“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”
― Coco Chanel
While we are all sitting in one room, in Bishkek, at the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus, social media is giving us wings.
I am one of the twenty-four social reporters at the Consultation. Most of us sit, cramped around two tables, power-sharing our chargers on the single extension cord we “borrowed” from the reception desk.
In the first four hours of the Consultation, we scatter thousands of sentences and photos on Twitter, Facebook and any other social medium we can get our hands on.
Fingers hit the keyboards, eyes look only at the tablets and mobiles. Heads do not rise to look at the speakers. But all of us are listening to the speakers, in full concentration. It seems there is a magical connection – call it wings. Our ears give orders to our fingers to type on the keyboard the right words.
“Who knows about the International Forum on Eurasian Food Security and Nutrition Network and Eurasian Soil Partnership? It is taking place in Bishkek?” asked Ilhom, a businessman from the village of Pulichukur, Tajikistan. And how did he know about this?
Let’s follow the chain together:
Khosiyat, a social reporter at #GCARD3 wrote this tweet:
It was retweeted by Mahina, another participant.
Mahina’s colleague Bakhtiyor liked it.
So it popped up in the Agroinform list on Twitter, which has 350 followers.
One of them is Shuhrat. Who retweeted it.
Shuhrat happens to be Ilhom’s classmate.
That is Ilhom, remember, our businessman in Tajikistan.
Ilhom started to look further, and that’s how he discovered the #GCARD3 hashtag. And that is how he connected back to us, in Bishkek.
All of this took exactly 18 minutes. From Bishkek to the north of Tajikistan, which is exactly 16 hours of travel by car.
It does make you think, has the time for TV, radio and print media time passed? Probably so! Why?
Let’s now follow this chain together to better understand how one person reads an article in a regular newspaper:
A journalist will go to an event – much like this one – and speak to several participants. The journalist will then have to gather material and take several photos. All of the above are brought back to the office so the journalist can pull together an article. The journalist submits the article to his/her editor, who reviews the material and sends it back if corrections need to be made.
Finally, the article is ready and then have to be printed.
By the time it reaches any given reader – that is, in several days, the news is already old.
And with TV, the process is even more time-consuming and as you may imagine, it needs a full production team. Let’s follow this final chain to understand how long it takes for information to be shared on traditional TV:
A journalist and cameraman will go to an event – again, much like this one – and request interviews. Material will be shot and possibly two interviews carried out. The journalist and cameraman will go back to the office, and with back-end support upload material. The journalist and cameraman edit the video. The final video is submitted to the editor, who reviews the material. Various specialists work on visual and sound adjustments. The editor receives the final material and then clears it for broadcasting.
Again, by the time it reaches any given viewer, the news could well be old and cold.
When I think about the issues of traditional media, I see it only makes sense that #GCARD3 chose to follow a revolutionary path in terms of information and knowledge sharing at their Regional Consultation for Central Asia and Caucasus. And this is why GFAR (The Global Forum for Agricultural Research) brought in a professional blogger. He – we call him #Daddy – trains and works with us all – from different professional backgrounds and communities – in the art of social media.
So now, we have given wings to a conference about the future of agricultural research. The only thing left for us to do, is to give agriculture itself some wings. I am dreaming of agricultural knowledge sharing, information management dissemination, advocacy… There are so many wings, social media can give to agriculture. I am inspired. I am dreaming.
I have a dream
― Not Coco Chanel, but Martin Luther King Jr.
Blogpost by Khosiyat Komilova, #GCARD3 Social Reporter – Khosiyatkhon.komilova(a)gmail.com
This post is part of the live coverage during the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus. This post is written by one of our social reporters,