Thursday, June 30, 2005

EP Category 8: Young professionals till 30 years and students

The category Young professionals and students is always a special one. You can read the new trends in their entries. This was certainly true for this year. Important was the Saxion entry. This was an installation and a multi-disciplinary exercise. Also the NS Game was a multi-disciplinary exercise. Some entries came from schools which have participated before. But we could also welcome two new schools. It was a little meagre for the effort that Wim and I undertook to promote the in schools. But I guess that it take a long breath. Last week Mariet, an old coleague of mine from the encyclopedia years way back, told me that the Institute of Interactive Media in Amsterdam will particpate in the European competition EUROPRIX Top talent Award 2005; next year they will also participate in the, she promised. Last night the students had their own school competition (see under).

The nominations of this year are the following:

Emiel Haring (GMT / HRO) – De Oranjes
For the game portal of the Rotterdam College several students of Graphic Media Technology department have developed a Flash internet game. In this game Dutch royals of the Oranje family, like crown prince Willem-Alexander, princess Maxima and princess Amalia play leading parts. By playing mini-games the time schedule of the royal family is being presented. At first the user plays the part of princess Amalia. After registering your name, a short clip on princess Amalia appears followed by a mini-game. The first assignment is to throw teddy bears at a creepy man. During the entire game Flash animations and mini-games alternate. When the first phase of the game with princess Amalia has been completed, the user assumes the role of princess Maxima and after then the role of prince Willem-Alexander. A nice detail is that in the game you spend the same day from 3 different perspectives. The score of each mini-game is added up and at the end the game, if your score is satisfactory your name will be inserted in ranking board of the website. The funny sounds and the animated graphics of the mini-games make it a nice game, which can be played three times from different perspectives.

Kasper Kamperman / Sebastiaan Elstgeest (KT / Saxion) – Extract Project
The Extract Project is a new entertainment concept in which scenery, light and visuals join music. These four ingredients all play an equal part in the final result. The Extract Project is the graduation project of 2 students of the Saxion College of Advanced Education, Sebastiaan Elstgeest and Kasper Kamperman. The name Extract refers to the dissecting of audible and visual content to allow translation of this content to other senses. The primary goal of their project was to create an experience which starts with the integration of music visuals, light and space and ends with delivering the proof that combined media have an enhancing effect upon each other. Besides that, the visitors can within certain limits influence the experience. An important element herein is the lounging furniture, the students designed. The audience public can experience this special type of furniture, while at the same time the furniture is an integrated part of the experience itself with its multiple synchronised light effects coming from the heart of the furniture piece. It is very important to direct the audiences to the music and its visualisation. All their senses must be stimulated in such a way as if they were part of the video clip. By means of specially programmed software the music can be translated into light and visuals, also allowing light effects coming from the directions of the sound. The combination of technical equipment and the special software to control the show allows to direct and present the concept as one single unity. To fully create this unity, the music, the visuals and the 3D animations have been especially developed for this project and no use has been made of existing material, leading to the ultima forma of a completely new integrated entertainment concept.

Willempje Vrins (KMT / HKU) – NS Game
Students of the Art College in Utrecht (HKU) have developed an interactive game, in order to let the employees of the NS, the Dutch Railway Corporation, communicate better among themselves and to make clear who is responsible for what task. Purpose of this game is to give insight in the complexity of the organisation, resulting into the creation of goodwill to the NS as employer. This is achieved by giving the player the role of an outsider, who gets to know the responsibilities of the different employees of the NS during the game. The player gets notifications of problems about trains during the game. He should give the proper task to the right type of employee, who is responsible for solving the problem. The task of the HKU project team was to create a proof of concept. This consists of a written feasibility report and a demo of the computer game. This demo should demonstrate the basic functionality of the full game on the one hand and win the over the employees for the final game. (The Dutch Railway Corporation has in the meantime placed the assignment for the development of the definite game). The game has been developed by a team people from different disciplines such as Interaction Design, Psychology, Digital Media Design and Media and Cultuur. The NS game is programmed in Java and because of this, the result is a platform independent product.

Pim Tiemessen (KMT / KHU) – Abraham Travels
Students of the Arts College in Utrecht (HKU) have built a dynamic interactieve website for the Jewish Historical Museum. Visitors can read, listen, watch and interact with the web story of Abraham, a nineteen years old teenager who lived in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 20th century. Abraham travelled together with his friends Gerard and Frans through different countries like Germany, England and Palestine. This all on foot! The web story is a log of their travels and is divided up in chapters. By clicking on a chapter the leaves are turned; this is part and parcel of the lay-out and navigation. An animation shows that the user is turning pages of the book. In every chapter an animation can be opened. The story is told by means of moving images, spoken and written text and music. Pictures of people and landscapes in sepia colors show the atmosphere in the animation of that period. It is also possible to hear David speak. He comments on the story and compares the story of then with the present time. Images and press cuttings can be viewed. Historical facts relating to the journey are inserted aas loose pieces of paper hidden in Abraham’s book. This interactive website with beautiful graphics is build in Flash and animations are well done. The Flash animation of David is integrated very well in the website. The animations are innovative and there is an excelling interaction with the video material.

Presentation Oranjes Saxion student

NS Game Abrahams'Travel

The Extract project was the winner in this category. The installation is interesting. The concept works with synaesthesia. It was a multi-disciplinary project.

(Last night the students of the Institute of Interactive Media in Amsterdam had their own competition under the name Golden Dot. Students in interactive media work on projects for external clients in the public sector from the beginning of their course.

Nominated for the Golden Dot are the following entries:

Wartrauma: Online knowledge ban for the organisation Wartrauma, to be used for the communication with doners, field workers and Dutch and foreign experts.

Interpeut*: online self help system for psycho therapy including an encyclopedia on assignment of Marjo Vogel, psycho therapist.
Know thy neighbours (Kent uw buren): an interactive sequel to an existing TV format of the Amsterdam TV station AT5, based on Sixteen million people, a survey among the Dutch by the Prime Minister's Office.
BEB*: an interactive concept to have pupils eat and move more consciously, again based on Sixteen Million People, a survey among the Dutch by the Prime Minister's Office.

Poëcinema: an interactive exhibition to support a animation-poetry project by the Bernard Nieuwtijt College
Green internet (Groen Internet): website and campaign for a safer internet in young families on the assignment of SIF (Safe Internet Foundation)
Childres'paper (Kinderkrant): an interactive concept for pupils of the primary school to produce a newspaper on racism and facism on the assignment of Stichting Kindermonument
Funnel (Trechter)*: an interactive solution to animate poetry on assignment of Bernard Nieuwetijt College.

* Winners. Interpeut was the winner of the Golden Dot by the standards of the Jury and the audience.

The jury members judging these entries were:
- Eveline Aendekerke, managing director Lost Boys
- Eric Castien, internet entrepreneur, ex The Box
- Raoul Kuiper, Tribal DDB
- Ad de Bont, interaction designer VPRO 3 voor 12
- Corinne Vos, projectl manager KPN i-mode

The Institute started in 2002 and has now 350 students and 25 instructors.

The Institute offers courses to become Interactive Media Professionals who can help find, design, develop and manage solutions. The Institute aims at students who want to work on socially relevant applications of interactive media.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

EP category 7: Mobile Media

Mobile Media is a category with fluctuating entries. Last year there was no entry at all. On the 2004 site, on the DVD and in the booklet it said, that due to a lack of entries, there are no nominees in this category. This year we were more blessed. In fact we had even a prestigious entry from Media Republic. I guess this year with UMTS/3G coming on stream more application would be around. Yet there was only one 3G application: 2GOTV. But there were also GPRS applications and one PDA application. Pitifull enough we did not have the entry of Frequency 1550, an e-learning application produced by the Waag and KPN.

The following entries have been nominated:

Bookmark – Engin Go! Magazine
Engin Go!, a product of the Dutch Automobile Association, is a navigation system for your PDA. The software is able to interpret the actual traffic situations. Engin Go! has an extensive route planner and ride registration system. The magazine to the route planner informs about special destinations like restaurants, gas-stations, parking places and relax tips. The content of this online magazine can be downloaded to a PDA. The users do not only receive information on addresses but also information about nice spots to vist. The user is able to choose multiple magazines, which contain information about cities and hotspots in the city. Newly released magazines can be downloaded from the engine go website. Users can register for free and download these magazines to their computer. Transfer them from your computer to the PDA and off you go. Engin Go! Also has electronic vouchers for discounts. The large screen on a PDA is excellent and guarantees good legibity.

