God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

23.03.2010 Blog and HOPE Cape Town

For the second time in one week I was asked about the link between HOPE Cape Town and my blog. Some people feel that it is not right to have a permanent link between the official HOPE Cape Town website and my blog. Of course if the majority of management is the same opinion I will make sure that the permanent link will disappear. I always believed that no project is self-sufficient and above the daily realities and that all work takes place in the midst of daily life and all what makes headlines around the world. The global village is meanwhile very much connected. Also linking increases the traffic and brings people to visit the virtual HOPE Cape Town via the blog page. So I personally like to see the full picture and I myself love to know more around subjects or projects I am interested in. At the end the development of a project always depends also on the living experience of people guiding and driving the project.

But I have to accept that others find this unacceptable or even disturbing to link personal experience and the professional stand in the world-wide web.

Reflecting on that I also contemplate sometimes the role I play for HOPE Cape Town. Being in parts of Germany “the face” of the organization is as much pleasure as it can be burden. But only when you personalize and let people identify a project with a face and a person, then trust can be build up which leads to support of all kinds. I sometimes have the impression that being a figure-head can be overwhelming for others who would like to promote more the work and cut down on personal limelight. I would be glad if it would be that easy – I think the world does not tick like it. What interesting studies could be done on such a subject.

Well, I definitely will remove the link on the HOPE Cape Town website if need be, even if I am convinced that this cuts off a lot of traffic HOPE Cape Town needs – and the obviously also the other way around the blog receives visitors from the HOPE Cape Town website. A dynamic of web traffic as it should be the case when linking websites. But only, if people want it… For me life goes on with or without linking and I will continue the blog as a way of communicating with many people hopefully continuing to show interest in the work of HOPE Cape Town.

Filed under: Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , ,

One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. Christina Strohm says:

    HOPE-fully those people thinking about off-linking Stefan’s blog from the official HOPE Cape Town site change their mind. In nowadays – especially within the “new” media – it’s vitally crucial to link and network. More than ever in history before people thus hold a powerful tool in hands to stand-up and show-up in big numbers against the so-called official political or administrative “public” opinion. Never before people could speak-out so loud and on such a wide range for a good cause and against injustice or questionable structures. Whatever the virtual globalization may bring us bad, it also brings authority and power to the people at the base.

    So whoever will have an influence on the decision to off-link Stefan’s blog from the HOPE Cape Town website will also have to follow-up and study the latest expertise about social media and its power and potential to bring forward a common goal.

    And yes, people stick to people’s faces. The more unpersonal and faceless an organisation – be it a NGO or whatever – becomes the more distances itself from the readiness of its followers to share, live and suffer with it. Personalities, faces, real blood-and-flesh-people connect an organisation more easily to the people that are supposed to support it. Humans are – as they have always been – eye-controlled creatures. They always watch-out for eye contact in order to make a decision about good or bad. Best example for such mechanisms could be watched during Barack Obama’s presidential campain in the United States. People are more willing to follow and support if the face (what means not only the face but the whole personality behind) inspires confidence.

    Any organisation or institution in the world will be identified with its human representatives because a human mostly measures the world by human criteria. Although we all know how important it is to evaluate on an objective basis we can’t free ourselves from keeping our eyes on subjective influences because we’re eye-controlled creatures. And yes, this might be a burden for the organisation’s or institution’s representatives – but hey, why do we always look on the negative side? Let’s turn around, change our view and see instead the million of chances offered by this interrelation story?

HIV, Development and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and social development in Africa has its challenges. You will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa, about politics and whatever triggers my interest. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me. Blogging means to initiate thoughts and discussions and for the writer to formulate what is loosely running around in the heart and mind in need of being sorted and spoken out.

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