Webmaker Kiosk at BIW2015, Rajshahi

[[Disclaimer: This blog is written for those who can not wait to know how the event went. This contain no photos, as I don’t have them right now and barely contains any link. To see the final version, you have to wait a few days.]]

Bangladesh is a developing country. The current Government has promised the nation to present a fully digital country by 2021. This is currently buzzed as Vision 2021. To materialize this vision of a digital country, the government is greatly focusing on ITC development by opening various portal for public service and encouraging various types of e-commerce. To support and let people know about these services they could avail through the Internet (web) a fair was held at Nankin Bazar, Rajshahi on 9th September, 2015 as a part of the Bangladesh Internet Week celebration.

Mozilla has been developing tools to help people surf and use the web safely. But, in recent years it has focused on sharing and making on the web. In 2015, Mozilla has introduced a new Android application named Webmaker, which focuses on content sharing on the web, without any prior knowledge of programming or web page generating. The whole app works with simple touch gestures and drag ‘n drop. So, it’s pretty easy to use and almost everyone can use it.

A few days ago, Mahay Alam Khan Bhai and Belayet Bhai open called for volunteers to help in the kiosks around the country. From their tweets and Facebook posts, I came to know about this opportunity. Then, they organized us, and provided us with necessary tools. They also tried really hard to get the kiosks for the demonstration purpose. Luckily, we could manage a Kiosk for demonstrating the Webmaker App in BIW2015 Rajshahi.

Me and Papun bhai, reached the venue at around 9AM, while we were on the way, we thought we’d be late but it surprised us when we reached the venue we were the early birds. After finding our kiosk we were disappointed to see that, our kiosk had a misspelled tag, written “Mozila” on it. So, without any delay we called the authorities and I gave them a paper with the correct spelling. Then, I unwrapped the banners and started planning where to put all the banners and other stuff. After finding the sweet spot, I held the banners in position and Papun bhai secured them with tapes. After all banners were secured, we started counting and arranging our swags, stickers and pamphlets. Luckily by that time they had swapped the misspelled tag with the correct one.

At around 10 AM Istiaque bhai joned the party! By the time he joined us, all the exhibitors and other participants were called outside to witness the grand opening of BIW 2015 Rajshahi. There

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Ministry of Post, Telecommunications & Information Technology, gave inspiring speech and lots of other thing.

At around 11AM, we got back to our Kiosk, this time with our Photographer Tumon bhai, his friend Fuad and another Mozillian Robin.

The stream of visitors were attracted to our kiosk as it was the first kiosk. So, God, we had to deal with a lot of people, a lot. From the very beginning our kiosk was almost full every minute. We had Six volunteers for demonstration and I don’t remember if I saw them sitting or being idle for a single minute. We were asking everyone to get their phone out and download the app then we encouraged them to open an account and made them familiar with the concept and idea behind Webmaker. Actually, I got a few interesting visitors, who wanted to go deep and I had to talk with them over 5 minutes. They asked about, how Webmaker is different from other online content sharing platforms like WordPress and Blogger. And many others wanted to know how to share, who can visit their makes, to whom these are visible, will their name will be removed if someone remixes their makes and tons of other interesting questions. We were giving away, awesome Webmaker stickers, whoever downloaded the app at our kiosk or could show the app installed in their phone! It was Awesome that, I was lucky enough that, one visitor, met me outside, after the fair, and showed me his first project, which were basically selfies with his buddies. The booth was so busy that our Photographer Tumon bhai actually got tired. So, I asked for his camera and told him to demonstrate the App while I took the Photos. The people who knew me and visited the fair cut jokes on me saying, “Hey, Mahir, from Developer to Photographer? What’s wrong with you man?”, I just smiled as I literary didn’t have anytime to talk with them unless they were the visitors of our kiosk.

At around, 1:30PM, We decided to split up for lunch and four of us, including me went for the lunch, while the others remained at the kiosk to demonstrate and welcome visitors. When we returned, the other party went for lunch. Surprisingly, they were able to attend 10 visitors by the time we were at lunch!

The event ended at 4PM, after rolling up everything, we headed for our home at 5PM with no energy left.

This event was great! With events like this, we can get into the mainstream lot easier. I think we should participate these kinds of events every time we get chance!

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