This year, there seems to be an increasing number of people writing about Indigenous Australia on the web. When I say writing on the web, I mean using twitter, blogs and other similar services to write about issues, achievements and concerns that in one way or another relate to Indigenous Australians. There are of course a plethora of journalists writing about these issues (often poorly) however what is interesting is the increasing number of people who don’t work in the mainstream media who are sharing their experiences, ideas, research results and perspectives. This has got me to thinking about whether a regular collaborative ‘blog carnival’ might be a good way to showcase and promote this fine work.
A blog carnival is a periodic blog event during which a variety of authors contribute blog posts around a particular broad theme. There’s often a dedicated organiser however each edition is hosted by someone different, on their own blog. Contributors submit links to their posts a few days before the event, and the editor for each edition writes short summaries of each submission wrapping it up into one blog post. All of this gets posted up to their own site and also linked back to the main blog carnival page. I’ve followed the long-standing anthropology blogging carnival Four Stone Hearth since its inception, and it is a great example of how a good blog carnival can be run. I’ve recently contributed a few posts and it always results in quite a spike in traffic to my blog, as well as comments, conversations around twitter and the occasional email. It’s a great way to promote your work to a much broader audience but more importantly, it’s a great way to collate (and therefore promote) work from across the blogosphere at one convenient location.
What I am proposing here then is that interested people collaborate to start a blog carnival to promote greater understanding and awareness of issues, achievements, concerns and aspirations of Indigenous Australians. There’s nothing like it in Australia at the moment. As I noted, there’s an increasing number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on the web writing about issues such as social justice, politics, heritage, health and wellbeing, linguistics, anthropology, caring for country, employment and training and so on. They include Indigenous people from across the country, as well as non-Indigenous people such as myself whose research or profession involves working with communities or Indigenous groups in all manner of capacities.
If approached ethically and professionally, such an endeavour might increase the amount of accurate and informed material on the web about Indigenous issues. I’m thinking it would be good to encourage submissions around a range of themes:
- Social justice
- Health and wellbeing
- Caring for country
- History and heritage
- Employment and training
- Politics and policy
Of course, this is not something that is feasible without the interest, effort and support of others and so I’ll shamelessly send links to this post to everyone in my networks in order to see if we can take the idea forward. Please leave your thoughts in my comments or @mickmorrison on twitter and I can RT them. Or drop me an email via my contact form. If there is some interest in this, it should be relatively simple to work on some guidelines for contributions as well as to explicitly address ethical issues that will be involved in such a project.