Journalism

Our Jamaica: Hurt is, a story that needs to be released

our jamaica cecile brown

A decade ago, I was working for a newspaper in Cayman. Among other things, each day I was expected to find a ‘Person of the Day’ for the newspaper front-page. This meant going on the hot road to stop random people and ask, “Can I take your photo and you tell me something about yourself?”

In a small country where you might recognize your neighbor or friend on the cover, it actually started to sell papers. It reached the point when the newspaper got complaints from Caymanians, because, ‘Why is it always Jamaicans?!’ Jamaicans were simply willing.

Our Jamaica’s Cecile Brown had a similar realization. But Cecile has the rare gift of empathy, to get people to really unburden themselves. She knows that, universally, everyday people might welcome the chance to speak — and who doesn’t want to feel like they matter for a minute. Continue reading

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Social Good

Failing to consider real people is always the biggest design fail

Denique Ferguson. Photo: OpenUp

Amen, amen & amen is what I kept thinking while helping SlashRoots’ Denique Ferguson put together this blog post. The amount of times I’ve experienced having to work off only assumptions, often faulty, on numerous projects … I can’t count! A specialist in human-centred design, Denique (that’s her standing in the photo) shared her thoughts from a recent trip to run a workshop in Cape Town, South Africa:

There’s a slow realisation among Jamaican organisations that website/app/insert-technology-of-choice-here “users” are living, breathing human beings. And as our society gets more digital, more is at stake when we don’t make room for humanity in our projects.

Read the post on Medium: Are real people at the heart of your digital agenda?

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Business

How the Data Protection Act will change life for small businesses in Jamaica

data protection bill act jamaica

Many businesses might not yet know, but under the proposed Data Protection Act, they could soon have to comply with new measures to protect data privacy. The moment that a cook shop collects a name and mobile number for an order, then by virtue of collecting that information the law will view it as a “Data Controller”. It will then have to register, pay a fee, appoint a “Data Protection Officer” and file an annual report…or pay a fine!

In fact, we as a business will also have to! Our newest client, SlashRoots Foundation, specialise in ICT for development and so are advocating that the legislation better reflect everyday Jamaican realities. SlashRoots principal Matthew McNaughton presented to Parliament Tuesday using the cook shop as an everyday example to break down the implications; and to suggest how the Act could become more practical.

For a simple explanation and recommendations, read Matthew’s 3-minute post on Medium: The Jamaican cook shop: on the frontlines of the new Data Protection Act.

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Social Good, Social Media

U-Report: a new message from Jamaican youth

Christopher Harper UNICEF Jamaica U-Report

‘We can’t reach millennials. Youth today don’t care. They’re always on social media. Etc’ The same complaints us old people (30+) always make. So how does it feel to be a young person today? Like if we ourselves actually cared enough to find a way to involve them…

“It’s difficult” says Christopher Harper, my newest colleague at UNICEF Jamaica who is the project coordinator for U-Report. Launching this year, U-Report is a social messaging tool that polls young people on their favorite messaging and social media apps, plus free SMS.

UNICEF and local partners will then use the data – what young people say, rather than what we think is good for young people – to influence their programs, lobby for change and in the media. Targeting people aged 13-29 years old, the entire project will be youth-led.

For more info, read what Chris has to say on the UNICEF Jamaica blog.

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Social Media

Breaking down my pres to the PSOJ social media conference

psoj social media business conference ross sheil

While the conference theme was #LikesToProfits, and there definitely needs to be more focus on ROI; the starting point is always that we should treat social media as a ‘social’ experience. So, the latest changes to Facebook News Feed which mean you’ll see more from your friends and less from brands seemed like a good place to start the day.

I think the latest update is actually a good thing because it (i) protects the user experience and (ii) forces brands to be less spammy and consider the #1 question: why should anyone want to follow us? However, relying heavily on Facebook will also mean spending more on ADS, but we’ll come to that later… Continue reading

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