Keynote Speaker is Gambit’s Deborah Cotton
Deborah Cotton, a Gambit reporter and activist who was injured in the notorious Mother’s Day shooting on May 12, will be the keynote speaker for the 8th annual Rising Tide  conference on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Xavier University in New Orleans. Ms. Cotton was one of 19 people injured by three shooters during a second-line parade in the Seventh Ward to honor Mother’s Day. (See our account of the shooting here .)
A Los Angeles native who moved to New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina (2005), Cotton writes about and videotapes second line culture, Mardi Gras Indians, brass bands, and social aid and pleasure clubs for Gambit under the pen name “Big Red” Cotton. She has written Notes on New Orleans for NOLA.com , Gambit’s Blog of New Orleans , and her own web site New Orleans Good Good . Ms. Cotton appeared on Brass Bands panel at Rising Tide 6, where she spoke about the New Orleans noise ordinance. (Click here  for a fine tribute by her Gambit colleague Kevin Allman.)
Also featured at Rising Tide 8
Creating Community for Writers of Color: MelaNated Writers Collective  will discuss why New Orleans is a city ripe for literary rebirth. Moderated by Jarvis DeBerry of the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, panelists include authors jewel bush, columnist for Uptown Messenger ; David Thaddeus Baker, web editor for The Louisiana Weekly ; Kelly Harris, founder of Poems & Pink Ribbons ; and Gian Smith, spoken word poet and author of “O Beautiful Storm .”
Tech School is back! Katy Monnot of Bird on the Street hosts a day of presentations on better use of social media for individuals and businesses. On the Working with Bloggers panel, Bridgette Duplantis, Maria Sinclair, Shercole King and Victoria Adams discuss how small business can leverage the power of blogs to help with promotions. Megan B. Capone, Celeste “Metry Chick” Haar, and Marielle “NOLA Chick” Songy will talk about about Personal Branding: When You are What You’re Selling. Addie King, Jess Leigh, and Cara Jougelard will present Using Visual Tools in Online Promotion, and Steve Maloney will present a primer on Content Marketing.
Like Rising Tide on Facebook  (don’t forget to share!), follow Rising Tide on Twitter  (don’t forget to retweet!), and check for programming updates on the Rising Tide Conference Blog  or Rising Tide website . Registration  for Rising Tide 8 is open now!
What Is Rising Tide?
The Rising Tide conferences, held since 2006 on or near the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, bring together bloggers, activists, techies and other geeks, teachers, writers, artists, and experts in education, public safety, infrastructure, Louisiana politics, the environment, Internet technology, sports, parenting in New Orleans, and many other topics pertaining to the area’s ongoing recovery from hurricanes, “federal floods,” oil spills, and other challenges.
Past featured speakers have included David Simon  (co-creator of HBO’s Treme and The Wire); the actor and activist Harry Shearer ; N.O. geographer and historian Rich Campanella ; Treme-born writer Lolis Eric Elie , director of the documentary Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans; former Tulane professor of history Lawrence N. Powell , author of The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans; Mother Jones human rights and environmental reporter (Ms.) Mac McClelland ; and authors John Barry, Dave Zirin, and Chris Cooper  and Bobby Block .
Rising Tide NOLA, Inc., is a nonprofit organization formed by New Orleans bloggers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federally built levees. After the disaster, the Internet became a vital connection among dispersed New Orleanians, former New Orleanians, and friends of the city and the Gulf Coast region. A surge of new blogs were created, and combined with those that were already online, an online community with a shared interest in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast developed. In the summer of 2006, to mark the anniversary of the flood, the bloggers of New Orleans organized the first Rising Tide Conference, taking their shared interest in technology, the arts, the internet and social media and turning advocacy in the city into action.
All are welcome. Advance registration  for students is $18, and for the general public, $20. The ticket includes breakfast and lunch (provided by Laurel Street Bakery and Juan’s Flying Burrito, respectively).
The food is great, and the discussions are even more nourishing. We’ve been to four Rising Tides, and we’ll be there again this year. Sign up now!
Click below to read about previous Rising Tides (most recent first):
Rising Tide 7 Is Sat. Sept. 22 at Xavier  (2012)
Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 6  (2011)
Rising Tide 6 Is August 27, So Register Today  (2010)
Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 5 in New Orleans  (2010)
RT4: Sinking to New Heights  (2009)
Rising Tide III in New Orleans Aug. 22–24  (2008)
Viva New Orleans—for Art’s Sake!  (2007)
Making Blogging Sexy: Rising Tide 2  (2007)