Rising Voices is pleased to announce the release of “Blogging Positively,” a collection of case studies, interviews, and best practices about citizen media related to HIV/AIDS. You will be introduced to some of the leaders and veterans of the HIV-positive blogging community, and also to citizen media projects which aim to spread more awareness about the pandemic. The guide contains tips for workshop facilitators and teachers, and points readers to helpful resources for new bloggers just getting started.
The Blogging Positively project began two years ago when Kenyan blogger Serina Kalande, volunteered to lead a working group to discuss how citizen media can best be implemented in the field of HIV/AIDS. Many of the project proposals we’ve received at Rising Voices have been related to spreading awareness about the pandemic. We wanted to learn from those proposals – and also from existing citizen media initiatives – to better understand how new media tools can be used most effectively to spread awareness and encourage discussion about HIV/AIDS-related topics. We also wanted to better understand some of the risks and obstacles facing bloggers who are HIV-positive, or who regularly write about HIV/AIDS-related topics.
Three online chats brought together people from all over the world, and from a wide range of fields. In addition to the creation of this guide, the participants of the chats collaborated on the creation of a map-based directory of HIV-positive bloggers who bravely defy stigma and discrimination to communicate their situation to the rest of the world.
To celebrate the release of the Blogging Positively guide, which has been two years in the making, today we begin a one-week campaign to update our map of HIV positive bloggers. If you are a positive blogger, or if you have suggestions for links to add to the directory, please send a message to Global Voices Public Health Editor Juhie Bhatia.
The Blogging Positively guide was authored by Janet Feldman of the Kenya AIDS Intervention Prevention Project Group and ActAlive, which encourages the use of the arts and media to address HIV/AIDS and other human-development challenges. Additional contributions were made by Solana Larsen, Sahar Romani, and Juhie Bhatia. Daudi Were coined the term “Blogging Positively.”
The importance and impact of this guide depends on our collective ability to get it into the hands of activists, and to encourage their contributions to the global conversation that is curated and amplified everyday on the Global Voices website. Please consider sharing this with your network of friends and blogging about it. If there are HIV/AIDS organizations and support groups in your region, please send them a copy of the guide.
Finally, if you would like to learn more about what bloggers around the world have to say about the AIDS pandemic, don’t miss our Conversations for a Better World series which has so far featured commentary about HIV/AIDS from bloggers based in Africa, China, Cambodia, and the Middle East & North Africa.