Newsletter: 7/11 – 7/18

My apologies for the absence of last week's newsletter. I have been busy trying to update our library of new media guides so that we will have multilingual resources on how to blog, podcast, and publish video to the internet.

But first it is important to note that Rising Voices isn't the only source of tutorials and guides about citizen media. This week let's take a look at another resource that can help you, your organization, and your friends take advantage of new communication tools.

MediaSnackers’ Pacific Youth Curriculum

MediaSnackers is a for-profit group which trains all sorts of companies and media organizations how to use social media tools. Earlier this year they also took on a pro-bono project with Pacific Youth to train youth leaders in Tonga and Papua New Guinea how to use online social media.

Rather than flying out the Pacific to train the youth leaders in person, the MediaSnackers trainers used YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations, and online chats to cover a different topic each week. Just recently, they have released all of those videos and presentations on their website under a Creative Commons license, which means you are free to use them in your workshops and share them with friends and colleagues.

I especially recommend having a listen to week two's lesson on “Digital Stories“, which explains how to use SlideShare and Animoto, and week four, which looks at video blogging, or “vodcasting”.

Finally, it is worth taking a look at the blogs of the youth leaders who attended the online course. You can find links to all their blogs on the right-hand side of the Pacific Youth Project Page. Unfortunately, most of them haven't been updated recently, but it's clear that they gained the necessary skills. How to keep new bloggers engaged is another challenge entirely.

Nari Jibon: The joy of having their own blog

One of the best ways we've found to encourage new bloggers to keep writing and experimenting more in social media is by leaving comments on their posts. Please show your support by clicking through the links and adding your encouragement. For the past year the young women in Dhaka, Bangladesh who have been trained how to blog at the Nari Jibon center have all been contributing to the same group blog. This past week, however, many participants decided to open their own individual blogs as a way of expressing their own identities. Each blog has its own unique look and feel. To get to know them all better, make sure not to miss Rezwan's introductory post.

Akory Tamatave ! Hello Tamatave !

Speaking of new bloggers, the FOKO Blog Club in Madagascar continues to expand with new workshops and new participants in Tamatave. For those of us who don't speak Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar, it's a relief to know that the new bloggers are all university students who belong to the Barikadimy’s United English Club, where they get together to practice English. You can see their pictures, read their posts, and even hear the voice of their president, Patrick, here. Don't forget to show your support with comments!

Voces Bolivianas Begins in Trinidad

FOKO isn't the only Rising Voices project to expand. Voces Bolivianas has also started a new series of workshops for new participants. You can see a photograph of the first workshop and get to know more about Trinidad, Bolivia on their project blog.


There are many more stories, photographs, videos, and links to news about citizen media outreach on the front page of Rising Voices.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. And don't forget to spend a few minutes this weekend getting to know a new Rising Voices blogger.

  • Newsletter: 6/30 – 7/4

    Dear All,

    June was our busiest month ever at Rising Voices. We celebrated our first year of existence with a brief trailer video which looks back at the first ten citizen media outreach projects. The video has been viewed over 600 times on dotSUB alone and over 100 times on other blogs around the world. It is available with sub-titles in 17 languages. Please help us spread awareness about Rising Voices by embedding it in your blog.

    June was also a month for Rising Voices projects to show off all they have accomplished over the past year at various conferences. It started in Bogotá, Colombia where over 15 of the young participants from the HiperBarrio project in La Loma, Medellín were invited to Campus Party, one of the most important technology-related gatherings in the Spanish-speaking world. The municipality of Medellín, realizing the many achievements made by the young bloggers, agreed to finance all of the transportation costs from Medellín to Bogotá and back. The HiperBarrio bloggers were minor celebrities at the week-long conference where they were frequently approached by journalists like Aitor Riveiro from El País.

    Just a week later, representatives from FOKO Madagascar, Voces Bolivianas, Neighborhood Diaries, REPACTED Kenya, and HiperBarrio gave presentations about their work at the 2008 Global Voices Summit. Rezwan has written an excellent post summarizing their experience and presentations on the Rising Voices website.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, June was a month for looking forward, with the announcement of our six newest health-related outreach projects. Each of the six projects are slightly different than anything we funded during the previous year, which presents both new challenges and new opportunities. Over the next month we will focus heavily on the logistics to get each of the six projects into the Rising Voices website and community.

    Speaking of community, this mailing list has grown from around 80 initial subscribers to over 400 in the space of just one year – a tremendous show of enthusiasm to help include new voices in this new global conversation. This week it is worth pointing out one particular member of our community, Nasim Fekrat from Afghanistan who was featured last week in for his relentless dedication to train more and more Afghan citizens how to make themselves heard using blogs. I encourage you all to read the article.

    Thank you all for your patience and endless support, especially over the past month. We will soon add a new page to the Rising Voices website which will describe ways in which you can help support each of the Rising Voices outreach projects. For now, please visit the website, get to know each of the projects better, and leave comments of support on the participants’ blogs.

    All the best,