A win for contact, for panels, for communication.

The panel discussion today on Internet media went really well (I think). It really gave a bunch of random people with similar interests a chance to chat about the importance of Internet, blogging and journalism with regards to all of our respective cultures and societies.

It was amazing – as it usually is – to meet people in person who I’ve had online relationships with, or a general online awareness of. People are constantly bagging each other online without meeting each other, and often what is considered hate speech is not really meant to be. How can you judge a person whose eyes you’ve never looked into?

I included my agenda below; that is how I broke down Mideast Youth for the panel.

Internet media: Strategies and Challenges Facing Internet News, Web and Blog Sites.

internet media panel

What is Mideast Youth?

  • Media Center:
    • Alternative news voice:
      • Realistic: news, culture and youth perspective represented. Youth + technology + the need for self-expression = amazing potential.
    • Multi media: There are more than one way to express yourself on the Internet. Mideast Youth includes –
      • Blogging
      • Podcasts
      • Video
      • Photo
      • Forums
  • Activism:
    • Petitions
    • Affiliate sites
    • The site itself serves as an example for tolerant conversation and the possibility for open-minded communication.
  • Conversation:
    • Often, the comments are more interesting than the posts themselves…
    • Challenge: Emotions are real and these are everyday topics for us.
    • Challenge: There’s a tendency for people to assume they need to be political all the time; this can be destructive in large doses.
  • Contact:
    • Contact theory/dialogue takes charge here. Arabs, Israelis, Iranians, Southeast Asians and more come together, for better or worse, to a public contribute to a conversation and make contact with various “Others”.
    • Exposure to people from all over:
      • Personally, I’ve read blogs I never would have come across. I chat with other members on i.m. and share and communicate one-on-one.
    • Challenge: Internet media is inherently not face-to-face, so there is still a level of distance.
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