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First We Take San Miguel

Mar. 12, 2023

by Dr. David Fialk, Editor / Publisher

I met a woman who opened up a bookstore in town. I love books. I read from one or more every day. But opening up a bookstore in our digital age is like buying a newspaper. Paper isn't from the last century; it's from Ancient Egypt.

The first time we met, I encouraged this bookstore owner to send content for me to publish. She sent me two posters about Valentine events she was hosting. These I dutifully published.

The second time we met, when I encouraged her to publish more, she looked either perplexed or put off. I was speaking very simply, but she seemed to not understand. It may have been that publicity was distasteful to her.

When I persisted, helpfully suggesting that she could write a short blurb about individual books in her store, she looked at me as if I had made a faux pas, transgressed polite society, licked my plate or something.

The third time we met I just said hello. I don't know what is behind her cool reserve: introversion, insecurity, snobbishness? And I don't want to know. Perhaps her reluctance to publish online is a political decision, a chauvinism for the printed page.

I'm always asking people to send me stuff to publish. I aggregate. I started with events a decade ago and, having done a good job gathering those, over the years I've turned my attention to other local content.

We upload content to Facebook, making that platform attractive, then Mark Zuckerberg sells ads aside our content and keeps the profit. Someone searches "San Miguel de Allende chocolate" and Google delivers search results, sells ads aside those search results and keeps the profit.

Can't we make our own social network and Google, a social network and search engine, just for San Miguel? I've done that. Lokkal sells ads and distributes the profits into the SMA community. When it comes to SMA, Lokkal will beat those tech giants. Local curation is the key. There's no substitute for boots on the ground.

The popular Spanish phrase has it, "El puebo unido jamas será vencido." The town/people united will never be defeated. Localism is the antidote to globalism.

I know a lot more about the internet than I care to. I spend a lot more time online than I want to. Because I believe that a healthier internet is key to a healthier society, I've devoted the last half-dozen years of my life to creating just that.

I appreciate the bookstore owner's prejudice against technology; bookstores are anti-internet. I get it. What perplexes me is the refusal of already digitally-inclined, activist types to join me in my efforts to organize the community.

The good news is that reinforcements are arriving. I am finding collaborators. And with an expanding team, it's getting easier to publish: wall, magazine, event calendar.

Still, for every one person I successfully recruit to participate in Lokkal, a fun, possibly world-saving project, there are 19 other, interesting, caring candidates, who decline. How many offers to participate in a project that might save the planet are these good people getting? Maybe they're hanging out in bookstores.

It's my fault. It's not enough for me to have created the machine; the online platform; the Yellow Pages robustly reborn for the new millennia; the digital town square; Facebook, Google, Instagram and Tik Tok all rolled into one and focused locally; run as a public utility, with profits distributed in the local community. I also have to make clear the evolutionary implications of my creation. Enhanced community consciousness is, by definition, a new way of thinking.

A new technology is dawning. The internet, the world's brain, is only a baby. Global unity, still adolescent, now asserts itself awkwardly.

If you wanted to launch a planet-changing movement, San Miguel would be a good place to start. No?

Ask me more - abc(at)lokkal(dot)com, please.


Dr. David presents Lokkal, the social network, the prettiest, most-efficient way to see San Miguel online. Our Wall shows it all. Join and add your point of view.


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SMA's non-profit community publication:


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Watch the two-minute video below.
Then, just below that, scroll down SMA's Community Wall.


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