The 2010 ICT Expo and East Africa Digital Forum begun today at Serena Hotel and I couldn’t attend because…well I can’t make it. I hoped against hope that we would be able to get some live coverage or streaming of this event so that the many of us who can’t make it there can benefit from the information and knowledge shared, especially this being an ICT event.

Thanks to Joyce Kyeyune’s twitter updates, and a few other tweets from presenters and attendees, there would not have been anything on the proceedings online for those who couldn’t make, it to follow.

With all due respect, it is not fair in 2010 to expect that for people to know about something, they have to gather at some place physically. If anyone wants us to know what is on offer in the ICT industry, or the latest developments in ICT regulation etc, the better solution would be to put those ‘availabilities’ on an online location in a searchable format, with good standard keywords so the information can be accessed anytime when someone wants it.

The better option would be to have any kind of expo (effort to exhibit or expose items, processes or information) held online. Just create a website with multimedia information packages of what you want people to know about and then direct people to the website. The website can be interactive and even involve forums to discuss some of these issues as many of you are already used to contribute to different forums when and how you want to.

If a physical expo and forum (conference) like this is organised, it would be better if it is covered live for the benefit of many people who will not be attending physically due to different reasons.

There are many free and easy to use resources out there beyond twitter updates (which are limited in what you can communicate). Resources like , , , ,, and several others are available to present such important events to a larger audience beyond those physically present. We have been using coveritlive and livestream without major issues for our live coverage and live streaming. All these platform already incorporate social networks like twitter, facebook, myspace and live chatting to ensure really interactive events.

When you say or want to say something, you want to be heard and luckily ICTs have enabled many possibilities for us to reach out to people with relevant information and knowledge.

As I always insist to my communications clients, knowledge, like information is not an event…but a process (whose managers) need to consider how people they are targeting can best continue to receive that information or knowledge. Any communication mix needs to include online and mobile being the best options in terms of offering people information when the person wants it-through searching or going to the location (website one wants), or sms calling the number one wants when the person wants to fulfill a given need.

We need to think seriously of the audience and the message we need to get out there, and utilize all the available means for the message to reach the intended audience. This means we think beyond events to processes and continued presence of what we are communicating. The question to ask is if someone wants to know about this news, product, or piece of information now or tomorrow, can they get it? Is the way the message is available the best for the audience member to get it?

My first interaction with this 2010 ICT Expo and East Africa Digital Forum was when I read from the organizers a message that we should not miss the ICT expo documentary on UBC at 10:45 pm on Sunday and Monday. So they even have a video? Wouldn’t it be better to share it beyond UBC and at that particular time?  Just upload the video on youtube, vimeo and a host of other providers so that people can access this information in the powerful visual medium when they want (their not your preferred time). Remember it is not about you but the target audience.

Gerald Businge