Howdy, Neighbor

We are all neighbors on the web.

Dear brave voices of the Middle East and around the world: We hear you. We see you. We love you.

Dear dictators, rulers, and governments: Leave the web on.


[In Texas, Howdy means "Hello" or "How Do You Do?"]

A friend in Austin who can’t make our Group Photo Meetup tomorrow sent this photo. Awesome.

"Howdy, Middle East on Twitter. #SXME" Thanks, E.

Please follow their lead and join us tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in Austin [click here], and also follow these folks on Twitter [click here] and send them an @reply saying Hi. In addition, if you want to take your own photos and see them here like E did, post them on Twitter with the hashtag #SXME, and we will find them.

Let’s let our neighbors know we care about them and that we want the Internet to stay on and open.

Posted at 5:49pm and tagged with: sxme,.

A friend in Austin who can’t make our Group Photo Meetup tomorrow sent this photo. Awesome.
"Howdy, Middle East on Twitter. #SXME" Thanks, E.
Please follow their lead and join us tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in Austin [click here], and also follow these folks on Twitter [click here] and send them an @reply saying Hi. In addition, if you want to take your own photos and see them here like E did, post them on Twitter with the hashtag #SXME, and we will find them.
Let’s let our neighbors know we care about them and that we want the Internet to stay on and open.

Let’s stand up for an open, always-on Internet. Let voices be heard.

So much is happening so fast. We are witnessing both great struggle and great hope. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?

What can we do? Here are two simple ideas.

1. Join us for a group photo in Austin (or wherever you are) on Sunday the 13th to show support to our neighbors in the Middle East.

2. Get engaged and follow these brave folks who are risking their lives for freedom.

Let’s show our neighbors that we care.

Posted at 11:10am.

Inspiration, ii

Have you seen the documentary A Great Day in Harlem about an amazing 1958 group photo of jazz legends? What a photograph. What a story. Let’s jump into that tradition and keep it going.

What if during SXSW Interactive we Austin people and web leaders and students from around the world came together to reach out to our brave neighbors in the Middle East who are currently fighting for their freedom and their families; sharing their stories and struggles; expressing themselves; living alive?

Look again at those jazz legends standing together in 1958. What if we could now bring together all kinds of folks to say hello and show support to their neighbors around the world whose present struggle continues to evolve hour by hour? Politics aside, let’s stand up for their right to be heard. Voices matter. The web helps.

On Sunday, March 13, let’s meet at 3:30 p.m. at the French Legation Museum in Austin for our own group photo. [Click here for details.] How many people can we gather? Let’s find out.

If outside Austin, feel free to organize your own group photo in your own town. Share the love. Post your photos and well wishes online with the tag #SXME.

Let’s show our neighbors that we care.

Posted at 11:05am and tagged with: SXSW, photo, meetup,.

Inspiration, ii
Have you seen the documentary A Great Day in Harlem about an amazing 1958 group photo of jazz legends? What a photograph. What a story. Let’s jump into that tradition and keep it going.
What if during SXSW Interactive we Austin people and web leaders and students from around the world came together to reach out to our brave neighbors in the Middle East who are currently fighting for their freedom and their families; sharing their stories and struggles; expressing themselves; living alive?
Look again at those jazz legends standing together in 1958. What if we could now bring together all kinds of folks to say hello and show support to their neighbors around the world whose present struggle continues to evolve hour by hour? Politics aside, let’s stand up for their right to be heard. Voices matter. The web helps.
On Sunday, March 13, let’s meet at 3:30 p.m. at the French Legation Museum in Austin for our own group photo. [Click here for details.] How many people can we gather? Let’s find out.
If outside Austin, feel free to organize your own group photo in your own town. Share the love. Post your photos and well wishes online with the tag #SXME.
Let’s show our neighbors that we care.

inspiration, i

Mohamed Nanabhay, Head of Online, Al Jazeera English, shared this amazing TED talk on Tumblr:

mohamed:

As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera’s director-general, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what’s happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond.

In the first talk posted online from the TED 2011 conference in California, Khanfar describes the powerful moment when people realised they could step out of their homes and ask for change.

This talk was given on March 1, 2011 in Long Beach, California. TED 2011 is taking place between March 1 and March 4.

Please watch this entire talk and note these closing comments:

Chris Anderson:… “What should people here at TED, here in the West, do if they want to connect or make a difference and they believe in what’s happening here?”

Wadah Khanfar: “I think, you know we have discovered a very important thing in the Arab world, that people care. People care. People care about this great transformation… We discovered that people care, and people would like to know… This is the moment to celebrate. Through connecting ourselves with those people in the street and expressing our support to them and expressing this kind of feeling, universal feeling of supporting the weak and the oppressed, to create a much better future for all of us.”

Show that you care and want to know. Celebrate this moment. Express this universal feeling of supporting the weak and the oppressed to create a much better future. It’s a deeply powerful thing, this role we each can play by caring for each other.

Posted at 11:00am and tagged with: SXSW, TED,.