As we all know, February is Black History Month. It’s a month where we honor those who have made an impact on American culture for equal rights, those who have invented, those who have a helped others and those who have inspired everyone to be the best they can be, not only as a person of color but as a human. Last year for Black History Month, I started an online series called 28 Days Diversity where I would feature someone new everyday during the month of February for just being awesome in their own right. Even though it’s black history month, the goal for 28 Days of Diversity is to feature not just African-Americans but other minorities in the web/tech space. Also note that 28 Days of Diversity is not a popularity contest or an influencer list but a list of thought leaders in the social web sector, including entrepreneurs, bloggers, conference organizers, IT professionals and friends not ranked in any particular order who I have either met in person or followed online. Each post will include a picture, bio, two links from the selected person and this paragraph.
For 2011 I wanted to not just feature individuals but also address a topic that affects everyone. For 28 Days of Diversity 2011 each post/person will answer the question “How can we use technology to close the digital divide?” So for the next 28 days, come back to visit SocialWayne.com/tag/28daysofdiversity and 28daysofdiversity.com to see who’s on the list. For day 3, I would like to introduce to some and present to others:
Twitter: @imikewilliams @triangledotcom
Mike Williams is the Managing Editor of triangle.com, a local entertainment and things-to-do website in the Triangle owned by The News & Observer. He started at The N&O in 2003 as a page designer while still a student at North Carolina Central University in Durham. After graduation, he continued to design at the newspaper and often wrote stories for the What’s Up section (now called “Weekend”) and for the North Raleigh News. In 2007 he moved to the online operation and took over triangle.com.
Mike immediately brought excitement to triangle.com and, in 2010, led the website to new heights by tripling its traffic. He has sponsored community and charitable events and worked with other groups in the area to help capture the essence of the Triangle by encouraging users to share their photos and community news on the site. Mike is always looking to form new partnerships so feel free to contact him if you have a project in mind.
How can we use technology to close the digital divide?
It’s really already started with the emergence of the smart phone. Now, anyone with a basic smart phone has access to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. So you’re starting to see people from all walks of life participate in conversations over social networks giving their perspective. You also see cable television use technology to reach viewers. For instance, on ESPN, BET and BRAVO, viewers can tweet (or send FB message) to the host of a program and interact. This gives them a voice they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Once we do a better job of educating others about technology and new trends, we’ll see the gap start to get smaller. Sometimes all it takes is teaching someone about the different products and services that are out there.
You can follow the status of 28 Days of Diversity 2011 on http://28daysofdiversity.com and http://socialwayne.com/category/28-days-of-diversity/