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Digital Nation - A Knowlegde Oasis Muscat Initiative

Knowledge Oasis Muscat's (KOM) Digital Nation series is a unique set of quarterly seminars that bring together creative professionals, business leaders, techies and students to discuss the emergence, challenges, opportunities and implications of the digital lifestyle. Indeed, Digital Nation is all about the convergence of people, ideas, disciplines, technologies and progress.

Digital Nation participants are exposed to new ideas and have the opportunity to connect with key thinkers in the Information Communication Technology industry. Driven by KOM's remit of innovation and creativity and its emergence as a centre of technology, the Digital Nation series combines creative, business and consumer viewpoints that spark ideas for new products, services and growth.

For more information on KOM's Digital Nation series, please contact Ibtisam Al Faruji or Mulkie Al Hashmi on: digitalnation@kom.om

10 June: Ramping Up Internet Usage: Get Online
Technology is transforming Omani society - we've satellite TV beaming in from around the world, people are e-banking and using e-government services online and companies recognize that to stay competitive at home and abroad they need to leverage ICT.

However, recent research reveals that the greatest barrier to Internet uptake in Oman is a lack of understanding of its benefits. Of the 43% of adults who have never accessed the Internet, nearly half of them (49%) cite a general lack of interest as their main or only reason for not having used the Internet. This Digital Nation seminar will look at ways of overcoming key barriers to Internet use and ask:

Communicate: How do we raise awareness of the Internet and online services and signpost people to sources of access and support?

Content: How do we stimulate the production of innovative and relevant local content to encourage non-users to get online and existing users to adopt more sophisticated patterns of use?

Motivate: How do we encourage people to want to use the Internet by increasing awareness about the benefits of online services, where they can be accessed and sources of support?

Access: How do we invest in a network of public Internet access points for those who can't afford or don't have home or work Internet connections and promote access via a variety of different channels?

Skills: How do we embed ICT skills in schools and colleges?

Trust: How do we advise citizens about safe Internet use and support a light-touch, flexible regulatory framework?

2 September: Digital Media: Sharing Content
What's digital media? Broadly speaking - anything from the traditional uses of the medium for creating and sharing rich content to the explosion of blogs for self expression and increasingly real time interpretation of news and breaking events. Digital media is also about shared content via websites like: Flicr, YouTube and blip.tv and social sites like FaceBook and MySpace. It's a concept that's booming. For example, the British army recently led an expedition up Mount Everest and during the climb recorded daily video podcasts onto their website. Sky TV liked the podcasts so much they posted them on their website too. This is a great example of PR and advertising working together through digital media.

Today, consumers are more than ever seeking out information rather than following blindly. We've moved away from an age of deference to an age of reference. The emergence of blogs and wikis ('what I know is?') clearly show the demands of an increasingly sophisticated and information-hungry public and are examples of how consumers are taking power into their own hands and creating their own new and trusted sources of information. How are business and the public sector reacting to this step change in media culture? Attend this Digital Nation seminar and find out.

9 December: iGeneration: Embracing the Digital World
By 2010, Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, will be a consumer sector of tremendous importance to business, media and entertainment communities. Not only will they be big, but they will be fragmented and difficult to reach. The increasing number of media channels - instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms, iPods, mobile phones, Tivo, P2P networks, handhelds and video games - through which this generation communicates and consumes media and entertainment, makes them a highly elusive target for businesses hoping to market to them. This Digital Nation seminar will discuss the characteristics of this unique generation - one fully embracing a pervasively digital world - and its greater implications for media, entertainment and advertising. Find out how you can engage this new breed of Internet power users.

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