Kunstgebouw – Codex Kodanski
What is history? This question could only be answered up to now with books and museums. Not with Codex Kodanski, a multimedia journey through reality, history and the archives of Rotterdam Museum Het Schielandhuis. The journey can not be experienced in the museum, but in the city of Rotterdam itself. Kunstgebouw cooperated with the Hootchie Cootchie Mediacollective to develop and realise this project both technically and creatively. Codex Kodanski is an exciting four-dimensional interactive radio play through downtown Rotterdam. Walking about, the participant hears the voice of the protagonist, the compulsive and paranoid Kodanski, in his head. With the aid of headphones and high tech navigation equipment the participant gains entry to an entirely different city, hidden behind the visible. The main part of Rotterdam is practically invisible; the city contains much more information than it reveals at first sight. Participants in Codex Kodanski enter in this invisible realm. Facts, fiction, city history and statistical data combine and mix into an exciting tale about and through the city. First, there is a short introductory movie. After this, the participants dresses up with their gear, consisting of a GPS device, a PDA and earphones, with which they enter their adventure. This project has made proficient use of a great variety of new software; the GPS and PDA devices have been re-purposed. The visitors of the Schielandhuis are able to track the participants in real time and follow them on their unpredictable journey through the city on a big screen.

Media Republic – 2GOTV, Nederlands eerste mobiele televisiezender
2GOTV is the first mobile television channel that only broadcasts to mobile phones in the Netherlands. This channel is an initiative of mobile phone provider Vodafone Nederland and Media Republic, a digital media and entertainment company, specialised in innovative forms of entertainment. Broadcasts of 2GOTV are especially tunes to the display on mobile phones. That means quick and perfect images; fuzzy close-ups are out of order. The programs are compact and the subjects are well accessible. The line-up of known hosts attracts a young affluent audience. 2GOTV has a number of themes which are updated daily and every theme is presented by a well known television personality with a strong affinity for the subject. The line-up of themes is Business, Gossip, Cars and Fashion. New artists and shows are added regularly. The shows are broadcasted using UMTS, so for the first time in history, an acceptable image quality can be achieved on a mobile telephone. Before the introduction of 2GOTV, the biggest complaint from consumers about UMTS was the lack of content, but that has changed now with 2GOTV. It offers variation and makes UMTS attractive to the consumer. People without an UMTS phone can also view the shows by accessing Internet.

The jury chose for the Codex Kodanski and not for 2GOTV. This was surprising as 2GOTV had all the hallmarks of a winner: 3G, Dutch VIPs, short movies. On the other hand Codex had cultural and engaging aspects to it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

EP Category 6: First steps in multimedia

This is a difficult category in interpretation. Does the category title mean that it is for kid productions as kids set their first steps in multimedia? Or is the category intended for institutes making their first productions. Last year the producers did not enter any product in this category. But this year there were some interesting. As you can see Bookmark the producers of the European Cadillac site were present with Kaboem. had participated earlier with Locationnet, a navigation system and routeplanner; now they entered something completely different: Villa Red Nose.

Bookmark –
Youngsters from 9 until 15 years old meet each other on the website This website with games, competitions, polls, a radio and a chatbox is developed by Bookmark, a company that consults with companies and assists with the organization, implementation and integration of interactive marketing and multi channel marketing strategies. The youngsters have the leading part on this website. By polls, short surveys, they can influence the content of the website. Polling is also used to refresh the knowledge of the target group continuously. By using the Kaboem platform, commercial- and non-profit parties can be in touch with this homogeneous target group, which is barely being served by the current media. It is a very interesting from a commercial point of view. exists of four sections: Boys Only, Girls Only, Music and Fun. Users have to register and based on the sex he or she is redirected to the Boys or Girls only webpage. On the Girls Only page girls read about Glitter and Glamour, Soaps & stars and Love. On the other hand the Boys Only webpage is all about babes, games and sports. The website is filled with information, humor, games, polls and competitions. On a notice-board A visitor can chat or leave a message. In the section Hotspots a member can make a personal homepage with photographs and text and maintain it. Visitors of these homepages can leave messages for the creator of the page. – Villa Neuzenroode
Recent developments reveal that ill children spend less time in hospital, but an increasing amount of time at home. CliniClowns Netherlands, which mission it is to deliver support and distraction for all ill children, hospitalised and nursed at home, has set up its internet application Villa Neuzenroode. This website has been developed by with the specific needs and requirements of ill children in mind. is an organisation which develops online applications with usability and accessibility for the end user in mind at all times. They are responsible for the development, design, and realisation of Villa Neuzenroode. The volunteers of CliniClowns were, due to their success, no longer able to maintain their high rates of visitating ill children. Therefore an online experience was set up which makes optimal use of the possibilities Internet has to offer. Villa Neuzenroode is inhabited by real life clowns, and children are always welcome here. A unique feature of Villa Neuzenroode is the webcam contact that CliniClowns can maintain with children at home. But this is not the only feature Villa Neuzenroode has to offer: it has 24/7 distraction and pleasure for children by various games, video’s, images and photographs of the CliniClowns and online do-it-yourself music compositions. If the child has no interest in active participation, there is the option for stories to be told. Villa Neuzenroode is a multi-user flash-environment in which all technological possibilities available have been brought together with the single goal of facilitating and enabling the optimal online clown-child interaction. The webcam-features and multiple chat rooms form a major part of this. The content of Villa Neuzenroode can be completely delivered by the clowns, and this way it’s very easy to add new movies and activities to the site by the requirements of the moment, thereby allowing suitable entertainment and enlightenment for the most vulnerable of our children, always and everywhere.

Villa Neuzenroode did win the category award. Not surprisingly, I guess. It is their first claim to fame and thier first award since the opening of the site last month. It is a sympathetic cause. Clowns help kids and kids can keep themselves busy by looking at movies, but they can also make drawings and send them in and make music. And through the webcam, the kid has contact with a clown.

Monday, June 27, 2005

EP Category 5: Citizens, Democracy and e-Government

This category should be popular, you think. Well forget it. The government has its own competition in this field as a promotion among municipalities, provinces and government institutes. Besides the government hands out an award and 10.000 euro for the winner. Well can not compete with this. And it should not. For the accent in the Webawards competition of the government is not as much on the content, but on the complete services package of a municipality. And only lately they discovered that accessibility is an important issue. Last year we had two interesting nominations. One entry of the Childrens’ Hospital in Utrecht,; they lost last year, but I recently saw that they won a SAM award (good for them). The other entry was for the use of video streams in council meetings, a product developed by Noterik. This year the jury nominated only one product: Face your world.

Stichting Face Your World – Face Your World
Face your world means: Stand up for your own world, make the world to your liking and embrace your world. Face your world encourages teenagers to participate in city renewal en to have a critical opinion about their own home environment. Jeanne van Heeswijk stimulates youngsters to interfere in this process, and to show that their opinion is relevant. As a result of this process youngsters will get a clear view of this world and tell them how to direct their influence. The interactor software has specially been developed and is a unique product. There is no other tool available that can compare to all these possibilities together. This piece of multi-user software enables youngsters to rebuild their world with their own imagination, creativity, and arguments, while the results can be accessed immediately. The software combines urban renewal, graphical art, design, communication and philosophy together. The created environment is a photographical 3 dimensional representation, which enables the user to see the result of it’s modification instantly. The software can be used for education purposes, but also for governmental processes. The actual model is used to achieve participation in urban renewal.

Jeanne van Heeswijk of the Face Your World Foundation at the public jury session

Face your world did win the category award. Of course the jury still had the option not to award a proze in this category. Yet it is an interesting concept of using software in a an urban renewal project by people living in the area.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

EP Category 4: e-Business

Category 4 is a difficult category. What is e-Business? The formulation for this category is very open. And the entries confirm that. We have interactive advertisements, medical software, lead management systems, annual reports, corporate presentations and marketplaces. It is clear that we will have to be more precise about the category next year and leave interactive advertisements to the Dutch Spinawards. Yet the quality in this category is very, very high. It is a pity that entry eventually does not participate as it does not want the jury to inspect the site; the producers want to come and present their site. But the rules of The are that you can only come and present your site after that you have been nominated.

