Soul

200 — or why I (still) love to blog

Sven Eberlein
Written by Sven Eberlein

That’s the number of posts I’ve written here on this little blog o’ mine. I don’t often do much housekeeping because I’m so focused on the themes I’m writing about, but when I saw that “199” pop up on my dashboard after I posted my interview with Bill McKibben the other day, I thought this would be a great opportunity to reflect on my journey as a blogger in these here internets and what it’s meant to me as a writer, journalist, activist, and human being.

So please allow me to go back in time a little, recount some of the most memorable moments of the past four years, process how it shaped my thinking and being, and see how it might guide me on my way forward.

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The Early Days

It all started on January, 27, 2009 with my first post entitled Directions have Consequences. It happened to be during the same post-election time we find ourselves in once again, right after President Obama’s historic rise to the American presidency. The Zeitgeist felt like a big shift in consciousness was taking place, asking us all to step up and be part of this change we wanted to see in the world.

I finished my first post with this paragraph:

On this joyous moment in human history I’d like to share my direction, sew my little patch into the quilt of ideas, ink the feather that tickles my divine sweet spot. From geology to astrology, from history to mystery, from agriculture to active culture, from government to enlightenment, from art to the heart, I will roam in the spaces between and orbit on the cycles around. I serenade the gift of paradox and transcendence, I strive so I can let go, allow myself to be wise enough to take action. I raise my glass to the mutual inspiration of the political and the spiritual, the resonance of the active with the creative, the  union of soil and soul. Time to evolve.

Dad looking down

You can tell I was all over the place. I didn’t have an all important issue to rally around or catchy shtick to focus on, but I felt like I didn’t need to. I’ve always been a pretty interdisciplinary denizen, and I’m usually more intrigued by how different pieces connect and interact than by the individual pieces themselves. Thus the “Ruminations from the Spaces between Soil and Soul” tagline.

I also wasn’t itching for the spotlight, as I had been playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band for ten years prior, a constant struggle for self-promotion that was slowly winding down. My dad had passed away the previous summer, and in the fall I had quit my job as communications director for a bamboo flooring manufacturer. Change was in the air, and I was longing for quietness and reflection to make room for new seeds.

There weren’t many specific things I was aspiring to, but on a soul level I knew what I wanted, which wasn’t necessarily new for me but more a conscious affirmation of what I’ve known to be true and worthwhile ever since I can remember: I wanted to be free, untamed. I wanted to be creative, be inspired and inspire. I wanted to dive into waters as deep as I could find. I wanted to be of service, have a positive impact on this world, if not change it. On a vocational plain, I wanted to be a writer.

Getting Going

It’s not that I wasn’t a writer before — I had always entertained Chemystry Set fans with wordy songs and quirky newsletters, had done a lot of travel writing for magazines like Global Rhythm and the SF Bay Guardian, and my book, Dancing on the Brink of the World, a collection of short stories delving into each of the 12 astrological archetypes, had just been published. I was, in fact, secretly hoping that within a few months of blogging I would have collected enough material to be cranking out another one. This blogging thing would be a great laboratory for new ideas, a stepping stone toward my grand opus.

Well, the first part turned out to be spot-on, the second one . . . not so much.

As I thought I would, I went all over the place. From tech-weary diatribes like Blaspheming at the Altar of Technology to “politual” jams like We’re All Deathers, from travel and farming stories like I shook the hand . . . and then it fed me to end-of-the-world prognostications like Things not to do in 2012: Cancel your 2013 appointments — we’ll find out soon if I was right 🙂 — I began putting stuff out there, just having fun with it. While I didn’t get any closer to finding that one compelling storyline that would justify my putting another book into this world, it was much less grandiose yet perhaps infinitely more valuable offerings that began to appear with each click on the “publish” button.

Telling a Story

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Less traffic, more (e)motion.

I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to be a super prolific blogger, with multiple postings a day, to feed people’s seemingly insatiable appetite for new information in this digital age of short attention spans (200 posts in 4 years adds up to about one post a week). There’s plenty of that already, and as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t care about getting lots of traffic. As strange as it may sound, my heart was yearning for less traffic, but more (e)motion. I was drawn to more reflective as well as investigative pieces, finding good story lines, and immersing myself in them. Most importantly, it was refreshing to talk about others instead of tooting my own horn for a change.

