A decade ago Cambodia connected to the world. During those years, not many people could spell and capture the term and the meaning of ‘the Internet’ well, except expatriates working in Phnom Penh offices and a few Cambodian staff in aid organizations. It was until recent years that more competitions of foreign Internet company brought about competitive and affordable price of the Intenret service to more local residents. Although this Southeast Asian country has the lowest Internet penetration in the region, the lively and amazingly use of the international network is remarkable.
Fool April has just been gone. In this May two most vibrant exhibitions of technology were held in the country. On May 15, 2006, the Chatter Party was organized for the first time for Cambodia webloggers and technology enthusiasts to meet face to face. An afternoon-long of the event featured fashion show, on stage jokes, lucky draw, friendly social talk, and games. The Internet party, as many called it, setup by a local web service firm in association with several commercial sponsors. There are times that many Cambodia webloggers have build virtual relationship with each others by the mean of commenting, emailing, and IRC chatroom. As everyone’s invited to the party, chances are that many of them can turn the virtual world into real as many of them have communicated with each others virtually. Kalyan has a series of photo of what’s going on. One among many exciting activities is exposure of weblogger. She wrote that: “participants writing their names, e-mails, phone numbers on the poster.”
About 200 people presented at the party after 1000 tickets were distributed. For some reasons, online communication is a potential business that has so far attracted such commercial sponsors.
Ratha Seth, a Cambodian weblogger who presented at the event, wrote in Khmer that: “participants talked about Internet related issues, and particularly sharing information and knowledge of the Internet with each other.”
And Soben added that: “in conclusion this Internet party is much better than the ICT Expo. They focused mostly on the Internet topics. Most participants are young people who usually meet virtually each on Cambodia chatroom.
It seems that young people, at any rate, quickly indulge things modern. Inclined in computing and technology, a high school boy began to blog in February this year. He is probably the youngest Cambodian weblogger. As of now Darachan is 15 years old. And a girl, ‘Khmer-Cyberkid,’ 16, started her online journal in late 2005. Believe it or not, they both write in English.