Monday, May 23, 2005

Preparing the Dutch WSA jury process

I have been busy all weekend making a selection of Dutch multimedia productions for the pre-selection round of the World Summit Award. Eventually the jury has to select 8 products to be entered for the best-practice competition and to be judged by an international group of eminent experts forming the WSA 2005 jury.

In the Netherlands we did not set up a special competition. We have already some 10 national competitions. It is an award for the best web shop. There is a competition for e-Government (it has a large financial award; something I can not comprehend as the web site is already paid with tax money and then awarded another 50.000 euro of tax money). But there is also an award to promote broadband. The Spinawards are there for the interactive advertisers. The aims at content products and sees many entries in culture and e-learning. But there is no competition which also looks at the social implications of multimedia content. From my experience with three editions of the, it is clear that we will change the categories next year and move to the WSA categories.

So I have gathered nominated and awarded entries from all the Dutch competitions. Altogether I have some 48 products which have received an award in the past year. From these the jury will have to choose 8 products in the categories:
- e-Culture;
- e-Learning;
- e-Science;
- e-Government;
- e-Health;
- e-Business;
- e-Entertainment;
- e-Inclusion.

Of course you hope to have a winner in one of the categories. But the odds are against winners. Conservatively, I estimate that 1000 products will be entered, while only 40 entries will be awarded. But it can also be 40 against 1300 entries. Yet if a Dutch winner would emerge from this, I would be really proud. Knowing the WSA 2003 award winning entries and comparing the present batch of Dutch entries, some award winners might emerge.

Finding entries for the various categories has proven not to be easy. Of course there is an interpretation problem. How wide do you take culture? What do you consider an e-Science product: a popularisation of a scientific article or a method to present scientific theories? And how elusive is e-Inclusion? I do not envy the Dutch jurors. And the international eminent experts, who will be judging the 1000 or 1300 entries in Bahrain at the end of August and the beginning of September, are not to be envied at all. The weather will be hot, up to 37 degrees Celsius. But what an honour to see so many entries from all over the world and to be surprised by innovative and social productions. Besides they will meet interesting people from all over the world and make friends.

In 2003 I was with the group of eminent experts of the Grand Jury in Dubai (one of the eminent experts Andy Carvin is there right now; hi Andy). There were 803 products to review. And with the carefully developed jury method by the ICNM office in Salzburg, all products received a proper review and were scored. In the end the last cut for the 40 products to be selected gave rise to long debates up to deep in the night. But great debates they were. In one week you learned more than in the rest of the year. Besides the eminent experts became a real network of friend.

The WSA Grand jury 2003 at Dubai during the opening of Knowledge Village Posted by Hello

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