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Assyrians Need their Own Yahoo, Google and MSN Like Web Leaders
By: Ashur Sada. July 7th, 2006

Assyrians have been using the internet and the web for over 10 years now, dating back to and other websites which kick started the first attempts by Assyrians to use the internet and exploit it for good uses.  Since then, hundreds and hundreds of websites have come and gone, some of which are still here and operating.  The ones that stayed were the ones who offered the Assyrian people something useful. This very website, Assyrian Voice, has been in operation since 1999, and took over where and left off, offering Assyrians a place where they can come to connect and communicate with one another.  Communication with one another as well as the providing of information, are the central themes here.  It is an essential combination through which our Assyrian people can keep in touch with one another and get up to date with their knowledge about history, the present and even the future.  And although we already have several websites that try to offer a place for people to come and keep in touch, we should do more, and try to aim for something better. Something of the caliber of Yahoo, MSN and Google, true portals that offer a place for millions to come and communicate, find information and more. How can this be done? let us try to find some ways of doing this.  


The Need for Leadership and Standards

As the webmaster of this website, one of the leading websites in Assyrians' web presence, I am here to offer some solutions and strategies.  Solutions on how we can move forward. Strategies on how to do things better and achieve a higher level of professionalism in doing what we do.  To begin with, we have no true or recognized leaders that oversee and set the standards for how the Assyrian web industry and community works and operates.  But knowing how scattered around the world Assyrians are, it is hard to find true leaders from amongst the millions of Assyrians worldwide.  But we could have unofficial leaders, that set the standards and set the path for others to follow. Assyrian Voice has been doing this already, and the results have been very encouraging so far.  For example, our photo albums have gained so much popularity, it is now a standard in many other leading Assyrian sites. It is more of a trend. Assyrians like to keep in touch with other Assyrians through, not only voice and communication but through visuals too and that includes pictures of course. Again, leadership can be demonstrated by doing what looks and seem right and what benefits the people in the short and the long term.  Our investment in Assyrian music, through our Assyrian Voice Music section, is another example of setting standards for a better internet for Assyrians.  By making sure our music is copyright protected first, and that our singers get something back, are ways in which Assyrian websites can put music online.  Leadership and standards all come down to trust and the delivery of a good product and/or service. 


The Need for Expertise

Then comes the need for expertise. That is, the need for programmers, web developers, expert web authors and content writers and more.  Without these, not much can be accomplished. Without these, we can only do little. With these, we can define the difference between a true web portal and a simple website.  It all starts from the very top, where web programmers and developers set the groundwork for our online websites and communities.  They do their work, collaboratively, and that in turn makes it easier for those down the spiral to do their job easier. Those who come next are the web authors and webmasters, who use the programming done by their peers to start plugging in what the need to put on these online sites from contents, including information, media, communication tools and more.  A programmer will need a webmaster to work effectively and vise versa.  When all of these people come together and blend their expertise and experiences together, you have a true team working together for one purpose and one goal. The purpose and the goal being the creation, maintenance and serving of a true global Assyrian web presence.

The Need for the People's Feedback and Participation

Traditionally, Assyrians are not the best when it comes to feedback and providing the necessary testing environment that a new project or invention needs. That needs to change, and immediately.  In order to be able to produce better web content, services and applications, Assyrian uses need to provide a good loop feedback with Assyrian webmasters, programmers and developers.  If an Assyrian company is going to start their own AIM service, they will need as much feedback from its beta test users as possible.  Remember, testing it not just about testing the product in question. It goes beyond that.  As part of the feedback loop, there needs to be a relay of opinion back to the developer. Otherwise, the developer will never know if the new application is a success or good enough.  The same goes with web content, including blogs, forums etc.  The Assyrian user needs to engage more often in order to make these applications a success. It also lets the blog or forum administrator know that there are actually people out there who are viewing whatever content these applications are offering.


For some, what we already have is good enough.  They argue that the natural cycle of progression will take its natural course. In other words, Assyrians don't have the advanced economy and educational institutions to produce what this article is asking for. Things are just going well the way it is right now.  Money and education are needed of course, but the web has been around for over 10 years now, and the education is rightly available, and for free too sometimes.  It is up to the Assyrians to go after it, use it wisely and come up with something better.  Of course, what we have right now is not bad at all. It is quiet good actually, given our relative small population online.  But no matter what, we can always do better.


As the Web enters its second phase, or what the analysts term as 'Web 2.0', Assyrians need to reevaluate their presence on the web and try to get on with technology. We need to redevelop our entire structure of our web presence. We need to look at Yahoo, MSN, Google and others as good examples of companies on whom millions rely everyday for their data, communication and entertainment needs online. Assyrian entrepreneurs, programmers, web developers and webmasters need to work hand in hand with the Assyrian user to create the next phase of the new Assyrian Web and Internet. Networking the scattered Assyrian people from all around the world, and providing them with the most dynamic content and information are two top priorities to start with.  In the years and decades to come, the internet will become an even more integral part of people's lives. Assyrians need to make sure they are ready. It all starts here and now, from this very website!




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