Yet, the jury had quite a discussion about this category and liked to go beyond the rules and nominated four entries.

Bookmark – Cadillac SRX
Once Cadillac was famous for its large gas consuming cars; now the car is state of art, stylish and a modern brand. All of these characteristics are combined in the Cadillac SRX: The New Look of Cadillac. In order to entice new European customers and to seduce them into purchasing a Cadillac, an extensive cross-media campaign has been set up with the sole purpose of getting the commitment of a customer at the earliest possible stage. This campaign has been devised and set up by Bookmark, a company that focuses on consultancy and support for companies on organising, implementing and integrating interactive marketing and multi-channel marketing strategies. An important part of this campaign is the “Hotspots” contest, for which consumers were encouraged to go to a special website. The goal of the contest was to collect Hotspots: exclusive modern and dynamic locations throughout Europe that fit the image of the Cadillac SRX. Consumers could enter their own “Hotspot” in the contest, and the winning entry was rewarded with a trip. The best “Hotspots” have been collected in a book which was handed out to customers after a test drive. The entire campaign consisted of several stages. In the preliminary stage, the data was acquired with which potential customers were attracted. This was followed by an information phase in which the customer was introduced to the new Cadillac and redirected to the special website. Finally there was the test drive phase for which potential buyers were contacted by a mailing, containing a CD-ROM, and with this mailing the customer could apply for a test drive. Mailing, website and CD-ROM were designed with Flash and Director in a modern and dynamic look that breathes a sense of style and exclusiveness, as does the Cadillac SRX.

KSYOS – KSYOS Client Safe
The Client Safe is the KSYOS version of the electronic patient file. The Client Safe enables a 24/7 accessibility via the internet of the file for authorised persons only, and is primarily used for medical purposes. Patient records that are stored in different physical locations can be accessed via one single system. KSYOS specialises in designing new methods of assisting health care services, and her mission is to improve the accessibility of health care by improving the efficiency on the supplying side. This will be of the utmost importance, as the demand for health care will increase in the coming years. The Client Safe combines paper-based patient files with ICT-functionalities. The KSYOS-applications have been based on the “three certificate model” installed by the government, Public Key Infrastructure or PKI. With this Public Key Infrastructure patient’s files can be digitally signed, when its content is agreed upon. It also incorporates the use of a unique identification card, which allows the digital exchange of patient data, only be read by authorized persons. This way, patients can consult with their physicians and safely make appointments using the internet. As with the card, all of the patients data can be traced, controlled and accessed, it automatically leads to an electronic patient file, the Client Safe. There are no systems presently available that allow the same functionalities and meets the same standards as the Client Safe. When building the portal, KSYOS used XML technology and incorporated the Three Certificate Model. The system does not only allow the entry of textual patient data but allows also graphic images and photographs to be attached to the file. This allows the physician in charge as well as the patient to actually look at the complaints digitally, resulting in true, safe and real-time accessibility anywhere.

MediaMonks– Game Boy Advance SP Tribal Edition
This website services his purpose, creating a mystic environment around the product. The new Game Boy Advance SP Tribal edition is just an ordinary game boy, only the look has been changed. By promoting the lifestyle aspect and the tribal tattoo MediaMonks is trying to attach a new group of interest. For the promotion a new interactive flash site was developed. The flash site offers an online adventure game. The user is able to walk in an area where he receives pieces of information about the new Game Boy Advance SP. The game pushes the mood of the product into the spotlight. MediaMonks, the creators of the site, have used 3D graphics and beautiful animations. The creation of the mysterious mood, and the life aspects that are shown, are central in this brilliant promotion campaign.

Talmon Communicatie – Jaarverslag WNF 2003 – 2004
The Dutch nature conservation organization WNF has chosen for an interactive presentation of their annual report on CD-ROM. The annual report is produced by Talmon Communicatie and serves as an explanation of the financial statement of the WNF. Furthermore, the members and donors of the WNF are being informed about the area of work and the projects. In his introduction Karel Vuursteen, chairman of WNF Netherlands, thanks the members and donors, while beautiful images of nature accompany his speech. With text, photographs and video the objectives and activities of the WNF are being explained. A navigation bar, under in the screen, points the user to several parts on the CD-ROM. The button “werkterreinen” (working areas) leads the user to a page with animated buttons. On the CD-ROM various movie clips of high quality can be found. In these clips employees of WNF tell about what their activities. These projects are being explained by movie clips as well was by text and images. A very nice part of the CD-ROM is the financial statement, usually presented in a boring way, but now in a playful way. The panda bear, the icon for the WNF, ldirects coins to different cups to illustrate their destination. The product is characterized by high quality movie clips, transparent navigation, nice images, clear texts, a neat lay-out and playful animations. The CD-ROM is being presented in a nice package and satisfies its objective.

MediaMonks presents at the public jury session

In the end the MediaMonks won the category award. In one of the comments to the press release, a sympathiser thought that it was righteously so.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Dutch snippets of the week

Dutch flag

Chatbox moderation

Bullying, hate mail and sexual harassment on internet happen in the chatrooms for youngsters daily. Recently the Youth journal, the Dutch news site for youngster, closed the chatroom as the children were only talking about sex. Now a group of operators of youngsters’ sites like TMF. Kaboem,, Jetix,, CU2 and Sugababes have taken measures to keep the chatroom a happy place. In practice it means that youngsters will have to behave online in the same way as in daily life. Help buttons will be made clearly visible on the sites and the operators are obliged to answer a mail with complaints or questions within two days. Also moderators will supervise the conversations. And anonymous registration is no longer possible.

Parents do not worry about their childrens’ behaviour

A survey by internet ISP Wanadoo held among 450 children and parents as well as among pupils of four schools reveals that parents do not worry about the use of Internet. 64 per cent of the parents have instructed their children what sites they are not allowed to visit (sex, porn, hate and horror sites as well as gambling sites). But they do not take explicit measures for safe Internet by accompanying the kids on Internet, putting the computer in the living room, check the e-mail or the MSN contact list. Only 24 per cent of the parents has applied a parental control program.

Banks work on the introduction of Ideal

The group of Dutch banks are to introduce a new internet payment system. ABN Amro, ING Bank, Postbank and Rabobank are to introduce iDeal, which looks like a digital version of pin payment systems. The system is especially developed for web shops. The system does not use creditcards. For a demonstration have a look at the Rabo site.

Dutch public broadcast to be changed

The Dutch public broadcast system will be reorganised over the next three years. Programs will be stopped, budgets reduced and NPS, a broadcast organisation without members, will be discontinued.

NRC Handelsblad 10 years online

The website of the Dutch quality newspaper NRC Handelsblad exists 10 years. The site is now in version 4. It has gone from a free site to a site, where users have to sign up. In the meantime the newspaper is promoting its hybrid subscription, for which a subscriber receives a daily electronic copy, except for the Saturday edition.

Friday, June 24, 2005

EP Category 3: Interactive fiction and storytelling

The category Interactive fiction and storytelling did not attract too many entries. But the ones that were entered were of high quality. It is also typical that the companies that enter productions always think that it should be productions for children. Interactive storytelling does not yet solicit entries like games such as or the CD-ROM Ceremony of Innocence. Recently when I was judging for the EPPY Awards (mainly newspapers) I saw a fine example of digital storytelling. To me in fact it was a digital monument to the victims of The Madrid bombing in 2004, produced by the Spanish newspaper El Pais. In The Netherlands I have not seen the likes of such a production yet, not by newspapers, magazines or any digital production yet. Who knows some day we may be surprised.

