Readers asked: help fund this story!

“Climate activist in SF in self-immolation PR action stunt to raise awareness about global warming: Do not try this at home! If you want to see this story researched, written, and published, click donate to help fund it!” That is tip 164 from a reader on , a non-profit project that is pioneering “community-funded reporting” in California. My Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant had a feature about it today on its media page with the heading “Help, journalism is disappearing.” As I wrote in my earlier blog, I am worried about  the future of my newspaper. 

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New iPhone touch wonder


Since yesterday I have my first iPhone … and what a pleasure and ease to get it going and use with my Mac Book: accessing the latest music, news and other internet options with only a touch on the screen. Looking back at my PC and internet history since 1994 Apple has made my life at 62 a lot easier.

Overwhelming performance of Lost and Found Orchestra in Amsterdam

It had a four out of five stars review in De Volkskrant on 4 March 2009 after the first performance of the Lost and Found Orchestra at the Carre theatre in Amsterdam, where they played until tonight. The review was so interesting that it triggered me to go this wonderful circus shaped theatre on the river Amstel together with my daughter Mirjam. We experienced an overwhelming experience. With a core group of 35 musicians and with a full choir, LFO creates a symphonic piece of music theatre, using Afro and Caribbean rhythms for their one-tone, unconventional instruments made from traffic cones, hose-pipes, saws, plumbing tubes, bottlebellows, glass instruments and anything else they can lay their hands on. They have a Hosaphone (garden hose with a brass mouthpiece and a funnel mouth) and Plumpet section, see a short video  they have online.

Creators of LFO Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell also made large format movies. Wild Ocean 3D was the title of the last one. They are currently producing a new movie about endangered tropical coral reefs and have other 3D movies in development.

Not convinced about Twitter

In my office ( we have started a WASH twitter site with a number of colleagues. A quick check on the WASH twitter site has not convinced me that following this group twitter is helpful for my information and communication work on WASH in the developing world. All the tweets I saw were on washing bodies, cars and babies, mainly in the USA. This is happening the same with the internet  searches on “water”, which starts with mainly USA sources.

Last Friday I finished two days of facilitation work at UNESCO IHE in Delft on water education and communication for and through mass media professionals. In an expert group of 70 education and water people from Europe and USA only two IHE people use twitter. I am on since early last year, but after a first couple of checks I could not see value for my work. With the IHE people we have started a Global Water Communicators group on Facebook. IHE’s Laura Kwak has promised me that she will put there simple Twitter applications that should be useful for my communication work.

Twitter made the Tros Radio online programme on Radio 1 on Saturday afternoon. Valerie Frissen (professor ICT and social networks) confirmed my worry: twittering is costing a considerable amount of time. So does using and and other social network communities.

I am looking forward to be convinced that the time I would spend on these are making my writing and communication work easier!