It's 6AM Christmas morning in Japan right now. Today I'm reflecting on the past year and thinking about the future and I'm thinking about Global Voices. Hopefully most of you are with your family with some time to relax, think about priorities and reflect. I'm sure there are a lot of TV shows about "Peace on earth, goodwill to men," and you've probably sent and received a lot of UNICEF Christmas cards. You should be in the perfect mood to think about Global Voices. In the past, we had to rely on TV shows to try to feel empathy for people in other countries and organizations such as UNICEF to try to give our support to humanitarian efforts. These were and are noble efforts. However, at our fingertips, we have the ability to reach out and speak to, build bridges with and interact with those people we have been "wishing well" to in the abstract for all of these years. We have a long way to go before we are able to hear the voices of everyone on earth, but I believe that providing voices and building bridges is essential for the World Peace we all wish for.
We have changed the "Global Voices Manifesto" to "Global Voices Covenant 0.2". We have edited it for awhile on the wiki, but this version is frozen.
I'm not normally a very religious person, but I feel pretty religious about this.
Global Voices Covenant 0.2We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak -- and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.
To that end, we want to enable everyone who wants to speak to have the means to speak -- and everyone who wants to hear that speech, the means to listen to it.
Thanks to new tools, speech need no longer be controlled by those who own the means of publishing and distribution, or by governments that would restrict thought and communication. Now, anyone can wield the power of the press. Everyone can tell their stories to the world.
We want to build bridges across the gulfs of culture and language that divide people, so as to understand each other more fully. We want to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.
We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful. We believe conversation across boundaries is essential to a future that is free, fair, prosperous and sustainable - for all citizens of this planet.
While we continue to work and speak as individuals, we also want to identify and promote our shared interests and goals. We pledge to respect, assist, teach, learn from, and listen to one other.
We are Global Voices.
We're trying to translated it into other languages. If you have some time over the holidays and feel like helping out, please jump in. You can come to the #globalvoices IRC channel on Freenode or just go to the wiki and add a translation there
. Any of language links in red have not been done yet. You can also edit one that has been translated if you find any errors or to go the "talk" section of that wiki page to talk about the translation.
Please take a look at the Global Voices blog. We're looking for additional people and projects to hook up with so let us know if you can contribute to Global Voices or have a project that could tie in with Global Voices.
PS I'm not sending any Christmas or New Years cards this year because I don't want to kill any more trees (and I'm lazy). I'm not sending email greetings because mass mailings are becoming indistinguishable from spam. Instead, I offer this blog entry. For the more personal touch, I'm relying on my birthday reminder to remind me to say hi to my friends in a way that distributes the work across the year.
UPDATE: Says _sj_ our translation expert. "Translate a few lines or a paragraph or put up a bad translation and leave a note above it saying it is incomplete."