3 min read

A New Frontier

Camden Road lined with parked cars on both sides of the street. A parking garage is being constructed in the background.

It's been a little over a month since my last post about the launch of Dot Org and I wanted to give you an update on everything. Dot Org in particular has been really dynamic since its launch and I'm continually excited about it.

Bus Benches

Before anything else, I want to highlight a fundraiser Charlotte Urbanists is holding. They're raising funds to buy high quality, metal park benches to be deployed at bus stops throughout the city. As it stands, less that 10% of the bus stops in the city have benches. This is completely outrageous, and I'm glad someone is doing something about it since CATS and the city clearly don't care nearly enough.

I'm happy to see the organization has blown their original goal out of the water, collecting over double what they were originally seeking. I asked Jacob, the fellow hosting the GoFundMe (and Dot Org contributor!), if additional funds would be helpful. He assured me that they will be! They will initially fund local artists to decorate the benches. Anything leftover after decoration will go toward the purchase of future benches.

Leaving Twitter

Unfortunately, I made the difficult decision to retire all of The Dot Experiment Twitter accounts, effective last week. The Twitter leadership in place today isn't something I want to associate The Dot Experiment brand with any longer.

Twitter has been instrumental in building The Dot Experiment brand. While this is a setback for growth of the brand in the near-term, I think it will prove to be a wise decision in the long-term.

The Dot Experiment is now proudly self-hosted on Mastodon! I've made an account under my own name and converted Dot Org into a Mastodon instance.

My anonymity on Twitter was meant to shield myself from the Twitter algorithm (including ad marketing) rather than its users. Behind the scenes, I used a randomly generated email address to sign up so there was no tie to my persona. Mastodon, on the other hand, has no such algorithm (and no advertisers!), so I feel much more comfortable being myself on the platform.

If you're interested in joining me on Mastodon, I'd be more than happy to help you get settled on the platform and suggest some accounts to follow. It really is a great online community and I'm excited to watch it continue to grow.

If you're interested in joining my private Mastodon instance, you can do so by contributing to Dot Org.

And of course, the best place to follow The Dot Experiment will always be this blog. You can sign up to get new posts in your email inbox or subscribe via RSS, both free of charge.

Camden Road

There are few streets in Charlotte more underutilized than Camden Road. I've long held this belief, even starting a Twitter account (and nearly a non-profit) back in the day to advocate specifically for its closure to automobile traffic. That account/organization was called Car-Free CLT, it has since become Cars First (and, as previously discussed, is now retired).

It seems as though the "Close Camden" movement is starting to pick up steam, which I could not be more excited about. As evidence of this, Shop Small Saturdays will be returning every Saturday through 10 December. This shows that the city's interest in turning Camden into a people-focused plaza is continued!

If you have not already been to a pedestrianized Camden event, I can't recommend it enough. It will really cement your understanding of why using Camden purely as a means of moving private automobiles is a waste of precious urban real estate, and a massive money-sink for both the city and local businesses.

Charlotte Urbanists will be giving a lot of attention to transforming this street next year, and I can't wait to share more with you as we progress.

Happy Holidays

I'll be incredibly busy both with my work and personal life this December, so expect mostly radio silence from me until the New Year. That said, I hope your holidays are happy and your New Year is safe and enjoyable. I can't thank you enough for the interest you've shown in The Dot Experiment this past year, and I can't wait to share what comes next.