You know what the funny thing about blogs is? You can’t plan them ahead, but if you don’t plan them they just bleed to death. At least, that’s our experience. Do you think web2.0 stuff creates new opportunities? That by using web2.0 tools, you’ll get the answers, the opportunities, the solutions that you wouldn’t get otherwise? Keep in mind that web2.0 is not supposed to give you answers about the greatness of web2.0. Let’s try and find some web2.0 sites that give answers to real life problems. Here’s a quick inventory on the combination of 2.0 and international development-related sites...
There’s this super wow social network, www.innodev.org, “The social network that solves problems...” etc. That would of course be great, if the network (just a forum tool, actually) solves your problems. But if you look at the latest posts, people are just looking for hairdressers that also come to your house...
Okay, next: www.km4dev.org is quite well-known, actually. Or at least among the web2.0 & international development community. Is there anyone who ever saw something useful on this site? And I mean except for links / blogs / tweets or whatever that are also about web2.0. Showing that web2.0 is useful by writing about the usefulness of web2.0 (without any links to the real world) is just circular.
Next: (most are found by just googling for “social media international development” which results in some hilarious statements like “social media is rural development’s best friend!”)
- some4d.ning.com (a ning network with just one member - looks more like a CV building kind of thing)
- www.web2fordev.net (active on all other web2.0 thingies, so I don’t see why they need their own page anyways)
- www.eurofic.org (sort of combines all other social media stuff about international development and shows it on 1 page, combines it with irrelevant apps and tools that are copied from facebook (such as the “like” buttons) which make it an unclear mess. I wonder if anyone out there really uses this site other then for connecting to the same people they are already connected to on facebook and/or linkedin, and sharing with them the same links and blogs)
Okay, I can go on for some time... I bet there are tons of sites that give you automatic feeds from webinars about how to use web2.0 and social media, and learn how to create fantastic interactive platforms so that you too can link to webinars about web2.0 stuff, and ultimately spread the message of how great web2.0 is and how you will change the world if you’d just use twitter.
Then there’s of course this blog, the Treehuggers Treadmill. This was supposed to be a funny, but most of all critical blog. For people to comment on (or not, whatever pleases you), start some discussion, have some critical thoughts and maybe, just maybe, have people think critically about their own practice. In short, it is a digital way of what we’d normally do in a pub: having a discussion and complaining about things.
Turns out the real life thing is actually more fun, requires less planning and involves more interaction.