Indeed, WorldSpace is not a total solution in itself, but only part of a solution in an imperfect situation. I don't see that anybody has yet promoted it as 'a substitute for the "real thing"'. Thus the risk of that misperception should not cause us to ignore its existence and its potential uses.
Arguably, the initial step towards joining the information society is to receive information, and not to transmit blindly. In the same way, a newborn's first breath is always to inhale and not to exhale. Especially in terms of educating, informing and entertaining, there is much that can be achieved through being able to merely receive broadcasts. If this were not the case, then the traditional forms of media dissemination (ie. radio/TV/print) could never have become as pervasive as they are now in our more privileged urban areas. So WorldSpace satellite radio "receivers" bring about inclusivity by merely offering a new option for reliably receiving high quality audio and data content in locations hitherto excluded from any of the traditional media forms. Of course, as with traditional broadcast media, other options would need to be looked into on a case-by-case basis to contribute anything in return; but at the outset, this requirement is not a sine qua non. So in discussing the use of WorldSpace, I'd suggest it would be more worthwhile to focus on the following two issues: (a) The content delivered by WorldSpace needs to be better adapted for local relevance, but the cost of doing so is too high for local content developers unless they can secure major subsidies. (b) The presence of a WorldSpace receiver in a remote rural setting should be optimised to deliver more than just data connectivity for websites, as its transmissions reach places where traditional media does not exist. Its multimodal (audio and video) capabilities ought to be exploited holistically. I am a user of WorldSpace radio myself, especially whenever I travel by car around East Africa. Its little satellite-dish sits perfectly on the dashboard and is very reliable so long as there are no overhanging obstructions (trees, bridges, etc.) as the satellite is nearly directly overhead. You just can't imagine the excitement it generates whenever people in remote areas get to experience it! Sadly, the only broadcasts I've heard in Kiswahili -- a language spoken by an estimated minimum of 60 million people in East Africa -- are on Voice of Kenya plus the occasional BBC World Service programmes. I am not aware of any other African languages being available on it in this sector. I once enquired from local broadcasters as to why they did not seize this medium to expand their audience. They consistently replied that the cost of up-loading content was unjustifiably high, especially compared to the cost of streaming directly onto the Internet. A few asked me about downloading the audio content for their local broadcasts, which was quite the opposite of my intentions... Now, if that is the reality of the situation for the audio side (where local content is abundant), then the situation for the data side (where local content is relatively more scarce), is necessarily worse. Clearly, WorldSpace have a business model that they must adhere to for sustainability, so it would be unfair to request them to lower their rates. But perhaps this suggests that there is room for some sort of arrangement to sponsor the sharing of channels dedicated to local content among several small-scale broadcasters and/or web-content developers? Cordially David On Wednesday 26 November 2003 23:41, Simon Woodside wrote: > WorldSpace is a broadcast system. With a WorldSpace system you are only > capable of receiving data, not sending it. While I think WorldSpace is a > great and wonderful thing, it's very dangerous if people thinking it's a > substitute for the "real thing" which is an internet connection that > allows two-way communication, email, web access, VoIP, web email, > content creation, content sharing ... none of those are possible with > WorldSpace. > > So, if you want to be merely an information consumer ... WorldSpace is > fine. If you want to join the information society, you need something > more. ------------ This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides more information. To post a message, send it to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>. In the 1st line of the message type: subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd For the GKD database, with past messages: http://www.GKDknowledge.org