Monday, April 23, 2007

ICT pros, leaving in a Matrix

Ever watched the Matrix? In the movie's reality: Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the rest of the ship's crew are escaped "energy" slaves who don drab gray attire, have cropped hair, a row of tubular openings along their spines and have limited physical ability. When they enter the Matrix, a simulated reality, they become these superhuman, messiahs with a tendency for haute couture (leather, sung-glasses, hairstyles et al). It's attributed to something Morpheus refers to as a "digital projection of what one thinks of their self". Amazing how different what one perceives of himself is with the actual reality.

Last week I participated in an ICT & Media workshop organised by Afroline Media Services. I shared the resource panel with among others: Les Baillie, CFO - Safaricom, Kevit Desai, Chairman - IEEE and Churchill Otieno, Editor - I was there to speak about how rural internet could benefit the dissemination and collection of information by media. The workshop aimed to foster more effective partnerships between the two industries of media and ICT.

What came out very clearly was that there is a very big disconnect between the ICT industry and media especially for the smaller players (read me). ICT view the media as unapproachable and unappreciative whereas the media simply can't understand what it is that ICT is doing because of the jargon used. I was a participatory offender in jargonspeak by mentioning "RSS" and "blogs" to media people who frankly told me they had no clue what I was talking about.

That got me thinking: for non-IT people to fail to understand RSS was understandable, but blogs??? I have going around thinking that the idea of blogs was common fodder. Seems I have been living in a Matrix. The reality is that most people are quite uninformed with things that techies take for granted are common knowledge. This has directly resulted in the media shunning ICT because they just can't understand it.

At Barcamp, really great ICT ideas were discussed e.g. network neighbourhoods but these might never make it to the mainstream forums unless ICT guys can mobilise media to inform and educate the public about them. First of all though the ICT players will have to make sure they talk with the media. I feel challenged to make a personal effort to do this and from this blog I will keep you informed on what I have done.


Riyaz said...

harry, you'd be amazed that even "hardcore techies" in the universities don't know what a "blog" is :) So it's a kinda hard place to start. hehe.
There's just a very passive approach to learning - which results in people waiting for information to come to them, rather than going out for it.
Point noted about the mainstream media though ... I think in the larger plan - we want the techies to advocate all our ideas out there - grow the community out even further.

Anonymous said...

Shall we say i am amazed

Please share more