Monday, October 10, 2005

Ur chapter is awaited

This was the severe message, sent by Osama Manzar from New Dehli. He is the editor and publisher of the book E-Content: Voices from the Ground 2.0 version. The new version is the successor of the first book which was produced by Osama in 40 days for the first leg of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva (see below).

The new book will be a survey about the state of e-Content in some 30 countries around the world. It should be ready by November 16, when the second leg of the WSIS starts in Tunis. The input comes from a group of selected jurors and national experts of the World Summit Award. They have received a list with questions about the situation of e-Content in their country. Due to this list it is possible to compare the situations on statistics and initiatives.

However it is hard to get all statistics together. Even in a developed country no statistics exist about e-Content. There are a lot of statistics about the infrastructure such as telephone lines, cable subscriptions, ADSL subscribers, but measuring e-Content is more difficult. The number of Internet sites might be a measure, but is a very rough one, as a site might be in another language as the native speech. Yet, the book will give pointers.

It is clear that e-Content is crucial good for a country. In the Netherlands e-Content is a commodity and not a political item like in Egypt. In the Netherlands there is one governmental document about e-Content, while in Egypt the minister of Communications and Information Technology sets up a special taskforce for e-Content. Of course e-Content in the Netherlands is distributed over various fields such as culture and the latest craze: Holland game land.

The book has also a website, which will be updated after Tunis. Osama and myself still have ambitious plans for that site; we would like to have all 168 national experts produce a spreadsheet with data on e-Content, an e-Content matrix. In this way e-Content statistics and initiatives can be compared. Problem is that we will have to find money for this project.

The book «e-Content: Voices From the Ground 1.0 version» presents for the first time a comprehensive comparison of e-Content and ICT policies on a global scale. It introduces 30 countries from every continent on their way to the Information Society. The book comprises a mixture of expert-interviews and research findings which describe the situation of ICTs in countries like Brazil, Gambia, Slovakia, Canada, Zimbabwe, Indonesia or Bahrain. «e-Content: Voices From the Ground - Version 1.0» by Osama Manzar and Peter A. Bruck has been published by the Digital Empowerment Foundation and the World Summit Award.The book costs EURO 15/$ 10.More info:

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