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Where words engage - 2011 VOF Week 1

I used to blog. Then one day I stopped, there was an inner turmoil. What was I doing, creating virtual garbage? I am a voracious blog reader. Yet, somehow, I wasn’t able to write, there were enough topics – even if I had only documented my daily routine. As a journalist in Bangalore I had the opportunity to meet so many different people and yet every time I would want to write the questions would start – Was I polluting the web space? And then a photojournalist friend – an avid blogger got the city space talking with the discrimination he had faced in one of the star hotels. And I realized that the medium was a powerful tool, not because it allows you to express yourself freely, the key also lies in tapping the right audience. He not only blogged, he twitted as well as left a facebook message tagging his blog.
Instantly comments poured in, people started talking, engaging – and the best part was – it connected so many people. In the end, the PR of the very same hotel apologized and the hotel made changes to their parking policy. And in all of this I passively participated – watching the turn of events. My friend was discriminated – the hotel did not have a bike parking facility and he was frisked by the security personnel on duty. Raged by such a behavior, he realized no main stream paper would want to write a story on this. So, he used the internet to get this story across. He reached to a lot of people who related to that horrible experience. The story built a ‘community’, a brotherhood of sort.
It showed me in close quarters how Web2.0 can be an empowering force. However, as with all kinds of power there is a sense of great responsibility. And while I am back to blogging (I’m far from the blog-a-day routine!), the question I frequently ask myself is – how, what I write contributes to any change? And if you look at my blog – www.vcsthereforevis.blogspot.com – it doesn’t. It is a web journal, but I hope to steer it to a direction. As my friend did, turning a mere web journal into a platform open for discussion. Web2.0 is not only about ‘telling a story’ it is about ‘sharing an experience, creating awareness’.

Comments

Adepeju's picture

"Web2.0 is not only about

"Web2.0 is not only about ‘telling a story’ it is about ‘sharing an experience, creating awareness" I love that! Deep lessons we all need to learn!!

VC's picture

Thanks :)

HI Adepeju!

Totally agree :) "we all need to learn".

Vaishalli Chandra

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

jbaljko's picture

Sharing the experience

Hi VC,
Congrats on returning to the blog world. I hear you. I've been paralyzed by the same question: What am I contributing? Digital garbage or digital value? For all the same reasons you've mentioned, I've held off on starting a regular blog because I wasn't sure which experiences I wanted to share. I'm sorting that out in my own head and, like you, will be plunging back in.

Any additional thoughts on the kinds of experiences you'd like to share here or on your blog? The kinds of things you want readers to be aware about?

Best,
Jenn

"The secret of happiness is freedom,
and the secret of freedom, courage."
-Thucydides, ancient Greek historian & author

VC's picture

Thanks :)

Hi Jenn.

Ah .. I'm so glad and thank you are writing in. It feels good to know I'm not alone.

Sorting - that's the "IT" word for me too right now.

Oh there's so much to share - for instance - an ad that projects domestic help in bad light (I'll share more on this soon on the blog, I think) or then this woman I chatted with on my holiday in Goa. How she and several like her have migrated to Goa in hopes to earn better? These are people we hob-nob with on a daily basis, they struggle to make ends meet, yet they seldom crib. I find such people fascinating, their never-say-die spirit is infectious.

It is these stories that need to be told - how they believe in 'the system', how they get cheated by this 'very system', the visciousness of it all.

I'd like to write stories that 'uncomplicate' issues because the beauty lies in reaching out to as many people as one can.

So be it health, education, child rights, human rights, sexual minority rights, women's rights, environment, urban planning, sanitation and water rights, arts - visual & performance - I would like to write on all these and more :)

And I hope I get to write all this here and meet new friends like you.

Keep in touch!

regards,
Vaishalli

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Vaishalli Chandra

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

jbaljko's picture

Great ideas

Hi Vaishali,
Fantastic ideas and a wealth of stories out there so worthy of sharing. Keep plugging away and know this community supports your efforts.
- Jenn

"The secret of happiness is freedom,
and the secret of freedom, courage."
-Thucydides, ancient Greek historian & author

LauraB's picture

clarity

Hi VC,

World Pulse needs leaders who are clear about why they are blogging and who their audience is. I feel like you are asking exactly the right questions. I'd love to hear more about your personal and particular take on creating change.

I really enjoyed reading your journal because you wove the personal with the larger context.

Best to you

- Laura

VC's picture

Change's self initiated

Hi Laura.

Thanks so much for the encouraging words.

Creating change is a big term from where I am looking. To me, change has to be internalised. It needs to come from within. However, I truly believe that for that to happen there is a need to create awareness, because in my work as a journalist I have 'become more aware' about issues and concerns through my interaction with people. The nature of my work is such that it helps me internalise a situation and I feel as a 'reporter' or 'writer' it then becomes a responsibility to share that experience that the audience at large can feel the same way (hopppefully), only then can they 'internalise'. Change cannot be forced or implemented by a law, it is a need that every individual has to feel. Or so, I think.

And I feel responsible because I think I can put my writing skills to use, however, the larger question that's been haunting me is how I can use social media, effectively.

Vaishalli Chandra

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Rebecca Lerner's picture

thanks

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

My Blog: http://FirstWays.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbanforager
Twitter: @urbanforager

VC's picture

:)

Thanks Rebecca, and will surely check out your blog & twitter. My twitter @vaishallic. :)

Vaishalli Chandra

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

earthwindfire's picture

Where Worlds Engage

Thank you, VC, for this Week 1 piece. Yes, discriminatiion against women, against all, should be on the agenda of every ruling individual and group whether they represent a democratic, totalitarian, monarchic, tribal, rebel or other form of leadership. I am glad that you have found empowerment in the implementation of Web 2.0. I hope you will continue to utilize it and stay true to your beliefs and aspirations; no doubt, you will. As you say, 'creating awareness' is one of the most important components for change.

VC's picture

Hopefully I will

Thanks Martina, and I completely agree with you on this - "discriminatiion against women, against all, should be on the agenda of every ruling individual and group whether they represent a democratic, totalitarian, monarchic, tribal, rebel or other form of leadership."

And Hopefully I will stay true to my beliefs :)

Vaishalli Chandra

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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