Friday, February 20th, 2009


florine-limHow long does it take to make an impact on a potential investor? Several days, perhaps? Or several hours? Or a few minutes?

Florine Lim will tell you that The WorldFish Center can get the job done in just 90 seconds.

According to Florine, two WorldFish storymercials shown during the recent Share Fair in Rome, Italy, have been causing quite a stir. These short videos of 90 seconds, which were co-sponsored by the ICT-KM Program and feature the Center’s work on fish farming in Malawi and the rehabilitation of communities following disasters in Aceh, Indonesia, have been enthusiastically received by investors, both current and potential, and have attracted much media interest since their release last year.

Florine, an Office Manager at WorldFish, Penang, talked enthusiastically during her interview about the interest generated by the videos.

“I presented the two storymercials at the WorldFish exhibition booth at the Share Fair, where quite a number of people expressed interested in them as communication tools,” she said. “Although the storymercials were originally created to attract potential investors (busy people who usually don’t have time to sit through lengthy video presentations), we wanted to get as many people as possible interested in this medium of knowledge sharing. The demand for our knowledge kit, a step-by-step guide on how to produce a storymercial, was fantastic. Indeed, almost all the available kits were snapped up on day one of the Fair.”

Click here for a more detailed report on the storymercials.

While at the Fair, Florine also had an opportunity to sit in on a few of the other sessions.

“I found facilitator Nancy White’s session on Low Bandwidth Solutions for Communications to be quite enlightening. She shared tool kits and a link that can be used for lower-cost calls. We also talked about Skype and other Internet communication tools: their pros and cons.

“WorldFish has a number of regional offices in Africa and South East Asia that have Internet connection problems, especially when using Skype, which sometimes doesn’t work well for conference calls or sending large files over low bandwidths. Nancy’s session provided several options that we were encouraged to try out for ourselves.”

Florine also attended a session on Google Apps facilitated by the ICT-KM Program’s Antonella Pastore.

“The response to this session was overwhelming,” she said. “I learnt about online collaboration tools and services like Gmail, Calendar, etc. At WorldFish, we’d already been using Google Documents, a tool that our scientists use when they want to share files online, so it was good to learn about some of the other applications.

“The best thing about these sessions, though, was the best practices shared by some of the participants. It was rewarding listening to the experiences of those who had already tried and tested the various applications.”

Like many Share Fair participants, Florine was also impressed by the eagerness of everyone to share their experiences.

“This was the first time that I’d had an opportunity to come together with people so determined to share,” she explained. “You could feel the enthusiasm. Although the purpose of the event was to share, everyone seemed open-minded and eager to learn too. I also had a lot of fun meeting new people, putting faces to email contacts and catching up with old friends. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Upon her return to Penang, Florine immediately began making plans to share her experiences and the knowledge she had gained at the Fair with her colleagues and other members of staff. During one of the Center’s weekly ‘Food for Thought’ meetings, a session entitled ‘Speed Dating for Knowledge’ used the speed dating methodology highlighted during the Fair. Staff were also given an opportunity give Florine some insights into the sort of knowledge sharing tools they would like to use in the future, while colleague Silvia Renn showed some other knowledge sharing approaches picked up at the Fair.
Although the Food for Thought session lasted a little longer than 90 seconds, you can’t help but be blown away by Florine’s determination to share.

An interview with Florine Lim by Mary Schneider

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wherecampafrica
First of all you may wonder: What is a WhereCamp?

It is an “unconference” for geographers, mobile location experts and social cartographers and all kinds of folks interested in “place”. It will follow the annual CGIAR gathering of the geospatial scientists and on 4th April 2009 will bring together software developers, artists, geographers and academics for a one day extended discussion.

WhereCamp is an opportunity to present on ideas, questions, projects, politics, technical issues that you have – and contribute to and get feedback from other people and to make new friends with similar interests. It’s free and fun.

Why would you want to go?Society is being transformed by new maps and new mapping technology. This is an opportunity to help create a free forum in Africa for people to talk about, present, explore, and learn about projects that involve place.

What’s new about this?This will be the first gathering of its kind to take place in Africa.

What is an “unconference” ?An unconference is a conference planned by the participants. After a morning plenary to help frame the discussion we all convene together, plan sessions, and have break-outs into sessions. The idea comes from FooCamp and BarCamp as a way to give everybody an opportunity to bring to the table the things that interest them the most and lets us talk about new topics that are still new and exploratory. Part of what is important to hearing new voices and getting new ideas is lowering barriers to participation – this event is free and it is driven by the participants.

What kinds of topics will be discussed?This event is community driven and is what you make it. It provide cross pollination between many different kinds of folks from all walks of life.

Although we cannot predict exactly what will happen, topics might include:

Mobile location
Remote Sensing
Geoinformatics
Mapping and Agriculture
Food Security and Location
Community Mapping
Local Search
social cartography
Crisis Mapping
Iphones Androids and the way the web is falling into mobile

Expect to participate in conversations on the nature of place as described in pixels, with rays, on paper, and by social practice!

How exactly do I get to WhereCampAfrica?
visit www.wherecampafrica.org to find out!

AGCommons is proud to join others in co-organizing this innovative event!