As I became more involved with my old friends at Ecocity Builders, the stories began to unfold in real life right in front of my seeing eyes. From the incredibly inspiring Village Bottoms community and their struggles Part 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 to the Ecocity World Summit and intrepid cyclists of Istanbul, being able to blog about it in real time enabled me to tell these raw stories in all their immediacy and with a freshness of mind that I would never have been able to convey if I’d have had to pitch them to magazines and wait for an answer.

The Power of Visuals

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The Power of Visuals: Touring the Village Bottoms community

Doing these kinds of documentary-style accounts unveiled another gift that I may never have recognized were it not for the blogging format: The power of visuals! I’ve always enjoyed using visuals to tell a story — back in the day I would shoot slide film on my travels and have a slide watching party every other year — but it wasn’t until digital cameras and the WordPress interface that I was able to weave photos into the written word almost in real time.

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Master and apprentice at the Cinqueterre.

At first I thought I was just being lazy, taking shortcuts around descriptive prose to trick the demons of writer’s block, but the more I was using my own original photos to illustrate the stories, the more they complimented and raised the level of my writing. It was the ultimate case of “show, don’t tell,” inviting me not only to be very concise in setting up each visual situation, but to be much more attentive to the setting in which the story was unfolding in the first place.

It helped, of course, to have a partner who is a talented photographer and photo editor by trade, and living in a neighborhood full of character and vibrant street life. For example, in my Sunday Streets series the photos would literally snap themselves and the stories follow naturally. And it sure helps to have visual support when you’re trying to explain why Venice and Cinqueterre are such great models of sustainable urban design.

Bringing it Down to Earth

I’ve always looked at life as a spiritual quest, no matter what vehicle or language you choose to discover your view of the universe. I’m not exactly sure why, but from a pretty young age I’ve been drawn much more to the wealth that resides within us than worldly treasures. As a 14-year old about to be confirmed, the only section of the new testament I could relate to was, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.” In college, while everyone else was preoccupied with acing their multiple choice tests so they could score a high-paying job later on, I was devouring Jean Gebser’s “mutations in human consciousness” thesis, Jiddu Krishnamurti’s “freedom from thought” revolution, and Arne Naess’ philosophy of “deep ecology.”

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Bringing God down to Earth.

By the time I was 25 and had a few magic mushroom trips under my belt, I was pretty comfortable with things like impermanence, evolution of soul, and A Love Supreme. It’s almost as if I grew to be an old man at a young age, doing some of my soul homework before diving back into the fray of normal human problems like paying rent on time or learning how to communicate in 140 characters or less. But through it all, I’ve always stayed connected to the Earth, not only because it is such a breathtakingly beautiful and magical planet, but because I feel that no matter how lofty our spiritual aspirations and endlessly divine our souls may be, we are here in the flesh, with all our quirks and imperfections, having to figure out how to live together on a planet with limited resources.

So while I thought that perhaps my blogging would catapult me to new esoteric heights, each new post seemed to bring me further down to Earth. It became more and more clear to me that no matter how much love and forgiveness and compassion and hope for a collective shift in consciousness we put out there into the world, we’re still running up against some hard realities: 7 billion humans, rapidly depleting resources, growing urban sprawl, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, increasing carbon emissions, and on and on. Instead of God’s plan I found myself more intrigued by urban planning. Soul paths turned into bike paths. Birth charts slowly gave way to Zero Drafts. As Buddhist teacher and author Jack Kornfield so aptly puts the quest for enlightenment: “After the ecstasy, the laundry.”

A Laboratory of Ideas

As I kept delving into themes from zero waste to renewable energy to community banking to the value of street food, my writing and storytelling became more fluent, confident, and refined. While I wasn’t worried about being too flowery and long-winded — because you know, this is my laboratory and creative canvas where I get to play and explore — I also began to think that some of the skill and insights gained might be ready for the next stage. I began submitting pitches to magazines and blogs, with an eye towards getting compensated, but also to be edited, fine-tuned, and shaped into a more polished documentarian and journalist who could take on assignments and write about interesting people and events while still waxing poetic.

