I'm heartened by the initial response I've gotten with Tremonter. I've received an email from a professional photographer who would like to take some pictures for me, an email from a Tremont resident who has B&W photos that she's willing to have posted, encouragement from fellow bloggers and most importantly, visitors I've never heard of.
Although it is still far too early to deem the site a success, I think that my gut feeling that a community site was needed was well founded. I know I'm not the most qualified Tremont resident to run the thing, since I've only lived in the neighborhood for 6 months, but the important thing is that I did something. All too often it is easy enough to talk about doing things but never doing them. Sometimes I think all the time spent talking is a waste, when it could be spent doing instead. And here I am talking, instead of posting over at Tremonter...
My mother thinks I should sell advertising on the site, she also thinks I should be paid to write the things I write, she thinks I should try to get some of my poetry published [ha!]. God bless her, but I don't need to do it for money. The focus on "How can I make a buck off of doing this?" prioritizes value where cash is primary. I try to prioritize value differently. If someone is edified by something I write, laughs at something I do, or finds some of the information I provide on Tremonter to be useful, I consider myself paid. [I didn't even want to say that, payment.] So instead of trying to figure out how much money I can make off Tremonter, I'm trying to figure out how much I can make Tremont better. It is like Banksy says:
or to paraphrase:
If we quantify value by things other than money, it opens a whole new area for action.
Which has sort of gotten me off the topic of Tremonter, but not really. Hopefully that site will become an example of what I've been talking about. Perhaps this is old hat for many people, but it is new to me. Like the photographer who has offered to take some snaps; she wants to build her portfolio and résumé, and I need good snaps so we barter and no money is exchanged. A friend of mine her Connecticut community first introduced me to the modern barter system. It seems like a good way to trade work for work, work for skill, skill for skill. So a painter might use bartering points to develop some film and then the film developer might use some points to buy something from a local bakery, and the baker might use the points to buy a portrait from the painter. Stuff is exchanged for equal value, or close to it, community becomes important, and actual cash can be spent on things that can't be purchased any other way. Maybe Cleveland could use something like that?