· July, 2005

Stories about Blogger Profiles from July, 2005

Ghana: Discussing Podcasts and Video Blogs on Radio Ghana

  26 July 2005

A few days ago at the video blogging/podcasting workshop I conducted near the University of Ghana, I was interviewed by a journalist from Radio Ghana. I checked out various news casts several times, but never heard it, so I figured I must have missed it or that it never aired. Well, last night I was driving back to my guesthouse in northeast Accra. We got lost while trying to take a short cut, so it took longer than usual. Just before we arrived at the guesthouse, though, I heard the evening news announcer reading the daily headlines, and he began talking about an American "Internet expert" helping Ghanaians create podcasts and video blogs. As I searched frantically for my digital audio recorder, I asked the driver to stop, saying they were about to air an interview me. Though skeptical, he shook his head and pulled over. Then, we heard my voice on the radio. The cabbie started laughing and gave me a congratulatory handshake. Eventually, I managed to find my audio recorder. Here's what I was able to capture. -andy

Arranged marriage & the role of parents

  23 July 2005

A sarcastic post of a vibrant Bangladeshi-Canadian girl: If this daughter is not married to some Muslim guy by next August, ...she will apparently be seeing Mrs Mother's dead face. If you want to save the life of a 40 something, attractive, slightly dramatic Bengali mother ... apply now. Applicant must be - virile - a Bengali Muslim - able to sign his name - from a nice family who like to keep their woman on a leash. It shows the fear of arranged marriage fixed arbitrarily by South Asian parents.

Ghana: The Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT

  22 July 2005

students at the Kofi Annan Centre

University students taking a course at the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT

Thursday morning, I got to start my day by taking a private tour of the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT, a state-of-the-art technology training centre initiated by the governments of India and Ghana. The centre, in an Accra neighborhood reminiscent of New Delhi's Lodi Road, was surrounded by greenery in every direction, with numerous embassies and NGO headquarters nearby. Inside, I met with several staff, who were kind enough to lead me around the facility for about an hour. Opened two years ago, the Kofi Annan Centre is home to a variety of high-tech training facilities, including a Cisco Networking Academy. By sheer coincidence, the Cisco Academy was full of young Liberians from the Buduburam refugee camp, which I visited the previous day. We walked from classroom to classroom, most of which were engaged with groups of students working in small groups, huddling around laptops and workstations. I managed to hover in the background in a couple of classes, snapping pictures and getting completely over my head in the technical discussions on networks, routers and switches. Upstairs, we entered a room that needed to be unlocked with a smart card. Inside we found a Padma supercomputer from India. The most powerful computer in Ghana, it runs on an open source operating system; access to it is made available to any Ghanaian researcher starving for hard-core processing power. I'd wanted to check out the centre's main conference room, but it was busy with some official event; someone told me that several government ministers were participating. Only later in the day did I discover that it was a high-level meeting on Ghana's new national ICT policy. Boy, I'd wish I'd been able to get through the door for a few minutes.... -andy

Egyptian Bloggers on the Radio

Congratulations to Big Pharaoh and Mohammed of From Cairo With Love for their appearance on NPR today (audio is also archived on the site). NPR correspondent Eric Weiner (who I knew in Tokyo) did a nice job mixing the sound of these two bloggers reading some of their posts, I...

Skypecast: Andrea Monti of ICTlex

  20 July 2005

Lawyer Andrea Monti, who blogs in Italian at ICTlex, is winner in the Europe category of this year's RSF Freedom Blog Awards. Monti is concerned that people in Western democracies are not sufficiently aware of the extent to which their freedoms of speech are being eroded – and while the...

A unique view from Darfur: Sleepless in Sudan

  20 July 2005

The news stories go by – the London bombings, the G-8/Live8 focus on Africa, the six month anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami – and Darfur remains. As it's become abundantly clear that the US won't have major involvement with the Darfur situation, it's less commmon to see news stories...

Video Blog Test from Accra

  19 July 2005

It's my second day at the BusyInternet cyber cafe in Accra, Ghana, and I'm expermenting with video compression to see if I can work out the ideal size for uploading and downloading video clips. The bandwidth here is slower than in the US, so I have to be careful about how large a file I post. Here are two versions of some footage from BusyInternet, one low bandwidth and the other medium bandwidth. The low version is around 600k, while the medium version is 1.3 megs. (For those of you keeping score, the uncompressed version of this 40-second clip is over 30 megabytes - pretty useless here in West Africa. Anyway, here are the results. Click on the appropriate link to try each version.

BusyInternet Video Blog Test

BusyInternet montage:
Low bandwidth clip
Medium bandwidth clip

Podcasting/Video Blogging Workshop in Accra Next Thursday

  15 July 2005

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'll be conducting a podcasting and videoblogging workshop in Accra next week. It's currently scheduled for Thursday, July 21 at 14:00 GMT at the offices of African Security Dialogue and Research. Their office is located on Kofi Annan Avenue, just off Atomic Agency Road, North Legon. If you're in Accra and would like to attend, please RSVP to Amos Anyimadu at accraboy @ fastmail.fm, in case the time or location changes. I hope to see some of you there! -andy

Podcast: Chinese bloggers interview each other

  12 July 2005

Chinese blogger Haxi (left) has interviewed the Hangzhou-based blogger, Leylop (right), one of the early Chinese bloggers to blog in English. Here is Leylop's account of the intervew. You can listen to it here (MP3, 5MB). UPDATE: Halley Xie points out that the original interview was posted here on Chinastic.com,...

Sohrab Kabuli: Afghan blogger

  5 July 2005

Global Voices Online continues to bring you interviews with winners of the Reporters Without Borders Freedom Blog Awards. This week we bring you an interview with Sohrab Kabuli (not his real name), author of two blogs: Shared Pains in Farsi and Afghan Lord in English. Kabuli answered questions via e-mail...

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