The growth of Global Voices over the past seven months since we last met in Delhi, India is a little staggering, a little hard to believe. For one, our website was completely redesigned. During the language and translation session of the summit, we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if Global Voices’ content were available in different languages? Just half a year later, Alice Backer has organized an amazing team of translators and GV posts are being translated into Bangla, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Farsi, and Russian every day. In the half year since our summit, Sami Ben Gharbia has put together an anti-censorship project that would take most people years to build. In India we also fantasized about what we could do in terms of outreach so that the benefits of blogging and citizen media reached communities that are not likely to come into contact with the tools on their own. Half a year later and we already have an established outreach program in place.
How have we grown so much in such little time?
It’s no wonder that so many people think Global Voices has been around for a decade or longer and that we have a mutli-million dollar operating budget. In truth, we’re still a ragtag group of about 150 bloggers – mostly volunteers – based all over the world. We’ve poured our hearts into this project and we’re going to make sure it is a success.
But just as impressive and intriguing as Global Voices itself, are the individual bloggers who are responsible for making it what it is. And that’s really the heart of GV – we’re not a news agency, we’re people. We have stories to tell and we want to share the stories of others. What follows is a brief roundup I did for our internal newsletter linking to recent posts by some GV contributors. I hope you visit their blogs. I hope you say hi. Why not? It’s just a big party around here anyway.
Co-Managing Editor Georgia Popplewell was in Atlanta this week, exploring her old digs at Emory University where she was a Bobby Jones scholar. Here’s a picture of where she lived and here’s where she ate ‘mystery meat.’ Georgia wasn’t the only one visiting old school friends. Serbian author Ljubisa Bojic stayed up until the early morning at his high school reunion.
Geek gurus Boris Anthony and Jeremy Clarke (respectively) compared W3C specifications with feudal warfare and welcomed robot overlords. Director of Advocacy Sami Ben Gharbia visited the UK where he spoke at a conference put together by Amnesty International. He also met up with Karim, a friend he hadn’t seen in 14 years.
Trinidadian contributor Nicholas Laughlin found out the day he shall die. He’s convinced drinking tea might prolong the inevitable. Departing Central Asia and Caucasus Editor Nathan Hamm is giving Georgia Popplewell a run for her money when it comes to photographing birds. His replacement, Ben Paarman, has finished his Master’s Thesis, titled “Evolving Centre-Periphery Relations in Former Soviet Union Transition Countries: The Case of Kazakhstan.” Like any good blogger, he has published it on his blog and is soliciting comments. Speaking of Kazakhstan, Leila Tanayeva has been posting photos of her recent travels around Europe, including this lovely shot from Lausanne, Switzerland. Neha Viswanathan was also in Switzerland this month. She spent a weekend in Zurich and found an Indian restaurant called Bollywood on the top of the alps. My how times have changed. Just across the border, Rezwan was vacationing in the small Austrian village of Kleinarl (population 1000, no reported Bangladeshi restaurants).
John Kennedy joined me in turning 27 this month (Happy Bday!!) and showed off a present made by his new boss, co-managing editor Solana Larsen. Speaking of Solana, make sure to keep your eyes on her blog. She is currently internet impaired on a mountaintop somewhere in southern Spain, but a look at her archives promises more good things to come. David Bogner was yet another Global Voicer who turned a year older in June. Among the many things we learn about him: his shirts outnumber pants three to one and he’s visited more than 45 countries. I must say, we tend to be a pretty well-traveled group.
Nan Yang was an interpretator at the international sculpture exibition in Shanghai and posted photos from the event. PipperL shares my enthusiasm for dessert, but I’m not so sure about this stuff. Actually, it looks a bit like Basundi, a South Indian dessert photographed here by Amit Gupta.
Veronica was in Kyiv last week where she found yet another example of atrocious parking to add to her hilarious Kyiv Parking Photo collection. Her daughter Marta is already 18 months old and walking!!!
Alice Backer attended an event for US presidential candidate Barack Obama who she affirmed is officially “hot”. Lova Rakotomalala was one of many Global Voicers to write about U2 singer Bono this past week. His post was by far the funniest. Latin America regional editor Eddie Ávila has a breathtaking view of Cochabamba from his bedroom window. Juan Arellano continues his not-so-subtle appreciation of Peruvian women.
Deborah Ann Dilley has entered the Scrapblog contest in hope of a free ticket to the BlogHer conference in Chicago. Both Amira and Georgia will be speaking at the conference.
Naseem Tarawnah challenges the world to unplug from the net for at least 24 hours. Mohamed Nanabhay did exactly that. His wife sounds like a very smart woman. Kamla Bhatt will be sponsoring blogger and photographer Akshay Mahajan in next month’s rickshaw run. I’m definitely taking part in next year’s race.
Mathy Kandasamy is reading a book that has been on my list for over six months now: Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone. Sierra Leonean author Vickie Remoe-Doherty was also touched by the book and told the author so when she met him a few months ago. Omer Alvie has become both a father and a fascist. Ujjwal went paragliding in the beautiful Nepalese lake region of Pokhara.
May Hnin Phyu isn’t speaking with her father. That’s because, she instant messages with him instead, even when they’re in the same room. Maurina has some fun pictures from the Brunei “Girly Bloggers’ Lunch”. Why wasn’t I invited?
Tharum Bun, who photographed the header of http://gvcommunity.org, is going to experiment with HDR photography soon. His photographs of Cambodian rubber trees are really excellent. Benin Mwangi is among the many African Global Voicers this month to comment on the so-called Aid vs. Trade debate. Steve Ntwiga was in Nairobi this month where he picked up lots of new records, including some Western Jazz which is available for download here (along with one of my favorite tracks of all time, Miss Fat Booty by Mos Def). Speaking of audio, we can all hear Victor Kaonga’s friendly voice as he just recently published his first podcast.
And finally, we end with a topic that is dear to my heart: the mojito. Ilya tells us, in fact, that he is drafting a Mojito Manifesto. Where do I sign?
You can follow the daily lives of all Global Voicers at http://gvcommunity.org.