As a researcher at the Center for Public Diplomacy, I came to appreciate the need and the convenience of a timely recap of the news. With so much going on in many different fields, and various mediums through which to receive and explore news and information, having one source with a quick summary and commentary on the current events is invaluable.
The Week That Was
The African File will begin to publish a weekly recap of news from the African continent, with a focus on my three areas of interest/specialty: technology, politics, and sport. The weekly digest isn’t meant to cover the biggest news stories, but examine a range of topics that might be interesting for those who are interested in keeping up on events from the continent. It will contain links to the stories so that readers may gain a deeper inside, and The African File will attempt to add thoughtful, or at least satirical, commentary to the news each week. It will publish under the title: ‘The Week That Was’ (TWTW).
Between these two Twitter feeds, there are 10,000 followers. When I saw that they had retweeted my story, I expected a flood (or at least close to 100) hits coming through the link to my most recent paper, The Cloud and Africa – Indicators for Growth of Cloud Computing. Alas, not a single follower (according to WordPress’ statistics) of those twitter feeds clicked on my link to read my paper.
The reason I had been so excited about this paper was the originality of the idea. I had never written a paper that was so quantitative heavy, but I had to go that route after I found the literature of Cloud Computing to be limited in the development sense. The few mentions of cloud computing in developing markets focused on India and China. So with the limited amount of data, I had to hypothesize and use what I had learned in class to make a prediction. One of the biggest things I’ve learned while being back in academia the past year is the proliferation of the fear of prediction making. So I decided to buck this trend and create a database that would predict which countries in Africa were most likely to embrace cloud computing as a development and economic solution. What resulted was a table that formed the basis for my Cloud Readiness Index. Certainly, it is not anything that would withstand academic review, but something I thought that could be a good conversation starter and one that could provide information to policy makers and businesses on which markets to examine further to determine if they would adopt the model of Cloud Computing.
Currently, it’s the latest book review in IJOC’s Vol 5 of 2011, which you can view at the link above.
The read was very manageable for those interested in communications and media studies. It’s definitely geared towards the academic community because of the use of empirical data from an indexing of seven different country’s media sources: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, the Guardian (UK), the People’s Daily, and Al-Ahram. She also examines four online media organizations:BBC.co.uk, English.AlJazeera.net, Mail & Guardian Online, and China Daily.
I think it will be a critical book for any students doing media studies going forward, and gives excellent analysis of media firms in the Global South. The amount of data that were included in the appendixes were immense, giving anyone a good first resource for further research.