web 2.0 for development

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Explaining ComDev using video interviews

Communication for Development has a big problem nowadays: people do not clearly understand what it is.

During the preparation and the development of the ComDev Expert Consultation we produced short videos (almost 30) to explain basic concepts of ComDev. The entire list is available on the FAO ComDev channel on youtube.

FAO ComDev Channel on youtube

Mario, Riccardo, Oumy and many others provide interesting explanations of what ComDev is and how it deals with rural development and agriculture.

The experiment was also important to provide a clear example of how, using limited means and without a specific experience, it is possible to create a sort of mini-training course exploiting the power of social media.

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Creating subtitles for videos on YouTube

The creation of subtitles for videos on YouTube is very easy.

Proceed as follows:

upload your video on YouTube,

– in the list of your “Uploaded videos”, select the one you want to manage and click on Edit,

– in the settings check for the tab “Subtitles

– download the automatic transcription of the voice (it is actually automatic for English voices only, but the file itself  can help anyway with the time schedule of the voice),

– prepare the translation, create a Caption file on the basis of the transcription and upload it,

– your video is now ready to be in two or more languages!

More details on YouTube Help site.

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1981: predicting the birth of Internet

Have  a look at what techcrunch found out somewhere, somehow around Youtube.

This video is really fantastic and gives a flavor of what, less than 30 years ago, seemed to be only science-fiction.

The speaker ended her note mentioning speed and cost of the new service and concluding that it wouldn’t be able to overcame the traditional paper service…

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In My Name

I find this initiative pretty interesting:

Youtube with Oxfam, Save the children, CARE and other organizations, is launching this video channel on the web, called “In my name“, to influence world leaders about the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. As Youtube states in its official blog:

“… through November 1, visit to upload a video stating your name, your home country, and your simple message to your government about the need to meet the MDGs. Be as creative, compelling, simple, or wordy as you like — this is your chance to join the video petition to end world hunger.

At the end of the program on November 1, a mash-up of the most powerful submissions from around the world will be broadcast directly to global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, as proof that global citizens are holding them to their commitment to create a better world for everyone.”

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Power of community

As just announced, yesterday Google acquired YouTube, the most popular steaming video site and the 10th most popular online destination. I found very interesting the analysis of some blogs around about one of the main reason for Google to spend 1,65 billion dollars…

“Why would Google buy YouTube? To start, 35 million users in the US and 100 million daily video views. But it’s not just the sheer numbers that grabs Google’s attention. YouTube is a gem because it figured out what Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and all of the other video players in the marketplace couldn’t – that it’s not about the video. It’s really about the community that’s around the video.

Take a look at the screenshot of the same “Extreme Diet Coke And Mentos Experiment” video on YouTube and Google Video. You’ll notice that YouTube has many things you can do with the video – rate it, save it to favorites, comment on it, share it, see other related videos, and view the user’s playlists, etc. I think you get the idea.”

Charlene li


Community: YouTube enjoys a much more active, enthusiastic and loyal following than any video service which has been launched by a search engine company, even more active in terms of uploading and sharing by netizens than Yahoo Video.

With 35 million users in the United States alone, YouTube has proven that the success of online video is based upon sharing, commenting, ranking, embedding and suggestions… in other words: community.”

Search engine journal


Rupert Murdoch famously claimed that Google could have purchased MySpace for half of the $580 million he paid for it but the search engine passed — if he’s to be believed. Assume, however, he’s telling the truth and that Google miscalculated badly in passing on MySpace. They then went on to do the $900 million ad deal with News Corp./Fox.

They wouldn’t have had to make those sorts of pricey commitments had they bought the social networking site for the $290 million and owned all that traffic themselves.

Greg Sterling

I think these articles suggest many things like: how powerful a community can be, how much a simple function like “Edit”, “Send it”, “Share it” can add to any kind of content and how important is to establish a two-ways communication channel using a web site.