Global Voices Online was founded 2004 by several blogger and is hosted by the “Berkman Center for Internet and Society” at Harvard Law School. In the portal several bloggers from often ignored parts of the world present their views on political or social events and daily live in those areas. As is stated on the webpage “Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online shining light on places and people other media often ignore.”
From an operational viewpoint the world is seperated into six regions which are: the Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia; East Asia; the Americas; Eastern Europe, Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia. Experienced and well-known bloggers from these regions are asked to keep track of the happenings and put them online. The resulting articles are then translated by a team of volunteers into the languages Spanish, French, Malagasy, Portugese, Arabic, Farsi, Bangla, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese and are now searching support for translating further into Albanian, German, Hindi and Macedonian.
The site publishes all content under the Creative Commons Attribution-Only license which makes sure that it can be re-published on other websites as long as the original source is given credit.
Global Voices Online received and receives a lot of attention from the media and blogsphere. There are approximately 25 000 page visits per day.
It has won several prizes since it was launched, including the “Deutsche Welle Award” in 2005 and the “Knight-Batten Award” in 2006.
Also it was a victim to banning in Zimbabwe by the dictatorship together with pages like the one of CNN or the Washington post.
As already mentioned, the project was launched by several bloggers under the lead of Ethan Zuckerman, a well known blogger and web activist and Rebecca MacKinnon, a former CNN journalist. The contributing bloggers are usually rooted in two different cultures and serve as a “bridge” between these cultures.
Global Voices has in 2006 formed a partnership with Reuters, one of the biggest international press agency. Reuters utilizes the content of GVO for their own portal on African issues to keep track of happenings which have not so much been in their focus before.
I like this project very much. In my impression it gives an accurate picture of the reality in several countries which are often very one-sided displayed in the mass media. The page is very often updated and linked to loads of pictures, videos and even podcasts so it is no problem to get more “in-depth” information.
The link to the project: http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/
Since the early 1990s, in the Western world access to worldwide-created information has become easier and easier. Google, Wikipedia, Social networks, Blogs and countless contributors around the globe have made it possible for everyone to find different information, views and opinions on countless topics over the internet for hardly any price. In this â€œage of informationâ€, the gaps between developed and less-developed countries do not just consist of the large differences in infrastructure and society, but also in the difficulties for developing countries to get access to this in fact freely available information.
Contemporary technologies, which give access to this information, are seen as key enablers for economic and social change in these countries and are even believed to be catalysts to leapfrog the former industrial revolution, immediately giving less developed countries the possibility to catch up with the Western world. Therefore, many initiatives of the international IT as well as economic community focus on giving less-developed countries access to modern information and communication technologies and train them to use and adapt them to their purposes.
This approach is called “Information and Communication Technologies for Development” (ICT4D).
(For a updated version of this definition see the corresponding wiki page)