Brian Liloia’s Globgobatron

I got my first big break when I pitched a story about ecocity pioneers to Yes Magazine and one of the editors pulled me out of their slush pile to ask if I wanted to instead write about Gobcobatron, a 200 square foot cob house in a Missouri ecovillage. Of course I said Yes!, and before I knew it, I was doing all kinds of assignments for them, interviewing scientists, artists, activists, lawyers, and most recently, Biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus and visionary architect William McDonough for a feature story entitled From Soap to Cities, Designing from Nature Could Solve our Biggest Challenges. I landed some hits with Grist, worked my way into a series of in-depth articles for Alternet, and got turned onto Shareable by my real life writer friend Hannah, who I met at a Grist party. I turned a trip home to Germany into a story about Goldman-Prize winner Ursula Sladek for Resurgence Magazine and a solar-powered church for Sojourners.

I started to think that I could be a professional writer, thanks to all the practice and confidence I had gained right here on this little blog.

Learning the Tech Ropes

I’m no techie at all. In fact, I’ve been known to blaspheme at the altar of technology. However, this WordPress thingie grew on me pretty fast. Out of necessity with my band, I’ve had to deal with websites since the clunky dark days of webmasters and incomprehensible style sheets. Signing up for this blog quickly showed me what was possible. I was delighted to be able to use a website like a word processor and just focus on content with WordPress.com, but I soon realized that there was a whole world of web design made easy with WordPress.org.

Friends of SF Environment

While I stayed with the free WordPress.com platform for this blog, I quickly became more confident to venture into more “designy” waters with some other projects that had been itching for a facelift. I started out doing a web page for my old creative companion Tuber Creations, and from there it just kept on coming. I helped Deb set up her business site, then was hired to do the sites for International Ecocity Framework & Standards and my favorite Indian restaurant, Aslam’s Rasoi. Most recently, I set up the new website for an exciting new non-profit organization, Friends of SF Environment. It’s really quite amazing what a little bit of blogging can lead to!

We’re All in This Together

Though not impossible to do, it’s not too much fun to write in a vacuum. Just as with any other creative endeavor, it’s nice to get feedback from time to time. Blogging provides a great platform for aspiring writers to exchange ideas, encourage each other, and build a community around themes you’re passionate about. That’s exactly what happened to me. As I continued to throw stuff out there, other bloggers would show up, leave comments, give encouragement, challenge me. The ones that seemed serious, passionate, fun, and kind, I began to follow and participate on their blogs. Some of them, like Notes Along the PathArtist at Exit 0 Riverblog, or Back to Basics whose work I love and respect so much, I’ve become good friends with. The connections I made at Daily Kos, for example, led to the interview with Bill McKibben.

A word to the wise for aspiring bloggers: It’s tempting to get caught up in the horse race  aspect of popularity, especially with the “Like” button WordPress added a couple of years ago, as well as the internal graphs and statistics you can look at to see how many “hits” you got for each post. If your goal is to monetize your blog and get advertising money, sure, that’s something you have to think about and work towards. Or if it just makes you feel really good to have hundreds of “Likes” under your post, there certainly are ways to make that happen.

Personally, I’ve found that one meaningful comment is ultimately worth much more than a whole mosaic of “Likes.” It means that the person actually took the time to read your post and is honestly interested in engaging, whereas many “Likes” often pop up the second you post, signaling that the person is only interested in boosting their ratings by getting you to “like” them back, regardless of anyone’s content. I usually still check out the link and give a “platonic Like” back, but unless something really catches my eye I don’t further engage. The internet can quickly become a huge nutrition-free time suck if you don’t learn how to distinguish between attention-seeking buzz and meaningful content and interaction. For me, it takes a lot of time and effort to write a post, so I try to be conscious and discerning with the little time I have to browse, honoring those who put a lot of thought, effort, and creativity into their posts.

Remember to Love

Onward in to the Future

So what happens next? Now that I’ve reached Mount CC, where do I want to go with this blog? What changes do I want to make, if any?

Well, the short answer is, not very many.

For a while I thought that maybe I should scale it up, make it into a magazine, feature other writers. Perhaps get some advertisers and make it into a more commercially viable enterprise. But the more I think about it, the less I want to give up the untamed wildness this little corner has afforded me. It’s pretty much free-range, with no editorial rules, scheduling pressures, or internal politics. It’s just me, raw, unfiltered, and occasional, and I like it that way.

