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Session 4- The Future of the Global Conversation- Part 5 December 10, 2005

Posted by delal in GV05, Session 4.

Ethan Zuckerman – I’ll let Mary pitch her project; and let Haitham talk about some of his projects. I’m going to impose a totally unfair rule after Mary; then, totally unfair rule: you must be a blogger to speak!

Mary (Joyce or Page?) – I want to talk about my project, the open democracy project.. I just want to talk about what I saw that inspired me, and what other people might see in Global Voices. I ‘m creating a site about democracy using a series of blog posts from people talking about their [views of] democracy…also I kind of see Global Voices as a source for future activists; I’m creating a set of guidebooks…do you want to write an activism guide? have contacts in an association? I see Global Voices as a contact with people not just as bloggers but also as activists.

Haitham Sabbah –2 minutes? forget it. We had a great day of discussing a lot of topics related to blogging; there are still two main issues we did not touch. To give you a hint, I want to talk bout defining a blogosphere… what makes a successful blogosphere. Nobody asked what makes a successful one. Why aren’t there blogospheres everywhere? we know of 3 or 4 different blogosphere types these days…maybe you’re talking about 1 or 2 bloggers, who might not be active; also a 1-sided blogosphere, where all are anti-this or pro-that. The third is both-sided; you have both-this and that. It would make life easier as Global Voices; and the fourth one, the cocktail type of blogosphere; out of the UAE where you have numerous nationalities, everyone is talking about everything[ but /not/ everything] in some countries you know there are threats; some people were detained and killed… the NGOs and sponsors – how can they support this? There is a big gap still b/t the NGOs, who have to this point failed to sell themselves to the bloggers. So hardly anyone knows what article 19 of the human rights / freedom of speech is so actually I was talking to someone yesterday; they’re working on something. In each Northern African country… people can participate and give them more ideas. The 2d thing in the Mideast and North Africa : the media if you compare it to the rest of the world, nobody in the media know what blogging is. I can hardly name 1-2 journalists in the Mideast or North Africa who have blogs. They hear about them, but don’t know what they’re doing or trying to get. I believe then international media has to , maybe Reuters, talking to john [west] — the sources of these media have to have some influence in the local media.

Ethan Zuckerman – two things to take out of this, to put a positive spin on it. As we think about things to do; one is to figure out how to reach NGOs…

Hoder – the bloggers are presenting at least the middle class in some countries.. What we’ve been focusing on in Global Voices is informing; the ‘what’ in these countries; not so much on contextualizing, the ‘why’ question we should try to contextualize much more tan we’re doing now. Also, b/c the Global Voices blog isn’t interesting to me, recently… it’s full of reporting, regional reporting they’re important, but not interesting to read. I’d suggest moving this kind of regular reporting to another part; not the main part of the page; and only have interesting writing, posts on the page that would be great. I’m also worried about the sources of funding that Global Voices will get in the future. I’d be worried if any right-wing foundation would be interested; Global Voices still ironically is based in America; and the us isn’t in a very global position right now it would be worrying to see that thing happening, so please keep us informed and transparent about [financial] sources the only thing that could get political re: higher quality would be, commissioning the writers.

Ethan Zuckerman – I really appreciate getting a critical voice there; I can offer you a personal promise on financial transparency; that’s important to us as well.

[dan g gets on the q]

Catspaw – another topic being raised on chat here: angelo [who’s been doing cool irc -> to blog cleaned up and improved transcripts] having a virtual news room; mobile blogging going with that…next point: people going out and doing and publishing bridge writing, maybe that could be a fundraisser; and running with that next: something former soviet bloggers did to reach out to media b/c of the difficulty in getting net access, we’ve found we had to make it more attractive for people to want to blog; promoting it as something beneficial in your cv, that opens up your writing to new audiences…I know it takes away from the purity of blogging to write; when people have to connect at 56k maybe, sitting in a net cafe; you have to make it worth it to them. We found that we’ve been very successful in reaching out to them and that they end up blogging for blogging’s sake. I don’t know if that can help out in other regions.

Dan Gillmore – Take money from right-wingers provided that you pursue the transparency you’re talking about… I don’t see the problem there; if it’s visible, if it’s disclosed… let people make their own decisions. I don’t agree with them on much, but let’s hear what they want to say.

Ethan Zuckerman – in approaching funds, we’ve largely approaching [essentially] globalist organizations but there’s a huge question that will come up. It’s hard to put 90 people in an irc chat room and vote on whether we take money from someone or not. I think the best thing we can do is let Hossein say don’t and let you say do, and agree to argue it out and let this continue on irc and blogs; I hope this is one of many conversations that continue form the floor here. It’s 6pm; we need to get out of here, which is tragic; let’s give Chris the last word, then matt wants the last word here. But one of the most important things to say is : this isn’t the last word the key thing to bring away was making connections face to face so we can continue this afterwards. chris:?

Chris Ahearn – I would encourage everyone there to remember that right and left is always someone’s perspective; the more perspective you have, the better conclusion you can come to. The second thing I find really interesting is the tools and capabilities everyone is talking about are the same ones the main stream media are grappling with. The tools you’re using day in and day out to do publishing are, in many respects, superior, to main stream media – both photo and text journalists – dealing with the richness with which you can tell a story constantly amazes me. Three last quick comments. Thanks for coming to Reuters for this event; we were delighted to have everyone! I think very highly /strongly of what everyone in the room is trying to do. 2 – the mobile newsroom is important; the reason we’re involved and why we’ll supply funds to Global Voices is to expand the idea of what a newsroom is, it’s nothing other than taking a sense of what is happening around the world. Lastlty, a comment was made not long ago about regional interests v. interesting writing; sometihng worth grapping with. Something not interesting to people regionally can be extraordinarily interesting to others. How does it grow, how does it touch financial markets…like it or not, that’s very much related to how this will grow, and continue to share etc. discussions. Thanks again.

[all: thanks! applause]

Rebecca MacKinnon- procedure thing as well – the mechanics of continuing this discussion forward; I have all your emails through that google groups. I’ll transfer all of you not on the Global Voices listserv onto it, unless you tell me you don’t want on it and I’m hoping those of you who have issue and want to push them forward and get feedback. In addition to the list, we should be using the wiki to post new ideas; I’m starting a discussion about this on the wiki, please go there and add your thoughts. also irc; we’ve started to see from time to time people scheduling times on our irc channel.,..then we can have regular meetings there. I really hope those of you with initiatives to get traction on, feedback on; schedule time in the irc and have virtual meetings about this. And post the transcripts! And we’ll continue to use these tools. This is only the beginning. As many said, we could go on for days…fortunately b/c we have the online tools, we can go on forever; let’s continue.

Ethan Zuckerman – Matt, who were are ever so grateful for keeping us running today; we’ll give him the last work on closing the facility…

Matt – these are really more a housekeeping statement; I can only echo hat Chris has said; we thank you very much on coming on behalf of Reuters. We’re very used to working with the b2b environment, and we’re taking away a lot of lessons on irc…

This ends the transcription of the London 2005 Global Voices Summitt. Thank you for reading!

Tagged: gv2005, globalvoices)



1. Beth Kanter - December 13, 2005


You did an awesome job of live blogging this!!! Thanks!

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