Kareem Knows

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

Blogging can be revolutionary. Personal publishing, this thing that we do, it can be special if we really use it to challenge tired old conventions and power structures and rules about who can talk to who and about what. But that doesn’t mean that all blogging IS revolutionary. Alot of it is just marketing and regurgitated nothing.

The hardest part of this game, besides getting people to listen.. to read.. to come try it, is to get people with something useful and important to say… to use this medium to say it. Not only to use it to say something, but to explore the limits and the many facets of personal publishing.. because there are so many avenues you can take. Often times I meet amazing people who are simply too busy or don’t understand how this thing.. this blogging world.. could be useful for their work.

Thanks to Tony Pierce and the LAtimes, I’ve become a subscriber to a blog that embodies what happens when someone with so much wisdom to share, dives into blogging with an open mind and an open heart. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a name that might seem super-human to many of us, a legend to say the least. But what is truely beautiful, I find, is that through his blogging over the past few months, what you come to understand is not just some words of wisdom from someone who has done great things with his life, you come to see that this man has many layers, much wisdom to share, and many questions to ask about the world around us. Instead of sitting up on his blog like some god, inaccessible to the mortals, he is instead the exact opposite. Taking questions from his readers, asking questions of those many of us would like to hear from.. and best all.. teaching.. sharing knowledge. His Black History blogging, for example, is extremely interesting and a great example of how blogging is a chance for us to learn together, prominently presenting important information that is out there.. but so often buried in the daily routine and even by our so-called education systems.

I’m enjoying Kareem’s blog so much, I wanted to recommend it to you the readers. If you’ve been looking for some straight from the heart blogging, by someone with a thirst for more knowledge and understanding, this is the blog you’ve been waiting for. Or maybe you like yoga, history, basketball, politics, health, etc… you’ll find that there as well.

Working on a Tsunami Followup

by bicyclemark

Part of reporting and researching the under reported and the issues that involve humans struggling to survive means looking back at events that have led to struggles still taking place today. Which is why recently I’ve been scouring the internets for people reporting about or working in some way with Tsunami recovery.

It has been almost three years since close to 230,000 people throughout south asia were killed in that terrible disaster. Entire communities were erased, families seperated or forever scarred, and industries crippled.

Initially the internet had several beakons for communicating what was happenning and appealing to the world for help. I remember linking to a Tsunami Blog back in 2004. But unfortunately, as is the case with many good intentioned blogs, many of these sites have been abandoned or retired. Leaving, what I believe to be, a gap of information; a lack of reporting about communities that are still struggling and could benefit from assistance or even just attention from the outside world.

In an attempt to produce a podcast on this issue, I’ve launched a few signal flares to bloggers and organizations that were working back then and may still be working on this issue. My hope is that they share my desire to bring the story back into the internet conversation… back into our hearts and minds. Because if something useful is to be done, we must first be informed.

On the Western Side of Africa

by bicyclemark

Highly recommended reading from two of my favorite people reporting from the continent of Africa.

First: My friend Pauline, one of my favorite journalists in the world, has been reporting from Sierra Leone. From the poverty of Freetown to how people view the Special UN court, she communicates some amazing experiences from a place that never gets big media attention. I could recommend a post, but the truth is you should read all her work, especially the recent stuff. (her photo included below)

And then we have Josh of In an African Minute. I’m used to hearing Josh report from Uganda over the past year, but lately his blogging comes from Cameroon. Although he has been mostly posting on the run, I still find it interesting to see my friend on his journey, so perhaps you will too.

As a bonus, they will both be featured on the podcast in the coming week.

Prison Writing

by bicyclemark

I’ve recently tried to get in touch with Josh Wolf, citizen journalist recently released from jail. Obviously since his release he’s had nonstop places to be and people to talk to, but I figured I would get in line and see about interviewing him.

The purpose of my interview was NOT going to be his case and the whole question of journalist-blogger rights. That topic, while important, has been well covered by the alternative media online.

Instead I want to talk to Josh about prison life. Especially about the conversations, the thoughts, every aspect of prison life and the experiences of other prisoners. He had lots of interesting things to say while he was in prison about what things they did have a right to and what things he thinks they should have a right to, and I wanted to explore all that and hopefully learn from it.

Well I still haven’t heard back from the man, but I will remain patient. In the meantime, I was excited to hear about his project “Prisonblogs.net”. Free blog hosting for prisoners, a space where they can communicate their thoughts and experiences. Over my 7 years of publishing on the internet, I’ve come across many letters from prisoners republished on a few blogs. I glad to see that someone like Josh is helping to make this more possible and will be reading along with great interest.

ps- Do watch his appearance on Colbert.. it’s fun.

**UPDATE: Just recieved an email from the man. thank you internets.**