Saturday, October 19, 2013

Towards a more engaged geographic community

The APCG's president is required to author a column in Pacificaone each in the fall and spring issues.  I proposed to the Executive Council a format that would be vastly different from writing once in six months--a lot more frequent and regular blog posts, which would be emailed to the membership the same way that Pacifica, in its electronic PDF avatar, is distributed.  The Council agreed.

Welcome to the APCG, and to the president's "column."

The world has changed a lot, to phrase it in the mildest possible way, since the APCG was chartered just about this time of the year back in 1935.   They used the communication technology of the day to create the professional community of geographers, and this is an attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing times--as much as we started using the APCG listserver and Facebook, and shifted to a fully electronic and paperless distribution of Pacifica.

Above and beyond that, my goal in using this presidential blog is to create a more engaged and active community.  The interactions can be of many types. The comment section will provide space for discussions triggered by the posts and, as with most discussions, we can expect the threads to meander away into more interesting, even if tangential, ideas as well.  If members prefer to simply check on one of the boxes to express their views, and not leave lengthy comments, that feedback, too, will be a way to interact.

So, why the need for all this engagement and interaction in the first place?  Because, I am confident that we have plenty of talk about on topics that matter to us as geographers and APCG members.  In my posts, the focus will be on the organization itself, towards the goal of improving its form and function.

My idea is to blog here on a fortnightly basis.  I think I will be able to keep up with that schedule, given my years of daily blogging at my personal space.  But, in case you don't find a new post, well, to paraphrase Mark Twain, who was present at the annual meeting at Tahoe, do not exaggerate anything about my ill-health and demise ;)

Michael Schmandt with "Mark Twain" at the Tahoe meeting
Photo from Bob Richardson

Yes, please let me know what you think about this new approach, even about the layout of the blog.  If you are an active blogger, posting on matters that are suitable for viewing and reading at our places of work, then email me the URL for your blog and I will add that to the list.  Right from the early days of blogging, it seemed like academic economists and lawyers took it up with vigor, and to a lesser extent by political scientists too.  The world will certainly benefit from a whole bunch of geographers blogging on all things geographic.

Once again, a big welcome!

At the Tahoe meeting, Bill and Marilyn Bowen paid for the banquet expenses for the students in the photo
Photo from Bob Richardson

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