The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
Last week iReport had the pleasure to spend a couple of days in San Antonio, Texas, while on a road trip across south and central Texas with the CNN Express bus and CNN's Defining America. Wednesday afternoon saw us racing north across the vast pastures of South Texas -- a ride familiar to me from many childhood trips to San Antonio from my home town of Harlingen, Texas. The sight of cattle resting under the shade of oak and mesquite trees and even the rank smell of King Ranch "gold" helped transform the 4-hour drive into a pleasant ride down memory lane.
We arrived in San Antonio just in time to hold a meetup with local iReporters at La Gloria Ice House, a Mexican tapas restaurant and watering hole on the bank of the San Antonio River. The pleasantly warm summer evening and excellent setting were perfect for a lively chat with our iReport friends.
One of our guests, Veronica Lara Dallahan, recalled how her first iReport was about having fun for free. "We videotaped ourselves sliding down a grassy hill. That's something we would do as kids, and it's still quite fun actually." When I asked her what kept her coming back to iReport, she explained: "I like to see normal everyday people tell their stories in their own words and express themselves as they would like to express themselves without being edited."
Michele Darien, another iReporter, agreed that what kept her coming back to iReport was the ability to see "everyday people telling everyday stories."
"You know people in the community better, whereas a journalist might have to travel from place to place and doesn't really have a feel of the local atmosphere. So with iReport, you can go out to your own community and capture the things that are going on."
Thursday morning, we set up right next to the Alamo to talk to visitors about iReport and gather contributions to the cultural census. The Alamo sees 2.5 million visitors every year, so we had no trouble meeting lots of interesting folks from Texas and beyond.
The cultural census is one of iReport's most exciting projects this year. Our goal is to represent America's identity and culture through five fun assignments you can do from home. If you haven't yet participated, this is your chance! Here's how to get started:
1. Fill out this quick cultural survey.
2. Complete one or more of the following cultural census assignments.
Share a photo
Take a self-portrait. Get creative!
Tape yourself reading a standard passage.
Show us a photo of you or your family's typical weeknight dinner.
Write this down
Scan or snap a photo of your handwriting.
Show us how you generally get around town.
I want to host iReport in Salt lake City, Utah. How can I go about formally extending an invitation?