Claude, I'm glad you made the points you did, but I also see two sides to this.
Having lived for a while in Niger, with poor connectivity and at the time
relying on the parastatal telecom monopoly for the only connections, I know the
frustration of encountering blithely high bandwidth web presentations (some by
development organizations no less). But I still see an advantage in judicious
and creative use of image and audio for the many multilingual markets where the
dominant internet languages are not that widely used. Why not find appropriate
ways to exploit the image and sound potential of the media?

In Niger and several years ago in cybercafes in Mali I did not usually have too
much problem with loading simple images, though my tactic was always to run
more than one browser window concurrently so I could work on one thing while
another was loading. Much appreciated were pages that use JPEG or GIF images
but also have a text only option. Including the latter should be a general rule
for any international development site. (Re audio, I know of a couple of people
in Bamako who received audio file attachments to e-mail, and downloaded and
listened to them in cybercafes.)

My impression is that bandwidth issues are improving in a lot of places in the
global South (certainly did in Niamey) to where loading a less flashy set of
simple images is not as much a problem as it used to be. However many such
places will likely remain behind the curve for a while so that mobilizing the
latest tech for the maximum multimedia effect will always be inappropriate for

At the same time, development of text content in diverse languages where
appropriate, and machine translation for text that won't get otherwise
translated, should definitely be on the agenda.

Just my 0.02 ...

Don Osborn

Quoting Claude Almansi <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

> Hi
> I wrote what follows in anger at an forum 
> called "The Role of the New Technologies in Cultural Dialogue" 
> , where all the initial posts insist on how 
> important the use of images would be for multicultural exchanges, 
> wondering at why so many sites are still textual, "refusing the 
> multimedia revolution".
> The total absence of any mention of tech limitations to access angered 
> me, and I wrote a post entitled <<"A picture is worth a thousand words!" 
> "Yup, in kilobytes">> :
> This subject line is from an actual exchange during the World Summit on 
> Information Society in Geneva last December.

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