The Global Digital Participation 'What's Next?' – Building Community for Crowdsourcing


Let’s begin with a roundup and review.

In two articles, last weeks of December and January respectively, we’ve been pointing at the absolute and relative need to increase the Global Digital Participation. We shared the statistics that brings us the raw, measurable, physical and obvious – those being without the access to the web. The absolute level. Beyond the 2 billion in the world (p. 4). 

 

The number of internet users. Source: ITU – ”The World in 2010. ICT Facts and Figures”.

But we’ve also been problematizing the picture. Having access to the web is not the same as understanding the value of it, and thus to be a part of it and using it. The relative level. The paradox in Sweden was pointed out, that even if we have somewhere around 85 to 89 percent access to the net (p. 15) in our homes, and 1,5 million make status updates on the social web every day (p. 9), the equal number say they don’t even feel participative in the web flow (p. 15). Very much a generation question, that echoes globally. See this infograph!

 

A Stairway to Global Digital Participaiton

This led us to structure the challenge – where we adapted the “knowledge stair”. In four steps, to truly get it, we go from “Off the Line” > “Access the Web” > “With the Know” > “In the Flow”

Firstly. Living Unconsciously illiterate – “Is there an internet?”. 

Secondly. Being Consciously illiterate – “How do I learn?”. 

Thirdly. Becoming Consciously literate – “Now I know!”. 

And lastly. Living Unconsciously literate – the wordless Zen state. Just there. To share.

So – now what? How do we get as many as possible to “get it”? I pointed out ideas, ventures and resources at every step – all the way from sustainopreneurial initiatives in order to increase the digital participation with innovative business models in developing countries, to online tutorials helping you over the threshold. And pointing out the increasing need for all those knowledge activists just willing to share their wealth of knowledge – enthusiasts, evangelists and educators all over.

In GTD Lingo – what is “Next Action”? We have set the 50 000 feet vision. Now, we’re at the Runway. What’s next?

I am in preparation to merge, adapt and re-edit all my contributions through Social Media Club Editorial Team – including this one – into a Manifesto for Global Digital Participation – Get All Online, Get All To Get It. And there I will outline a structured action plan, which I summarize here, with their main bullets.

Before I move on, a disclaimer – we do not need to fully reinvent the wheel. We do not need to do what’s already been done. We have most of the working models to get all the moves upward the ‘Stairway to Global Digital Participation’. We just don’t know the full picture and all there is. What we maybe need are innovative combinations of what we have, and model something new, aligning the parts to a new whole. And with that in mind, how do we build up the forces to make it?

Building Community is to build a Crowd

First of all, I believe in gathering us, the bridge-makers, and all resources there is, to a virtual spot. I have suggested the distributed social web conversation to be tagged #digipart. And I have grabbed the domains http://digipart.org and http://digipart.info, and the Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress.com identities. If that is spread, to begin with, I think there is a good win. Next step, is to gather somehwere, the people, the ideas, the methods, the project ideas, the initiatives, the awareness, the knowledge. For that purpose, there is a form over at the blog on http://digipart.org / http://digipart.wordpress.com

Building a Crowd is to build something to Source from

Imagine a spot on the net, where that Dot Org address is pointing to a Virtual Community, conversing along the lines of those four steps as a structural guide for the conversation hosted. Then it becomes easier to Source and Share what is needed, regardless of cultural context, level of development and conditions you have in your (local) context. Your challenge defined from where you are.

Also a way to point to offline meetups and events – using methods like Open Space Technology and World Café, proven and tested to work to leverage collaborative and collective wisdom. Open Space is suggested when the situation is dominated by complexity, there is an urgency in the fix, and the potential for conflict is high. A situation at stake here. And World Café is great when those open spaces – the “unconferences” – have been taking place, aimed at conversing and finding solutions, and answers have been found to those bold questions that matter. To get a focused “how” next level. In concrete, actionable terms. Outlining projects with specific targets and action in definite steps, through those World Café Workshops.

Social Media Club as a Global Conversational Hub, Community-Building and Crowd-Sourcing epicentre – SMC Digipart

I believe the Social Media Activists that are a part of building up this global community are set for the task to be that departure to form a Virtual Community, which in turn strengthens the Physical Communities out there – and host conversations, everywhere, on target and on topic. Therefore, I suggest a new “global topic” – the overall thematic “Global Chapters” of SMC, unbound by geography. We have SMC Education #smcedu. We have SMC Health #smchealth. Now, I suggest SMC Digipart #smcdigipart – where the generic #digipart conversation is as generic as the other two topics, but related to our own activity stream. And that we gather and make something great out of that domain – http://digipart.org. Right now, I see a BuddyPress.org installation coming, that open source community platform running on WordPress in the core. With a very quick guide accessible through http://digipart.info – that One Page Summary.

 

Manifesto for Global Digital Participation – Get All Online, Get All To Get It

During March, as said, I am publishing a Manifesto for Global Digital Participation. Raising the ultimate question;

Maybe the Millennium Development Goals could and should be revised and extended beyond 2015?

Should we retarget by 2020? Adding a new target?

Should we pave the way to get a World, “Re:loved”?

A world where you meet your fellow human being with Love and Respect, and expect to be met with the same. As my personal vision reads.

That requires us to communicate with intensified clarity, above prejudice, beyond borders, beside walls and through fears. 

Let’s replace fear with curiosity. Let’s switch indifference at the low to energy on the high.

And continue to build upon that platform and engine making this global move possible – the Web. 

And make it truly World Wide.

Join the conversation and action towards Global Digital Participation!

“The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.”

/Tim Berners-Lee, the innovator of the WWW, a part of the quote which started this article series of three.

Image credit [1]: ITU – ”The World in 2010. ICT Facts and Figures”.

Image creedit [2]: http://senseable.mit.edu/nyte/visuals.html