Mark was there at the key gathering in Rhonehouse in January 2011 he was an instrumental part of thinking up and delivering the idea of The Commonty. He was first on the barricades to protest at the failure of the erstwhile 'Showcase' project in Dumfries and then one of the founder members of The Stove group that subsequently picked up that project and are now working with numerous partners to deliver it for the benefit of the creative community. Quite simply Mark always seemed to know the right person to talk to at the right time - his strategic sense, humour and passion are irreplaceable.
Readers of the Commonty often comment on its 'quirky' and 'opinionated' nature.....pretty much all of that was down to Mark - he dug out stories, films, images where no one else would have thought of looking. Seeing the blog now it is hard to imagine that it started as a conversation around a pub table in the Coach and Horses - Mark was at that table and has been around every table since.
Mark leaves The Commonty in great shape with 237 members signed up to receive the weekly email (3 new folk joined last week) - the total visitors log today stands at 103,000 and the total number of items posted on the blog stands at 1153. Mark believed in the potential of a network blog for the region when it would have been easier just to do nothing....those statistics bear witness to his vision and commitment. Respect to the Big Man.
With Mark's departure The Commonty stands at a crucial crossroads. Without additional help from volunteers I do not think The Commonty can continue. So it is up to all of you to decide whether this is something that you want to keep going....if the answer is yes then we need people to come forward to help administer the blog.
Helping on The Commonty is very simple and good craic - you do not need anything more than basic IT skills, you can do everything from home, you can do as little or as much as you like and there is not a regular time schedule that you have to adhere to. At the basic level all you need to do is take text and images sent to the Commonty email and copy and paste them onto the blog...simples. If anyone would like to come forward I would be happy to organise a session where I can demonstrate all the parts of working on The Commonty and leave people with a written set of instructions as a reminder for the future. Please get in touch to volunteer or suggest ideas about what should happen to The Commonty at TheCommonty@gmail.com or give me a phone on 01387 740680