If a bumper sticker can communicate…

March 16, 2008

Walking through a residential Jerusalem neighborhood today, I spotted this Israeli bumper sticker I thought I’d share:

Israeli bumper sticker
“Ze lo yigamair ad she’nidabair”
“It won’t end until we talk”

While I’m not so interested in bloodying myself with Palestinian Israeli politics at the moment (it’s too pretty of a day), I do want to mention how true this statement is for any conflict – especially our own personal ones.

For instance, how often have I thought I disliked someone until I had a meaningful conversation with them? We all go through this and it seems that we all forget the power of communication until we find ourselves doing it.

Just can’t communicate that enough!


Conducting mediation online: Tips?

February 25, 2008

There is a possibility I might be able to start a project online, mediating/guiding for a group of people who work together. The group of people themselves work together online on a communal project and from time to time, as is human nature, there are feuds and communication issues.

I wrote a paper on Online Dispute Resolution about two years ago. I will dust that off and take a look. I’ve also been looking on YouTube for videos of mediation sessions, even though they aren’t online (it’s still fun for me to watch those).

What I really need is a mentor to help me get started. I need to be able to be some kind of internet-community liaison. For now, I’ll research the area, but I do wish there was a professor at my university who knew what the internet was. Ok, that’s harsh. But I  just need to know who/where to turn to for a bit of guidance.

Suggestions welcome!

Where are all the shoulder-advisors?

February 23, 2008

Exhausted from preaching communication for the past weeks. I’m watching, reflecting on and hearing about marriages, relationships and friendships falling apart.

I’m becoming more solidified in my thinking that no other qualities of a relationship, or a partner, matter unless you have good communication. What’s the point of all the other stuff if you can’t live on the same wavelength?

Of course, it’s one of the hardest things to achieve (seemingly) since it’s one of the biggest reasons for inter-gender game playing, slow get togethers, relationship maintenance failure, and drawn out break ups.

Sigh. I wish we all had the little angel-devil pair on our shoulders, advising us as we relation with our partners… Except just the angel, and even then, it’s a chilled-out angel with realistic expectations.

A win for contact, for panels, for communication.

December 3, 2007

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.