BlogFest Asia 2012 rocks the kingdom

BlogFest Asia 2012 was held in Siem Reap, the gateway to Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat. Around 200 bloggers and technologists from ASEAN, except Lao and Brunei and others countries like USA, Australia, India, and Bangladesh joined this festival. Starting from 1st to 5th November 2012, this festival was a meeting for bloggers and technologists to share ideas on new emerging technology: blog and social media.

BlogFest Asia

BlogFest Asia 2012 BlogFest Asia is an annual festival, which was first held in 2010 in Hong Kong and in Penang, Malaysia the following year. This year Cambodia was chosen.

Keo Kounila, a co-organizer of BlogFest Asia 2012, said in the press release, “As the ASEAN community grows closer, and we aim to realize our dream of integration by the year 2015, BlogFest Asia serves as a platform to bring the region closer in order to bridge and bind the ASEAN community together by fostering an exchange of ideas, thoughts and culture.”

She explained, “This year’s festival seeks to inspire new generation of Asian bloggers to purse their blogging passion.”

A guest speaker in BlogFest Asia 2012. / Photo by Rithy Lomor Pich Kounila continued that this festival could play a part to raise awareness of the freedom of expression, and to get together and discuss to make understanding. It also brought Cambodian youths benefits like meeting a lot of professionals and experts from different countries with different topic in one place.

The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (Spider) is one of the main sponsors in BlogFest Asia 2012. David Isaksson, a representative of Spider, said

“Spider is trying to connect to different actors in ICT sector such as journalists and bloggers in order to create a social space. This is one of the main reasons why we sponsor BlogFest Asia 2012.”

Why join and what gain

Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith attending the BlogFest Asia 2012. / Photo by Rithy Lomor Pich The four-day festival agenda was conferences, panel discussion, welcome dinner, and one-day tour: heritage tour of temples, cultural villages and Siem Reap town. This one-day tour was for writing blog to join blog post writing competition on the subject “My Impressions of Siem Reap”. Moreover, another two afternoon were breakout session led by invited experts. Breakout session consisted of many workshops, and participants had freedom to choose which workshop they wanted to attend.

“BlogFest Asia is not just a place where bloggers and technologists come to meet and share. Actually, those who come are possible to get good ideas of what happening in surrounding countries,” said Preetam Rai, an Indian-Japanese blogger who has spent his time reading Cambodian blog since 2006, and one of the BlogFest Asia 2012 speakers on the topic why blog is your best resume.

Activities during the BlogFest Asia 2012. / Photo by Rithy Lomor Pich He added, “Moreover, with particular sessions like photography or Wikipedia, these are useful skills for everybody to learn even though they do not come with specific idea.” He claimed that because of blog he could understand Cambodia much better than reading book, and he felt like he was in Cambodia.

Kim Chantraboth, a new Cambodian technology blogger who has just started two months ago, also joined the festival. He told the reason why he started his blog because it was a good example of effective communication. He can share information and all of his knowledge to others.

Chantraboth said, “I love sharing people what I know, and I also want to know from them.” After joining this festival, Chantraboth said he had a new idea to blog about multimedia. He finds it is a ways to distract his audience from bored. He is also looking forward to joining the next BlogFest again.

(From left) Muong Vandy, Lim Meng Y, Samreth Meta, a BlogFest participant, and Rithy Lomor Pich in Blog Fest Asia 2012. / Photo by CambodiaCircles.comTwo of CambodiaCircles.com reporters also joint this festival. Sam Chanmaliny said her blog was where she could express her idea, and she believed it got louder. “I learn many new techniques and, more importantly, about Internet security.”

Lim Meng Y, another CambodiaCircles.com reporter said that she met many inspiring bloggers both national and international. She found out that blog could be a tool to earn money which was called “commercial blog”.

Myanmar blogger Yatanar Htun, whose blog has been blocked by the government during her country’s internal conflict, said that she got invited as Myanmar ICT organization, not a blogger. She added, “My feeling to blog comes back after joining this event. I get inspired, and my inspiration is all back. For sure, I will be back to my writing.”

Ethel Kay Merioles is a Pilipino blogger who has been blogging on and off for the past 9 years. The reason why she applied to join this event is to meet more people with different languages and cultures gathering in one place.

She was selected as the third winner of blog competition. She wrote about the loyalty of Cambodian. “For a nation who actually spends time to build something this big and grand takes heart,” she guessed this might be the reason why her blog article was selected.

She said, “BlogFest Asia encourages young people to start writing about anything they want to write and as a journalist I keep blogging to express opinion, ” adding that she also wanted BlogFest to be held in her home country, Philippine.

Around Blogging

According to Kounila, blog can be meant anything to different bloggers. Some bloggers use blog as a tool to express idea, some as job advertisement or as a tour guide around the world. It gives benefits for both study and work.

Blog draws contrasting pictures of how traditional media’s news is limited and restricted. Citizen journalist has emerged.  Those citizen journalists are able to share news from local communities without fear. Blog provides platform to bloggers to discuss, both online and offline.

Article by: RITHY Lomor Pich & Samreth Meta
E-mail: lomorpich.r@gmail.com & sam_meta@yahoo.com
Rithy Lomor Pich blogs at www.yokicoco.com
Photo by CambodiaCircles reporters
To see more photos, CLICK HERE

About Writers:

LomorPich's PhotoRITHY Lomor Pich is a junior of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC), and also a radio DJ at Teen FM 92.7 MHz. Whenever you see her, you see her with a camera. Once she takes photo, she means something. Writing is another tool for her to reveal what's inside her photo. With photograph and writing, she believes her voice can be heard.
Her motto is, “Start from something small. Maybe it is not perfect, but it could be better and bigger.”
She started working for the CambodiaCircles in April 2012.

Meta's profileSAMRETH Meta is now a junior of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC). She has been working as a reporter for online news, DMCpost.com. She said that she wanted to be a public relation practitioner in the future, and writing is another way to help her succeed her long-term goal.  She said, “Being a reporter, I have gotten plenty of enjoyable time event I am sometimes refused to go interview face-to-face.” “Success is my aim, Communication is my skill, Writing is my habit, Reporting is my occupation, Journalist ethic is my policy, and Confidence is my power,” said Meta, adding that this is why she has joined the CambodiaCircles.com to send useful information to her audience.