David Sasaki in town (to tell how countries engage blogging)
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David Sasaki in town (to tell how countries engage blogging)

My friend David Sasaki is in town. This is his third trip to Malaysia.

As the head of Rising Voices, an offshoot of Global Voices, David has travelled in troubled timezones like Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Kenya, Bangladesh, Thailand and recently, Cambodia.

ALL-BLOGS had invited him to tell us how governments around the world are engaging blogs and bloggers.

‘The world is talking; Are you listening?’

I was thralled to learn from him that, when Cambodian bloggers got together to host a blogger conference in August, the national ISP (Internet Service Provider owned by the government) sponsored the event and underwrote some of the costs. Apparently, Hun Sen is pleased with having bloggers as a symbol of the emerging middle-class in Cambodia, though Internet bandwidth is substandard by Streamyx’s standard.

Let me shock you further, folks. Guess who’s the most famous blogger in Cambodia? Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the former king!

David also told me that Indonesian bloggers will host their Pesta Blogger Indonesia 2007 on October 27. The key sponsors are Nokia and Microsoft, while Malaysian bloggers will, at the very least, be represented by Unspun. But the most exciting news is that the conference will be opened by the Indonesian ICT minister!

Impressively, two South East Asian bloggers I nominated as representatives for the GVO Summit in 2005 are now man of their own. ThaRum is now the livewire for the Cambodian blogosphere, while Enda Nasution is now regarded as the Grandfather of Blogs in Indonesia.


David will speak at the ALL-BLOGS Forum this October 3, themed: Blogs & Digital Democracy.

I understand that ALL-BLOGS president Ahirudin Attan (Rocky) is still trying to convince ZAM through the ministerial aides to attend the event. The last I check Rocky is still trying, and trying hard.

Seats are being snapped up. Those few who have yet to RSVP please respond by 5.30pm today or we will release them to those on the wait list.