Do you read this blog sometimes? Do you have an opinion about Provo, cities, or the built environment?
If so, I’m interested in hearing from you. More specifically, I’d like to experiment with having some guest contributors to this blog and if you’re reading this you’re probably the person I’m talking to.
I’ve been toying with this idea for a while now, and I like it for a few reasons. First, creating great cities is obviously a collaborative process. By making this blog a bit more collaborative, then, it’ll hopefully reflect the community better. I’ve also noticed that I learn a lot from readers. With more contributors, everyone’s knowledge — especially mine — should be refined.
The sky’s really the limit with what could be submitted. Maybe you’ve seen something that works particularly well or poorly. Maybe there’s a part of Provo that needs more attention, either in real life or online. Maybe you pass a cool piece of street art on your way to work or school. Really, if you see something fascinating in the city, take a picture of it, write down what it might mean and send it to me. One of the foundational principles of this blog is that with a bit of critical consideration anyone can have a an opinion and an impact. Like me, you don’t have to be an expert to contribute.
That said, I’m very much interested in hearing from experts as well. I’ve been amazed at the incredible things professionals in the city are doing right now, so if that’s you send me a post illuminating some idea, location, or plan. Maybe you don’t even live in Provo right now, but have insight into some urban principle.
If you’re thinking about some idea now, write it up quickly before you get busy or distracted. Don’t worry about it being perfect. Then email it to me (see below). Put something useful in the subject line, like “provocation submission.”
If you’re still reading, let me offer a bit of a suggestion as well. If you write something, consider taking a stand. Be argumentative. Make a point that someone could reasonably disagree with. This blog is called “provocation” after all, so be provocative. Being wrong in the end isn’t a big deal; I change my mind about things all the time and learning is sort of the whole point.
Relatedly, try to avoid blatant publicity or just going on about something that’s nice. I’m trying to scale back on those kinds of posts and there are other blogs for that stuff. Instead, if something is really great, explain why.
Also, my feeling is that short posts thrive on the internet. I’ll post long stuff if it’s good, but 600 words can feel laborious. Most posts on this blog are between 200-400 words. If you’re having a hard time cutting it down, write a series; I often write a few posts that are designed to be read in succession and then just link from one to the other.
Those are just suggestions, and they’re ones I violate everyday. But they’re the guidelines I give myself as I write.
So good luck and get in touch at james.dalrymple52(at)gmail[dot]com. (This is a regular email address that uses @ and a “.” but I’ve typed it out this way to make it more difficult for spammers to target me.)