Alcatel-Lucent, MDeC aims for more local content
Contest requires participants to write FB apps
NETWORKING and communications specialist Alcatel-Lucent Malaysia has launched an app development contest to encourage the creation of more local content on the Internet.
The clumsily-titled “Geek-the-Genius” contest, which runs from April 27 to July 20, would require participants to develop educational Facebook applications suitable for children between five and 12 years of age.
Since Facebook has an age requirement of 13 years, the apps would be hosted on the www.geekthegenius.com website to allow them access, the organizers said, adding that Facebook was chosen as the development platform because of its popularity amongst Malaysians.
Although some government and public sector leaders are complaining that social networks threaten the very fabric of our society or Malaysia’s national security, others have been advocating getting more localised content online.
“While it is true that there is already a wealth of content on the Internet, various independent studies have shown that content that is most important to people are typically those relevant to the communities in which they live and work,” said Mohd Fazlin Shah Mohd Salleh, Alcatel-Lucent Malaysia president and managing director.
Among these studies is “The Relationship Between Local Content, Internet Development and Access Prices” conducted by the Internet Society, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Unesco, he said at the Geek-the-Genius launch on April 27.
The report is available here: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/41/48761013.pdf
Market research firm TNS reported in 2010 that the heaviest users of social networking are in Malaysia, where they rack up an average nine hours per week, followed by Russia at 8.1 hours per week and Turkey at 7.7 hours per week. Malaysians also have the most social network friends, averaging 233, closely followed by Brazilians with 231.
“According to the Google Ad Planner, 64.7% of Malaysians surf the Internet and 7.5.5% of these are active Facebook users,” said Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer at Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), which is supporting the contest.
“As the key driver of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia), MDeC is always glad to lend our support to private-sector-led initiatives that resonate with MSC Malaysia initiatives.
“We are also committed towards developing local content,” she said, noting that MDeC launched the Integrated Content Development (ICON) programme in 2009 that had 1,115 participants and which saw 15 apps being submitted to Apple Inc’s App Store and 99 Android app prototypes being developed.
In 2011, MDeC launched ICON2 to assist more developers, she added.
A total of 13 cash prizes will be awarded for the Geek-the-Genius contest – the grand prize is RM20,000, followed by a “first prize” of RM12,000 and a second prize of RM5,000 as well as 10 consolation prizes of RM700 each.