Simon St. Laurent


Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators
28 minutes, 13.2mb, recorded 2007-06-28
Topics: Politics
Simon St. Laurent

Dryden, New York is a small town near Ithaca. Four years ago, local resident Simon St. Laurent began chronicling the civic life of the town on a blog called "Living in Dryden". In a 2004 profile the Ithaca Journal wrote: "St. Laurent can be seen, notebook and digital camera in tow, at Planning Board and Conservation Advisory Council gatherings, as well as at special meetings on fire departments, speeding and comprehensive plans."

And it asked: "What could motivate this seemingly normal man to submit himself to hours of political talk and legalese?"

The answer is that Simon St. Laurent is leading the way to an understanding of how local blogging can reflect and enrich the life of a community. Day by day, and year by year, he's showing his fellow citizens that political blogging doesn't have to be bombastic and divisive. It can be a civil dialogue that informs and unites.

Simon St. Laurent blogs about Dryden, New York, the town he lives in, at "Living in Dryden." He also blogs on Quakerism at By day, he edits books on web development for O'Reilly Media, Inc. When he isn't editing or blogging, he's trying to find more time for gardening - which then, of course, gets blogged about. Before doing all of this blogging, he used to write a lot of technical books, of which XML: A Primer is probably the best known.


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