Former Yugoslavia and datacommunication
(Written: beginning of 1995)
A lot of refugees, media, NGO's and other organisation have problems communicating with former Yugoslavia, due to broken or overloaded phone lines and unreliable postal services. Where communication is possible, there is the problem of costs. Especially calling and faxing from within former Yugoslavia to the rest of the world is very costly. And sometimes even good phone lines are useless, due to lack of fax paper ... So far personal communication.
Getting pluriform information from and about Former Yugoslavia is also a problem. The mass media mainly bring us atrocities, stuck negotiations and stuck convoys. News about positive developments and possibilities to help seems not to exist.
ZaMir Transnational Net
That's why NGO's build a computer network in Former Yugoslavia, ZaMir Transnational Net or ZTN, which connects lots of organisations and individuals within Former Yugoslavia and in the rest of the world. BBS's (network computers) are available in Zagreb, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Prishtina and Ljubljana. Users in former Yugoslavia make short national or local connections, by 'calling' the BBS's with their computer and modem. And all the BBS's make periodical connections with Internet.
In this way cheap, fast, uncensored and worldwide communication is possible. E-mail (private electronic mail), but also news, reports, appeals, etc. spread via 'newsgroups' (public message area's). And at lots of computers on Internet offer all kind of information, from UN archives to NGO projects, via protocols as World Wide Web, gopher and FTP.
Starting points (updated)
In cooperation with the Antenna Foundation in Nijmegen, Socia Media put up serveral free facilities for accessing information on Former Yugoslavia. The latest result (May 1998) was a special connection to the Antenna news server, to access the famous NGO newsgroup 'yugo.antiwar'. This (until then 'closed') APC newsgroup can be used by anyone now.
An other initiative is the 'Hope on the Balkans' web site.
Socia Media is involved in datacommunications with Former Yugoslavia since 1992 and will be glad to help you with your (first) steps in this field. Contact Boyd Noorda.
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