4th Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum

The 4th Meeting of the Internet Governance forum will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh,  Egypt from the 15th through the 18th of November at the Maritim Sharm El Sheikh International Congress Center..

Online registration is available at the IGF website, and “is open to all World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) accredited entities, as well as other institutions and persons with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet Governance.” Sponsorship is available from a limited number of sources.

This year’s theme, according to UNDESA Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang, is “Internet Governance – Creating Opportunities for All.  The theme reflects the basic purpose of the IGF to develop a common understanding of how to maximize the opportunities the Internet offers for all nations and peoples, and how to address the risks and challenges, while also raising awareness of the development dimension of Internet governance.”

There will be related discussions on the IGF’s areas of interest, including the management of Internet resources and security topics, especially those relating to openness and privacy issues. As always, Internet access and diversity will be paramount importance, as part of the IGF’s mandate to pursue governance in accordance with WSIS principles. Additional special topics include “Emerging issues – impact of social networks” and “Taking stock and the way forward – desirability of the continuation of the Forum”.

And no topic is out of bounds or too small to consider. There will be an entire session devoted to children’s websites and products targeted to kids. Maria White will discuss some of the issues she’s had to contend with when setting up commerce platforms including a very interesting talk concerning a well known store featuring princess dresses. For example, did you know that not only young girls wear them? They are considered both clothing and costumes, so for example, on Halloween, you might find older women dressed as princesses (aren’t they already?). And we can’t rule out an occasional boy who wants to pull a gender stunt! She’ll also discuss some of the legal considerations required for purveyors of kids products.

Another speaker will be discussing the use of ranking high in local searches. Take for example the case of a local family run business that has three stores in Orange County New York. They sell pools and spas and related accessories. They created a website that was optimized for the local search: above ground pool ny. Unlike a regular e commerce site where products are bought online, their site was for information only, since customers would need to come to one of their three stores to actually order the pools or spa they desired. Therefore this business went after local search terms (above ground pool NY or above ground pool Orange County) rather than more general search terms such a above ground pools which would be more competitive. This is a session to attend if you want to learn how to rank in the local search.

About Sharm el-Sheikh:

Literally, “The City of Peace”, Sharm el-Sheikh overlooks the Red Sea at the southern tip of the Sinai. Historically embattled during past Arab-Israeli conflicts, the city has become a center for international political meetings, especially peace conferences. Restrictions on commercial shipping and development have maintained the natural surroundings while allowing development of a modern tourist destination to thrive. The seaside resort setting attracts visitors with exceptional sailing and warm-water scuba diving, and the nightlife consists of fine modern nightclub and restaurant establishments.

** Update ** After attending this wonderful event I must say that I had quite the experience. It was magical, everything I had hoped for & more. The scenery around the area was unlike any I had ever experienced. The community was different as well. There were many times I felt that the locals in the area were much preferred to the people I run across in everyday life here. I would have to rate it as second to none if I were hard pressed about the issue. I recommend the experience to all of my friends & family, so as you can imagine I have to do the same for you. If you get the chance to experience the area, don’t hesitate. Even if there is no event that is being held there when you go.

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