We are Powerful
Using web 2.0, an individual platform can be built to express one’s own perceptions without gatekeepers, which is so much fascinating and important for “self governance”. Especially that is much more important for the women as we are under the pressure abundantly. Wittaker says in his book “Producing for Web 2.0” it is as a “gravitational core” which is with the features; using the web as an application platform, democratizing the web and employing new methods to distribute information.
The recent online campaign; “Right to Drive” conducted via the platforms like Facebook and Twitter by Manal al-Sharif proves how we (women) are powerful. A research which I did in my country; Sri Lanka regarding women’s use of media revealed that women are detached from media as the males at home control media, as suffering with poverty and as trapped by plenty of house hold works and because of ignorance. When I was doing the research in a rural place a woman in that community asked me is there any way for them to access information technology; which proves that they want to build their own world and they are willing to connect with the world.
As I have mentioned in the first chapter the web 2.0 is free from gatekeepers and so it encourages the women in expressing and mobilizing in an easy way. At the same time web 2.0 is enriches with writing, picture and video publishing, liking, sharing, tagging, chatting, conferencing, recommending and much more it is easy for us to find solutions for our problems, by sharing others’ experiences or by directing our problems to organizations that are willing to help. At the same time online petition signing is also has become a great advantage as it bombard the government agencies with piles of e-mails and compel them to take decisions.
As this is a both “Lean Forward” and “Lean Back” media it is easy to direct the audience towards the target unlike mass media which does not have much individual appeal. If you read an article by studying it well that becomes lean forward and if you just watch a music video it becomes lean back. Thus for me web 2.0 is a platform that I can find my own audience which I will never able by using conventional mass media. (I know this well as I’m writing for a news paper too). The international audiences and local audiences whom I reach via social media, blogging and e-mails are so huge. Knowledge and experience sharing, opportunity sharing, shouting against injustice are really important for me. If I was doing these things by going to a TV station or a radio station by myself in my country “as a woman” it would be very difficult for me. The protections for a woman and lack of equal opportunities for women become key issues regarding that. But staying safely without others’ pressure I’m becoming a strong person with the power of web 2.0.