Welcome to Speak Easy

    Say good-bye to Sixth Square. We’re replacing it with Speak Easy, NewsWorks’ new participatory blog. Find the most interesting and provocative reader discussions here. And tell us what you’d like to talk about.

    So what’s this Speak Easy thing?

    It replaces Sixth Square on NewsWorks. You might remember Sixth Square. You might not (and therein lies our problem!).

    Philadelphia was designed around five public squares, and NewsWorks tried to create a sixth, a virtual crossroads where people could bump into new ideas, respectfully challenge each other’s point of view and learn from each other.

    We still love that idea, but the way we built Sixth Square—well, it didn’t really take off.

    So, in its place we’re launching Speak Easy. (See “Speak Easy” right up there in the site navigation?) It’s a blog where all of NewsWorks’ participatory aspects converge. I am your humble editor. (Hello!) I’ll keep an eye on the most interesting and provocative conversations happening on NewsWorks, our social media streams and other web destinations, and I’ll feature the most interesting comments here. I’ll also present conversation starters every day, on topics local and global.

    What would you like to talk about here?Suggest some topics in the comments below.

    Speak Easy aspires to be your underground saloon—I mean, salon—a little off the beaten path. Speak Easy is social. Your hangout, your haunt, if you will, where you can stop by to say hi to the regulars, meet some interesting newcomers and keep it real.

    You can read comments and essays from other readers here, and we’ll do our best to keep them smart and civil. There are many ways to participate and voice your thoughts: Give props to a do-gooder; ask about a local mystery, or help solve one; get answers to the questions that pop into your head as you read NewsWorks stories. On any given day, I might ask you to sum up a current event in six words or less. The next day I could ask you to propose a Top 10 list.

    All those options and more are available every day. At the top of every post is an invitation to participate. (And if we’ve made it too confusing, let me know.)

    The difference between whether you love or hate a NewsWorks story is usually a matter of perspective. That’s where Speak Easy comes in. We need your perspective. Look around you. Participate. Have an influence. The news is a human story. The news is your story.

    That’s Speak Easy.

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