The nominations for this category were:

Pluk van de Petterflet is an evergreen for Dutch children. Originally it was pictural storybook, recently turned into a succesful movie and now converted into a CD-ROM production. In the story, children step in the shoes of Pluk and meet the animal friends of the movie. They learn writing and counting while playing. This CD-Rom was developed by IJsfontein, accompany which produces CD-Roms, websites and other interactive products and is specialised in productions for children. When Pluk van de Petteflet is started up, you see a square with signposts containing various icons. They can be clicked on in order to start a game. These games vary from counting with a werewolf to juggling with Zaza’s apples. With the games, the varying age of children is kept in mind, so for every child there’s something to enjoy, from 3 to 7 years old. Children who can not read, can play without any problems, as there is spoken help for every game. The voices are spoken by the same people as in the movie, like Karin Bloemen, Marc-Marie Huijbrechts and Dolf Jansen. The CD-Rom is protected with a children’s lock, so it can only be exited when a password is entered. In this way, children can be left alone with the game, without any risk that they’ll do something harmful to the computer. The cd can also be played in an audio cd player so that a child can listen to all the songs from the movie.

IJsfontein Interactieve Media– Sketch Studio
IJsfontein has developed Sketch Studio as an interactive flash game. This online game combines education and entertainment. The user is able to create his own sketch by handling the creative user interface which contains five simple steps. The sketch contains not only a background and attributes but also characters who are known from the Dutch educational television program called Klokhuis. After building the actual sketch, the user is able to attribute actions to the persons and add sounds to the sketch. The user can also use his own voice in the sketch. When the user is done he can create a leader and save the created sketch. After the sketch has been saved, the sketch can be mailed as an e-card. With Sketch Studio kids have the opportunity to create their own web content and share it with other children. They also learn how sketches are produced, how humour works and they get familiar with the internet. Sketch Studio shows a new way of storytelling and of learning through the internet. IJsfontein has created an advanced e-learning flash application that fits the target group. By using the original characters of the television program Klokhuis it also creates a link with the program and an extension to it.

The funny thing about the nominations was that both entries were produced by IJsfontein. So it was an internal competition for the company, but not for the companies that placed the order. Despite the fact that Pluk of the Petterflet is a national juvenile monument, it was not selected as category winner. Sketch Studio was the winner. Technically this entry was very interesting, but also as entertainment it is a winner. The website is an extension of a television program; so themes can extended to the website, but also viewers’ contribution can become part of the television show.

(BTW Just got an e-mail from my Finnish friend Cai. He tells me that he is shtting up his computer for the weekend as it is "Juhannus"-eve, the mid-summer festival in Finland. Towns close down, everybody goes to countryside with families and friends, burn huge "kokko"-fires under the mid-night sun, get drunk and sink into one of the 165.000 lakes. Happy Johannus eve, my Finnish friends!)

This is Cai sitting next to our Portugese friend Conceicao Casanova.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

EP Category 2: Learning and e-Education

This category is also a favourite one. The organisation receives many entries in this category. The entries usually range from applications for schools to training programs for companies. The school products range from websites for small kids to primary and secondary schools. The training products are intended for companies like ABN, but also for self training. Surprising was the very high level of the entries this year in terms of content and multimedia. But some products which have a big product name in the print book market failed to come through the first selection. But the boys of Ranj did it again with the successor Pool Paradise to the award winning CD-ROM production Professionals.

Three products were nominated:

Maassen Consulting – KENNISSENnet (
KENNISSENnet offers children in the higher classes of the primary schools support with writing of their projects. A pupil can coolaborate in these projects with another pupil, even from another school. This Internet application has been developed by Maassen Consulting, a software development and consulting comapny, specialised in interactive communication and knowledge management, e-learning and e-business. The website enables young children to communicate remotely. This communication is either through a forum or a chatbox. After a child has logged in, he or she can invite a friend to collaborate on a project, for example about mushrooms. If the other child is interested, he or she can accept the invitation and start working on the project. When a child – with or without a friend – has chosen a subject, he or she can fill in a form telling what he or she is eager to learn about the subject. A pupil can also maintain a log and a planner. The teacher is of course not excluded. Teachers can monitor the progress of the children by looking at the logs, view the forums and review complete projects. The website has been built with Maassen Consulting own software. Flash is used for the navigation.

Ra.NJ. – Professionals II (Pool Paradise)
Because the popularity of electro technical and installation studies among new students are decreasing RANJ has developed a complete 3 dimensional game. This game is programmed in macromedia director. The game Professionals II – Pool Paradise is designed in such a way that students will get a feeling of the training in a playfull manner. Not only the concept of the game but also the cool graphics, ensures a nice game with a lot of possibilities. The game centers around the construction of a swimming paradise. The player has convert an old swimming pool to a completely new swimming paradise. All technical aspects involved in this conversion are built into this game. For instance, the player has to realise that he has to build a heat exchange first before he can pump the water back into the paradise. If the player is not able to find the solution by himself, he can contact a variety of experts on this subject. This brings an learning element into the game. There are different levels of difficulty. This comes in handy if the player wants to expand his knowledge about a specific part of elektric or installation techniques. With the second version of professionals released, RANJ has combined learning, attention and pleasure all in one game. Professionals II – Pool Paradise is an unique game concept with a highly developed technology and excellent graphics, which take the pleasure in learning to a higher level. The promotion of the electrical and installation studies in a way as RANJ does is enlightening and seems to work in practice.

Teleac/NOT – SchoolTV Beeldbank (Voor Peuters en Kleuters)
On the website of SchoolTV Beeldbank (Image Bank)young children, toddlers, can learn about colours, shapes, emotions, senses and yet much more in a playful way. This interactive website was assigned by Teleac/NOT and developed by employees of Teleac/NOT, IJsfontein and Q42. The imagebank contributes to the social-emotional development of toddlers and is also linked to the main goals of primary school. Therefore, the website has been developed in close collaboration with the Dutch schoolwebsite Knowledge Net. The educational movie clips are specially produced for children who can not write or read yet. This also holds for the navigation. An animated character named Kiko points the child to what is clickable and explains its use by moving the pointer of the mouse over a button. One of the many themes can be selected by the child on the website. For instance food, animals, feasts and everybody is different. The themes are indicated by icons. One or more movie clips are available per theme. A toddler can also read a small text, print an assignment or take a look at movie clips. These can be viewed and printed as much as the child wants to. The technology used to create the Image bank is available as open source. The application has been built with Flash. The movies have been wrapped into Flash and are seamlessly integrated in the design.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

EP Category 1: Knowledge, Discovery and Culture

This category has always drawn many entries. Also the subject is wide ranging. This year it varied from a necrology of Pope John Paul the Second to She Spot, a soft erotic site for women. But also the museums were present: the famous Rijksmuseum and the virtual Egyptian museum. With Registry of Yesterday (Het Register van de Dag van Gister), old folks get the opportunity to record stories in text, sound and photographs and video by means of a multimedia desk. But there were also broadcast entries: Visual radio, a system for kids to produce news programs; Netherlands 4, a web television channel for public television and Fabchannel, the internet podium of the famous pop concert hall Paradiso. A related entry was the Pop encyclopaedia on CD-ROM. In the section Culture there were three interesting entries: national monument Camp Vught, about a concentration camp in Vught near Den Bosch; Maroc – 5000 years of culture, a website accompanying an exhibition on Maroc in Amsterdam; Panorama Alkmaar, a site in the framework of 750 year city rights. A special entry was the dream of Cornelius Lely, a Dutch water engineer; the DVD showed how this engineer worked on providing The Netherlands with polders.

The three nominations received the following jury statements:
Paradiso decided five years ago to launch Fabchannel, because of decreasing media attention for live music. Fabchannel now broadcasts concerts, festivals, lectures and competitions on the Internet, in sound and vision. The objective of this channel is to promote live music. Paradiso put a team of specialists together under the name “Fabchannel Foundation”. This team developed a streaming video portal with Flash and PHP technologies. Many of the concerts and events in Paradiso can be watched live on this website. Also on-demand broadcasts can be requested from the archive. This archive presently encompasses 320 registrations and is constantly growing. There is, besides know artists, also attention for lesser known talent. The bands and artists are from all over the world. About 50 percent of the visitors are from the Netherlands, the other half comes from abroad. All content is free and registering. Because of this a concert is only three clicks away. Fabchannel is completely built in Flash, while for the video streams Windows Media has been chosen. A selection can be made between a high- or low quality stream, so that the site is also accessible for dial-up users.

