Saturday, October 21, 2006

Why an Asian American Village blog?

Why an Asian American Village blog?

The Asian American Village has always depended on the kindness of friends and strangers to keep up with the news and views from our impossibly diverse Asian American-Pacific Islander communities. As a small media business enterprise that has never charged any fees or required subscriptions, etc., for our content, we have often found ourselves understaffed and overextended, and so have relied on the participation of fellow ethnic media, partner community organizations, volunteer correspondents, simpatico newswire services, and the like to help us keep our content updated and as broadly representative of our subcommunities as possible.

The editors recently decided to try the new blog as a companion to the Village's main content and jobs features for two reasons. In part, as a publishing mechanism, the Blogspot interface is easy to access and use by a team of contributors whose time, technological environment, and Web publishing HTML skills may be limited. (We're actually evaluating a bunch of different blog host sites and their publishing tools at the moment.) We wanted to be able to invite more contributions by more contributors of note who routinely run across items of interest to our Asian American audiences.

Of equal importance, however, was out interest in creating a space for the Village contributors and readers (some of whom are the same) that was a bit freer, less formally structured, and more readily inviting of outside input than the main Village site. Our editors receive personal messages, letters to the editor, community-oriented news and events releases, opinion and article submissions by the scores each day. We often see more good information and ideas than we could possibly follow up on and post in a format suited for the Village's structure, general interest content, and national audiences. In our editorial conferences, we often inform each other about such news and ideas, discuss and analyze items among ourselves, make interesting connections between current and past events, and so forth, but have not had a forum to really share these exchanges more widely with others in our communities.

In these ways, we hope as time goes on to use this space to post more frequent and brief notes of interest not only highlighting what's new and of interest at the Village or in our email in-boxes, but also keep in touch with others -- whether individuals or other publications -- who are similarly dedicated to keeping abreast of important topics in the APA community.