All posts by Cody Behles

Cody Behles is a graduate student in Library Science and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University.

Open Source Society and Central Asia

Last March the 3rd annual Regional Open Source Conference of Central Asia was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The choice of Dushanbe as the host city (Tajikistan has the second lowest internet penetration in the region after Turkmenistan) made an important statement about how the conference organizers viewed the use of open source technology in Central Asia. The topics ranged from development, persons with disabilities, e-government, and education but carried a central theme of “Open Data, Open Systems and Open Technology”.  An underlying current within these topics is the idea that through open source technology we can bypass existing infrastructure to create projects which directly affect the people they are intended to benefit.
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Gezi Protests as a model for Central Asia

When Kyrgyzstan’s 2010 revolution was credited with using social media as a way to communicate during protests, it was seen as the beginning of a shift in how political discourse in the country occurred. While the technology was used mostly to communicate rather than to organize and was limited to certain demographics, it still marked the potential for change. At the end of May, the full might of the internet’s ability to create networks, to organize individuals, and to raise up change from the grassroots level was brought to Turkestan.
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Central Asian Digital Repositories

Digital repositories are one of the most prominent elements of the open access movement in universities today. Collecting publications, resources, and content generated by an institution and making them available to the public creates an online archive and serves as a representation of the institution. Universities, research institutions, and libraries are most often responsible for managing these repositories (for background information, Lynch). However, single university institutional repositories that are often associated with Western universities are largely absent from the Central Asian region. Continue reading Central Asian Digital Repositories

In Central Asia, The Internet Is a Superior Good

In a recent study, Chyi and Yang found Americans consider the internet an economically inferior good to newspaper content and television coverage. In other words, given increased income Americans will favor newspapers and television as a news source over the internet. The study suggested that while people have no greater emotional attachment to any particular medium, a combination of presentation and ease of access makes print media and television a more favorable way to consume daily information.
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Digital Mahalla

Welcome to the first edition of the “The Digital Mahalla” – a blog addressing themes and topics of digital scholarship in Central Asia. The explosion of research on Internet Communication Technology, trends in social media usage, web analytics, human-computer interaction, and other such topics has been embraced by all disciplines. Every day the web reveals new areas to explore, new websites to analyze, and enlightening perspectives generating new and exciting questions. Continue reading Digital Mahalla