Jury pitch of the Fabchannel representative
In 2004, BOOS was asked by the Dutch broadcast station KRO/RKK to build a dynamic website with a necrology of Pope John Paul the Second. The story of his life is told by means of images, text, sound and video. This personal story of the producer leaves enough room for the visitor to form his own opinion about the late Pope. BOOS is a Dutch multimedia company specialised in developing for new media, especially in the area of interactive storytelling. BOOS was a nominee last year for 2004 with the entry “Bomers the Bishop”. The website is divided in 5 chapters: Introduction, Life, Character, Points of view and Send-off. A pop-up screen with a video is automatically presented at the start of every chapter. The first chapters give comprehensive information about the life and ideas of Pope John Paul the Second. The website contains subtle animations which give the site a unique look. The images supporting the text are in the form of animated slideshows, which contribute to the dynamic feel of the website. In the last chapter the visitors are offered to sign a condolences’ register. The website is mainly produced in Flash. The videos, which are opened in the pop-up screens are done in Windows Media format.
In order to make the rich collection of the famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam accessible to a large audience worldwide, a dynamic website has been developed in which full-screen images of masterpieces from the collection are prominently present. The production of this website was assigned to Fabrique, a design bureau for graphic design, new media, industrial design and spatial design. On the website people can browse through the entire collection of the Rijksmuseum. Visitors can view detailed information about the works of art and the numerous artists. It’s also possible to view high resolution pictures of the countless works of art. Sliding panels, made from images of master pieces, are part of the navigation. That is what makes it possible to playfully browse through the comprehensive/wide collection. By means of a search action it is possible to search through the website, the collection, the web shop as well as the library catalogue. This is possible because of the links between the various internal databases. In addition to the collection there is also information available about the Rijksmuseum and its structural remodeling which is taking place. The image and text information about the different works of art are saved in XML-format, whereby content and lay-out are separated. When a piece of art goes on loan to another museum, wherever in the world, it is possible to integrate the content about this artwork in their on website, thanks to the use of XML. To keep the system requirements low and to avoid confronting the user with Flash, dynamic HTML was chosen. Flash has been selected for the advanced presentations. These presentations make also use of the XML structure.

In the end Fabchannel was chosen as the winner in this category. The concert channel has broadened its reach from the Amsterdam to the world. The interface is very easy; in a few simple clicks a concert, band or musician can be reached. But especially the innovative technology of the media player is interesting as it lays a basis for a video on demand service.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Analysis of the - Introduction

It is close to the holiday season. News is coming in more slowly. For my blog I will start an analysis of the Dutch competition. First I will look at the statistics over the past three years and then I will treat analyse the eight categories. For today I will start with the general analysis.

The was held in 2003 for the first time. The Netherlands have a fair amount of competitions, but there is not a real content competition. There are the SpinAwards for advertisement bureaus and the SAM awards for screen productions. There are the National ICT awards for software and the VOSKO Award for networks. For Internet kids there is the Golden Monkey Tail. And for the youth there is the ThinkQuest competition. But all in all, seems to fit in the content slot. One conclusion after three years is that perhaps the categories need updating. But this will become clear after the analysis of the categories.

In 2003 we held the first The name EUROPRIX was well known in the Dutch multimedia world as a European competition. Several Dutch companies have won nominations during EUROPRIX’s five year existence. And twice Dutch companies took the overall award. Not a bad score for a small country.
- 1998: WDS in Rotterdam with Quest4Europe (nomination)
- 1999: Uitgeverij Het Spectrum with Obi en het verhaal van de elfen (nomination)
- 2000: Softmachine with Anne Frank (Europrix Award)
- 2001: Museum Boymans Van Beuningen/ ZappWerk/V2/Ra.nj with BoschUniverse (Europrix Award)
- 2001: Rembrandthuis/Softmachine with Rembrandt the Printmaker (nomination)
- 2001: IJsfontein with Tattletoons (nomination)
- 2001: Mattmo with Tiny Taboos (nomination)
- 2002: Heineken/Qi Interactive with (category winner)
- 2002: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Talmon Communicatie with Compact Netherlands (nomination)

Those with a sharp memory will see some names that also participate in the Ra.nj, IJsfontein and Talmon, while companies like Softmachine and Qi also regularly participate.

In 2003 the first competition was organised together with OPPO-MMBO, a new association of entrepreneurs in the pre- and multimedia area. (The association changed its name last year to CMBO – Association for communication media). We got a flying start. The number of entries was not very high compared to the SpinAwards, but enough to speak of a competition. For the award ceremony we got lucky. The Chambers of Commerce in broadcast city Hilversum was organising a seminar in a studio at the Media Centre and we could link the award ceremony to it. It gave the competition the necessary exposure. We were not mentioned in a television of a news programme, but the trade press picked it up.
By 2004 The Hogeschool Rotterdam came into the picture and offered facilities. It was then that we thought up a public jury, the award ceremony and an exhibition of the companies which had entered the competition. So regardless whether a company won an award or was nominated a company could show their portfolio. The format worked. The organisation did appreciate the hospitality very much, but the Hogeschool Rotterdam liked the event and invited the back for 2005.

The amount of entries is quite dependent on the publicity made. So far everything has been done on free publicity in the trade press and publications of associations. At the start it looks like not many entries come in, but near the deadline, entries come in, in multiples. Usually the deadline is extended with fourteen days. Over the past years we had the following amount of entries:
2003: 50
2004: 53
2005: 63

So this year we made a jump. Seven companies had participated before. But as a company can enter more than one production the amount of companies is lower. This year we had 6 companies with more than one entry.

Multimedia is not restricted to the web. It is a multimedia competition and as such CD-ROMs, DVDs, mobiles, PDAs and installations are accepted. And this year they all were represented:
- Websites: 43
- CD-ROM 10
- DVD 2
- PDA 2
- Mobiles (SMS. GPRS, UMTS) 4
- Installation 1
- Interactive TV 1

Of course websites are still in the majority and I expect that it will stay so. CD-ROMs are still being produced. This year for example a national monument in child literature was translated to CD-ROM. Mobile is coming up even with UMTS. This year we also had an installation; last we had Interactive projection system which won the category award at the Top Talent Award. And there was also 1 interactive TV production; last year we had two.

Tomorrow I will start the analysis of the first category on Knowledge, Discovery and Culture.

(BTW A local television station In Rotterdam devoted a news item to the students' entry De Oranjes. You can download the video from It is all in Dutch, but the video gives a fine impression of the the public jury and award ceremony day).

Monday, June 20, 2005

Search engines lost in law systems

On Friday Nico van Eijk held his inaugural lecture at the University of Amsterdam. He recently was appointed a professor in Media and Telecommunication Law. I know him as a contributor to the newsletter Telecombrief. He was the legal media and telecom expert for the publication.

His inaugural lecture was entitled Search engines: seek and ye shall find, on the place of search engines in the law system. He poses that information is becoming a source of societal and economic development and that most information becomes available through Internet. In this process search engines are important. They determine the retrievability of available information and by making information accessible they become a power factor. In fact they overtake the search engines available in libraries and the academic world, which work on the basis of qualitative, verifiable and objective criteria.

Search engines have hardly been subject of research in law. Search engines have an ambivalent status as question might partly pertain to telecommunication law, but other question touch content. The search engine is lost in law, Van Eijk says. He proposes to start up legal and multidisciplinary studies into the position of search engines on a national and international scale.

In his program he wants to make the operating procedures of search engine companies more transparent. This can be done by using the E-Commerce Directive of the European Commission , which most EU countries have already implemented. This is fine for national and European search engines, but EU law does not cover American ones. Clear is also that objective search results can not be a basis for a business model; but excesses need attention and need to be limited by regulations. Also supporting media education should be promoted, not just to tell people that they should use alternative search engines, but educate them in the use of commercial search engines. Also the government should have a task in this.

It an interesting subject. To me the search engine problem is like smoking. When Google came into existence, it was great; now that it is big business and non-reliable due to companies buying positions. People should be warned and search engines should be obliged to carry a health warning: SEARCH ENGINES MIGHT BE DANGEROUS FOR YOUR INFORMATION CONSUMPTION.

