Our interlocutor is Rauf Mardiyev, Secretary General of “IRELI” Public Union and Chief of Information Technologies Academy project.
Q.: What kinds of changes are expected in the field of Information Technologies (IT) in “IRELI” Public Union?
A.: As you know, information technologies are one of the fields “IRELI” Public Union gives priority to. We have implemented over 200 different kinds of projects in this field since 2005. Mainly, they were about various trainings directed at increasing IT skills of the youth, creating data bases, blogs directed at protection of Azerbaijan’s interests in virtual space and setting-up networks of young professionals and so on.
As regards to novelties, Information Technologies Department of “IRELI” was the first to conduct blogging trainings in Azerbaijan in 2007. We have always kept this field in spotlight. “WeBlog” trainings were introduced in 2010. In total, 35 youth received one-month intensive blogging trainings as part of the project. They were taught the ways how to create, operate and, advertise the blogs, even how to make money out of blogs. At the end of trainings, each participant has own blog and trainers check these blogs during a month. Participants capable of applying the knowledge acquired during trainings into practice are awarded with certificates.
Q.: Do WeBlog trainings also involve bloggers from the country’s regions?
A: Unfortunately, no one joined this project from the regions. But we always keep in mind our youth in the regions. This is why, some of our projects target specifically the youth living in the regions. For ex., we conducted trainings in Sheki, Shirvan, Ganja and Sumgait cities in November-December 2010 as part of the “Increasing networking skills of young leaders” project with the special part of these trainings being focused on networking in the Internet.
Q.: In general, are people from the regions active Internet users?
A.: Of course, people have become more active as compared to previous years. There are several reasons for this: reduced Internet tariffs, an opportunity to buy a computer at favorable terms in the regions, increasing awareness of population and so on. In general, there is a development in this regard. But it is not at a satisfactory level yet. There is a lack of qualified professionals in the regions. “IRELI” always tries to play a role in resolving these problems with our projects. We want the people to pass on the knowledge they have to others, too. I believe if we go on working at this pace, we will manage to bring IT skills of our rural citizens in line with urban level.
Q.: As far as I know, you have your own blog. How often do you update it?
A.: I have operated my blog since 2007. At the time I did not have so much workload and often used to write articles. But because of time limits, I cannot spare much time to my blog now. I mostly try to post urgent issues covering our activity from news agencies to my blog. But sometimes, some issue draws my attention and I express my opinion on it in my blog and disseminate it through social networks. This is a good tradition. It is desirable everyone to have his/her own blog.
Q.: Do you follow any blog constantly?
A.: I follow Elnur Aslanov’s blog (http://elnuraslanov.livejournal.com/). I also follow news in Jeyhun Osmanli’s blog (http://ceyhunosmanli.wordpress.com/). You can find interesting articles in Farid Novruzi’s blog (http://novruzi.livejournal.com/). Besides, I follow foreign blogs for innovations in information technologies.
Q.: Do you think bloggers can be considered journalists?
A.: I see journalism as a profession and blogging rather as a hobby. Somebody may be a journalist but not a blogger or somebody is a blogger but has nothing to do with journalism. But somebody may be both a journalist and a blogger and this is good both for journalists and bloggers.