Editorial Midwife Update: Notes from Check-in Call 7/24/12
We had a nice call this morning with the few of you who were able to join. Those of you who couldn't make it, please don't worry, we completely understand that work takes priority, especially on a short notice.
Unfortunately we do not have the recording from today due to some technical difficulties, but Jade and I have compiled some detailed notes here and we strongly encourage everyone to post additional questions, comments or ideas as replies to this message in our "Team Voices" group.
Here's a re-cap:
Where we're at after these first 3 weeks:
- Neema has been bringing women online in the DRC in small groups, many for the first time in their lives. The process is taking a bit longer than she anticipated because although they are community activists, they do not have email address and need to be taught some basic computer literacy. That said, we do have over 70 new members from the DRC on PulseWire right now!
- You may not have been able to establish much of a connection with your Campaign Liaison as of yet, because of the cyclical nature of how Internet access is working for this program. Neema has rented out an Internet cafe for three hours a day, each week day, for a Campaign Liaison to come in with her group. Sometimes the electricity goes out, or the Internet connection is down so the group has to come back the next day. With 10 Campaign Liaisons, you can imagine that this is taking longer than originally expected, and so you might receive replies back to your messages in a timely manner. So, if you don't have a strong connection yet, that is normal and expected. We're adapting our plans and slowing our expectations.
- Even though we're seeing less connectivity than originally expected, we are seeing "Mama Shujaa" stories come in, with over 30 in already.
- One issue that has come up is that all of the PulseWire automatic notifications are sent in English, and so many women in the DRC are sending confused replies. We are currently working with a translator to convert these automatic messages to French, which we will then include for everyone, hopefully reducing confusion and increasing connections and interaction.
- And, a reminder about another issue from earlier: some of you have been asked for financial support from your Campaign Liaison, and to be clear, this is not your role. We have asked Neema to make this point explicitly clear to the Liaisons, but if you receive a request for funds, please let us know.
At this point Marie and Penina have had slow connections, exchanging only introductory comments really. They were both glad to know that this is normal, and that we are adapting the plans accordingly. Most success so far has been connecting through PulseWire comments. There was some slight confusion or frustration about not knowing when help would be needed, which is a challenge with a busy schedule.
Hopefully the information below will help address these confusions and frustrations!
Updates and Next Steps:
1) Continue to connect with your Liaison
- If you haven't been able to make contact with your Liaison via email, try reaching out to her on the PulseWire platform at WorldPulse.com
- Use your best judgement and comfort level to maintain your relationship with your Liaison, letting her know that you're available to provide editorial support for her voice and writing.
- Let us know if you hear nothing from your Liaison and we will work with Neema to identify the communication blockage.
2) Keep your eye out for an email introducing your cohort
- We will soon send each of you a list of the 10-15 women in your Campaign Liaison's cohort and links to their PulseWire profiles.
- Begin to focus your time and energy on the PulseWire platform, specifically on connecting with your Liaison and cohort members once you've gotten a list of their profiles. But don't limit yourself to this list if you would like to connect w/ other Congolese women and comment on their stories. See all Congolese members here. See all campaign submissions (tagged "Mama Shujaa") here.
- Send a welcome message to each of your cohort members and let them know you're there to listen or lend advice on their storytelling and writing.
- Comment on any journals written by your Liaison or cohort, pay special attention to the journals tagged "Mama Shujaa" as these are written specifically for the Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) Digital Action Campaign. Your comments can be simply supportive, letting them know that their voice is valuable and heard; or constructive, asking for more elaboration or clarification (some submissions are quite short, so you might encourage them to expand on an element of the narrative).
- For the stories that you feel are most powerful and well-written, click the "Recommend" button on the journal. We are keeping a tally of most recommended stories, which helps us keep track of which stories may be best or most appropriate to spotlight on our Congo Campaign page we're rolling out in September, and later for our Editorial team to further edit, publish and distribute to media partners.
- If you read a journal from a woman in your cohort that is obviously written for the campaign (follows the curriculum and theme), but isn't tagged "Mama Shujaa," please flag the story (there's a flag tab at the top of the journal page), and we will tag the journal appropriately to ensure her voice is included in the campaign.
3) Help us with translation if you interested
While not a required part of your role, we are seeking support for translating the "Mama Shujaa" stories. We recommend starting with your own Liaison and cohort for translating their campaign submissions (and additional journals if you'd like).
- First step: send a message to your Campaign Liaison to let her know you'll be working on translations.
- Second step: Post your translation as a comment at the bottom of the journal. Title your comment "translation." Scott and I will work to add these translations into the body of the journal, citing your translation work. This way, the campaign stories will be accessible to a wider audience. Don't worry about 100% accuracy, and feel free to ask the author for clarification if needed.
August 1: Neema is traveling to the US and will be participating in a leadership program for disabled women activists in Eugene, Oregon. We are working with Neema to identify and support a Liaison to serve as the point-person while she's away.
August 13: Jade will be traveling to Eugene to lead a digital media literacy training with Neema for other participants in her leadership program. Jade will spend time in-person with Neema to discuss the campaign, trouble shoot and problems, and share any questions or input from Editorial Midwives. We will make a call-out in the Team Voices PulseWire group to ensure your questions or input are incorporated, and will post an update.
August 27 or 28: Neema will be spending two days at the World Pulse Office. We'd like to set-up an optional call for all midwives who would like to speak with Neema directly (on a good connection!), ask personal or program-related questions, share experiences, etc. while we have her here on US soil. This date is tentative, so stay tuned for an update and proposed call time.
September 4: We will launch the global EVAW Digital Action Campaign and roll-out the Global Campaign Page and Congo Campaign Page, which will serve as portals for submission guidelines, all campaign content, and make it easier for you to connect with the Congolese members and their stories as they will all be housed in one central location.
September 20: The World Pulse LIVE Tour kicks off in New York City. Learn more here. This will be an exciting opportunity to Neema to share some of the emerging stories, solutions, and visions for change from Congolese women at high-level forums like the US State Dept, Clinton Global Initiative, UN General Assembly, etc. She'll be speaking at events in New York, NY; Portland, OR; Atlanta, GA; and Washington, DC. There will also be live webcasts for several events if you can't join us in person, so stay tuned for info on how to connect.
Again, please share your experiences, questions and ideas with the group in a comment here, or if you would prefer, contact us privately through email.
Thank you all so much for your commitment to this program, and for your flexibility as we sort through the early challenges!
Scott and Jade