Social Media for ICT4D

Today, while I was browsing Twitter, I noticed a tweet by USAID:

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 4.57.09 PM

Clicking on that link will lead you to a USAID blog post where they are asking for video submissions for their event #Popcorn + International Development as a part of Social Media Week in Washington D,C.  Social Media Week is a “worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media” (About Us, and takes place in several cities.  USAID is asking its development partners to submit videos to be considered for viewing to  “highlight how we rely on technology for a multitude of reasons, including program management and reporting, and general educational purposes for a range of projects, funded by USAID.” (USAID Impact Blog, 2013)

Like the video we watched in class, USAID is looking to use video and social media to communicate and improve ICT4D initiatives and projects.  I think this is an interesting and worthy idea, provided that the videos are seen and used, because by creating and distributing these videos, it allows a greater audience to learn from current and past project’s mistakes and successes in a tangible and cost-efficient way.  These videos can also be a great tool for updating stakeholders of progress and for attracting potential donors and supporters (a la Invisible Children’s KONY2012.)

The only thing that worries me is that because these videos are being created from within the organization, it can be too easy to edit and manipulate what is shown.  Videos cannot tell the whole picture and we must be critical of bias and the objective of the creator.

If you are interested in viewing submission sent to USAID, they can be viewed on USAID’s Youtube channel.


5 responses to “Social Media for ICT4D

  • kamyaraja

    Nice Blog Post! It is interesting how social media seems to have spread like wildfire. Although it is a very effective means of sharing information, I agree with you that it isn’t always the most reliable. Videos are a creative means to showcase new ideas but can often be misconstrued as well. It is however good to see that even larger organizations like USAID are making an effort to connect with the greater development community, including NGOs and the public, through technology.

  • clairedwyre

    I agree that media that many organizations use is not always reliable, although I feel that it is a quickly expanding field and many more will start to employ its benefits. Who knows maybe reliability and transparency through media will become the norm?

  • laurag063

    I guess another question this discussion can bring up is whether or not this type of digital community outreach is attracting helpful attention or not. I like that you mentioned the Kony video, because the way that post spread like the plague is exactly what I mean. While I am a huge believer in the power of humans communicating and spreading ideas, the whole Kony thing did make me (and a lot of other people) smirk. This is because so many people, who you know could probably care less and would forget about the tragedy the very next day, were posting about it and acting extremely self-righteous about their contribution, when really all they did was click “share.” But who knows, maybe that click really does make all the difference.

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