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So after the fact what did we all think?


I "attended" the IGF all week which meant getting up at 2am (didn't always make it punctually) and suffering a permanent state of jetlag.
I was enchanted by the opportunities for inclusion offered me by remote participation, and the intellectual stimulation this provided. There were technology issues, I couldn't always join the session I had chosen, but I was able to participate actively in several sessions, even though I am 6712.3 miles (according to http://www.happyzebra.com/distance-calculator/Nairobi-to-Castries.php) in space and 7 hours in time away from Nairobi. And when I couldn't go where I had originally chosen I found myself guided by chance to some places I would never have gone to deliberately which made me grateful that I had arrived there. Congratulations and thanks to all of the Remote Participation organisers and moderators.
That having been said - I had a look to see whether the rest of the world was paying attention. Couldn't find anything on Aljazeera. I found one link, relayed from Reuters, on the BBC - "Internet companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week". http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/30/us-internet-security-idUS...
However, also on the BBC was this article - Africa's quiet digital revolution http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14986314 which would seem to be right up the IGF's street.
I was also a little discouraged when, in a different context but still yesterday, I read a short article by Michel Menou "The global digital divide: beyond hICTeria", published in April 2001, which seemed to "pre-echo" the issues in Nairobi. In fact I had to go back to check the date.
My own main research interest at the moment is participation, and it seems that that was also a transversal theme in Nairobi. It would appear that "how to stop singing to the choir" is one of the main issues needing attention. The Remote Participation group is doing a wonderful job of making access available, but how do we publicise the fact and persuade the world that these are issues that concern THEM, and that they should join in too?

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Comment by Grace Githaiga on October 17, 2011 at 3:08pm
A great perspective Deidre.

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