Draft NYC grassroots media conference 2007 session proposal

Research like a librarian "2.0": Internet technologies for organizations and informed citizens

The Internet has done much to widen the theater for global grassroots struggle -- moving local conflicts into the world stage. Yet while technology improves and more information is accessible online, the challenge to find relevant information from trusted sources increases. This session explores approaches to using the Internet and network technologies such as RSS feeds, blogging software, social tagging, podcasts, library database alerts, and mobile phone features to support community action, alternative media research, and informed citizenship. The presentation will demonstrate how new technologies used for research and community organizing can assist with efforts to monitor current events, collect alternative views to mainstream news stories, track government activity, and advocate alternative viewpoints. Librarian volunteers from the collective Radical Reference (radicalreference.info) will give real-life examples of how these technologies are being used by journalists, researchers, community organizers and informed citizens. In addition to introducing the basics about each software tool, Rad Reffers will outline how community members include these technologies in their activist toolkits and effectively manage their flow of information.

Scenarios may include:

**WBAI radio journalist, and a description of her research process using RSS feeds, etc.

**Developer of the Witness Human Rights Video Hub Pilot globalvoicesonline.org/-/human-rights-video/, and a description of a pilot project to use cell phone photos and video to document human rights violations world-wide

NYC Grassroots media conference 2007 session proposal v2

Beyond Googling It: News and Government Information “Web 2.0” style

Do you feel like you have to check 50 websites just to keep up with a
single news item? Do you ever hear about a pending bill, send off a letter
to your legislator, and then wonder what became of the issue? Just what DO
people mean when they talk about "Web 2.0"? Come explore approaches to
using the Internet to monitor, track, share, and manage information. This
presentation will demonstrate how so-called "Web 2.0” tools like RSS, news
aggregators, and social tagging can help you get organized online and be a
more effective independent journalist or community activist. Librarian
volunteers from the collective Radical Reference(radicalreference.info)
will give real-life examples of how journalists, researchers, community
organizers, and informed citizens are using these technologies to track
information from around the globe -- and how you can too. Rad Reffers will
give the basics of each tool, introduce websites and sources, take
questions from the audience, and provide detailed handouts.