Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twitter plus Work equals Blog deficit

Poor Head Down Eyes Open (HDEO) is a neglected blog child these days. Only four posts so far in 2011 compared to 26 this time last year and a mighty 44 posts between February and April in 2009 (we didn't start till February that year). Why the downturn? We're still passionate about blogging and sharing information and ideas but the reality of work and twitter are the most likely culprits for the blogging deficit (Left: A woman and her baby in the village of Sawien. The child is covered with a white paste to fight the skin infestion that is very common with the water from the river they have to use. Photo: Benoit Matsha-Carpentier / IFRC).

This period of pretty much unprecedented natural disasters, civil unrest and conflict has resulted in an equally unprecedented workload in the disaster management sector. The horrific triple disaster in Japan was round the clock media relations for one whole month helped especially by the amazing work being done on the ground by the Japanese Red Cross (you might like to check out our Japan Flickr pix which have registered more than a million hits to date). Then there is the still unraveling story throughout the Middle East and North Africa which has seen Red Crescent societies fully stretched and mobilized from Syria, Bahrain and Yemen to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The serious political violence in West Africa is also of ongoing concern which required ramping up of operations in both Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. Then we have serious epidemics in several countries like Chad and Paraguay. Then there was a major initiative advocating a way forward to rid the world of the ancient killer, Tuberculosis. And so it goes on. All of this has also required an extra effort on the social media front, especially Twitter, where we are increasingly engaged and dependent - HDEO are serious converts.

However, it is the 'business as usual' activity of World Malaria Day that prompts me to renew HDEO today. The  Malaria folks are looking to reduce malaria deaths to zero by 2015! A noble cause or a lofty ideal? You decide. But don't underestimate the passion, talent and dedication of these guys - their focus is something to behold. We are in the process of putting up some new videos this weekend ahead of the day itself on the 25th of April and we already have our press release, opinion piece and some web stories posted on our special page (do keep on eye out for the Liberia videos coming soon).

Anyway, great to be back. Onwards and Upwards and of course Head Down Eyes Open!

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