Caribbean Communicators 5 Tips When U Join the Conversation

Are our Caribbean accents destined to disappear? Imagine the Caribbean without the intricate island accents.  The world around our sparkling waters is changing and so are we. In the social media realm, our accents now blend seamlessly with those of N.America, Europe and as far afield as Asia and Africa’s southernmost regions. LOL you say? If so, you make my point.

The positive aspects of this change allow for our voices to be seen as credible and not forever dismissed by our obvious accents that can cause our messages to face extra challenges of interpretation. One need only turn to our blogs: 5am at mango media caribbean, Trinidad Carnival Diary for example or read our websites http://lyndersaydigital.com/, Tribe or even Guardian.co.tt and you will see a snapshot of who we are – a people defined by our culture – the basic underpinning of communication. So thus, given that communication IS culture, is culture about to become amorphous?

We can fight that. 5 things all Caribbean Communicators can do to keep our cultures alive in the global conversation are:

  1. ACTIVELY UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA: Social media is MORE than FACEBOOK. Communicators register for every site possible – Digg.com, Ustream.tv, Youtube.com and others. Let’s join the conversation.
  2. PARTICIPATE IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE: When you join the conversation, speak in YOUR language. Create OUR own terms. My cousins and I joke about “Trinibreviations” for Facebook and Twitter – YMOW (Yah mad or what!), Water More than Flour) and my personal favorite  WUL? (Where you limin?). Use OUR slang, teach the world our phrases and share our culture through your words.
  3. IMBED LINKS TO LOCAL SITES & RESOURCES: Share our culture through links & track them with bitly.com and others. You can showcase our culture to the world, bring business to our shores (even if digital) and, more importantly, shape the conversation and give the Caribbean a voice in the global realm of Web 2.0.
  4. EDUCATE: Share your slides and presentations, talk about your experiences at conferences like EventologyTT and IABCTT activities, tell the world we are a smart people and we have something to offer – if they would just visit our sites
  5. EMPOWER: Empower your networks to do the same. Drag the aunties and grannies, the “helpers” and “fellas” to start groups and chats on our culture, politics, festivals and activities. Empower through community and then ask the world to join the conversations YOU start.

SO, Caribbean Communicators – Go Forth and communicate. The world awaits!

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9 Responses to “Caribbean Communicators 5 Tips When U Join the Conversation”

  1. Nneka Says:

    Good job Dani. I agree wholeheartedly. And the interesting is that we are not starting fresh; there are many who have been making their voices heard in the social media conversation for some time now. We can learn from them even as we chart our individual / corporate course. Cheers.

  2. Marc Says:

    I doh say LOL, I say cyah cyah cyah 😀

  3. Marc Says:

    Seriously though, Danielle – the world already knows that we are smart and have something to offer. It’s our own Caribbean people who, for whatever reason, are so disinclined to network amongst ourselves.

    We rather steups and watch each other cuteye and then put on nice face for the foreigners.

    • caribbeancontessa Says:

      Marc, I think we still have a lot to show the world by way of social media discussions – including OUR own worlds (like the neighbour dong d street who eh know jack about that “computa ting”). So I agree we watch each other cut eye (and hoarde info) BUT we need to fight the power and refrain from same in public space too. I cyah wait to see how many trinis read the blog.

      BTW I set up an alternate version on Blogger to follow my own advice and show my aunts about blogging and blipfm.com WHICH BTW actually has machel montano! Go figure!

  4. Mark Lyndersay Says:

    Hey
    Thanks for mentioning the website! Appreciate it. Adding you to my blogroll, so keep posting!

  5. Mira Chaikin Says:

    What about ideas? Behind accents, there’s culture – values, belief systems, perceptions. Modern society can be looked at times, as if it is anti-all-culture except the modern-here-and-now.
    There’s a Caribbean American author by the name of Lili Dauphin. She faces this dilemma. She writes about Haiti in a series of books based n the life of Tilou, a young Haitian girl. Some things in Haitian culture are downright destructive such as the tradition of restaveks or child slavery. One of her books “I Will Fly Again The Restavek” is about such a child slave.
    Another cultural aspect is their spirituality which encourages the people to attribute the cause of all events to spirits. A valid argument that she made in her most recent book “Golden Soul”, was that children weren’t dying because of spirit possession but by a strain of the flu.
    But the flip side? Are these people seeing a metaphysical side to life which modern people are blind to? Please, we often don’t look for ourselves to discover what the weather wlll be. We check with the weatherman.

  6. Miss B Says:

    I read this post at just the right time!

    I’m currently studying in NYC, hoping to be able to establish myself in T&T’s communication industry in the next year and a half.

    This is my first time studying abroad and the thing I am most conscious about is my accent. I feel as though I am not taken seriously (for whatever reason) and I am always worried about being understood.

    Reading this posts and the comments makes be realize how significant it is for me to get over this discomfort. Only recently I’ve started to increase my online presence, and I am definitely going to start implementing your five tips!

    Great post!

    • caribbeancontessa Says:

      I just read this post and it made me smile. Be yourself and be confident. First two steps in being successful! Glad you liked the post.

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