Barcamp Madagascar 2 : New Media, Crowdsourcing Information, Social Network and Online Censorship

Once again the second edition of the Barcamp Madagascar was a rich mix of personal experiences, knowledge, tools and ideas from people that are not automaticaly in the same world.

If during the first Barcamp I could not stay long, this time I was able to enjoy the whole thing from A to Z. All in all, new media, crowd sourcing information, social network and online censorship were the main topics disussed and presented during this barcamp 2009.

It will take me a long post to cover all of them which were really interesting so I invite you to read the related posts written by other friend bloggers (see list below).

When I met the bloggers in Antananarivo for the first time I more or less knew what they’d been through during the crisis. Last Saturday, it was with a careful attention that I listened to the FBC from Fianarantsoa and Antsirabe. I was eager to know if they lived the same situation as we did here. It appeared that it was the case. Jaona (from Antsirabe) got his digital cam snatched and crashed on the ground. The same thing nearly happened to Gaëtan and his friends when they wanted to take pictures of the burnt Magro premises. They could get theirselves out of there before things worsened.

Thus, a certain expectation was felt upon Claire Ulrich‘s presentation about online censorship and usual ways to dissuade and threat bloggers.

“I won’t tell you something new since you guys have lived the most common ways to censor bloggers” she told us. She took examples of some countries like Iran and China where the freedom of press is almost inexistant and bloggers had to pick up where journalists fail to transmit news. There are different types (or levels) of censorship she said. It can go from simple verbal threats to sophisticated softwares the government impose to ISPs. The question is, now that we know it, what are the means and tools to counter it. Claire said that bloggers should be united first. The more you are the (merrier lol) the better it is. Then she added that computer scientist should not be neglected because most of the solutions come from them.

Undoubtly, blogs and social media played an important part in the crisis in Madagascar in spreading Information. That’s what T.Andriamirado showed. This tools is a double edged dagger though. That’s why he urged all twitterers and those who want to share a piece of information in general to think twice before spreading it.

Ideas and suggestions were boiling like in a “kôkôty gasy” during and after the barcamp and for me the next step is trying to find ways to put them into concrete frames so that they won’t just stay “talks”.

Related posts by friends

Barcamp andiany faharoa – IVOTEL

#BarCamp #Madagascar 2009 picture of the technology scene in Madagascar today #TWISI

Barcamp Madagascar 2.0

BarCamp Madagascar 2ème édition (04 Juillet 2009): Information collective à Madagascar

Crowd Sourcing Information during Crisis in Madagascar

On BarCamp Africa

dagascar: Traditional and New Media Discuss Crisis Reporting (Global Voices)

On ESSVA’s blog