Bahai News - Hifa Utilises the Internet to Get Its Message Across
Hifa Utilises the Internet to Get Its Message Across
by Roy Steiner
Harare, May 17, 2001 -- For many large events a website is becoming a
critical means of not only publicising the event itself but keeping all
stakeholders informed of last minute changes and fostering a sense of
community around that event.
A brilliant example of an event-focused web presence is that of the recently
ended Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) which once again
successfully launched its website at www.hifa.co.zw.
The site not only contained the latest calendar of events but a detailed
description of the artists involved and a history of the festival itself.
These type of websites create value on a number of difference fronts.
First, they actively promote the event and distribute key information
at a fraction of the cost of doing so using paper-based brochures.
HIFA is in continual dialogue with international artists and organisations
and being able to refer them to a website rather than sending them a brochure
that very likely will be out of date when it arrives is a tremendous source
Second, websites allow other affiliated organisations to link to the site
and leverage the power of networked communities to bring visitors to the
website. Multiple artistic organisations both regionally and internationally
now link to the HIFA site fostering a web of interconnections for the
In the future the HIFA website can create even more value by allowing
interested audience members to purchase their tickets online rather than
having to go to a ticket booth, saving both parties time and money.
The website can also become a place where audience members and artists
dialogue about the meaning of the pieces that were presented, further
extending the influence of a single event.
Many large conferences and events are relying on websites to facilitate
information dissemination about them.
In academic circles, the annual conferences of key scientific organisations
post all their papers on the Internet before the conference, allowing
participants to come prepared for richer and more focused dialogue.
Regional organisations such as the WK Kellogg Foundation use the Internet
to post conference notes and papers so that participants can always download
a paper they found interesting without weighing themselves down with papers
that are usually misplaced anyway.
Some events are even providing video streaming of selected portions to
include a wider audience in the proceedings. For example the Baha'i World
Community will be inaugurating a major building project on the slopes of
Mount Carmel in Israel with a world conference that will be video streamed
from their news site at www.bahaiworldnews.org/terraces.
As broadband Internet becomes more prevalent and more and more households
get connected, conferences with truly worldwide participation will no longer
be rare events, restricted to heads of states and diplomats, but be open to
the rest of us who are already part of a global civilisation.
*Roy Steiner, PhD is the managing director of Cyberplex Africa, Zimbabwe's
largest website development company (www.cyberplexafrica.com). Steiner can
be contacted at Kopje Plaza, 6th Floor, 1 Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare, or on
telephone numbers 777160-4.
©Copyright 2001, Financial Gazette/All Africa
Page last updated/revised 052801
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