The second edition of Barcamp Madagascar was held on saturday, July 4th, 2009 at Ivotel Ambohidahy. Bloggers, journalists, citizens wanting to know more about new media attended the workshop.
This year Foko has choosen the topic “Crowd sourcing info in Madagascar” presented by Lova Rakotomalala. The new media which is a digital communication tool for spreading information using blog, twitter, youtube, flickr… The new media which is more and more appreciated due to its quick and instant flow is also growing in Madagascar. The need of new media has been highlighted during the crisis of Madagascar. Some boggers then took the floor to share their experiences. We could hear Andry (Foko Antananarivo), Jentilisa, Stefane (Foko Antananarivo), Jaona (Foko Fianarantsoa), Patrick (Foko Toamasina), Gaetan (Foko Antsirabe). The main purpose was about the Madagascar crisis. It seems like all of these bloggers exactly knew that they were running into troubles and big risks trying to take pics and eye-witness riots but could not restrain themselves from blogging.
We also had the priviliege to hear about different social networks: twitter, facebook, friendfeed… the web 2.0 by Thierry Andriamirado. By the way, it was the first time for me to meet @tandriamirado and I was really pleased. A blog is not enough if none knows about its existence, we do need social networks to get the interest of the followers, to share and to spread information.
The former Minister of communication, Tsilavina Ralaindimby attended the Barcamp 2.0. He acknowledged that Malagasy bloggers have done a great job throughout the crisis.
After a short break, the workshop kept on with Chris and Afick from the region of SAVA. They talked about a current project of establishing social radios in remoted areas in Madagascar. Working with Radio Active and BBC, Radio Ciel of Antalaha is now efficient.
Claire, from Global Voice in French, talked about different cases of censorship all over the world. She said that nowadays, governments are aware of the power of internet and new media. This is the reason why they have created new systems to block disclosure of some information that may harm them. We recently heard about the case of Iran elections and the arrest of bloggers. Other cases of censorship are disappearance of the site or the bog, or some articles of the blog, or censored names which will be changed into unknown letters. How to avoid censorship? Claire advised each blogger to make sure to know the laws and regulations of their country in order not to give reason to the government to arrest them. Herdict.org has been created for each one of us about websites or blogs that do not run properly.
I attended the first edition of Barcamp Madagascar but blogging and stuff were too new for me to get really involved. This year was exceptionnally different because I sincerely felt concerned. Tahina and I should have even participated by presenting Foko-Ushahidi but I do not really know why at the last moment another guy has been invited by Stefane to talk about it. Anyway, it was cool.
Ushahidi which means “Testimony”is a social network which Foko has decided to work with inviting all citizens of Madagascar to report and to share any event, case, abuses… they have eye-witnessed by logging on http://foko-ushahidi.com or sending sms to (+261) 33 40 691 11.
I was so glad to meet, for the first time, Patrick from BUEC Toamasina. Nice to meet you dear
A big hand to all of us guys
More pics on My Flickr