A -kind of- festive post for you before the holiday season kicks off for real… I read a few international blogs through the excellent global voices and one of the active ones is the Pakistani Spectator. Ghazala Khan does a regular series of interviews with bloggers from all over the place and it was my turn last week:
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
I write about public involvement in decision making. This is actually takes in quite a wide range of different issues, from the tension between different modes of governance and electoral systems to how individuals collaborate on decision making in their own communities, both locally and online. I blog here.
Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
I think everyone learns as they write more frequently – it forces you to order your thoughts in a structured format and to try and imagine how others might understand your meaning. Having said that, I feel that the most important thing is to get out from behind the keyboard and monitor and to speak with a whole range of different people to gain inspiration whenever possible. That’s where you find opportunities to grow as an individual and as a member of several wider communities.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
My favourite recent post was an interview with an Obama supporter on London bridge – I took a quick photo of him with my camera phone and it came out so well – really capturing the enthusiasm and spirit of the moment. I was affected by the belief of an individual that genuine change can come from those at the top rather than the cynicism that is often expressed towards decision makers in the UK.
What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
I use RSS feeds to keep up to date – attempt to keep my netvibes page which pulls all of those feeds together in good order. Then of course, I read and comment when I have some spare time.
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
In politics, it has to be the Obama campaign in terms of excitement and the interplay between online connection and offline action. This was a very powerful mix and am very glad to see this strong emphasis on online tools continuing. See obamacto for an interesting take on what should happen next!
Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
I do think that new technology can make people feel more personally connected than ever before, and more able to respond quickly and easily to causes or issues that they are interested in. Not only this, I think that it can supplement our existing networks in new ways which are only just beginning to be realised.
What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
It focuses on public participation and involvement from a personal perspective. I work for an organistion called http://www.involve.org.uk which is based in the UK – this enables me to look at public engagement and participation from a more analytical viewpoint during the day – then my blog covers the aspect I feel is often not covered so well – what do these ideas and projects mean for real people in their working and home lives?
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
I’m not sure on this one – life is a journey and I’m usually looking forwards not back!
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?
I like this question – I’d go to Tierra del Fuego to see lava pouring into the sea, then drop by Venezuela to see the Angel Falls, and then maybe to Dongtan to see the eco city… in a year or two.
What is your favorite book and why?
I don’t have a favourite – I love reading and lots of books have strong meaning for me – one would be ….read the rest here
Enjoy the holidays!
(Yes, I know the life is a journey line is a bit Forest Gump – is tough not to be able to edit your words after you write them…!)