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Introduction to Citizen Media En

Introduction to Citizen Media En

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Published by: gotoabhi8102 on Nov 28, 2009
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Rising Voices is a citizen media outreach initiative of Global Voices [www.globalvoicesonline.org].By connecting passionate bloggers, podcasters, and video-makers from around the world, wehope that every neighbor from every neighborhood is able to participate in the onlineconversation that is spreading across the globe. This guide - Introduction to Citizen Media - is thefirst in a series of publications meant to make the world of participatory media easier tounderstand and take part in.
  c   i   t   i  z  e  n  m  e   d   i  a
Introduction to Citizen Media
A change is taking place inhow we communicate.
 Just ten years ago we all learnedabout the world around us fromnewspapers, the television, and radio.Professional journalists would go tofaraway places and bring back stories,photographs and videos of the situationsthey witnessed and the people they met.Sometimes at dinner we talk aboutthese stories with our friends and family.But ten years ago we rarely, if ever,communicated directly with thejournalists themselves. Leading membersof society wrote editorials expressingtheir opinions about various issues, butthe rest of us could only share our opinions and thoughts with a smallgroup of friends.Over the last few years everythinghas changed. Thanks to new tools likeweblogs
it is now possible to easilypublish to the Internet. From Turkey toKenya to Bolivia, everyday people likeyou and me are starting to share their stories and opinions with the rest of theworld.While this new form of communication is now freely available toanyone, most of the people participatingstill live in the wealthy neighborhoods of urban cities.The purpose of this guide is to showthat anyone with an internet connectioncan participate in the emerging globalconversation. Our understanding of theworld is now shaped not just by thenewspapers and television, but also byeach other.
In This Guide:
Blogging is as easy as email
Case studies
Discover new voices with RSS
Publishing photos on the web
Publishing video on the web
How to make a podcast
In Conclusion
Four Steps to Blogging
Every blogger needs justfour things to get started
1. A Computer 
 You will need a computer, but itdoesn’t have to be your own.Because blogging software is allon the internet, you can write,publish, and archive all of your content online and access it fromany computer at any cyber-cafe.
2. An Internet Connection
Having a fast internet connectiondoes help if you are interested inworking with audio and video, buteven extremely slow connectionsare OK for text blogging.
3. Blogging Software
One of the first choices you mustmake is what kind of software youwant to use to make your weblog.Rising Voices offers guides on twoof the most popular services:http://blogger.comandhttp://wordpress.com.
4. Opinions and Stories
Finally you will need something towrite about. Some people treattheir blogs like public journals - away to record the experiences of their lives. Others like to discusspolitics or share their opinionsabout the state of the world. Whatyou choose to write about is up toyou, but we offer a fewsuggestions on the next page.
As Easy as Email
The word “blog” is short for weblogand refers to a type of website that isupdated chronologically. You can thinkof a blog just like email. Except, insteadof sending an email to just one person,you are publishing the note on a websitewhere it can be seen by anyone in theworld with an internet connection.Most blogs allow for comments,which means that other people areallowed to leave a public comment onevery note that you publish. If, for example, you write that Michael Jacksonwas the greatest singer that ever lived, Icould leave a comment disagreeing withyou. This is how a conversation begins -one person writes his or her opinion andthen others either agree or disagree.Some of the most popular weblogsfrequently receive over 100 commentsevery time something is published.The first blogs started to appear inthe mid-1990’s, but blogging didn’treally get popular until around 2003.These days the websites of manynewspapers, celebrities, and evenpresidents also contain weblogs wherenew information is posted on a daily or weekly basis.
Start in Just Five Minutes
Starting a blog is just as fast andeasy as starting an email account. Infact, you’ll notice several similaritiesbetween writing an email message andwriting a post
