Session 2 (Part 4): Outreach — Cont’d

Summary: A continuation of Session 2

Neha: I want to move on to concrete ideas. If you had to write a grant proposal for a concrete idea, how would you shape it out? what are the considerations?

Stuart Henshall: a GV fan, based in San Francisco. I spent the last 9 months and 75% of nmy time in Gurgaon. I have some perspective on what’s happening here. I’d like to point people ot mobile. what amazes me is I watch tv here, india times, the news, what’s going across the line is sms, the number; stuff like that we’re training a society to sms in their thoughts; and the mobile phones – I don’t know if it’s 5m or 10m a month. I can go into any mall and see how fast it’s exploding.

(IMAGE: Section of the audience – Dina Mehta & Peter Griffin. PHOTO CREDIT: Neha Vishvanathan)

I would suggest, if global voices says 1) we’ll take your sms, we will post it online, 2) we will send back an sms as thank you, with the url where it is. Aso capturing their # and identity, and you can start to count how many times they enter interesting info, how passionate they are about it. If you do that a bit more, you could actually move them to mms, and perhaps pay for that. I’d look to Hutch to sponsor that with free mms; I want to see more pictures on Gv. it’s a visceral gut-level thing, like LIFE in the 60s.

Neha: of course some people might not feel conmfortable abpot their identity being revealed.

Stuart: then you could ask for a simple yes/no. Giving people tools for using the voices being heard. I come from an education background; we should focus on giving things like tools for teachers so they can say ‘I’m having my students go to gv, and have them focus on brazli; what is being said in brazil. have them use this as an educational tool for their students, for different areas that do need activism, to create generations of students who are would-be activists. That’s a very low-cost way – I’m more than willing to work on writing lesson plans for something like this. one way to start a different side of outreach to find a way to collect voics and turn it into something useful.

Jose: Hello, I’m Jose from brazil. I’d like to say also that besides being in the port. Editor of GV, I work for the Ministry of Culture in Brazil with Gilberto Gil, a pop star and our minister.
I’d like to go into Rebecca’s point about who is doing outreach and how the Brazillian govt hough the ministry of culture is doing somethign new with our govt bringin tech to poor kids in big cities – but not with the intention of making them learn how to enter the working world. Just maken them register, digitize their culture. Not any kid, but kids already working in a cultural movement, theater, dance, music. Then we reach the group and give tools for them to digitize what they’re doing. And we work with open source software so kids can learn how to develop applications and customize the applications to their work. What is important is that we were saying here is what can we give to the kids; just that the opportunity for them to express themselves on what they are doing. And it’s an interesting difference, not in the educational side of the thing but the cultural side.

Speaker: one minute. I’ll come back to a comment my friend from poland made about proper use of tech. this comes from a friend of mind, a correspondant at Microsoft. MS had taken over a handful of facilities, built internet nodes. These were meant for educational purposes and all sorts of good things . But once they left, as my correspondent friend found out, people were watching porn on those machines and little else was being done. If I could just say rather than handing tech over to people, they have to be educated about this, and secondly people have to be made acountable for the use of technology. All said and done in India, it is still a scarce resource.

Rosario from chile: we have a big blogging community in chile. Outreach ideas come from the communication field. one argument that can help people is to get connected; to have a goal to do this. Sometimes not to do it because you are against something; if you don’t like papers, do something about it. Have your own goal and blog this. The thing is, not having to be against something; it is better to say if you get inside you can reach people that are in the same conversation you have. You can know that. It doesn’t matter if they are from chile or south america or india or whatever to .. a place to get people together. not always against something. This is not like being in a war.

(IMAGE: SJ Klein & the One Laptop Per Child project, laptop demo.

Safar, from the Maldives: I think the problem facing us is connectivity. more than 200 islands scattered across the ocean; we have to find a solution to this, first of all. To engcourage NGO’s who are intersted in starting connectivity projects. [outreach to children]. once we can find a solution to that. [and making blogging and communicating fun! having strong personal connections, for positive reasons and having fun, is core to making other things possible, when the need arises.]

Jacky from China: I wanted to add on to something preetam mentioned. As I was blogging, I found that small pieces of translation really help people connect. Another thing maybe you feel something, your blog is trivial, like a movie, food; but someone may take it very seriously. Some pepole so eager to know what movie they’re watching, what food they’re eating; this is so important to epole in china. Then they see the diference, and will continue to blog.

Adil: to pick up on SJ’s point, one thing that will enable kids to blog there needs to be a central server/exchange where kids blogging can exchange withone another. My kid loves pokemon. That would be for the rest assurance of their parents that when they get onto the net this whole thing is mponitored to keep it within the limits of their children.

Georgia: the concrete proposals we were looking for: funding, projects?

Question: if you seriously ask [them?] if they would rather take up a serious problem or an actress’ clothes at a film festival, we ned to prioritize as to what is important information; they need to take us seriously for us to help the nation or whatever.

Sanjupta: I did a project on students. What I did was form a group, with the assumption that everything people heard was a focus on technology;to form a focus roup. I had an indepth interview; then created a focus group instead of q’s like ‘do yo have easy access to internet’ and do you have a resource to use time and resources for a good cause? if the answer is yes, that I have time and resouces and want positive for a good social cause. Do you have a topic? A focus group? a group that also blogs? It will go step by step, like that.

Istha: I’m from Uganda, living in Delhi right now. I don’t know how concrete this is as suggestion for outreach. but in prime scohol mostly eveyone learns how to read. then as adults not everyone does it. It’s great to find out how to get tech out to rural areas. So what I’m saying is: for those who have the means, right now everyone who’s here, and those with the desire, you’re the voice; for everyone else who has something to say and don’t neccessary want to blog, for instance one of my teachers is into and has a lot to say about Indian politics. I asked him if he minded that I blogged; he said yes, sure. The idea that others would listen to what he has to say was enough incentive for him.

Real conversation tends to die out; human conversation; but more of that, where eveyrone who needs to publicize it. Having converations with people and writing about them is a great outreach.

Rachel: This is our last conrete propsal; our lunch is waiting outside! English is widely spoken, but last year, exactly 16 dec 2005, a software company in bangladesh started a bangla-blogging platform. In unicode, Microsoft began working after 1 year we had 50,000 page views per day, 4k users. we’re thinking of expanding to 10k users in the country. From this session, Ill be taking notes of ways to expand it and grow wider audience base.


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