Session 2 (Part 3): Outreach — Cont’d

Summary: A continuation of Session 2
The panel is taking two more questions and then we’re moving to the IRC channel.

Comment by Gerard, a journalist from Hindustan Times, a major main stream media newspaper in India: I don’t know how many of you know it’s a mainstram paper. We look at stories all the time. So many news channels, TV launches; the hunger of journalists is amazing. There are educated people all around. People who know about things. If they can channel them correctly, journalists will take creative [ideas?] seriously.

(IMAGE: Rachel Rawlins jotting down quick notes during Session 2.
PHOTO CREDIT: Georgia)

Question from ange via the IRC channel: what would it take for outreach to get to what Global Voices suggestS? Are there ways to tap into global/local wifi hubs which are wide-spread across asia? like for example the WSFII Project? Can we always work with wifi or LUGs (Linux User Groups) in the area?

Neha: it is purely a networking thing; maybe that will be a way of targetting people.

Nanda: people can adopt or relate to <things>, for example, farmers can go online and trade commodities. Having accesss, there’s something called planet tree, for low iteracy in india and elsewhere.Those are two key areas.

Neha: That also brings us back to David’s question of “What’s in it for me? That’s the incentive.

Sameer: there’s a difference between allowing people to cary out a trade online and self-expression. that’s a massive difference. If you look at what’s most popular almost everywhere, tech blogs are the most popular. Naturally, we might be making to much of a leap and to say look how global vices is successful. If you have the general evolution of the blogosphere in a country starting with tech, moving on to entertainment and then you have a strong blogosphere. if you had the patience to wait for that, the actual act of having a log would be a reason to have one. A self-evolutionary thing the idea of putting out whether we are’t making too huge a leap. By going into no-data environments.

Marie Siedel from Poland comments: there’s an assumption in this whole conversation about outreach, once it gives people the tech opportunity, they will do something valuable with it. Instead of downloading movies and music, people who already have the opportunity, the large majority don’t do anything constructive with it. This also works as something disenchanting for people. For instance we’re talking about countries that were having means to express yourself online; something very valuable. Should the meaning of access not be brought in to include these kinds of problems too?

Neha: others mentioned how do you get stuff noticed? not just outreach, but getting notice.

Ben: there are some good discussions here abot who should do outreach to know what’s on people’s minds, doing our outreach, it proved invaluable to have people from all over with us; America, UK, Germany, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, etc. It’s always a great way of showing people that we’re doing not just kyrgyzstan or google tajikistan, but reaching out to the wide world. That there are people who care about having hindi voices translated into english. You should have a mix of insiders and outsiders. Better than our putting up something on a blackboard; this person here put up [issues from islam], was blogging about it. If you can present tajikistan with what this studentin India did and what it led to, that’s a very intuitive way of doing it.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Georgia)

Anu: I’m very much interested in world politics. I’m not a blogger but I do read very actively. it’s become more of a hobby than a serious thing. GV is an exception; there are many serious bloggers here. If I talk about india, there are millions of people. What they do is they blog on trivial matters. Media blogging is pathetic.. talkinbg about meia personality, all sorts of rubbish things. to answer Rebecca’s point, we have to get in touch with active media which is the most powerful tool in the world today to get a person’s views counted. When they report they have to do it seriously so the entire country takes notice. People doing non-serious kinds of blogging, very beautiufl platform to actually get in touch with others, on such important issues, and also get heard. Also get counted so far as the boys’ opinion is concerned. I might be talking that there are millions of bloggers in the world; talking about what is happening in Iraq. No where in the media, though it has been reported that George Bush has taken noteice of those millions of voices. So what is required is we have to change this thing; break this trivialitiy of the situation, and get counted in the world.

Neha: Preetam Rai has a comment, then we want to get more concrete ideas

Preetam Rai: Am Preetam from South East Asia with the GV Team. One example, as Rebecca was asking who takes responsibility, She was going to some smaller plants in Thailand. I some how forced her to blog; showed her how to use the blogger tool; she started this blog. now she is very happy.
So there’s this girl in East Timor — she’s helping people. She writes it in this blog: tamil… if you google it you can find it. There’s another organization in vietnam; street kids there. The person runnig it is maintaining a regular blog; working with life stories and so on. In Cambodia, they have an interesting group; they call it the personals’ information technology.

ThaRum from Cambodia, a GV Author: How to create blogger for google and webquest.com, desk resources, moch more than other people in the area. Not many people [there] have access to the net.

Preetam: the girl participating here is about 15 years old. Sooner or later we hope to see more and more blogs by Cambodians across the globe.

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