First of all, thanks to the Birmingham Public Library Fan Club for the add on MySpace. I’d posted about the library’s new blog several weeks ago and mentioned that it would be cool to list the new releases obtained by the system. I’m assuming that they’d had such a list for some time, but they’ve made it easy to access the list courtesy of their MySpace profile and the occasional post on their blog. The information about WiFi capabilities at the Central Branch in downtown Birmingham was also great to learn about. The eventual excitement will hopefully come when such capabilities are available throughout the branch network. I’m interested to see how they use the profile in the future. It is definitely a creative way to reach a wider audience.
MySpace is also starting to serve as a hub of activity for several of our tried and true events throughout the city and some of their organizations. Birmingham MySpace is preparing to host a mixer at the Barking Kudu at the end of the month. This profile boasts more than 800 “friends,” making this the basis of a very eclectic and interesting gathering on 27th. The Birmingham Shout film festival brings some of the world’s best gay and lesbian films to the Birmingham metropolitan area at the end of April AND it’s got a profile as well. It’s been a rare occurrence until now, but one that will hopefully change as time goes on and venues for independent films emerge in our area. Artwalk has it’s own profile, keeping fans of the long time festival updated on happenings and preludes to the big event in September, including the upcoming Brewhaha on April 21. And we can’t forget the Sidewalk Film Festival or Do Dah Day, both with pretty substantial MySpace presences as well. Several local magazines and radio stations have profiles as well, including Mental Floss. I think the bigger question is who doesn’t have a presence on MySpace right now, and how much longer before they join in. The ability to mobilize people to events and products through MySpace is intriguing. We’ll see if it can sustain its use by the forces of “good” for good things and events to occur in the community. I sure hope it does.
As I was returning from Easter egg hunting today, I spotted a couple of things that led to me starting this post to begin with. The first was the site I saw as I ventured past the I-459 Zone for reasons only I would have (big screen TVs for baseball games). For those that are not familiar with Birmingham, I have a feeling that the term is mine alone, but the principle is the same: it’s the area past I-459 heading south and east out of the Birmingham metro area. I did see George Wallace Jr.’s campaign bus getting letters placed on it in one of the numerous expanses of parking lots that exist out there; a sure sign of the campaign season preparing to bombard us full force. The other site was a little more disturbing but appropriate; I was returning from “the Zone” and noticed a man that I thought may be in trouble. It appeared that he was in the ditch on the side of the road standing. As I prepared to change lanes to stop and see if he was OK, I realized that he was not standing but in fact sitting on one of the concrete portions of the drainage system, waiting at a bus stop for the next arrival. The stop had a sign. No bench or shelter. While I am aware that at many times transit agencies have criteria they follow when supplying these items to stops and while today was an incredibly beautiful day here in metro Birmingham, I’d hate to think of what he would have to go through had we been getting one of those torrential spring storms that always hit unexpectedly. I’d be interested in hearing what some of these candidates have to say about the potential of improving transit, as well as what are some of you readers willing to do to encourage dialogue about this issue. Let me know. Enjoy your Sunday. Happy Easter and Passover.