Stilgherrian Stilgherrian Wherefore Art Thou Stil? Stilgherrian, debonair blogger and Twitterer and Crikey citizen reporter,  is doing stuff for ActionAid Australia. Primarily training people in Tanzania.


Project TOTO is the “The Overseas Training Operation”. I’ll be in Tanzania from 27 June to 5 July 2009 for ActionAid Australia (formerly Austcare), helping them set up the ability to post words and pictures to their blogs directly from the field.

As usual, Stilgherrian is showing traditional media how it’s done – using his blog, Twitter, motivating other bloggers to cover his trip to Tanzania. But I am wondering if it’s with mixed results? More later on that. 

One of the things I like about blogs is that they are almost as good as a social media press release (and a darn sight better than a normal press release) in that I can usually grab links, images, tweets, videos, anything I need to make my posts media rich. 

ActionAid logo: end poverty. Together.

Follow my travels to Tanzania for Project TOTO.Support ActionAid Australia bymaking a donation.

see? I didn’t have to go and find that ActionAid logo, screenshot it, cut it up in IRFanview or similar, save it to a hard drive, upload it, and so on. All the stuff we have to do normally. 

Have you seen this man? Hah. 

I expected Australian bloggers to get more behind Stil, and I’m a little disappointed they didn’t. A few blog posts on the going away party -we bloggers love boozy tweetups- but no real analysis of the changes that citizen journalism can wrought to this new hybrid of Social News and Social Action. Caveat: blogsearch shows 9 links but Blogsearch sometimes is FAIL on finding stuff (e.g. Servant Of Chaos has a good TOTO post, missing from blogsearch) Of the links, most are about the party but don’t translate into ongoing discussions, one from Fi Bendall (PR Megastar and organiser of #ToTo) writing for MarketingMag and some from people like Archie Law CEO of ActionAid. Oh, and the Tubes one – from Richard Chirgwin. 

Richard Chirgwin decided to devote almost the entire edition of his A Series of Tubespodcast to Project TOTO. It’s now online for your listening pleasure. As Richard puts it, “One word of warning: calling Tanzania involves a game of count-the-codec: there’s Stil’s mobile, followed by a satellite link (I edited out the delays), followed by the PSTN and finally an Internode VoIP service at my end. Some quality issues may be expected.”

I experienced something similar when I went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for a week to do a keynote and to teach Arabic women how to blog for the iMatter – giving Arabic women a voice project.

imatter bigBlogher, Shel Israel and other non-Australian luminaries picked up on my trip, but hardly anyone in Australia. Certainly no magazines, newspapers or mainstream media. Well, if it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead. But nothing much from other bloggers either.  I wonder why? Do we really focus on going away parties and stuff where we are in the photos, videos and story? Can we see outside ourselves, as bloggers? Or is it all about us? I’m not being a grump – there were discussions on Twitter  about Stil’s trip, in amongst Toto as a lottery, Toto as dorothy’s dog, Toto the band – but not much in the indepth content area of blogs, videos, or podcasts. 

Be the next outreach blogger
Do you have what it takes to establish a blog outpost in an ActionAid program country?

ActionAid Australia is searching for an energetic Australian to be our next outreach blogger to give poverty a voice.
Using blogs, twitter, Facebook and more, the outreach blogger will travel to one of ActionAid’s program countries to help locals harness the power of social media to secure their human rights.

You don’t need to be a blogging expert, you just need to have an open mind and be passionate about fighting the root causes of poverty.

Does this sound like you? Register your interest now and we’ll notify you when nominations begin.

Shine a light on poverty and injustice

Social injustice and poverty are easy to ignore when hidden from view. Your mission will be to help bring attention to the scandal of poverty.

As ActionAid’s outreach blogger, you will give poverty a voice by:

– traveling to a remote area of an ActionAid program country

– training locals to use tools such as twitter and blogs to shine a light on social injustice and human rights abuses

– reporting on your experiences on your own blog

Interested? Take action!

And if a blogger is brave enough to head into the big wide unknown, and if you think it’s important, you too can take action by blogging, tweeting, facebooking and social media’ing it. Take Action! 

If you are thinking about creating an indepth post on Stilgherrian’s jaunt to Tanzania to train ’em on bloggin, social media and having a voice online, now would be the time to do it. A little bird (ok, Twitter) told me that Stilgherrian is winging his way home to us right now, as we speak, via Bangkok. Let’s have a surprise for him, shall we?