7 questions we're dying to ask the internet's most exciting bloke
There's no foolin' the UN's telecommunicatin' schoolin' Houlin
It is some irony that the further away the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) walks from trying to run the internet, the more it understands it.
Having opened up their documents, started webcasting meetings, and expanded outside communications, now it is the turn of new Secretary-General Houlin Zhao to take questions live on Twitter.
Not only that but danger man Zhao has appeared in a thrilling YouTube video encouraging people to engage with him using the hashtag #AskHoulin.
Before you start to imagine that a huge gulf has been bridged between the everything-now-now-right-now culture of social media and a United Nations agency that thinks a three-week conference is a good idea, consider both Zhao's performance in the video – and the sorts of questions you can expect him to be asked.
Far from the over-caffeinated bouncing berks that are all the rage on YouTube, Zhao sets a more statesmanlike tone that challenges you to make it through the full 31 seconds of his pitch.
As for the questions. At time of writing, mercifully at least a few people who follow the ITU seem to have grasped the basic idea behind a Twitter Q&A. Take this opening corker for instance:
IMT is targeting C-band for its spectrum - surely this will be a disaster for satcoms users especially in emerging markets?
With controversy like that already lined up, you can bet that #AskHoulin is going to be a tempest of telecoms debate. Here are our questions, which we'll ask on Twitter from @TheRegister in hope of answers:
1. Will the ITU open all its docs to the public, instead of just select files? 2. Will you use something other than Word docs? #AskHoulin— The Register (@TheRegister) November 5, 2014
3. What should be the ITU’s role in running the net? 4. How will you ensure greater gender equality in the ITU? #AskHoulin— The Register (@TheRegister) November 5, 2014
5. Only 2 of 5 key ITU elections were contested this year – does that worry you? 6. How will you make the ITU more relevant? #AskHoulin— The Register (@TheRegister) November 5, 2014
And finally, 7. The ITU budget will be $3.4m smaller next year because countries have reduced their contributions. Problem? #AskHoulin— The Register (@TheRegister) November 5, 2014
Don't miss out: post your questions now, and none other than Houlin('s press relations team) will answer your question in 140 characters or fewer this Wednesday at 8am local time (Korea), 11pm UK (and UTC), midday New York and 3pm San Francisco. ®
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