The Webs of Connections
I found World Pulse through a series of connected events and relationships. I first joined Facebook to view the page of a friend who had been killed in a car accident about two years ago. I had pointedly avoided it until then but I wanted to see the pictures Alex’s friends in grad school had posted of him and his life in the months before he died. It was a sobering reason to join Facebook but I will never regret having a slice of his life presented to me during that difficult goodbye. Next I joined a Facebook group of an organization called Mother’s Acting Up. This group advertised for World Pulse and instantly I became drawn into the work of World Pulse and its role in the empowerment of women globally.
I am interested and excited by Web 2.0 for a variety of reasons. One of the most dynamic reasons I feel like it is a powerful tool is because it has the potential for people to share their personal experiences and stories to an audience far beyond their own doorstep or group of friends and acquaintances. For example, I can connect to a story of a bead maker organization in Uganda, Africa while I am sitting at my outdoor patio in Santa Fe, NM. From a local vantage point I can take those contacts and begin to make connections: find local places to sell the beads made by women, recommend travel for friends interested in social justice trips, raise awareness for the group by posting photos, and potentially raise funds for the group by contacting a small group of friends that I have that may have further connections into a funding community through their own networks. Truly, the possibilities are endless.
Web 2.0 is the solution to many years of isolation in the women’s movement. It gives everyday people and grassroots groups (as opposed to government officials, NGO leaders or people in power positions) a voice to share with the world. For example: the past few weeks since I joined this group I have been astounded by the connections I have made to women’s lives from Yemen to Kenya.
I believe that the stories are the vehicle for change. This has been an integral part of my non-profit work (see http://www.aloveoflearning.org/programs/elotrolado/eolinsantafe) for the past three years and I truly think that stories and the sharing of experiences have the potential to change people’s destiny.
I truly believe that this platform of sharing these stories on an international basis provides a web of connection that no other medium at this time offers. For me personally, I have found both my passion and my voice in this three-year odyssey into the power of story, yet I feel that my trajectory has been limited to the confines of the static web rather that the open space and possibility of social media. The possibilities for connection beyond my local community give me a sense of the profound potential of this platform.