Creating a Thunderstorm Two Million Strong

ruthibelle
Posted September 12, 2011 from Jamaica

A thunderstorm starts with just one drop of water.

Once upon a time, information was a luxury owned by a privileged few.

Once upon a time, news was something prepared and packaged exclusively in a formal newsroom by a few individuals.

Once upon a time, a woman had to take her story, give it to a man, and ask him to tell it for her, hoping he would tell it right, praying he would paint her in the right light, use the right brushes, give the right shades and textures - but it can be so hard to tell another person’s truth. Even with the very best intentions, there is always room for error.

But a thunderstorm starts with just one drop of water.

Web 2.0 revolutionised global communication. These new, convenient methods of sharing information broke traditional media’s monopoly on information. For me, web 2.0 embodies two concepts: transparency and diverse story-telling. Where once, all I heard and saw were the views of a limited few who could manipulate information to create the impression they wanted to give, I can now literally hear the world talking; and share and celebrate its diversity everyday. If life is, as Helen Keller said, a series of lessons that must be lived to be understood, then web 2.0 affords people everywhere the opportunity to freely and easily learn from and understand each other.

Of course, with great knowledge comes great responsibility. Web 2.0 is only as positively effective as each user makes it – the beauty of that statement being that power no longer lies with a few brokers at the top of an unjust pyramid. It now rests in the hands of each citizen.

Because a thunderstorm starts with just one drop of water.

For women, web 2.0 has special significance. In a world where media is still dominated by the voices of men, with most information still molded from a male-oriented viewpoint, we are empowered to assert our stories, own our voices, and speak the truths that only we can know. Through web 2.0, women have formed, and continue to form, a strong global collective. We can now combine shared stories, shared voices, shared experiences and shared support.

I’ve learnt that each human being has a story, and a voice. With web 2.0, each individual gets an outlet for self-expression. Each woman can tell her story her way.

Today, I blog. Today, I own my story. Today, I own my voice.

And when I log on to the net, sign in, network, I hear diverse voices rising, swelling, swirling … creating a maelstrom of dynamic revolutionary, cross-cultural transformation. Sometimes, an act as simple as story-telling can have an impact that lasts for generations.

I am just one drop of water. You are one. Together, we are over two billion strong.

Now that’s a thunderstorm.

Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0

Comments 19

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katyrdz
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Congratulations! I really really loved your post and the way it is written... I think you talked about everything web 2.0 is about, collaboration, horizontal power, speaking through your own voice, and not somebody else's voice, shared support...everything is there! I look forward to reading your other stories!

ruthibelle
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Thanks so much. I'm blushing a little here. Thanks much. I really really appreciate the positive feedback.

juliexuan
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

I'm totally with you on this. And your writing is beautiful!

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

having the power to decide is what web 2.0 provides. Thanks for the way you expressed it.

ruthibelle
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks so much ladies.

NEWCourse_Colleen
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Thank you for so beautifully marrying content and form in your post. It is inspirationally written and wonderful.

Usha K.C.
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Hi Ruth,, so powerful voice and you have showed the real sceenario in the past very beautifully.loved it.

YAOtieno
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Hi Ruth,

Your writing is simply beautifully powerful! glad to have taken the time to read it.

Y

Cali gal Michelle
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Ruth-

Beautiful.

Peace- M.

Sanyu Awori
Sep 12, 2011
Sep 12, 2011

Ruth,

This piece got me. You write beautifully. I cant wait to read more!

Peace, N.

fem4femmes
Sep 13, 2011
Sep 13, 2011

Ruth-

Thank you, thank you again! For the grace and eloquence of your words, and the power they grant to all women!

Much happiness and strength to you today!!

Marissa

Jen Luoh
Sep 13, 2011
Sep 13, 2011

Hi friend, I am so touched by your post in the most positive way. Reading this brought me strength, I especially like the part "I own my voice." You are an exceptional writer, but most of all, there's an incredible message coming from you! Go girl!

Margret Masanga-John
Sep 13, 2011
Sep 13, 2011

This is so beautiful, I love the way it flows and creates vivid images in my mind - you have a way with words that draws a reader into your subconscious - powerful writing sister!

ruthibelle
Sep 13, 2011
Sep 13, 2011

You guys have certainly made my day(/week). Thanks a million for all the comments... Kind words are sometimes rare, so I am grateful for this generous outpouring :)

Sally
Sep 15, 2011
Sep 15, 2011

Thank you so much for sharing! I truly enjoy your writing style as well as all of the information that you provided. I caught myself shaking my head in agreement while reading the whole essay. Great essay again and such a strong message!

Thanks so much,

Sally Smith

Hiba
Sep 17, 2011
Sep 17, 2011

Dear Ruth,

Congratulations! Your voice is rightfully loud and powerful that I hear it afar. Thank you for this piece – so vivid and engaging. Keep it up :)

Best, Hiba

Azaria
Sep 18, 2011
Sep 18, 2011

Very well said Ruth.

Your voice is powerful and commands attention. I was very moved by you're writing.

You make us Island girls proud.

Blessing, Azaria

Salma Kilio Dhliwayo
Sep 22, 2011
Sep 22, 2011

Way to go

Pat
Nov 02, 2011
Nov 02, 2011

Beautifully stated and inspiring. Thank you.