Monday, April 30, 2007

New kiwi blog

The Watermelon


The Watermelon blog is quite impressive. I'm optimistic that it could be a good forum for debates about environmental and leftwing issues - I hope they will encourage a diversity of points of view on environmental issues.

I'm also somewhat intrigued by the nature and politics of the blog. A blog-lurking friend is convinced that the site is a proxy blog for the Green Party, despite the site's denial of this. He reckons that it's been set up to aid the Greens' 2008 election campaign. Does anyone else have any information or opinion on this. Certainly the site is very sophisticated - not your usual cheaply built blog. It has the feel of something created by a professional political party. But the Greens wouldn't be that cynical would they?

Also, the whole Green/Liberal approach is interesting. Why not Green/Red? Or Green/Left? Their definition of pink and of liberal seems a bit vague too. I'm not convinced of the whole political/ideological coherence of the blog, but I guess we'll wait and see how it turns out.


Posted by Bryce Edwards : 5/01/2007 02:32:00 PM

Why thank you Bryce, I'm flattered that you think my website looks so professional cos I've been working on this thing for about five months and it's been a mammoth endeavour.

I can assure you however that it has nothing to do with the NZ Green Party and is entirely my own design and idea. I am not a member of the NZ Green party, although I do support them on many issues, but I developed The Watermelon for reasons that are quite selfishly personal and professional.

On a personal level it has been born out of my utter frustration that our NZ cyber-venues where we can go to discuss green liberal and feminist issues are being trashed by right-wing trolls and I have become fed up with the lack of moderation of those trolls in the blogosphere in general - and most especially at frogblog.

My web-partner (who has been a very active member of for many years) and I have worked very hard to set a code of conduct in place which is not as severe as DA but not as lax as frogblog. We want to see strong, lively and diverse opinions discussed without having the free flow of that conversation be stifled by malicious disruptors.

Please read our "About Us" page and the "Site Info" section and "Forum Info" section to get a sense of what we are trying to achieve with this community and what inspired me to use the rather tongue-in-cheek title of Watermelon (which is what inspired my colour scheme LOL)

On a professional level, I am a graphic designer who recently retrained as a teacher specialising in online learning and I am trying to make a career niche for myself doing web development for big community sites that are working towards social change or education in areas that are spiritually in line with my own philosophies of life.

I've done quite a bit of free web-dev work for various community groups but nothing on this scale before. So I needed a really big project to sink my teeth into, give me some sound working experience of PHP-based web packages and would look really sexy on my portfolio.

And I also got to channel my personal frustrations into something really constructive which I hope will benefit the NZ green liberal community. It's been very cathartic I can tell you, but we've still got a truckload of work to do loading content and resources - years and years worth of docs and stuff I ferreted away that need to be uploaded.

But for now I would really like to get the discussion forum rocking so please c'mon over and register. Registered members can access a few more goodies that are not visible in the public section of the site, you can initiate your own discussion topics, share files and pics, post your own articles, or share in the communal blog.

I want The Watermelon to be a site where all kinds of green libs can contribute something, regardless of political affiliation (or lack of) even if it's only a web link or an entry on the community calendar.

I'm thinking that if Sir Humphreys can get together an active band of right-wingers together to form a cyber-community together then surely we lefties can do the same.

An who knows how the place will evolve over time, but does it sound like a good scheme jelly-bean? :D

Posted by zANavAShi : 5/01/2007 07:54:00 PM