Monday, September 29, 2008

Stone Age Keynote

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Barcamp Phnom Penh Review - Sexy girls in Cambodia and cheap PCs

I am still moved by the Barcamp Phnom Penh on Saturday. It was such an impressing event, I never thought it will come true when we talked about a Barcamppp back in 2007 for the first time. But thanks to Tharum, Ramana and Viirak, it became reality.

Some impressions:

Some thoughts:
We had some discussions about setting some speakers on the agenda, but then we decided to start blank - and it worked. That means at the end, that the participants accepted the concept of a un-conference - which is a huge step in a country like Cambodia. And it was a surprise that a high ranking government official were there the whole day and said thank you tothe organizers.

We also decided to offer two different places for talks, although we had concerns that most Cambodians are used to listen to one speaker instead of planning their own schedule. But it worked too and I am confident that for the next Barcamp much more Garden-locations and small rooms would be fine.

The range of topics was big, and that's what a Barcamp is about. From a Microsoft Commercial to How to date a Cambodian girl, there were a lot of different and even controversial topics.

That leads me to the last point: There was a discussion during the Cambodian girl dating session (which was kind of a hommage to Bangkok Barcamp), when one Cambodian girl asked, why we were talking about dating instead of serious problems the country is still suffering from.

Beside the fact, that Barcamp is also about fun, the point is cultural exchange. The dating topic is not a Cambodian topic, it pops up always on conferences. The cultural point is about the public relations between boys and girls. Cambodians are still shy and very cautions, especially girls. "It's our culture", they say. On the other hand, in every advertising, on live concerts or when they dress up, it's about looking sexy. So there is a gap between the cultural tradition, their own feelings and what maybe the (male) public is expecting.

There will be a change for Cambodian women, and I am confident, after they will be much stronger. They will dress sexy if they want, (and not if they don't want), but also kiss a boy in public. It's then a girls own decision and not a so called cultural thing anymore.

I know, that this topic is controversial, and I like to start a discussion about the role of Cambodian girls in the Khmer society. Thats why I choosed this headline, knowing that it will attract people as well as search enginge :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Barcamp Phnom Penh Press release

Tech enthusiasts to host innovative BarCamp gathering

PHNOM PENH – Bloggers and technology enthusiasts will hold the first annual BarCamp Phnom Penh on September 20, a conference many have termed in reverse an "unconference." Over 150 technology aficionados from the region will attend.

BarCamp, an innovative "impromptu" gathering that began in 2005 in Palo Alto, California, helps "open source" enthusiasts share information about technology in an informal setting. The idea quickly spread from California to the rest of the world, arriving in Bangkok in January 2008 and now in Phnom Penh.

"We hope to foster more innovative ways of thinking in Cambodia," said Tharum Bun, this year's BarCamp organizer. "It's all about breaking down the barriers we have in traditional conferences, where people show up and just listen to presentations. We want to think outside of the box."

Anyone can show up to BarCamp and present a topic, Bun said. Past topics in other countries have ranged from blogging techniques to "How to Date a Japanese Girl."

"After all the hardship our country has experienced, we're trying to bring Cambodia into a new age of innovation and technology," he said.

Representatives from Microsoft and Yahoo! are expected to attend, attracting an unprecedented level of attention into Cambodia for its growing technological revolution.

In August 2007, the Cloggers team (short for "Cambodian bloggers") hosted the Cloggers Summit, a gathering of over 200 individuals who listened and presented on issues of communication and technology in the once war-torn country.

BarCamp's organizers consider the conference to be follow-up to the Cloggers Summit.


Where: Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC)

Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh
Russian Confederation Blvd., Khan Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

When: September 20, 2008, 9:00am - 5:00pm

For more information, visit

Monday, September 8, 2008

Government in Cambodia lost sense for reality

I just read this:

Phnom Penh (dpa) - Cambodia would begin raids on shops suspected of selling pirated movie DVDs and music CDs, a senior official warned Monday.

The South-East Asian nation has become well-known among travellers for its thousands of shops offering dirt-cheap pirated copies of the latest international movies and music, which often hit the stalls before they are in general release overseas.

"The ministry will implement measures imminently to stop the sale of pirated CDs and DVDs to protect the intellectual property of their writers and producers," said Tauch Sarou, undersecretary of state for the Culture Ministry.

I am very sorry, but if they are serious with this issue, they must raid EVERY shop. There is NO place were you can buy original movies and music.
Again the government is trying to calm down international demand and the showing some action. Its like with prostitution: Every few months they arrest a foreigner and show how the a fighting against prosituition. And then the same polititians and police officers gome back to the karaoke bars.