Many people have been asking what is it all about? They would only see selfies flooding twitter with the tagline: "Do you use Internet?"
It all started during the Mauritius Internet Users (MIU) meetups following a couple of tweets at first.
Then Shelly sent an email on the MIU mailing list proposing an event themed "Hello Gorgeous! Do you use Internet? #Mauritius". Usually, when we announce an event, people tend to think it's gonna be too technical, while it's not always. We thought it would be good to let people know of this one in a different way. The hashtag #Mauritius was important to clean up the Mauritius twitter landscape. Mauritius is certainly more about just hotels, sea, sand & beaches; we have a beautiful social life. However, twitter at times looks like an advertisement page selling the country as a destination to honeymooners. Well, it might be good for the tourism industry but we, as Mauritians have our share on the twitter landscape too.
We started the selfie tweets ^^
Shelly's proposed event would comprise of what most people use Internet for. We want people to come forward and say what they use Internet for and we'll discuss from there.
That's what I can sum up from the initial brainstorming phase from the the MIU mails. The discussion is still ON and anyone could join to contribute ideas. When asked about Internet many people would answer, "Yes. I use the Internet.". However, upon listening well, we would come to the conclusion that the person doesn't use anything more that just websites. In the MIU mails I mentioned that most people would use only HTTP & HTTPS, thus referencing the two main protocols for the web. Most people don't use more that that. In fact, while Skype has been long categorized as a VoIP1 software, it happens that even Skype uses the web protocols.
Therefore the aim of the event would be to discover more about the Internet, share our experiences and have fun. We also went one step ahead. Today when someone suffers from a poor Internet connection, he/she will complain about that on facebook most probably. Does that solve the problem? Does complaining on Facebook give us better Internet? I guess nope, otherwise following the hundreds of status messages I've seen in the past year, we should have had 100Mbps by now. Unfortunately, facebook complaints have no value.
If the hundreds of facebook complaints were turned into valid complaints through a regulatory body, would that help? Maybe.
Does every Internet user of Mauritius know about the ICT Laws and policies governing both Internet usage and Internet Service Providers? The answer would be NO. Knowing these regulations & policies help one understand what to do when the service is poor. Therefore, the event would not only comprise of everyone coming and say I use the Internet to Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Google or Wikipedia but it would also be a platform where one could learn something when leaving the event. So, tomorrow we'll have hundreds if not thousands of well informed and responsible Internet users.