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Posts Tagged ‘social media

Preserving Africa’s digital legacy

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CC: aussiegall Flickr

I spend my days immersed in social media, so much so that I’m left without  the energy to convert thoughts into blogs in my nights. All that to say that I’ve allowed my blog to slip into a coma. But listening to Christian Payne’s (@Documentally) audioboo ‘Contemplating the digital beyond‘ has jolted me back to life.

Christian (what an incredibly soothing voice this man has!) considers the need to reconcile the cultural significance of all we are creating and sharing on social media platforms (particularly the ‘big three’: Facebook, Twitter and Google +) and the potentially transient nature of these plarforms – they are, afterall, businesses dependent on sustainable income for their survival.

It’s certainly recommended listening.

While preserving a well loved blog is in itself interesting, for me though, the reason this recording strikes a cord is that it makes obvious the fact that Africa’s digital story could be lost.

Thousands are blogging, tweeting, sharing audio files and pictures, collectively redefining what it means to African – and challenging the “Africa is a country” mentality. It’s an exiciting time. Internet connectivity and with it, social media platforms have opened Africa up to the world in a way that defies the moribund tales of disease, famine and war.

As Christian explains, the value of social media is that “it is documenting society in real time but for future generations.” But withouth investment (of “cents, pounds or dollars”) and collective will, that could all be lost. This poses a challenge to all those creating new platforms (whether supported by mobile or other devices) for the African market and to those using existing platforms to talk about their Africa: think about legacy.


Written by Eliza

July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Day in the media: Diane Abbott and distraction politics

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diane abbott. Photo: CC Alkan de Beaumont Chaglar

Just a short 24 hours after justice was finally served in the brutal racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence – some 19 years ago – another incidence of racism has caught the public’s attention and politicians are baying for blood.

But this time, we have a tweet by shadow health minister, Diane Abbott, in which she makes a generalisation about white people. In an open exchange on Twitter, Diane writes: “I understand the cultural point you are making. But you are playing into a ‘divide and rule’ agenda. White people love playing ‘divide & rule’ We should not play their game #tacticasoldascolonialism.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

January 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Top 10 sources of news and comment on Africa in 2011

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Cape Coast Kids. cc Eliza Anyangwe

It is undeniable that the media is the mirror through which we look at ourselves and the lens through which we see the world around us. Whether it is broadcast, print or digital, the media is second only to first-hand experience, in shaping our world view.

Yet so much of the media is devoid of international reporting and that little that exists is often a vacuous repetition of tired stereotypes. The popularity of the New Yorker’s post on the top ten positive stories about Africa in 2011 confirms that there is plenty of appetite for something other than the Western media’s mantra of death, destitution and desperation in Africa.

So as 2011 makes way for 2012, I set myself the challenge of finding 10 media sources that have bucked these trends and pursued, to varying degrees, a more inclusive and balanced policy on reporting Africa. You will certainly think highly of others that haven’t made the list, so add to the comments those who’ve most impressed you with their coverage of Africa and developing world issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

December 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Sound bite: Right here all over – Occupy Wall Street video

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Alex Mallis, a filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York has captured, in a beautiful short film, the community that is forming around the Occupy Wall Street movement.

What is particularly fascinating is how they have recognised and captured the power of social media to make sure their story is told to the world.

With a recent poll finding that the American public support the protesters, they might be on the streets of New York – and across the United States – for a while yet.

Written by Eliza

October 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm

The autumn of their discontent – the #occupywallstreet movement

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CC Andrew Shiue, Flickr. Occupy Wall Street 17/09/2011

I am a sucker for a call-to-action, and on Wednesday, 28 September, spotted tweets calling for the most audacious sort: #OccupyWallStreet. Cryn Johannsen, founder and executive director of All Education Matters had been tweeting ferociously for hours, by turn rallying the troops and encouraging others to join the sort of protests that, after the Egyptian revolution in February this year, have sprung up from Burkina Faso to Bahrain.

With Cryn’s permission, I am posting an excerpt from a blog she wrote for Loop21 explaining why Americans were taking to the street and why #OccupyWallstreet is now a national movement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

October 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm

#civnext: the beginning of the campaign not the end of the cause

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CC: Department for International Development

We now know what war is. It is up to us to make sure our children do not live that hell ever again. #civ2010 #civnextThu Apr 14 19:59:29 via Twitter for iPhone

Scanning my Twitter feeds, a new hashtag brings a smile to my face. After months of a political stalemate which led to a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis, Ivory Coast is pulling back from the brink of war with a seven-letter hashtag: #civnext.

With the capture of Laurent Gbagbo, there is a palpable and understandable desperation to move on. The #civnext hashtag, is both the collective virtual exhale of a country that’s narrowly escaped civil war and a call to action: to reconcile Ivorians and rebuild Ivory Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

April 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Why don’t Africans use social media to revolt like Arabs?

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Just after an article was published by the Guardian about the role of social media in  the Arab uprisings, I was invited by Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the LSE to write about what I thought was lacking in Africa’s attempts to do the same thing.

Here is that blog.

Flickr: magdino20 | Maged Helal

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Apparently not. For there to be ‘sound’ there needs to be ears that hear the vibrations made by the falling tree.

This philosophical riddle speaks volumes about the muted protests happening in parts of sub-Saharan Africa at the moment – and of the seeming disinterest both in the countries where they are started and in the international media. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

March 4, 2011 at 10:41 am