Glimpses on the Social and Political Culture of Hong Kong – Wednesday, 14.4.2010
Because of the Khmer New Year holidays 14 to 16 April 2010, life during this whole week is different; actually, already since Friday last week, music and the voices of people playing special New Year games, and of groups of friends going out together, indicated that the festive season began already.
This affects also publications, and some offices “also the Open Institute” – are closed for a week. Our regular publications will therefore start only on Monday, 19 April. But we will supply our readers with some information also during this week.
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 660
Participating in the Internet Society Asia Regional Chapters Meeting and the INET Asia Regional Conference: Opportunities and Challenges in the Next Generation Internet: IPv6, Security and Privacy, Multilingualism, and Search Engine Optimization, provided the participants also the opportunity to visit the International ICT Expo 2010 taking place at the same time at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. More than 1200 companies display their newest products and services in the fields of Computer & Peripherals, Telecom, Networking & Wireless Technologies, Enterprise Solutions, IT Outsourcing, Digitainment [digital entertainment] & Multimedia, E-Logistics & Retail Technologies, Home-grown Innovations, and Trade Related Services.
One might think that in an international export oriented fair of so much technology based innovation, aiming at sales in ever more expanding markets, there might not be much space left for social concerns. Wrong. In 2006, an awards system has been established, in cooperation between the computer industry and government, to provide incentives towards accepted and publicly recognized excellence.
The Hong Kong ICT Awards 2009 include the following examples, some of them unexpected in an ICT trade show:
- Best Digital Inclusion Award: Brain Fitness Gymnasium for the Elderly
Hong Kong Society for the Aged
- Best Digital Entertainment Award: The Shoes
Hong Kong Baptist University
- Best Audio Development: MPh Music Discovery System
- Best Public Service Application: Complaints Intelligence System
Efficiency Unit – Chief Secretary for Administrations Office of the Government
The description of the latter says:
“The Call Center (phone number 1823) acts as a single point of contact for handling public inquiries and complaints, so that the citizens have a quick and one-stop access to government services and information.
“Among the 2.75 million calls and e-mails, around 0.3 million is related to complaints. Since March 2009, the system uses text mining technology to conducts efficient and in-depth analysis from the complaint messages collected daily. Besides statistics, the system allows users to extract consolidated information of subject matters (such as water-dripping) and events occurred in certain locations.”
Efficient handling of communication, including critical communication, from the people to the government – well done. The press in Cambodia has, about every week, reports that media staff tried to contact government officials on different levels, asking for information or clarification – and the newspapers report often that the response from the called official was, that he either was in a meeting, or simply too busy to talk to a journalist, or that they just cut the phone off as soon as the knew that a journalist was calling.
The Hong Kong Call Center, handling public inquiries and complaints, deserves the award – such work could also be an inspiration for others to follow suit.
The organizer of the Cambodia ICT & Telecom World Expo – the last was held 1 to 3 April 2010 – might consider to also analyze the social impact of ICT – Information and Communication Technology – in Cambodia, and shape the results into an award that will look beyond who has the biggest share of the market.
Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.