So for the last couple of days I’ve been at the LirneAsia conference contributing to the live online feed that Indi cooked up. Dinidu was at hand creeping around on all fours taking great pictures and flickering them live. These pictures were then taken and inserted into the blog posts that were being written as the speakers were doing their thing.
Indi did the bulk of the blogging, while i did some blogging and took care of the tweets. Sanjay took video holding up a flip; confusing people into thinking it was a mobile phone. The whole thing was pretty candid. And except on a couple of occasions, we weren’t really told to hold back on anything. Basically I was given the necessary passwords for Wi-fi access, twitter and the blog and told to get down to it.
The conference was mainly about ICT policy research. But this meant that a myriad of subjects were discussed from various angles. There was politics, economics, business and marketing. On a more micro level individual research findings and intricacies of ICT markets and future potential for mobile technology were discussed in detail. There was an overall focus on freeing up the market and making technology more accessible to the masses, the theory being that this will be a boost to development.
Some of the speakers’ idea of a presentation was simply Powerpoint slides packed with data accompanied by a speech in a monotone, sometimes directly read off a screen. But on an overall basis there were some interesting speakers and most of them accounted for my blog posts during the conference which can be found here.
I think that providing a live feed for an event such as this is a great way to boost its publicity. Attention grabbing conferences such as Davos and currently Copenhagen get a huge amount of live broadcasts through mass media. But an organized effort at giving unbiased information to a distant audience by the event organizers is an effective way of keeping all your stakeholders involved in what is going on.
More publicity is needed before the event on order to build awareness and interest. What i also think could help is an organized way of presenting everything in chronological order; maybe a mind map like layout of the program of the event where you click on the item and it expands, giving directions to the various online content on the item. Together with an accompanying indication of the progress of the event.
Providing live online broadcasting is quite a good commercial venture to chase I think. The market needs to develop a little bit more though; most Sri Lankan conference organizers aren’t very web friendly. Or even aware for that matter.