on a blog. The twoaccompanying tutorials to this guide willshow you how to start and maintain ablog using two of the most popular freeservices, WordPress.com andBlogger.com.It doesn’t really matter which serviceyou choose - both are free and availablein many languages. And, if you changeyour mind, you can usually import your blog from one type of service to another.If you are eager to begin, you canskip the rest of this introduction for nowand head straight to one of the tutorialson how to set up a blog with either Wordpress.com or Blogger.com.However, there are a few things youmight want to consider before you start.
Why blog?
Tens of millions of people all over the world now have weblogs. There areblogs in over 100 different languagesand covering more topics than you couldpossibly imagine. However, the greatmajority of blogs are written from NorthAmerica, East Asia, and WesternEurope. Even though internet access hasspread across much of the globe,participation in this new, exciting, onlineconversation has mostly been
Case Studies:
Hernán Casciari
This Argentinian mightbe considered the firstblog novelist. Two of hisblogs "More respect, Iam your mother" and"Orsai" have now been published inbook form in many languages.http://www.orsai.es
Bongo Celebrity
 You’ll soon discover that many blogsare devoted to celebrities and tabloidgossip. There is nothing new aboutthat. But where else might you find ablog focused specifically onTanzanian celebrities? Most of theposts are written in Swahili.http://bongocelebrity.com
Chilanga Banda
Chilanga Banda is what is oftenreferred to as a ‘metro blog’; that is,a blog that covers a particular cityand is authored by multiple people. Inthis case, Chilanga Banda reports onthe latest events and best places to goin Mexico City.http://www.chilangabanda.com
Kubana.net is a groupblog written byZimbabwean activistswho demand an end tothe Mugabe dictatorship.http://kubatanablogs.net/kubatana/
Chinese blogger Roland Soong hasbecome an important bridge betweenChina and the West thanks to his blogwhere he translates variousnewspaper articles and blog postsfrom Chinese to English.http://zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm
Nairobi-based Kenyanblogger Daudi Werecovers an impressivenumber of topicsranging from Kenyanpolitics to Pan-Africanidentity to newadvances in technology.www.mentalacrobatics.com/think/
Tharum Bun
Tharum is oftencredited as being thefirst Cambodianblogger. His onlinejournal is a rareglimpse into the life of a young, middle-class Cambodian ashis country heals from the violent eraof the Khmer Rouge and starts tointegrate into the global economy.http://tharum.info
Konfused Kid
One of the thousands of Iraqirefugees living in Jordan, ‘KonfusedKid’ helps explain the complexities or Iraqi society and the Arab world.http://ejectiraqikkk.blogspot.com
Desi Pundit
Desi Pundit 
isanother groupblog whichcovers India-related topics and is authored bymostly Indian bloggers who livearound theworld.http://desipundit.com
Blog Pasa en B.A.
Even city governments - likeBuenos Aires - are blogging.http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/blog/pasaenbsas
“Everyone will be famous to 15 people.”
- David Weinberger constrained to just the NorthernHemisphere. These guides hope to inspiremore creative participation fromindividuals in the so-called developingworld.Different people keep blogs for different reasons. Some people want torecord their lives for their children andgrand-children and great-great-greatgrand children. Even though we willnever meet our great-great-greatgrandchildren, they will be able toexperience our lives just as we do thanksto what we leave behind on the Internet.Unlike photographs and paper journalswhich fade and decay after time, what ispublished to the internet can surviveforever.Others keep blogs because they arepassionate about a certain topic, issue,or hobby. Many blogs focus ontechnology and politics while othersfocus on literature, art, and photography.Still other niche blogs explain how tostart a business, how to invest money, or how to work more productively. Fictionalblogs are also becoming increasinglypopular as both established and aspiringwriters are now publishing their shortstories to the internet.There are blogs about how to be abetter farmer, how to be a better parent,and how to be a better guitar player. Infact, if you are interested in anything atall, there is most likely a blog about it.(On the next page we’ll look at ways todiscover blogs that match your interests.)
Blogging won’t make youfamous or rich
Some people start to blog becausethey want to be famous. While there area handful of blogs that are read by tensof thousands of people every day, mostblogs only have 10 - 20 dedicatedreaders. In the days of just a fewtelevision and radio stations, everyonewas searching for his or her 15 minutesof fame. In the Internet era, everyone is‘famous’ to just about 15 people. But thesupport, encouragement, and advice thatcomes from those 15 individuals is muchmore valuable and longer-lasting than

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