Exclusive interview with the president of a New Media advertising organization and a think-tank executive director. Eric Jones, photographer, assisting.
Thanks to the Open World program and Friendship Force International, we recently hosted two highly internet-capable executives from the emerging nation Kyrgyzstan. So what did we do, considering their close to perfect English? Made our own blog, of course! We rapid-fired questions about how blog and web content as well as digital photography are being used on the other side of the world, post Soviet Union. Boy, did we get some great answers! My conclusion: blogging, tweeting and sophisticated web content are building a nation.
The players: Azim Azimov is president of New Independent Media Foundation. His goal in participating in this whirlwind tour in DC and Denver was to experience the birth place and development of internet and social media, with the eye to gaining tips and tricks to advantage his clients in advertising, PR and marketing communications. He is deeply aware of internet influence on the last USA election, and hopes to emulate the same techniques and reach in Kyrgyzstan. Mirsulzhan Namazaliev, or Michu for short, holds the position of Executive Director of the Central Asian Free Market Institute, a think-tank involved with economic research, development of policy solutions, advocacy and education. On this exchange trip he sought experience in promoting civil initiatives, lobbying to government and parliamentary officials and sharing with USA new media experts. And here’s the shocker: the two eager execs are in their early 20’s! We couldn’t be more excited by their accomplishments so far. Eric Jones is an accomplished photojournalist and a very good Russian speaker – compared to my simple ability to read Cyrillic signs and get out a few basic sentences. ‘Nuf said.
Kyrgyzstan resembles Colorado in population and ecology – excepting their mountains are in the 24,000 foot range as compared to our 14,000 footers. Capitol city Bishkek is full of trees (see Google Earth) and only a little smaller then Denver. Our guests remarked also on the welcome similarity of Western hospitality, and project a time when Kyrgyzstan moves through the concerns of economic development and modernization to be involved in husbandry of resources and land use as is prevalent in Colorado society.
On to our guests’ take on things photographic. Listen to their responses about photojournalism, street photography and their great interest in weddings, though they don’t do wedding photography! Totally up to date. Sounds just like WPPI. These guys make us want to visit them in their country. You will too!