Monday, May 16, 2005

Formula 1 content

This morning I got a message from Bahrain. Presently the Future IT Conference and Exhibition is taking place over there. The Conference has gotten the logo The Global ICT Summit, a logo developed by Elizabeth Quat of the Hong Kong Internet Professionals Association (IPROA). The conferences bearing this logo are associated with the World Summit Award and have as basic theme ICT , content and creativity. The logo was first applied to a conference in Hong Kong in May 2004. So now the logo is used for the conference in Bahrain. It will also be used during the ICT and Creativity conference in Vienna on June 2 and 3, 2005.

Global ICT Summit logo Posted by Hello

The people in Bahrain are quite busy with content. It is unbelievable for a country of little more than 600.000 inhabitants, which is almost comparable to the city of Rotterdam. In the Netherlands. It is a small country in the Gulf area, living from oil and trade, but are now repositioning for the time the oil will be gone. So one of their investment areas is content.

Waheed unpacking the World Summit Awards 2003 catalogs Posted by Hello

They caught onto the World Summit Award on content fast due to the efforts of Waheed Al-balushi. He is a journalist in Bahrain and deeply involved with ISOC activities. I got to know him in Dubai in September 2003, when he was a eminent expert of the Grand Jury of the World Summit. He has become a real friend in the meantime. But you need more people to have vision and a programme. And they do have them in Bahrain. The officials involved in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and especially in the Department of Commerce are guys with a vision of the future. They have seen the use of Internet for e-government and are using the systems to that end. So their Ministry of Commerce Portal won an award in 2003. And righteously so, as the Bahrain people are developing more e-government services for themselves but alsofor the Gulf region in co-operation with officials of six other countries.
It should also be noted that Bahrain has an e-learning programme for primary schools and they are very proud of it.

In order to participate in this years World Summit Award race (for insiders this is a pun with relation to the GP circuit in Bahrain), Bahrain ISOC with the help of the ministry of Economic Affairs set up the Bahrain e-Content Award and invited companies and institutes to submit products. No less than 149 e-Products were entered! Can you imagine. In the Netherlands we just closed the submissions for the and had 63 entries. For a week in February a jury of Bahraini experts and 4 outside experts were involved in the jury process. I was lucky tob e invited as one of the outside observers. It was a great week. The judges were experts in their fields and the organisers/ISOC members were great partners. In the meantime there was an e-Content Award Gala. The Bahrain nominations for the World Summit Award still have to be announced

The Bahrain e-Content Award jury and observers in front of the Convention Centre where now the Global ICT Summit is being held. Posted by Hello

So now the conference is still on till tomorrow. By the end of August, beginning of September Bahrain will host the eminent experts of the Grand Jury of the World Summit Award. This is going to be a week long event. Some 35 jurors from all over the world will be invited. They will have to work their way through a pile of entries from 168 countries. Logistically this is going tob e a nightmare: 168 countries x 8 category en tries will make maximally 1344 entries. But I guess that the number will be slightly lower as not all countries will deliver one entry for all 8 categories. In 2003 the World Summit Award organisation had 5.9 entries from 136 countries. But even with that figure it would mean almost 1.000 entries. But the World Summit Award organisation is capable and fit and for this task.

And it looks like the Bahraini have more plans in the content field. But those are presently under negotiation, I understand. All in all, I am very impressed by the Bahraini.

That's me in de control room on the F1 circuit of Bahrain Posted by Hello

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