A few days ago I was offended by a post on a random blog that I discovered via the Blogwatch section of my other site, downtownds.com. It wasn't anything horrendous, just a callously and poorly written post about strangers on a city bus in Calgary (read it here). For whatever reason, that particular post really irritated me, and I posted a comment to let the author know. After my comment, a few other readers joined in and let him know that they felt the same way. The next day, the author posted an apology. He apologized to some of us individually.
And that tiny little victory got me thinking. In the past year I have made the transition from "regular guy" to "DS dad/blogger/webmaster." And I'm ready to start pushing a bit deeper into "DS advocate" territory. But I need your help.
I'm thinking about forming a watchdog group of active DS bloggers. Down With Oz has helped me meet some brilliant and passionate DS parents. It amazes me how quickly info spreads between all of us, and how willing people are to offer support and advice whenever they can. I would like to find a super easy way to focus and aim that energy with precision. Sort of like a giant DS laser.
So here's my working idea. I would invite you DS bloggers to join an email list. Then, I would ask you all to keep your eyes open as you surf the Intertubes. If you see something really offensive, you would email me and let me know about it. I'll check it out, and if I think everyone needs to know about it, I'll email it to the group. I'll come up with a simple tagline so everyone can always recognize a call to action. And then we start commenting.
I want to be clear that I'm not out to create some bitchy, whiny, hyper-sensitive group of bloggers who are looking to pick a fight with the world. What I'm interested in doing is educating the public, making sure the rest of the world knows that my son is a valuable person, and reminding others that cruel, ignorant and insensitive remarks about mentally handicapped people will not be tolerated. I don't want to waste my time on the really small fish - I won't lock and load every time a 16-year-old blogger in Idaho uses the word "retard." However, if that 16-year-old is the editor of his high school newspaper and uses that expression in a column, I will consider calling him out for it.
I have no interest in using this group to target/support a particular political group. I'm also not interested in pushing any religious agenda. And I won't send you a dozen emails every day. Most days, you probably won't get anything from me. I'm guessing it may be more like once a week, or maybe even once a month. That way, when I do write, you'll read it. Also, don't get mad if you tip me off to something and I don't email it to everyone. I'll be using my own judgment.
Does this seem worthwhile? Reasonable? Interesting? Is everyone already involved in a group like this and I just haven't heard about it yet? Do you already get too many emails? I need some feedback here. I'm really trying to decide whether I should organize this, and obviously I don't want to invest time in it if it wouldn't be useful to anyone. Please pass this post along to all of your friends so I can reach out to as many people as possible.
After you other brilliant bloggers give me some feedback, I'll write a follow-up post. I'll either give you instructions for signing up/participating, or I'll scrap the project.
Also, if not that many people are interested in this, I have a plan B that involves buying a van and a dog and driving around solving mysteries. We could do that with a much smaller group.
UPDATE: If anyone has come directly to this entry on my blog, be sure to read the newer post that followed this entry. Oz Squad is a go. Email me your contact info - don't post it in a comment - and I'll add you to the list.
6 months ago