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My first chat session was very interesting and a very fruitful experience. I got a chance to meet my new classmates and to learn more about what participation is, not only e-partipation, but participation in general. I think we all agree that participating involves not only speaking but also listening and taking into consideration what people have to say. With "e-participation," we discussed technological barriers that prevent some people from participating. With the ditigal natives being so proficient online, those who are older will face difficulties. Some older people, for example, don't even know how to turn on a computer!


We also discussed the digital divide as being one barrier. Although there are barriers, some participants said that we can overcome these barriers and should not see them as limitations.


I was particularily interested in learning more about the island of Niue. Before this chat session, I knew nothing about it but because of Emani, I found out so much about this wonderful country. I found out, for example, that people from Niue are New Zealand citizens, use the New Zealand dollar and many have emigrated to New Zealand. There are also various issues in terms of technology and internet there, but Emani is one of the leaders in this field and is helping link people to the world outside.


I also met two or three other journalists who are part of this program and it's always great to make new friends from around the world.


With the guidance of our instructor, we were able to discuss and find out more about each other, about what we think about various issues that we will study about.


The chat session was scheduled at around 6 AM for me - a challenge as I have to work at 8 AM. Nevertheless, I am willing to make sacrifices for this course.


The next chat sessions, however, might be very difficult for me since it will be during my radio program (7-8 pm Bangkok time). However, with this blog, I will be able to participate following the chat session! Hopefully with Sheba's guidance, I am sure I will not miss too much.



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Comment by Arsene Tungali on June 19, 2012 at 2:50pm

Hey Bruce,

This is a great post indeed. Great to hear you enjoyed the chat i missed due to access challenge. The scheduled time was 23pm in my country, time i am supposed to go to bed as i cannot access internet in my house.

I read the transcripts and also discovered Niue and posted on my Facebook page (Arsene Tungali) that i was able to be sharing with Emani from such a beautiful island in the Passific.

I am glad having new friends after having many from Africa, now i have many from around the world for this AdvPhase.




Comment by Sudhamshu Dahal on June 18, 2012 at 6:25pm

Good memories of the first class chat, Bruce. I am also happy to know you as a journalist and radio producer. I was also radio producer for Radio Nepal from 1994-1998.



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