Sunday, September 04, 2005

WSA Grand Jury Bahrain: Day 2

The partying is over. Last night there was an informal meeting of the jurors who had arrived, the staff fro the jury deliberations and the hosts in the hotel Mercure in the Seef area. Not all had arrived yet, but by breakfast everyone from abroad was in.

For a starter on the jury deliberation there was of course a word of welcome by Peter Bruck, the chairman of the WSA board. He went into a kind of meditation on the content gap and the digital divide. It is indeed interesting to see how many gadgets we have today and how few worthwhile products for study, for entertainment, for business, for science, for culture, for government, for health and for inclusion. And whatever we see is an experience poor product.

The jurors kicking off their introductions: MD from Bangla Desh (left) en Titilayo from Nigeria (right)

After the morning meditation everyone introduced him or herself. That was fun. This time people were not allowed to introduce themselves, but to introduce someone else. It had the effect of buddies telling about each other. People even presented themselves in a group. But it is great to have 36 jurors from Canada to Indonesia, from Japan to Brazil, from Gabon to India, from Hong Kong to Belgium. There is already a real international atmosphere going around. Izzeldin from Sudan is wearing is national dress as are most of the African ladies, except for one, who is wearing an Indian outfit as her suitcase did not arrive yet. We will have an international party this week with national costumes. This will be very colourful.

By the time the introduction were done, groups were formed according to interest to do a first evaluation of the products after dinner. This exercise is very interesting as people start to form small group and start loading their energy for the task ahead for the next 1,5 days.

It is hot (40 degrees) and the rooms are like fridges. Sona from Slovakia needs a pair of socks to keep herself warm

In this timeframe the jurors will have to go through the following categories and the following number of products:
e-Health: 62 products;
e-Government: 95 products;
e-Science: 52 products
e-Inclusion: 82 products;
e-Learning: 88 products;
e-Culture: 87 products;
e-Entertainment: 78 products;
e-Business: 91 products.
Interesting is the high number of e-Governments products in comparison to the WSA 2003 edition.

We made also a division in platforms:
Online: 621 products;
Offline: 83;
Mobile Contents: 11 products;
Games platforms: 5 products;
Interactive TV: 1 products;
Cross media: 21 products.
Of course it could be expected that online was the winner in this categorisation. However it is not a distinguishing feature. Interactive TV has only one product.

Some of the jurors look at this high rise tower of 47 stories

For the time being all the jurors are busy and will start making decisions about the first shifting of products. I am going to listen to the discussions in the different panels.


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