(BTW Did anyone see the GP Formula 1 in Indiana last night on television. What a farce, except of course for the Dutch new media company Lost Boys which was prominently present on the front wings of two of the cars out of six).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A strange encounter

WSA present at Incommunicado 05 (photograph: Wim Ouwerkerk). Posted by Hello

Friday evening I was in de Balie in Amsterdam at the closing of the international conference Incommunicado 05. It was a most strange encounter. When I saw the program I knew that the conference would have a rather critical audience. The program contained a section Quotes with titles like: New Actors, New models, New Frameworks; Knowledge Society, WSIS, Cognitive Justice; Pro-poor partnership; (New) Means of Production; ICT Apartheid; Open Source South South; ‘Their’ Empowerment; Multiliteracies; The Limitations of NGO Actions; ICT4D and the Critique of Development; Corporatization of the UN.

After a closing discussion about the conference, I was allowed to present the Dutch nominees for the World Summit Award (WSA) competition as a kind of an entre-act. I presented the goals of the World Summit Award, showed the activities in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and indicated that we are discussing the future of the World Summit Award. I also presented the Dutch nominees one by one. When I was finished, I invited the audience for questions. The first questioner thought that it all sounded so positive. I guess he meant that it sounded too positive to his taste. I invited him to consult the catalogue and see the best-practices selected; but best-practice was a bad term in this environment. There should be more research and more publications in open access journals. The person in question was most likely not aware of the fact that WSA had already nominated the Open Access Journal initiative in 2003. Another member of the audience asked whether it was possible to institute an e-censorship category.

Then a lady in the audience took the microphone and asked the organisers, why I was invited in this conference. Having talked two days about their items the World Summit Awards appeared to be out of context of this conference, she said. Besides, the World Summit Award did exactly what the UN ICT4D hoped for, organising best-practices and this was not what the conference was looking for. (Funny thing: UN ICT4D was one of the sponsors of this conference!). I left the answering to the organisers, Geert Lovink and Soenke Zehle. But to me it was clear that this audience would go to Tunis with another intention than the World Summit Award network people.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dutch snippets of the week

Dutch flag Posted by Hello

Dutch piracy watchdog demand client details

Brein, the Dutch piracy watchdog has started a case against large Internet providers with the demand to hand over details of 41 clients who download illegally. Planet Internet, Chello, Wanadoo, Tiscali refuse to make known the details. Warner Home Video Benelux, which is part in the legal case, has told the court that it will refuse movie rights to the companies that are unwilling to hand over details of clients who download illegally. The collecting society BUMA/STEMRA characterised the behaviour of the internet providers as unethical.

Cable operators offer mobile

Dutch cable operators are going for quarter play: television, internet, telephone and mobile telephone. The cable operators are talking to Telfort amongst other, a telco which grew 41 per cent in the last half year.

Obituary changes to message on life

It looks like obituaries have had their longest time, if we believe the site operator of message on life. The name and the few sentences will be replaced by an extensive message on the life of the beloved ones. The Dutch site offers a website to the next of kin to commemorate the deceased one extensively. The website will stay on line for a year and costs 65 euro, a fraction of a printed obituary in the newspaper.

Wifi in the train stations

The Dutch railway company NS has started to introduce wifi on the stations in the big cities in co-operation with telco KPN. Clients with laptops, but also PDAs are offered wireless internet. The client gets a scratch card. For 1.30 euro a traveller can use wireless internet for a quarter of an hour. The NS wants also to offer wireless internet in the trains.

Versatel stops talks with Belgacom

The Dutch entertelco Versatel has stopped merger talks with Belgacom. No reason for the talks were given, but the valuation of especially Versatel seems to have been a stumbling block. It is not the first time that talks with Belgacom are stopped. Years ago the Dutch incumbent KPN also stopped talks on the valuation issue. Belgacom is still a semi-official telco, which has not lost much money on UMTS. Also culture issues are in play between the Dutch and Belgians. The major shareholder in Versatel (42 per cent), the Talpa company is still talking to Belgacom.

Talpa goes digital

Talpa, the new Dutch broadcasting company of John de Mol, delivers its broadcasts completely digital. The new channel, which starts on August 12, will not use video taped programs. Talpa is the first broadcast company in The Netherlands to deliver digitally.

Friday, June 17, 2005 2005 winners known

It was a very long day yesterday. Having done the first product selection for nomination on May 17 in Rotterdam, we had the public jury and award ceremony of the 2005. It started at 9.45h and was finished at 19.45h. Our host for the day was the Rotterdam College a very ambitious school. You will hear more of them in the coming year. WE had a team of students at our disposal and what a team. They had taken care of T-shirts, had their movie camera’s in place for the DVD production, took care of interviews and of the whole program. Soon you will be able to see the whole day on the site, including clips on all nominations (yes in Dutch and English).

Part of the jury deliberating about the overall 2005 winner.

But I will no longer keep you in suspense. Here is the list with category winners and overall 2005 winner:


CATEGORY 1: Knowledge, Discovery and Culture
Company : Foundation Fabchannel
Title : Paradiso Concerts Online

CATEGORY 2: Learning and Training
Company : Ra.nj. Digital Entertainment bv
Title : Professionals ll - \'Pool Paradise\'
URL/CD : cd-rom

CATEGORY 3: Interactive fiction and storytelling
Company : IJsfontein Interactive Media BV
Title : Sketch Studio

CATEGORY 4: E-Business
Company : MediaMonks BV
Title : Game Boy Advance SP Tribal edition

CATEGORY 5: Citizens, democracy and e-Government
Company : Foundation Face Your World
Title : Face Your World

CATEGORY 6: First steps in new media
Company : –
Title :

Company : Kunstgebouw-codex
Title : Codex Kodanski

CATEGORY 8: Producers till 30 and students
Company : Kasper Kamperman (Art Technoloy Saxion College Enschede)
Title : Extract Project
URL/CD : installation/cd-rom

Company : Foundation Fabchannel
Title : Paradiso Concerts Online

Over the coming week I will comment on every category.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

WSA jury of Estonia nominates

Mail from Estonia, from Katri Ristal, the organiser of the World Summit Award local pre-selection in Estonia. She has done a nice job. She is a Kristal. I met her last year in Prague. When we asked her to organise the WSA local selection, she really went for it. And her efforts have now resulted in four Estonian nominations to go to the Grand Jury in Bahrain.

The nominations are:

1. e-learning Project: virtual ABC-book Virbits Producer: Estonian Academy of Arts

2. e-government Project: internet voting system, Producer: Estonian National Electoral Committee

3. e-health Project: Online Health Access Manager, Producer: Tervisepank OÜ

4- e-businessProject: My m-business, Producer: Mobi Solutions OÜThere were no suitable candidates in other categories.

The selection was made by:
Head of the Jury:
Mr Jaan Oruaas, Estionian Information Technology Society

Members of the Jury:
Ms Mall Maasik, SA Innove
Mr Ahto Kalja, Tallinn Technical University
Mr Linnar Viik, IT KollegeMr Teet Jagomägi, AS Regio
Mr Leo Võhandu, Tallinn Technical University
Mr Ardo Reinsalu, Docobo Ltd, WSA2003 e-health finalist
Mr Kristjan Mändmaa, graphic design professor in Estonian Academy of Arts

Looking at their first entry, I beleive that this was a EUROPRIX Top Talent Award entry of 2004.

Today the Dutch WSA jury convenes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

White smoke for Dutch WSA nominations

The Dutch jury has spoken. The Dutch entries for submission for the entries to the World Summit Award Grand Jury are known.

The jury came together in Amersfoort at the media technology department of the Knowledge Satellite College, part of the Hogeschool van Utrecht (HVU). The school is rather new and the teaching staff had offered us assistance for arranging the entries and storing the CD-ROMs and DVDs. At 10 o’clock all jury members were present and the process could start. The technology at the start was laborious, but this was fixed after a quarter of an hour, after which everything worked without blemish.

One jury member was absent. Nienke Meyer, managing director of the newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad, had to go to an obligatory management training; but she had prepared her statements on the products. Bernhard van Oranje, an entrepreneur, was the chairman of the jury and he was assisted by Anne van Brussel, an multimedia instructor at the Hogeschool Rotterdam, Martijn Arts, a managing director of Zappwerk, and Anton van Elburg, editor in chief of eEmerce. The jury was an interesting group of people. Bernhard van Oranje distinguished himself as an e-commerce entrepreneur in the early internet days. Nienke ran amongst others a cable text service in the South of The Netherlands. Anne teaches graphical and computer design. Martijn is partner in an internet company; the company won once the EUROPRIX 2000 price for the

The jury members had prepared themselves in their own time and got a short reminder during the session. By 2 o’clock the session was over and the white smoke could be shown to the world.

