Session 1 , part 1 - thanks to Dina Mehta who's currently transcribing:
Ethan is now reading the manifesto. If anyone has a problem email me at email@example.com, they're currently looking at globalvoicesonline.org, a picture being displayed of rebecca, georgia and alice getting the knight batten award. Slide being shown of statistics of visits to GV. 9,000 views a day last year, now 36,000, Technorati rankings are 36000 views a day. Next slide shows our sponsors, reuters, macarthur, hivos, knight. We're now thanking sponsors.
Reuters continues to be a major supporter, MacArthur too .. and we hope they support us more this year, Hivos and Knight are others. Another slide shows Stichting Global Voices incorporating under Netherlands law. a sister ngo under US law. Board of directors includes authors and editors, the main corporate body will be international - not US, within 6 months - a dutch corp - that will be GV. The goal behind the org will be to have 2 seats on the board elected from the editors and contributors. Now talking of board of advisors, wise people all over the world. Next Slide shows board of advisors pics and names. Same info is here http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/top/about-global-voices/advisors (link is to advisors). Now talking of changes on the site, a subtle change such as a new search box to search the global voices web. You can also see the search box at that link. HJeremy in the IRC says "mad props to google, they totally gave us personal tech support /gush"
A screen shot of aggregator that boris and jeremy have been working on, the aggregator will be a great tool about what we are sharing, moving towards more transparency. Next slide shows us fulfilling our whole mission by amplifying voices from around the world, translating voices we would not otherwise understand, building tools to let people explore global blogs, advocacy for free speech, access to online speech tools, outreach to new groups, introducing them to citizen media, finding ways to listen to each other. Those were bullets points on the slide, advocacy will be a big focus. Hivos will be funding a half-time position for advocacy, so we will be recruiting someone soon from within us. One of the other things we are starting to work on and can do lots more is outreach. Mostly we are getting elite and urban voices, voices from literate, affluent folks because thats who's blogging in kenya and Pakistan for example. We need to help bring more people come online, how do we bring on students, journalists, activists, non-literates. the idea is OUTREACH! We want everyone here to come up with proposals on how should we be doing outreach in different communities across the world. Finally, we want to find ways to not just speak, but listen to each other. Questions are now being taken as the question & answer session has kicked off!
Question by Nikhil from Delhi, India: Just wondering how do you ensure that the system remains truly representative and how do you ensure there is no bias?
Answered by Ethan Zuckerman: We try to do this with the editors we have. Over the next year, with the aggregator there will be the opportunity to view without editing. The challenge there will be is that people can ask why didn't the editor pick up a story and thats a dialgue we want to encourage.
At this point Rebecca invites editors to speak to this issue.
Georgia says, "I hired a Cuban editor who wrote to me and said she GV wasn't covering cuba".
David says, "I would want more people to write in to me, more communication"
Question by Bala Pitchandi from New Jersery (Via IRC): What are GV's short tem and long term goals? And are there any plans to develop the GV networks onto other sub-projects (like a Web based Disaster Relief project)?
Answered by Ethan Zuckerman: Our longterm goal is total world domination!!!!!!!!!!!! (followed by lots of laughter from the audience), they are the ones expressed in the manifesto. Short term, 4 things, maintaingin the site, advocacy, outreach, we want to take the tools and techniques we have developed and make them accessible to other projects. So if someone wants to start the disaaster network, we would love them to use the tools, techniques, and even offer server space to a project around disaster aid projects. Rebecca says, "last year we talkied about it and we need to someone to spearhead this and take the lead on making this happen. We want a disaster relief blogger
who can help us post around all disasters. (Bala here says he's read to volunteer and is requested to make contact with Georgia).
Ben Paarman speaks up on the issue of bias etc. Ben is doing some tunisian sites and there is a dialogue between authors and editors and thats a healthy way to deal with bias.
Question from Daudy, a blogger from kenya: As the focus of GV is not north america or europe, why the decision to incorporate in netherlands?
Ethan: We had a real to and fro on this and we had some tough decisions we had to make the sponsors more comfy and find a venue that we understand the laws, had a discussion with contributors and editors who said they didnt want US or UK. Canada was another option - we hired a counsel too but we found that the majority of the board had to be canadian. What's nice about Netherlands is that there is no geographic requirement for the board. It is a compromise, there are parts of it we are comfy with and parts not so.
Mic now being handed over to Georgia.
Ben is talking about (www.neweurasia.com) Neweurasia, the Outreach session led by Neha Vishvanathan. Georgia says that they want the sessions to be interactive. There is going to be funding (fingers crossed) so if anyone has ideas please lets talk about them. Neha states that this session is dedicated to discussing outreach and we have had many discussions about whether we should look at outreach or not. When we discuss outreach, there are some questions, who are we reaching out to, what are we reaching out to, should GV directly engage or become a resournce for outreach.
Blogging is still and exclusive activity, need to be literate, need a good connection, versus resource. Resource is too passive. There are issues of hierarchies in blogospheres. Maybe that global voices facilitates outreach just like this IRC is facilitating my attendance - Beth Kanther via IRC channel. Introducing Ben Parman now, who has been implementing outreach progs in Central Asia and in the area of training bridge bloggers. Ben says that since 2006 working with transitions online such as www.toi.org.
Ben is showing us a map where he has got to, shows us an experiences slide, most easy to get in tune with student-only groups; media folks "overcomplicating" thins (MSM vs Blogging) ; logistics where there was no internet during presentation. Lessons learnt slide is displayed now, careful planning for about 2 months a network of bridge bloggers helped with logistics. Follow-up: "train the trainer" as the way ahead, sub points for 2007: TOL and neweurasia to train blogging coaches and proposal for 25 outreach trips in each region.
Everyone goes off for a coffee break at this point
[Background chatter: Ethan is asking everybody to close their laptops, though Dina is live on GPRS while Rebecca continues to beam via her cell phone connection.]