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web 2.0 for development


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New twitter interface

Few weeks after the announcement, I had the chance to use the new interface twitter.com launched to increase its usability.The black top bar and the wider right column are the main new visual features. They came together with the possibility to immediately visualize photos and videos shared by others and other minor changes.

I found it a good step ahead, being the site more usable and the main page becoming a sort of intro to your profile. More than before, twitter is presenting itself not only as a place for geeks but mainly as a tool for knowledge sharing with a broad audience: latest stats say users are over 190 million (more than 1 million are from Italy: http://cot.ag/bzoKmS).

This is why I’m strongly suggesting to the networks I support to adopt it. Onda Rural is actually using it quite well, Carimac will be doing soon as well as the CSDI project and the FAO Rural radio website. Their public can be very wide, the tool is flexible and dynamic (mostly thanks to third party applications) and the use is very easy, adapt for every kind of editorial team.


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Climate Change and Communication for Development

Today, for the Blog Action Day ’09, the topic is the connection between Communication for Development, the discipline managed by the Team I’m part of at FAO, and Climate Change, the topic all of us are dealing with these days and in the near future.

Writing this post is not an easy job due to the vastness of the argument. Climate Change influence our actual and, more then anything else, future life. In this perspective, we think communication can be a valid tool if not to solve at least to afford and manage the change. The objective is to avoid that this phenomenon that we provoked could damage our future existence in an unsolvable way.

Communication helps people to manage their life in a better way. The exchange of thoughts from one person to the other and vice-versa can help all of us to reflect and find new opportunities, solutions and ideas to afford and solve our problems. Communication for Development is a discipline which takes care that communication is embedded in development activities. This is because where the future is created, as in such activities, then interaction is fundamental to prepare a better approach to that future. Exchange is a key word for ComDev. Parity is another one. Dialogue, and not monologue, is the forth keyword.

Those are the reasons why we consider Communication fundamental also in facing Climate Change. Adaptation to CC, that’s to say the option to adapt human behaviors and attitudes to the Change of Climate, is the way to prepare ourselves for the future way of living when, probably: temperature will change around the globe, plants and animals will move from equator to poles, agriculture and nutrition will change as a consequence, wearing, eating and working habits will modify, etc etc. We really believe communication can offer a great opportunity to sustain Climate Change Adaptation and that’s the reason why we dedicate our job to encourage, stimulate and support people, organizations and projects which adopt communication when involved in adaptation to CC.

Just to mention one concrete activity in this direction, the Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative – CSDI is one of them. CSDI aims at implementing communication programs and services in selected countries, and to make available suitable ComDev methods and tools at the international level through knowledge networks and partnerships.