This is an article by Ethan Zuckerman that I had pending to read since long ago.
I agree with some other people that I know have already read it that it is a must reading article. You’d be surprised to read that Mike Best’s found that there’s a positive correlation between democratization and internet and a negative correlation between democratization and mobile telephones (!!)
I also found interesting Benjamin Barber’s three ways in which technologies might work to strengthen or weaken democracies: the Panglossian, Pandorian and Jeffersonian options.
Next May 6th I’ll be speaking at the University of Almería within the framework of the I Jornadas sobre participación social y nuevas tecnologías: Cibervoluntariado y Ciberactivismo [I Seminar on social participation and new technologies: cyvervolunteering and cyberactivism]
My taking part in it is through a workshop so far entitled “Formación virtual, gestión y trabajo en red de las ONG: Campus for Peace” [Virtual learning, management and networking in NGO’s: The Campus for Peace] but I guess I might do a similar speach to the one I gave in Santiago de Compostela last Friday. Who knows. I’ll surely bring both presentations with me and decide according to the audience I meet there.
I’m really happy I met Bruno Ayres (Portal do Voluntário) at Volunet. Besides hearing his speech on Friday morning, I had the luck to speak with him for almost a couple of hours during Saturday morning about his new project V2V.
Humble as he was, he told me the Portal do Voluntário was a complete success… unless you were not happy with what it had become. The portal was a clearing house (a matching place) for volunteering opportunities, and it worked good, but it was too much institution-centered and volunteers (as individuals) had no flexibility at all to go on with their own projects. Quite bad if this is just what you were having in mind when setting up the platform.
What he (his organization) really wanted was something where the person, not the organization, was the center, and the project, again not the organization, was the fuel that would make things move.
This is something I talked about back in December when I wrote about Pekka Himanen’s book The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age and what I thought it could be called the sourceforgization of the online volunteering community (in fact, I guess I didn’t gave it this name “officially” since now ;) Thus, I was really excited when Bruno Ayres told me he thought he had found a pretty good solution.
And it is.
The solution is as “simple” as really interesting (think of a KISS!). It is a portal based on social software such as Orkut or Friendster. Its main added value is that the question is not knowing people and “interests” (as vague as this might sound), but knowing people that runs projects and knowing projects run by people. And subcribing to them. And take part in them. And recommend them. And discuse them. Etc. Quite difficult to explain here, you’d better pay them a visit.
For now, the site is only in Portuguese, but they’re planning to make a new community in Spanish and, later on, link both communities somehow (surely through the “person”). If they succeed in doing it, other language/country communities will appear and thus create a greatest community of online volunteers.
I’m thrilled at the very thought of it! :))
Adolfo Hernández, general manager of Sun Microsystems Ibérica explained last Thursday at Volunet his (company’s) point of view of what online volunteering is about.
Here come my notes (mainly a copy of some of his presentation’s slides ;)
- must feel comfortable working with ICT
- is community contribution orientated (team working)
- masters emotional intelligence
- is able to work in multicultural and multinational environments
- has no space or time barriers
- leads (people, projectes) without authority but through his own skills (with “example”)
Profile of the e-Volunteer/NGO worker in the Information Society:
- follows a continuous learning: is learning oriented
- has a strong commitment: has an emotional line up with the NGO
- is confident with the NGO and its mission
- has a good comprehension/understanding of all the issues concerning the NGO activity
e-Vonlunteering must capitalize:
- innovation and knowledge
- new e-talent
- relationship with enterprises
Of course his point of view is quite enterprise centered and you could be talking about any worker within the Information Society, but this does not make his speech less valid :)
Some posts and news about Volunet, the International Conference on Volunteering and New Technologies.
[image from El Correo Gallego]
I’ve yet to gather my notes, but so far, some information from other bloggers and internet media:
Hope I can give my own point of view this afternoon.
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I’m quite done with my migration to WordPress 1.5
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