Newsletter: 2008-02-04

Dear All,

For those of you who, like me, have trouble keeping up with all the emails flooding our inboxes, please accept my apologies for the unusually high volume of messages on this mailing list over the past week. On the other hand, to all of you who sent emails in response to last week’s newsletter, thank you, for they revealed how Rising Voices can most effectively serve as a resource for communities and organizations who want to make their voices and their message heard.

Several themes stood out from your responses:

Profiles: It was clear that many of you would like others in our community to know about your organizations, your objectives, and how you are using citizen media to engage with the communities you work with. By offering tags and categories to user and organization profiles, like-minded groups and individuals in our network will be able to more easily connect. When new users register with the same categories and/or geographic location, an optional notification would be sent out.

Funding: Many of the responses also included appeals for funding. I envision a system in which every time we publish a news item about available funding related to new media training the system sends out an optional notification to every user who has listed the same categories that apply to the funding opportunity.

Training Resources: Others asked for more training resources to learn how to produce online media and to train others. I am happy to announce that three members of our community have taken the initiative to develop a complete citizen media curriculum so that anyone who wants to develop a citizen media training project can find all of the necessary tutorials, resources, and suggestions in one single space.

Eduardo Ávila of the Voces Bolivianas project will focus on collecting technical tutorials for the tools and software related to blogging, podcasting, digital photography and video. He will also summarize the best practices that our Rising Voices grantees have come up with over the past year and a half of citizen media training. Sahar Romani from Neighborhood Diaries will concentrate on workshop facilitation. Learning how to use the tools is often not enough – we also need to think critically about how to use the tools in a way that is beneficial to our communities. Finally, Janet Feldman of ActAlive will manage the creation of a citizen media guide that specifically targets HIV-positive individuals and explains the benefits of making one’s voice heard online as well as some of the privacy risks that should be taken into consideration.

Rising Voices Grantees Keep on Rising

It has been a while since we’ve given a nod to the incredible work by our Rising Voices grantee projects. Please head over to the website to see how HiperBarrio is redefining itself in 2009; how the Drop-In Center in Ukraine is influencing public policy by using citizen media; how Voces Bolivianas continues to spread new tools beyond Bolivia’s elite by hosting events and partnering with other organizations; how citizen media training in Madagascar was instrumental in getting the word out during a time of crisis; how the REPACTED project in Nakuru, Kenya is using citizen media to spread awareness about contraceptives and to discourage stigma of HIV-positive individuals; and finally how the Orizonturi Foundation is empowering Romanians with mental health issues by giving them an online space to express themselves.

For those of you looking for more funding opportunities, awards, and competitions, make sure to check out our delicious page, which is constantly updated:

http://delicious.com/risingvoices

All the best,

David

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