Back in Business for b!X’s Birthday

Without question an Internet pioneer. He bust onto the scene in 1995, in the earliest days of the Web, to lead a major online protest against the Communications Decency Act. His “Hands Off! the Net” petition, which garnered more than 100,000 signatures at a time when the entire net population was not much bigger, was a landmark moment. In the process, he defined the basic methods that online organizers and viral-marketers employ to this day.– —– Jonah Seiger
That’s my favorite son to whom Seiger, co-founder of Mindshare Internet Campaigns, is referring. Jonah Seiger worked on Internet-related public policy issues with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and with Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA) on the House Subcommittee Telecommunications and Finance from 1993 to 1994.
That’s where his path crossed with b!X’s, as b!X put his energies into being one of the masterminds behind the first response to the Communications Decency Act (for which he was featured in Rolling Stone magazine).
My path crossed with b!X’s on October 25, 1969 when he slipped out of me — already loudly commenting on the cold bright unnerving world around him that continues to amaze him and frustrate him and make him care enough to say so. And that was just the beginning. In high school, with the early Mac he bought with money left to him by my Dad, he created, edited, and published (with xeroxing support from yours truly) the “Myra Stein Underground Press,” a publication named after a legendary teacher in his school who supposedly left her classroom one day and no one ever saw her after that. He started another underground newspaper on his college campus, and today his weblog, The One True b!X’s PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE is (in his own words)
the culmination of a long-standing desire to maintain what is best termed a “civic weblog” based in and on the city of Portland, Oregon.
As a civic weblog, The One True b!X’s PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE focuses on neither personal details nor meta-blogging about weblogs, but on the politics and culture of the Rose City — from local government at City Hall, to architecture and design, to economic development, to livability issues, to local activism, to the Portland music scene.
Whether an item consists of commentary upon stories from other news sources, or original reporting on local events, The One True b!X’s PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE is an experiment in independent civic journalism as practiced on the Web.
I figured that, since I forgot to mail his birthday card, what with all that trying to get various machinery of mine up and running, the least I could do for his birthday was to publicly acknowledge my pride in who he has become. I think that, as various bloggers debate the contributions that blogging technology will continue (or not continue) to make, particularly in the area of journalism, b!X is demonstrating exactly how a weblog can be used to empower a local community. Independent Civic Journalism. Yes. After a lot of us personal bloggers fall by the wayside or coalesce even further into small in-groups, after the metabloggers slip farther off onto the edges of the net to continue contemplating their blognavels, independent civic journalists will be the ones to prove the fundamental value of weblogs to keeping citizens informed, connected, and involved.
Now, I’m not saying that b!X is the perfect son. Far from it. (And I’ve always been a far cry from the perfect mother, too.) He doesn’t keep in touch, and most of the time I have no idea what’s going on in his life. And he needs to find consistent employment. On the other hand, he got me into blogging, designed and hosts my weblog, and got me to figure out how to post this from my laptap, since I haven’t had a chance to reconnect my big machine (which is fixed, or so the cute young geek technician told me). And he’s ethical and moral and supports Howard Dean.
And so I send loving birthday wishes across the country to my son, b!X, who, for sure, makes this bloggermom proud.
(I’m posting this two days early because I’m heading out to Boston early tomorrow for what probably will be the last visit with my grandson for a while. )

2 thoughts on “Back in Business for b!X’s Birthday

  1. I’ve always felt it’s the Moms who should get the credit. Maybe we could call it Birth-ing Day. In which case, Happy Birth-ing Day to you, and Happy Birthday to b!x. You’re a scrappy pair who make the world a better place.

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