Gary Esolen was the founding publisher of Gambit and the chief executive of the New Orleans’ tourism marketing program. Valeri LeBlanc is a technical consultant to the city on media and communications. Together they penned Rebuilding New Orleans: Twenty Ideas and a Postscript. Not surprisingly, I like the suggestion of creating a Virtual New Orleans (idea #2) and Building a Broadband and Wireless City (idea #4)
Virtual New Orleans is already being created on an ad hoc basis, in many cases by New Orleans residents scattered around the country. A great example of this is a weblog for Warren Easton Students (note the wonderful use of Google Maps). Ed Vielmetti emailed me to explain how this weblog came about:
"Jenny Rious and I put the first version of this together in an hour in a coffee shop using Blogspot, and then she connected up with some folks at the U of Michigan and a local high school who did the work on the second
version of it that you see now."
What a wonderful example of ordinary citizens using free/cheap software to create a virtual community. Everyday more people take up positions in cyberspace to share their passion about New Orleans and add to the virtual communities that are already being built
Anyway, speaking of passion, check out Clancy DuBos’s article about Charleston’s Example. It’s a good reminder that we aren’t alone in our rebuilding effort. We have a lot of passion in New Orleans for rebuilding and we have some great ideas. So what else do we need?