A global view of Web 2.0

I am afraid it is turning out to be quite a challenge to make the time to update my blog regularly while in Germany. For a start, as part of the seminar I am attending at the International Academy for Leadership in Gummersbach, I am in the team responsible for documenting our proceedings on a class blog. To do this, we must either multi-task during the sessions (discouraged by our seminar facilitators), or post to the site in the evening and before breakfast in the morning.

It has been really interesting to get such a broad insight into what is happening around the world, and in developing countries in particular (there is a list of participating countries in one of the posts on the class blog, and we’ll be adding a Participants page in due course). There is quite a broad range of existing skills and knowledge levels. Some people are learning about blogging and social networking for the first time, while others are fairly familiar with much of the technology, but are looking to sharpen their skills, get some fresh ideas and pick up on specific areas of expertise, particularly with respect to generating traffic (a universal goal šŸ™‚ )

It is amazing to see the contrasts between countries in the same neighbourhood. For example, according to the Internet World Stats, Malaysia has an internet penetration level of about 52%, whereas Cambodia has only 0.3% penetration.

(Funny that I read about political blogging in Malaysia just last month, and then met one of it’s protagonists at this workshop)

Closer to home, while South Africa has the highest percentage penetration in Sub-Saharan mainland Africa at 10.3% (the islands of Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles are higher), our growth rate between 2000 and 2007 has only been 112.5%. In contrast, Zimbabwe, which has been experiencing a political and economic meltdown over this period, has grown at 2340% to reach almost the same penetration level (9.8%). Hopefully, the expansion of wireless broadband, together with the full-scale launch of the second network operator, will provide the necessary kick-start to growth in South Africa’s internet penetration through cheaper, more accessible and better quality broadband.

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