VOF Week 1: (My fatasy is a blogging world tour)
One of my wild dreams would be to go on a world tour where I sit down with young people and women's groups and show them how to blog. Wordpress.com, and sites like these, offer so many opportunities for small organizations that would love to have a website. And we need to hear their stories.
Last year I took a class called Digital Communications and it was liberating. Why? Because I realized that I had internalized this attitude: I'm not digital, I can't code or read blogs or embed things. I needed to give myself permission to start exploring all these new tools, like signing up for RSS feeds or using delicious to bookmark websites. Now when I see something new I don't know about, I click on it and check it out, while before I would have just passed it by.
Now I have my own blog: Communications for Development . While the title is a bit stiff (forgive me, I work with the UN and jargon is in the water), I have realized this is the subject I want to spend my life writing about: how communication helps people. Whether it is local SMS advocacy campaign to pass the African Women's Rights protocol in Senegal, or a cell phone that allows a nomadic family to keep their daughter in school in Kenya, or a google earth photo of a refugee camp in Sudan, I want to know about it. The funny thing is, after I learn about all this innovative use of technology, I often come back to traditional communication: the power of a photo to show scale of disaster, or human touch to console, or one person's testimony to inspire.
I live in New York, the land of Web 2.0, and I am fascinated by how it is used in different contexts for different goals. My hope is that these digital tools strengthen our ability to tell stories and hear each other across boundaries of privilege, culture, language and distance.
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