Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dispatch from Digital Capital Week, part deux

Panelists and moderator listening intently to a participant
Panelists Najeema Washington, Chris Cooks, and moderator Faith Dow listening intently to a participant.

All's well that ends well, so tonight's Digital Capital Week session, "Integrating Technology with Advocacy and Education," moderated by Faith Dow (Acts of Faith blog, and all-around social media maven), was a success, although there were logistical problems in the beginning. (Aren't there always?)

The discussion, a Black Tech Blazers event at the MLK Library, had a panel well versed in all things social media--Najeema Washington of the Hell in a Handbag blog, who started DC WIN, a networking organization, and Chris Cooks, social media enthusiast and co-founder of NGage DC, a different networking group.

The other participants were a varied lot, and their presence proved the point that familiarity with social media is becoming necessary across many fields. We discussed the advantages of Twitter for getting a point across, Ning as a social-networking jack of all trades, as well as the pros and cons of Facebook. The panelists drove home the necessity of in-person networking, that social media, important as it is, cannot replace face-to-face communication, and lamented the dearth of minorities at such events, although they know of many minorities working in their respective fields.

Speaking of serendipity, near the end of the session came Patrick Timony, of the MLK Library's office of Adaptive Services, which uses adaptive technologies to help persons with disabilities access various media. (There was a mixup between his office and the classroom the session was held, so we had a chance to view Assistive Services' setup before, so he agreed to come to our session near the end to provide us additional information about his office's services.) Glad he stopped by, for I certainly wouldn't have known that the iPad is convenient for the visually impaired (at least for those who can afford it).

Looking forward to another Digital Capital event this week, and toward a second annual Digital Capital Week same time next year.

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