Saturday, March 7, 2009


Today I attended a "summit" on Interactive Media. It made me think beyond the parameters of the screens on my laptop and phone.

The keynote speaker started with a discussion of the power of small communities. He showed slides of thatch roofed villages to illustrate his point that the new media's social networking communities have similarities to villages that look they could be in Papua New Guinea.

He talked about tribes discussing problems and working together for the common good and drew parallels to Twitter and Facebook groups.

Of course, I thought about Papua New Guineans communicating within their own clans: fire light reflecting in the faces of men discussing customary land boundaries and bride price payments; children's laughter in the background as old women advise young women about sweet potato gardening and bilum bag patterns.

The presenter made the point that over the past several decades, we lost much of our community way of life and now, by participating in social networking, we can build and participate in new communities. It's exciting.

The light of a computer screen reflects in our faces as we discuss, advise and keyboard our way back toward a community social structure Papua New Guineans have not yet lost.

copyright (c) 2007 - 2011 Mary Jane Murray