So while the realities of having to eat and pay rent as well as my own aspirations to play a bigger part in shaping the direction of our human experiment on spaceship Earth will be reflected in a soon-to-come facelift to my professional Sven Eberlein site, this here World of Words is going to remain my “wildwrite” sanctuary. I do want to add a photo library and a few other little nuggets, which will probably entail a switch to WordPress.org and a new and better looking theme.

But the vibe will remain the same: curious, experimental, idealistic, open-minded, bold, unshackled, flexible, fun, and kind. One of the next 200 posts might even hold the key to a book proposal.

Did I forget anything?

The digital floor is yours…

About the author

Sven Eberlein

Sven Eberlein

24 Comments

  • You were the first person to follow me on Daily KOS so it is fitting maybe I’m the 1000 comment on your blog. I’m just getting acquainted with the many facets of your creative life. I read your latest article in YES a few days ago. Great stuff! Oddly enough the “cradle to cradle” concept came up with some old friends who were spending the weekend with us a couple of weeks ago. They just sent me the book Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovings and L Hunter Lovings to read. The subject came up because of a project I’ve been working on. Funny how paths interconnect.

    I really enjoyed reading this post because of the history in it. I’m pretty new to this blogging stuff but I love it. I’m pretty picky about which blogs I choose to follow. I’ve made a wise choice choosing to follow this one.

    So you’re a musician too. I played in a band in Thailand while I was teaching at the International School. We were called the Rock’n Roll Dinosaurs. I’m a percussionist. It’s only been a hobby for me though.

    • Perfect! Congratulations John on contributing #1000. I like the fact that it’s coming from someone who’s just starting to blog, it’s like you’re carrying the baton. I’ve really enjoyed your fresh and intelligent voice at DK and I look forward to many more exchanges in all our various digital town halls.

      One thing I’ve found while getting more serious about doing “earth work” is how interconnected many of the most important voices in it are. I keep bumping into these same names of great thinkers, and some of them like Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, Reverend Billy, Janine Benyus, or Kevin Danaher I even got to meet this year. But I also really appreciate all the great contributions of the many people without big names that I have been so fortunate to cross paths with. It’s great to be part of a growing network of conscious change makers.

      Maybe we’ll get to jam some time. Music has been a little bit on the back burner for me, but I have some ideas for new material and perhaps another project in the near future. I always love playing with percussionists! : )

      • If I can travel down a path in the next 4 years half as interesting as the one you’ve been going down I will be thrilled. You’re doing a pretty good job of hitting the #1 slot on my blogging journey. I see you dropped by my “under construction” blog site. Are you still talking to me?
        This is the project I’ve been working on quite diligently over the last 2 years.

        Would love to jam some time. San Francisco here I come!! Gotta run but I’ll be around you can bet on it! You actually met the Rev? Cool!!

        • Your site is the Shit, John! I’m getting a kick out of it and I’ll look forward to what you do with that very intriguing facility for your ideas. Flush with possibility!

          I love the Reverend, Got to interview him for one of the Yes! Mag articles I did, then I met him in NYC earlier this year, at a rally in Fort Greene, Brooklyn where he was “calling” one of the NY reps on the cell phone to tell them to stop giving the store to all the bank guys.
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          One of my favorite peops!

  • Here’s a comment via email from my dear friend Barb, fellow seeker and blogger extraordinaire. The only reason I didn’t mention her in the “cool people I met while blogging” part is because we were already friends in real life before being blogger buddies. Here’s to Last Year to Live and Beyond Siri, and thanks for the kind words today and always! May you find your WordPress passwords again, Barb! : )

    So much to say about this piece – which I would post to your blog if I could find my darned WordPress name and password (which tells you how far I am from my blog, but that’s not the point here). I love reading about your journey, which I have been following faithfully for many years now. You have inspired me enormously by sticking to your dreams of wanting to be both creative and helpful in generating positive change in this world. Especially when it came at the price of uncertain finances (of which I know a lot about, having earned a whopping $200 for my writing last year). I have found it to be true too, that the process of blogging helps focus your unique direction and develop a sangha that sustains you. And seeing the recent rewards of your journey in the form of your Yes! feature made me so very, very excited for you.

    I can also honestly say that I would never have set off on a journey of blogging myself if it hadn’t been for your encouragement around Year to Live. And while that particular journey for me is in a bit of the bardo, it did give me a new outlet for thinking about and sharing the things I consider most important in life.