Here is the list of the Dutch nominations:
Category 1. e-Learning
Title: Frequentie 1550
Company: De Waag

Category 2. e-Culture
Title: Timespots Amsterdam
Company: Timespots

Category 3. e-Science
Title: Zap
URL: or
Company: Technical University of Twente

Category 4. e-Government
Title: Raad in Beeld
Company: Municipality of Eindhoven/Noterik

Category 5. e-Health
Title: 3vision
Company: 3mensio

Category 6. e-Business
Title: Olaf & Otto
Company: Heineken/Qi

Category 7. e-Entertainment
Title: 2GOTV
Company: Media Republic

Category 8. e-Inclusion
Title: First8
Company: Clockwork

You can have a look at the nominations already as information on all of them is online. Of course you might have to brush up your Dutch, but at least in one case (Zap), there is an English counterpart. In most of the other cases there is an English translation to suit interested foreigners. Otherwise, copy the text into the translation machine of Yahoo; no guarantees for a proper translation.

It took an intensive session to agree on these entries. We will send them off to the Grand Jury in Bahrain with great expectation and hope that some of them are going to belong to the final 40 best practices. To hope for all of them would be very greedy as only 32 slots for nomination would be left.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A bloody virus

Well it happened to me. Last night my e-mail system started to get blocked. First I thought that I was again over the limit with all the mail that I save. But after a while it became clear that this was not the case. I received mail from people I know, telling me that they had received a document from me several times. Monique had received the document 9 times and Peter Olaf in Denmark had even received it 15 times. A lady in the UK told me that I was blocking the academic system. And in Holland I was called up and told to stop spamming.

So apologies are in order. In the meantime I am using the web mail, but that is so slow that you can drink easily a cup of coffee between the mails. Problem is also that you can not save the mails. So this is not ideal.

But even after downloading a virus program, the problem is not relieved. And just at a moment that you do not need this type of trouble. Tomorrow we have the World Summit Award jury deliberations and on Thursday the jury meets. Oh well….

Monday, June 13, 2005

Post Disneyism

Yesterday I mentioned the forthcoming book on High Performance Multimedia, which will be published by IOS Press in Amsterdam. Besides the chapter on Bio-multimedia it contains a very interesting chapter on tourism: Post Disney experience paradigma? Some implications for the development of content to mobile tourist services. It has been written by Lars Bojen, who just started a project with mobiles at that time. I wonder how he is doing and how far the project has been realised now.

Lars Bojen presents in the article a conceptual framework for a location based mobile ICT system for a visitor destination in the near future. The issues presented originates from ideas and intentions in a specific Danish tourism project “Mobile Digital City and Nature Walks - development of content and software for a mobile tourism device”.

He suggests that the integration of tourism and mobile technology services imply a new experience paradigm, that could be named the “Post Disney Experience”. The Disneyland Experience is characterized by “a completely constructed environment, and a fundamentally prescribed visitor experience” (Borrie, 1999). It has a long history and strong cultural impact starting with the amusement park 'Bakken', north of Copenhagen, in 1583 and given modern form by Disney at Anaheim, California in 1955 . The “Disneyism” or “Post-Fordism” paradigms (Amin, 1994) represents manufacturing and service paradigms whicjh are more focused at the components of the output than understanding customer processing operations. Thus a Post Disney Experience can be viewed in connection to the stance of a “neo-service paradigm (Gyimothy, 2000) and the vision of Ambient Intelligence (ISTAG,2001) concentrating on human interaction within service encounters ( personalized ubiquitous adaptive integrated offerings), which are assumed to add value to the customer´s experience . If the vision of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) as proposed by leading researchers in Europe (ISTAG,2001) is realized, there will be new ways for offering holistic tourist experiences, that might alter the way we define holidays and visitor destinations. Then the experiences might not be confined by the borders of specific visitor attractions – as we see it today – where you go to Disneyland and stay there for some limited time –. As it is suggested in this project whole city- and landscapes and rural areas has the possibility to benefit from this development providing new and possible authentic experience stages for the demanding tourist segments. But it requires that the tourist industry works together in coordinating and providing transcendent experiences based on user centric methodological frameworks .

Lars Bojen made his dream visible with a virtual trip.

At home in Germany - 20:00h after dinner
German family Mann with 2 children in the Hamburg area log on to the portal via Internet and discover a link to Mobile city and Nature walks . They also got Internet access in their auto camper. Immediately they are interested, because one of the sons discovers an attractive avatar in the corner of the dynamic banner ad, which reminds him of one the actors in one of his Playstation games. The avatar responds to mouse touches “come closer and discover a new area with me – You will get a new sight of the hidden Denmark, where you have never been before. Full of hidden adventures or legends from an ancient age with noble knights and princesses.” Here they get access to a good offer on a delighted summer house 10 km from the beach. Also they accept an offer to hire a Personal Travel Assistant ( PTA) with modem, camera, video, mikes etc. According to the portal the PTA gives access to information, communication, transaction, community facilities . They can get access to relevant info about the tourist destination, booking opportunities in the area, hotels, events and attractions . Furthermore they discover an exciting community, with a lot exiting games related to the destination plus offers about improvised tours with local Viking guides . And yes through the Meeting service they also can find other families with children. Hr. Mann hesitates a little, but then thinks of the last holiday, where the kids and himself included really was bored in an isolated mountain resort in Bavaria. Yes we will book this holiday - ( fills out a registration scheme generating a personal profile in the system).

At the destination - Travel planning - Before Breakfast 8:00h
Hr. Mann logs in on the PTA and find local maps .- and ask for “occasioned maps” because he wants to find relevant integrated Tour offerings matching the families interest in Medieval Age and Vikings . He makes his own suggested tour, with a lunch at a local Medieval Inn . Is it possible to pay with Euro (they don’t use Euro in DK , yet )?

Use navigation guide for attractions. After breakfast 9:00h
Mr. Mann doesn’t precisely know the road to a local castle ruin near by the village, but the speech interactive map guide in the PTA helps. The family find it funny that the avatar from the website, now appears in the PTA in a new disguise ( Medieval costume ) the oldest son is a bit bored, because they have to drive approx. 1 hour to the attraction. He asks the PTA avatar about some games. The avatar suggests they play a medieval game based on a real ”ghost” event at the local castle. The son plays the multiplayer game together with other players from the whole region. Luckily there is a video chat possibility and the son discusses game tricks and hints with a boy from Norway. The avatar chat appears again and suggests that the son can do some video documentation of the visit to the castle ruin, then the avatar later on will help get it visualized in 3D!

At the castle ruin 10:30h
The family also finds and watches interesting multimedia stories about the castle before the arrival. The maps are easily printed on the mobile printer. At the same time the family also get informed about opening hours and offers in local stores and farm shops, selling medieval inspired food that Mrs. Mann loves. After shooting a lot video footages with the PTA they decide to go to the nearest shop and buy some fresh food . But Mrs. Mann is curious and checks out if there are some stores in the area matching her taste. She logs on the PTA and after a moment of search it occurs that 3 shops are selling the kind of clothes she likes. They go there and Mrs. Mann buys a medieval suite, pays easily with the PTA. Mrs. Mann thinks her friend in Hamburg should see the dress and she makes a fast catwalk while Mr Mann is filming with the PTA and sends a mail to the friend that the families TravelBlog has been updated. Driving along to the lunch they get a message on the PTA that a Norwegian family, Gunnarsons whose son earlier played games with the Mann´s son, would like to invite to an interactive open-air Viking theater game, “Midguard – touch and feel the Vikings “, later this afternoon ( info at ) The family accept the offer and replies through the video messenger and Mrs Mann has a lovely chat with Mrs. Gunnarson, before buying tickets guided by the shopping avatar that also reminds them, that their map has been updated with a new route. After lunch they have to drive 120 km to the theater. First Mrs Mann check the weather forecast for the destination and she now knows the children wont freeze – Also the PTA avatar offers her video clips from the Theater game - they’ll watch the scenery and get very interested in Viking history. So interested that they buy a dual book consisting of hard copy and a huge web encyclopaedia about the subject for only 30 Euro . 30 min. before the family arrives, they get a message that they should prepare themselves for the interactive theater game by doing some explorations of the virtual Midguard. The children access the virtual environment through the PTA and get a lot funny exercises that gives them a picture about Viking mythology.

