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Web 2.0 Opens a New World for Me!

In a very short time I was introduced to Web 2.0. I remembered the first time a colleague was explaining to me and other fellow journalists the revolution happened in the world of revolution, called Web 2.0.

While this colleague friend was talking, I felt so amazed to have new tools that can help me and many other media worker/activists/ and reporters. Though the idea at that time was not clear, in sense that we were confused on how we can make use of the Web 2.0 tools in our reporting work; how can we turn the social media websites to be source of information and news to follow- the key of utilizing this “discovery” was not familiar to us.

But by the growth of Facebook, a new world of options and potentials opened in front of me, and journalists’ community around. Though the many facilities that Facebook gave in term of providing information and networking with experts and people of the same interests, some working in the field of local media could not make the best of this tool, rather, they ignored it sticking to the traditional way of covering news. They underestimated the social media, the thing that some of them regretted later on- let alone when Arab revolutions stormed out of such social media tools.
What really excites me about Web 2.0 is the openness it gives to its users. Everything can be done. Me and you are the ones who can customize what we want to read, follow, and write about.

It forms in a way or another a huge database of information, contacts, and ideas that can add to any professional’s experience, if he/she replies on the Web 2.0 tools and famous venues.

In some sense, sites like Facebook and Twitter help heal some bad moods. When rising up, many people around the world go to their personal profiles to describe their moods, needs, even dreams. They speak their selves out.
It even helps to make the person feel less lonely, when others sharing and commenting on his/her happy comments and when they show sympathize to his/her sad moments.

Speaking about women’s improvement move, Web 2.0 can as a response to women’s outcry to find a place in the cyber space to truly express themselves. As it mentioned in this week’s material, traditional reporting did not fairly speak about women, with less focus on their causes and dilemmas. Women stayed for long helpless to express their stories out. But now, with few words in one’s statues or with a short blog post or video clip, the word gets spreading, pushing and sometimes guiding journalists towards what really they should report about.

I remember here the role of Egyptian women played on the Facebook days before Egyptian revolution. A group of women set up a Facebook group to advise ladies on how to protect themselves during the protests and sit-ins. What to wear, what to carry in case you need to defend yourself against police harassment, whom to call if you get arrested, where you can find other leading women in Tahrir sq to resort to in case of serious/urgent need.

The group of women sharing news and advices for Egyptian ladies during the revolution time was doing great job. It even encouraged many other ladies to take it into streets. The group formed a role model and guidance.

Another example is the blog of women activists created after the revolution to speak about the country state and to post women’s opinions about what is happening in the transitional period. Take for example The Egyptian Chronicles.
Web 2.0 plays a fantastic great role in my career life as a journalist. Being a member in many Web 2.0 social media websites, like FB, Twitter, Coach Surfing, Meetup, and World Pulse, this adds a lot to me and to my knowledge as a journalist, based in Egypt, but report about international affairs.

I gain information, build networks, and get introduced to new and important contacts.

Furthermore, It helps me so much to share my daily observations as a woman living in an eastern country, in a transition period, through notes, or statues I share every day on my FB and Twitter pages.

It builds my identity, and makes me more open to the world.

How amazing feeling freedom is!

Comments

RenKiss's picture

I was so excited about the

I was so excited about the Egyptian Revolution and how when Hosni Mubarak tried to silence the protesters by shutting down the internet, people managed to utilize Facebook to get the word out about the revolution. :)

Rasha's picture

Challenging

It was hard time, but we never gave up! Revolution made us discover some many gifts and blessings we have... and we did what we could not think it is possible. God bless and protect everybody. Amen.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

kati.mayfield's picture

What the women were doing

Dear Rasha,

Thank you for sharing such a personal story of how you discovered Web 2.0 and the impact it has had on your life.

Traditional media reporting of the Egyptian revolution was so focused on the military activities and the men ... all the people I heard interviewed were men ... I often wondered, "so, what are the women doing?".

It is wonderful to read your description of how social media sites were sending information to women about how they could protect themselves and participate safely in the important events.

How are you and other women using Web 2.0 now to address the uncertainty following the revolution and to help the country re-stabilize?

I look forward to reading more from you!

-Kati

*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

Rasha's picture

Confused, but still effective

Hellp Kati,

Your post lifts me up! I recalls the revolution days hoping we can make it despite all the mess around us at the moment.

At the time of the revolution and after most of the news, tweets, even chit-chats were about political changes, trials, corruption cases and so forth. But there were some venues that highlighted projects and initiatives for the sake of pushing the community a little bit forward. There were not so clear at the first days after the revolution "victory" but now they are getting moment.

You are right about men dominance in the media, but in reality women had big impact and role they played. Even online activities of women and leaders pushed all the way to encourage the silent majority to share. I put the blame on the neck of media, not only because they r focusing on men more than women but because of reporting on one side of the changes sweeping the Egyptian society ignoring many developments in the ground.

At the moment, I can give clear example of groups of women on social media, everybody is confused, either woman, man, even children, but speaking about myself almost all the ladies I have in my profile on FB, who participated in the revolution, doing a great job of writing notes, statues, sharing links, to raise awareness and fight against rumors.

You draw my attention to something very important. Leadership in Egypt is questionable- for men and women! The road seems so long!

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

kati.mayfield's picture

silent majority

Hi Rasha,

Really it is inspiring to hear how this "silent majority" is beginning to speak up through Web 2.0 channels! But as you mention in your note to Susan, many women are still silent and bored ... what do you think it will take for them to step out of their shells and use these new media tools? As you say, it is a long road, and the silent majority must take a stronger voice in order to move down it safely.

in friendship,

Kati

*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

susa's picture

Women 2.0

Dear Rasha,

Your excitement about the potential of Web 2.0 to empower women, and especially as a tool for women journalists and activists, comes through clearly. I was very interested to learn about how Web 2.0 was employed by women for women during the early days of the Egyptian liberation. I happened to be in Cairo in the early days of the protests and I wondered what was on the minds and in the hearts of Egyptian women. I hope to learn of other examples from your experiences. This is a great (and empowering) story.

All the best,
Susan

Rasha's picture

Love

Hi Susan,

I am very pleased to know that you were in Egypt at that challenging time. Wow! How was it with you?

Well speaking about what I can see and sense, love is what abodes in Egyptian women's hearts in the moment.

I am not kidding :) We are all emotional, are not we? love always sets in women's hearts- even at the very hard times. For Egyptian ladies, I can sense a big portion of love coming out of their hearts to Egypt. This gives them patience and hope to have a good country, to get better jobs, to drive safely, to marry easily with less expenses, and to bring up their kids in a better way.

I cannot feel despair coming from women. Men are furious, shouting, and demonstrating anger because of bad conditions we have in this transition period, but women seem more relaxing with great hope. At the same time women criticize transitional Govt, they calm down and start praying to the country. At this hard time, most of women are more punctual than men showing up early at work.

But, and big but, there is a majority of women- housewives or those who do not care- have nothing to do. They go on with their life normally as if nothing happened. Some of them even curse changes as it makes them feel insecure about the future. This type of women dedicate their energy and care only for their families with less participation in the civil society.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

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