    I look forward to reading many, many more years/decades/lifetimes of Sven-inspired wisdom. I know I speak for many when I say I’m tremendously grateful.

    Much love and a huge congratulatory hug on #200!

    xo Barbara

  • I sighed with relief when I read, “Well, the short answer is, not very many.” World of Words is hands down my favorite blog in Cyberspace, and although I understand it’s a tough time investment when there’s rent to pay, I do appreciate it. Thanks for sharing this story, too.

    • Thanks so much, Ruth. And likewise, your Back to Basics blog has been one of my favorites! Your writing is amazing and I’ve really enjoyed your inspiring stories which seem to have taken you in a similar direction as this one has gone.

      I knew I’d forget someone really important, so I’ll just keep editing the post as all you amazing thinkers pop in. : )

      • It’s an honor to be included on the list, but it’s impossible to remember everybody, especially in the enormous Blogosphere. I do hope to gain more visibility in 2013, so I certainly appreciate the plug. However, I agree. It seems there is a fundamental purpose in my blog that closely compares to what you described in this post, and as long as a few people tell me they’re reading it, I’ll keep writing it, whether the loyal readership is at 50 or 50,000.

        • Please keep writing, Ruth. The only thing I would recommend to gain some more well-deserved visibility would be to give WordPress a test run. It’s been really good to me, not necessarily in terms of fame and fortune, but just ease of use and creating unexpected encounters. Just today my McKibben interview got pulled out of the Freshly Pressed bin and now it’s getting all this exposure to people who would never have found it. Also, it makes life easier for a new but casual reader to leave a comment. You could even just start crossposting on WP while keeping your own blog just to see how it treats you. If it’s not your cup of tea, just delete it again, nothing lost. Anyway, end of pitch. 😉

  • I have been pondering the pix and the text, for a guest lecture tomorrow at WWU. The analogy I’m going to go with (it’s in connection with slide shows, but the same idea as blog posts and articles), is that the whole presentation is several voices, like instruments, and you can make them work in harmony or dissonance, but everything is richer when you bring several voices. The voices can include the images on the slide, the text or label on the slide, the speaker, the attendees, and potentially other things depending on the slide and setting.

    This idea seems useful in coming up with a useful composition of images, labels, and spoken text for each slide or set of slides. Also a big point is showing how, most of the time, reading the text on the slide is boring and not helpful, because it’s like having two instruments playing the exact same notes at the same time.

    • James, I love the music analogy, I would love to see your presentation, is anyone going to videotape it?

      You know, I totally agree with the diversity of voices and instruments thingie, but I had to think of one exception: When we used to go into the studio with Chemystry Set to record an album, sometimes the producer would ask me to record the same guitar line twice, on different tracks. It was a nice way to make the tone fuller in sort of a natural way, without adding effects. Most of the time though there would be at least some variation, like playing the same line with an acoustic and an electric guitar, and just that subtle difference would really change the whole complexion of the song. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there might be the rare occasion when doubling up for just a slide or two may serve the overall effect. Of course, you never want to overdo it.

      Good luck tomorrow!

      • The funny thing is that after I posted here but before the lecture, I added an exception that’s in a similar vein. A few short memorable lines can be great to read directly off the slide, if they are conceptually the “chorus” of the song. In that case you get the added richness that might be similar to recording the same guitar track twice. It was especially good to add that note because my co-presenter, with her slides, proceeded to do exactly that shortly after.

  • I am commenting on your recent article in YES! My family and I just returned from Barcelona, Spain where we became cult like fans of the Renaissance Man of the 19th century: architect Antoni Gaudi who, back in the1890’s, was designing residences, parks, hospitals, and especially, the masterpiece temple/cathedral/basilica La Sagrada Familia, whose inspiration was trees and nature, and the human body. He did design both the interiors and exteriors of his buildings (and their furniture and hardware) based on the physics and aesthetics of nature. If one wants to see what the concept can look like, check out the websites for his creations. I still do not understand why he is not better known in the United States, and why his style is not imitated.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Kathi. La Sagrada Familia is an amazing piece of architecture. I was last in Barcelona in the early 1990s, but from what I hear it’s still not done, right? I guess the reason that Gaudi’s designs aren’t more widely mimicked is probably because a) people are mostly averse to imaginative thinking and building and b) usually want to go the cheapest route in the short-term thinking sort of way. I’m hoping that as we become more educated and enlightened about the true cost of not building in sync with nature, brilliant thinkers like Gaudi will receive more attention again. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time in human history that we’ve rediscovered ingenuity long after its emissary is gone.

