wish to give particular attention to the Start Here and Subscribe links which provide useful information on how to work with this new tool.
Comments: One of the goals I had in mind in putting this together was a desire to provide a better way of linking comments and conversations to specific pieces that start off the process of commentary, challenging, rectification, complaining, what have you. And even if we are careful in the existing discussion fora to try to maintain continuity in such exchanges through preservation of original subject lines, it is nonetheless my observation that it is difficult to turn this into not only a real dialogue, but one that later can be easily accessed by anyone who wishes to have a chance to figure out "what was all that about?". We clearly need to do better and now we have the tools to do exactly that. (You will see how the new Comment routine works in the Start Here section.)
Translations: One area in which we are trying hard to mobilize the available tools to broaden the international reach of all this good work is through the incorporation of machine translations directly into the site. Thus when you check-in you will see right up top that there are machine translation links which will almost immediately transform the text of the entire site into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish with just a single click. Moreover as you will see these translations are certainly not perfect, nonetheless they do provide valuable clues concerning the original image language text. But all of that you will see in the explanatory information that appears in the site itself.
Postings: All items that appear on World Streets are for now being automatically copied to the New Mobility Café and to the World Transport Forum, so that those who have not subscribed directly will be able to follow the state of play. Eventually this cross-posting routine may be changed, but for now it seems like a good way to get started and to share the news.
Future contributions: You will note that there are careful guidelines on this on the site. I should mention that it is our firm intention to stick to the main criteria that characterize all of the work of the New Mobility Agenda which are carefully set out under www.strategies.newmobility.org and in particular the dogged insistence on our full attention to measures, projects, programs, and other initiatives which can bear fruit of significant GHG reductions within the 2009-2012 horizon.
Feedback and suggestions: You will see that considerable additional work is going to be needed to turn it into the easy-to-use, creative to work with site that we hope it will eventually become. Just as is the case with content where I hope we will be hearing from you with your ideas, it will also be invaluable at this early point to have your criticism and suggestions as to how we can make this into a better site for us all.
Supporting World Streets: Finally, if you might have any suggestions as to institutions or even individuals who might wish to get involved to provide financial or technical support for World Streets, well this would be the perfect time to hear from you.
So welcome to World Streets, it belongs to all of us and will be just as good as all of us can make it. We will open for business on 1 March, but in the meantime let me invite you in already to look around and tell us how to do better.
PS. I hope you will feel more than free to share this announcement with colleagues in other lists who share our concerns and interests. Thank you.
The New Mobility Agenda
Technology transforms time and space
. . . and our minds
New Mobility Partnerships – http://www.newmobility.org
& check out World Streets -- www.Worldstreets.org
Europe: 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
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