neweurasia Barcamp Almaty 2009


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neweurasia Barcamp Almaty 2009

  1. 2. Who are we? <ul><li>Founded in 2005 by US and EU students to report from and on Central Asia; </li></ul><ul><li>Original principle: one country, one blog; main site as the « hub »; </li></ul><ul><li>T eamed up with Transitions Online in 2006, employed « bridge bloggers » - paid bloggers who head the country sections; </li></ul><ul><li>Hivos and OSI as the initial funders. </li></ul>
  2. 3. Successes <ul><li>Steady news flow, increasing visitor numbers, launch of Russian and Kazakh/Kyrgyz/Uzbek/Tajik language versions; </li></ul><ul><li>B locked in Uzbekistan since summer 2006; </li></ul><ul><li>Altogether 50 training sessions, seminars and conferences held in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, reaching 600+ people; </li></ul><ul><li>Best Blog contest, specific country highlights, mainstream media attention. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Training sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Unique pageviews May 2007 – July 2008 </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>International audience </li></ul><ul><li>Kazakhstan blogs dominant </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Current technological limits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-install Wordpress hard to maintain; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Few (useful) «Web 2.0» features; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No clear navigation between languages; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we highlight the various forms of content we have? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Current conceptual problems <ul><li>Are we a blog? A news-site? A webzine? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do we publish for? Central Asia or Europe/US? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s our editorial mission? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we make sure there is real dialogue between the readerships? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we retain our position as the «region’s premier blogging network»?  </li></ul><ul><li>Do we want to «spin off» successful local language blogs into separate and independent projects? </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, where will we be in one year’s time? </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Reinventing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New one-installation Wordpress blog hub uniting all different country sections; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More «newsy» look, clear hierarchy of stories; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New theme-based navigation; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better and cleaner photo, video and podcast integration; </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Reinventing our place online <ul><li>New site design heralds change towards more «quality blogging» - originally researched stories along with exclusive photo and video content; </li></ul><ul><li>Hiring of two editors (English, Russian) to guide bloggers; </li></ul><ul><li>Better integration with established media by developing stories out of blog posts, offering monetary and development rewards to bloggers; </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen media as a fast, (more) democratic, cost-effective, yet quality «alternative» to mainstream media; </li></ul><ul><li>More translations mean more flow of information between the different audiences. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Showcasing the potential of «quality» citizen media by compiling and editing a book of 60-odd best posts </li></ul><ul><li>Further monitoring of the local blogospheres and cooperation with Global Voices </li></ul>
  10. 11. Challenges along the way <ul><li>Funding realities (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan), short cycles; </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability – no money no content (neweurasia started as a volunteer project)? </li></ul><ul><li>Relaunch harder than thought (5,000 stories, 10,000+ comments, pictures, etc. – big and technically challenging database migration); </li></ul><ul><li>Generational change at helm of neweurasia: Rejuvenation, new ideas – change is hard! </li></ul><ul><li>Reaching out to Central Asian bloggers; </li></ul><ul><li>Is there room to grow? </li></ul>