Karina and Shakira from Blog Action Day had a chat to our partner BlogUpp about why they are supporting Blog Action Day 2015 and why it is important to #RaiseYourVoice.
What is your name and what do you do at BlogUpp?
I’m Valer, the founder of this blogger service and the supporter of our blogger community. The team can count on me in any situation of our day-to-day running of the service.
What is BlogUpp, where is it based and why are you interested in supporting Blog Action Day?
BlogUpp (aka BlogUp) is a selected blogger community and a content discovery platform. It features blogs worth reading and entertains readers. Furthermore, it generates leads for organizations and awareness for events like Blog Action Day, through multiple interactive content distribution channels.
While the team is based in Spain, our community includes bloggers from all over the world, forming sub-communities based on location and language. It is an honor for us to be a supporting partner of Blog Action Day this year as well and add to the global conversation.
Bloggers have the gift and courage to speak loud about social topics. And since we unite bloggers on a daily basis, I believe we are a perfect fit with Blog Action Day, to help amplify awareness and lead to change for better.
What is BlogUpp’s mission?
It helps bloggers grow and deliver their voice to a broader audience. We achieve that by providing content distribution for content creators, blog promotion for authentic blogs, content discovery for engaged readers and interactive content marketing for organizations.
What are your Raising your Voice about on October 16?
Serving a blogger community we see posts on a wide range of topics. Since there have been proposed several sub-themes for this Blog Action Day, we believe that each one deserves bloggers to raise their voice about. It would be right to leave it up to bloggers to choose the topic that is the closest to them.
We encourage the blogger community to raise their voice in support of those who cannot do it safely and amplify their message on this occasion. Together we could do more and make the voices actually heard. In this context I take the opportunity to highlight the sub-themes, so that bloggers take them further from here.
#JustABlogger – bloggers speak truth and tell stories of social importance. Sometimes risking their lives in doing so, as this causes discomfort for some powerful individuals, groups and unfair governments. Be it about corruption, privacy issues, illegal trading, etc. Mainstream media is often too commercialized and influenced by those who are unfair. And so the bloggers are the ones who shine a light on issues and, sadly, are sometimes attacked for being just a blogger.
Fellow bloggers who have the privilege of being protected by a better democracy, are encouraged on this October 16 to feature the issues other bloggers have been repressed for telling.
#FreeToWrite – the freedom to write and read keeps being under attack, despite the fact that we’ve gone a long way heading towards a better society. Authors, journalists and bloggers must be able to express their ideas freely and should not be punished or censored when criticizing governments and ruling structures.
Readers should have unfettered access to the flow of these ideas and the freedom to respond. With this sub-theme bloggers and participants are invited to tell stories on the importance of the freedom to express.
#GirlsRaiseYourVoice – gender discrimination is still an issue in certain parts of the word, unfortunately. From very young ages to adult women. Bloggers who have stories to tell on gender inequality issues are encouraged to share them on this occasion, so that the world knows and takes further action.
Everyone’s posts on the topics suggested above are invited on October 16.
The hashtag for selected sub-theme (#JustABlogger, #FreeWord or #GirlsRaiseYourVoice) has to be used along with one of the following main hashtags: #BlogActionDay, #RaiseYourVoice or #Oct16. The bloggers who also add the hashtag #BlogUpp – will get a bonus of content distribution across our channels, to amplify their post (provided the blog is part of our community).
The hashtags are particularly relevant on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, since they make it easy for interested fellows to follow a hashtag and discover posts. And when particular hashtags are used by more people at the same time – they get a lot more attention and traction.
That is why Blog Action Day is a really smart initiative, which can actually amplify messages and trigger social change.
Why is blogging and open access to the internet important?
Following the thought expressed above – mainstream media is not always reflecting stories as they actually are. Because they are often influenced and controlled.
That is where individual bloggers come with unbiased input that is invaluable for creating the public opinion correctly. And since Internet has the unique power to spread messages and ideas all over the world in an instant – open access to it is more than a necessity.
Why do you think that it is important for people to Raise their voices?
Issues don’t get solved if they are not elevated. When few individuals are speaking of an issue, it doesn’t get the attention required for action to be taken. Raising voices united could really be powerful. And we at BlogUpp would like to express appreciation to Blog Action Day team and the community for the noble act done for the world. Thank you!
Who do you find inspiring for raising their voice?
Throughout the history there have been many individuals whom I admire for their courage to speak out loud about issues. Starting with martyrs in the ancient times to nowadays heroes. For me, the best example of courage and dedication to a social cause is Mahatma Gandhi – who managed to change an entire nation and continues to inspire the world with the philosophy he left to us.
What can ordinary people do to highlight a situation or support someone who voice has been silenced?
It’s about spreading the word and take action when reasonable. Not everyone blogs and writes in-depth stories, but most are nowadays on social networks, where one could share with his/her network a link, a media piece or a few words to build awareness. And when issues get into attention, they tend to be solved.
Talking about unpopular or difficult issues can be hard. What tips do you have for bloggers who may not have spoken about difficult issues before?
You are right; there are countries where it’s not safe speaking openly about issues. Internet now allows connecting individuals, bloggers, journalists and humanitarian organizations from different parts of the world. Sending a note to those who can share and elevate a message safely can go a long way.
Also initiating support causes on online communities can get a lot of traction. This way the initiator and message sender could be a lot safer, which is very important.
If bloggers could do one thing today to make a difference what would it be?
Unite and participate in Blog Action Day. It’s an opportunity that we have only once a year and could be a shot of a lifetime.
How do you think that an event like Blog Action Day can make a difference?
By joining voices in an orchestra, which plays to lots of listeners what needs to be heard – Blog Action Day has the power to bring change. And we at BlogUpp are proud to be a part of it.
Join Valer and the rest of the BlogUpp community, take part in Blog Action Day and #RaiseYourVoice