A Rendezvous with Web 2.0
A Business Correspondent walks into the house of a women, takes her savings from her and it is deposited into her account. Just like that.
This women is illiterate, can hardly sign her name (if at all) and the amount of savings may be as low as USD 1. She lives in the remote interiors of Indian Thar Desert.
A young girl of all 16 is learning about Birches in Hindi in school. She finds her references and understanding through her discussions with her friends. The only difference is that her friends have never met her in person. But ONLINE through a community forum where they share their learning, understanding, doubts and discoveries.
This is happening NOW in the interiors of Sundarbans, the Indian Rain forest.
A woman videoblogger has a 1749203 followers who follow her blog religiously, who are impressed, influenced and provoked through her writings, her thoughts, her expressions and her perspective to the world around her.
And until a couple of months ago, she was nothing but an ordinary HOMEMAKER, who looked after her three kids and stayed home!
Or may be Social Media?
Enumerating a thousand or more such instances highlighting stories, where women have started conducting online classes, selling their creations (which until now was nothing but a hobby), innovating, consulting, writing or simply just sharing and discussing ideas, experiences and anecdotes. All these run a single thread through – the power of word, voice and knowledge platform-ing. Power to her!
For a theorist, this may or may never be categorized under the purview of WEB 2.0 or Social Media but for the woman in Thar, the girl in Sunderbans and me, this is what Internet/ Web 2.0 and Social Media mean.
The true empowerment and emancipation, devoid of inequalities of gender, race, ethnicities, et al is what Web 2.0 is. A platform or space that brings the entire world, its people and their problems on to one platform and offers them a possibility of a solution through dialogue and knowledge sharing. It is one space where content – i.e. what you want to say – immaterial to what medium one uses to say it, reaches an audience targeted precisely, administrating the preferred references and responses. Convergence is more than just a term or a phenomenon. It is the coming together of people on one platform, eliminating the barriers of geographies, physicality, media, language, and ethnography etcetera, to understand and share experiences and information and ultimately knowledge. It is the shifting paradigms of the way we live, interact and most importantly our social behaviour.
The new and interactive media is an opportunity for all, women especially from the remotest of regions - an access to the world outside - to share and help in the understanding of their problems, concerns and together, ultimately, to a better world and future for them and others around them.
So not before long we ALL have this power and for a change SHARE it?