Posted by Hello Illustration: Virtual Midgaard ( part of situated in a peripheral area in Southern Jutland )

At the Viking attraction 15:00h
Arriving at the attraction they meet the Norwegian family and agree to communicate in English. The children have one PTA and the adults have their own . Also they agree to split and follow their own route. Suddenly one of the Viking actors presents the play in a dramatic voice: The earth was like a large island, surrounded by sea. In the middle of the earth was the home of humans, called MIDGARD, protected by a fence made of the eyelashes and eyebrows of the giant Ymer. Beyond the fence, was the country known as UTGARD, and there, in the cold and mountainous land by the sea, lived the giants. Up above the clouds, ASGARD was the dwelling-place of the gods; from up there they could see the whole earth. And above them – its branches stretching across the world - stood the crown of an ash tree, YGGDRASIL. “ Welcome to MIDGARD, the land of men. Here the Viking children are working hard grinding flour, fetching firewood, baking bread, making willow hedges and many other things besides. When work is over, people have fun playing, singing, competing in sports and games – or just sitting around the fire and telling stories. Dead Viking warriors would go to ASGARD, the world of the gods. If you are courageous, strong and careful, you can try to get through Asgard alive by following the path that leads across the sea … But be careful! If you touch the ground, you will be easy prey for the World Serpent! “ The children thinks it sounds exciting and follow the route where the PTA avatar gives multimedia based hints about obstacles. The PTA avatar also challenges them with location based quizzes and 3D Viking projections that might give them access to secret places in ASGARD, they explore. After 2 hours of interactive gaming and play the parents send a video message to the children proposing dinner at a nearby Viking Café. The children don’t answer, but luckily the parents can position the children through the GPS based Friend Finder. At the dinner, the children tell that a tour video footage has been placed on the Viking M-Blog, so the friends back home can help them in the Viking quest.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


It is a grey, rainy day. It looks like it will be an office day, picking up matters that are still on the desk. One of these items is the Scholars’ Network Conference book. It is a production in the final stage. We delivered a PDF version to the European Commission in the framework of the ACTeN project, but we will also produce also a printed version of it by the IOS Press. The title will be High Performance Multimedia.

I look at the present table of content and thought the selection of lectures , delivered in 2003 and 2004, as rather eclectic with wide ranging subjects. On of the subjects still intrigues me very much: bio-multimedia. It is a lecture of Artur Lugmayr. I think he is an Austrian lecturing in Tampere, Finland. I just give a peep of the article through the abstract.

Between user-interface design, high-quality video and audio, ubiquitous computing, pervasive designs, and advanced input devices, multimedia and its related fields transitioned from ‘integrated presentation of information’ (multimedia), to ‘computer generated simulated environments with its peripherals’ (virtual reality), ‘the surround in which the user is the interface’(ambient multimedia) to this novel and newly introduced field of Bio-Multimedia (BiMu): ‘integrated human capacity’. Multimedia and its derivatives generated a cyberspace which connects people to virtual communities and experiences in ways that not only allow them to work more efficiently but also to engage in new leisure pursuits including participation in virtual sex and role play in imaginary worlds. As the next generation of mediated engagement, bio-multimedia – the integration of human capacity in a Bio-Space – serves a similar purpose: provision for leisure engagement through biological metaphor.

The goal of this multidisciplinary scientific paper ranging from the discipline of theoretical computer science, bioinformatics and systems biology, medicine, to multimedia is a substantial factor for the development of a world-class concept for the transition between ambient multimedia and its next generation: bio-multimedia. The underlying question is simple. Its answer lays far in the future - beyond current bio-technological possibilities. Which challenges, possibilities, and facilities are provided by bio-technology to span a bio-space for the creation of leisure content? The focus of this research is the creation and introduction of bio-multimedia as new branch of multimedia.

The article has been improved from the lecture given. After the lecture a rather hefty discussion was started. One of the discussants was Gloria Davenport, the digital storyteller guru of the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She was not very happy with the lecture and pointed to the ethical implications of bio-multimedia. An intense e-mail exchange was started up between Lugmayr and Davenport, which has resulted in the present updated article.

Gloria Davenport (left) in discussion with interactive film producer Chris Hales and Sohvi, teacher at the Tampere School of Arts and Media Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dutch snippets of the week

Dutch flag Posted by Hello

Techies are no teenagers

The most active users of new technologies such as mobile phone, MP3 players and internet are not teenagers, as often thought by people, but the people between thirty and fifty years of age. Consumers spent most time online on home shopping sites and eBay-like sites. Half of the people have never used MMS services and 78 per cent goes first to Internet to inform themselves about products before buying.

New boss for telco watchdog

The minister of Economic Affairs has appointed mr Christ Fonteijn as new chairman of the telco watchdog OPTA. Mr Jens Arnbak will leave the chair after seven years. He has been instrumental in liberalising the Dutch telco market and has worked on spam and autodialers. Mr Fonteijn is lawyer and he will have to pilot OPTA into a new area with VoIP and triple play.

Philips starts broadband heart patient service

Philips has announced that it will start a service for heart patients by broadband. No less than 630 patients will be connected to the Service centre of the insurance company. They will have a set-top box which is connected to a computer and modem by Wi-Fi. Identification of the patients will be done by biometrics. It is the first pilot with ADSL in Europe. Philips did the experiment in the States with Comcast through a cable connection.

Sanoma has big plans

The Dutch magazine division of the Finnish company Sanoma will expand to internet radio and television instead of acquiring a radio frequency. Sanoma will look at the magazine titles as brands and provide a range of services around the brand . Sanoma already is successful on Internet. It acquired the Ilse Internet company and already has many titles online, titles for children and titles for young mothers. The division director of Sanoma was put on leave this week and will not return.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Employability in the multimedia cluster

At the coffee this morning, a discussion was sparked about the multimedia cluster in The Netherlands. It started with the remark about students following multimedia courses. In the Netherlands there is a plethora of new media courses at university and junior colleges. The first courses date back to the beginning of the nineties. The HKU, a junior college in Utrecht, with a subsidiary in broadcast town Hilversum, was very early in adopting a course in arts and technology; they were in the first Bachelor and Masters in Multimedia programme together with the University of the Baleares and a British university. Also the junior college HvU started very early the School for Communication Systems, a more technical training, and it took them a while to get on course; they have now changed their name in the Academy for Digital Communication. But the last years, especially at junior colleges, a diversity of new media courses have been started in order to attract students. There was an attempt to synchronise some trainings, but they only have the same name: Communication and Design (C&D). The courses still attract a lot of students and that is worrying for their futures as well for the future of the multimedia cluster.

Annually more than 5.000 students graduate from multimedia trainings and try to find a job in the multimedia cluster. As the cluster is small and took care of employment for 15.000 people in 2000, every influx of 5.000 new employees creates a problem. For the graduates it will be hard to find a job. For the companies it will be easy; they will hardly have to advertise. But there is a problem.

For the students who do not find employment in the multimedia cluster, they will look for areas close to communication and media. But even then some will not find a job and will start their own company, these days with the support of the government. But are new companies always a healthy sign? Not in my opinion and certainly not in the multimedia cluster.

With some 5.000 multimedia companies around at 2000 in The Netherlands*, it meant that the average company had three people. But if we apply the 80/20 rule of small (80%) and large (20%) companies, the picture gets even worse. There are only a few large companies, meaning companies with more than 150 employees, while the rest are one person companies. Also in terms of turn-over you see that 70% of the turnover is produced by 25% of the companies, large companies.

So with the present and new output of the junior colleges, we have every year an influx of new, starting companies fighting the companies of the year before and the veterans with low prices. In this way the multimedia cluster will hardly become a mature and stable economic cluster. Add to this the ever changing software, it means that companies will never be able to consolidate properly before going into a next phase of development. So stimulating new multimedia companies by the government which originate by lack of jobs is not very healthy, in my humble opinion.

*After the GOC and EIM survey on the multimedia cluster no other survey has been performed. So the effect of Internet blow-out, the disappearance of companies and employment have not been measured up to now.