  • Congrats Sven on Post #200! Couldn’t agree more about how good pictures and text can enhance one another. For me, blogging has been a pretty good way to try to convey the experience I’ve been having out in nature and has become an extension of the art itself. It’s been interesting seeing how each post takes on a life of its own and becomes something different in the process. I’ve come to see blogging as another medium. I certainly have enjoyed your work and look forward to your articles. Continued good fortune to you and on to Post # 201!

  • What a great article, thanks Sven. I resonate with your story and you’ve inspired me, as a relatively new blogger loving the outlet to write, share and hope to touch emotions that signal change. It’s fantastic you’ve been successful with your writing as well – freelancing is something I’m on the verge of diving into without any real experience, with novel and nonfiction ideas circulating and materializing into dense electronic collections of organized words. You mentioned urban planning, and I’m also considering furthering studies to entertain urban planning at a transitional stage in life.

    I’m happy for your successes and like you perspective. Thanks again for sharing and inspiring.

    • Thanks so much, SolsticeSon. I hope you keep up your blogging and I look forward to seeing your evolution as a writer and change maker. My best advice is to give yourself enough of a kick in the butt to post whenever the muse hits, but to not put too much pressure on yourself to keep producing. The most important thing is to keep it fun and to be free to express yourself in whichever ways the muse manifests. I hope you get further into urban planning, and beyond, into ecocities. I think it’s the poorly designed urban ecosystems that have caused us the biggest environmental problems, but cities can also be the biggest parts of the solutions, and so we really need to get serious about rethinking the way we design them.

      • Thanks for the wise advice, Sven. I will take heed, and agree that pace is essential to keeping it fun and allowing inspiration to settle, cultivate and express without pushing boundaries.

        And thanks for introducing me to Ecocities. I wasn’t privy, but have indulged in their website and found unbounded commonality in perspective and purpose. Definitely something I’m interested in involving with. They say it never hurts to ask, so… do let me know if there are any opportunities!

        Are you familiar with Transition Network and Transition Towns? (Not sure how to add hyperlinks in comments, but do investigate.) They focus on organizing local communities to live sustainably in the face of climate, food, economy, energy and peak oil issues. I’ve completed their training and participate here and there within my community.

        I think Ecocity and Transition Network people could benefit from collaboration–something to think about. It’s great you get to work with such a forward thinking, positive and practical.organization.

        • Wow, we’re really on the same wave length here, SolsticeSon. I’ve been working on an article about the transition movement that will be published on Shareable.net in a couple of weeks. As part of my research I got to hang out with some amazing folks at Transition Palo Alto, and I’ll be blogging about that experience as well. And check it, Ecocity and Transition are already working together, in fact, Rob Hopkins just got confirmed as one of the speakers at the Ecocity World summit 2013 in Nantes, France. A lot of natural overlap there. I just did an interview with Ecocity Builders founder Richard Register, and part of what we discussed was how to apply permaculture principles (that the transition town movement is based on) to entire cities. Stay tuned.

          As far as getting involved with Ecocity Builders, there’s always opportunities for volunteer work, but very little resources to pay people. I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but email me (my full name at gmail) if that sounds like something you’re interested in.

          As far as hyperlinking in wordpress comments, if you go to your dashboard and reply to a comment from there you should have a little comment dashboard with styling options. I think their latest upgrade also enable you to reply (and format) comments directly from your notification email.

  • Wow is right, Sven–lot’s of serendipitous brainwaves here. I’m looking forward to reading your forthcoming articles. Will stay tuned. It would only make sense that Transition and Ecocity linked up–very cool they have, and continue to, extensively! I’ll be in France mid 2013 and was hoping to make a detour to attend the Summit, but the dates don’t align fortuitously.

    Thanks for the input on Ecocity Builders. I’m interested in moving into that area, but currently afar. If I do, or pass through, I’ll no doubt be in touch. Thanks for the wordpress wisdom, as well, it’s duly noted.

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