Install a Widget. Build a Movement.
Today we are launching the Streetsblog Network "Action Widget." The Streetsblog Network, as you may already know, is a collection of about 200 bloggers from all around the United States who focus on livable streets, sustainable transport and smart growth issues, usually with a local focus.
The Action Widget is a tool that members of the Network, or anyone else, can install into the sidebar of their blog using the code found on this page. Network editor Sarah Goodyear will update the Action Widget regularly with legislative alerts, breaking news and top stories from blogs participating in the Streetsblog Network. Above are three examples of how the widget would have appeared last week as the House of Representatives debated the transportation portion of the stimulus bill.
One of the things that’s become clear to me watching the Streetsblog Network grow is that these bloggers represent a vibrant and potentially powerful national movement pushing for fundamental change in the way we do transportation policy here in the United States. It is both a strength and weakness of this movement that its most active and committed members — the people in the trenches fighting for better biking facilities, new light rail lines and less automobile-dependent cities — tend to be focused on local issues to the extreme.
One of the big goals of the Streetsblog Network is to get livable streets advocates to take a moment to lift their heads from their important neighborhood-level work and take note of the fact that 2009 is going to be a watershed year for federal transportation policy, and they need to be involved in shaping that policy. If they’re not, then the policy-making will be done by the business-as-usual folks, the Road Gang who, incidentally, can not find 200 local bloggers writing enthusiastically about the shovel-ready road widening on the outskirts of town. The Highwaymen have no such grassroots movement behind them.
So, we hope that the Action Widget can help progressive transportation bloggers to keep their readers
informed, mobilized and connected to other local activists and to the action taking place on the federal level. If you have any feedback or questions about the Action Widget, we really want to hear it. Do you need help installing it? Does it work on your blog? Would a certain change in design or function make you more likely to use it? Please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think.
Likewise, if you prefer a more static "badge" rather than a dynamic widget, scroll down the page. We’ve designed a bunch of those as well.