My first meeting outside the 'offical' program was with Serhiy Danylenko (you reach his blog about Citizen Journalism & Social Media here). Together with Dmytro Dubilet (Blog) he co-founded in August 2005 the Ukrainian Citizen Journalism Portal 'Highway'.
Serhiy speaks Ukrainian, English, Polish, Russian, French, and German and beyond the language, we had no problem to get 'going' and sharing experience. The idea of 'Highway' was influenced from (or even conceived during) the 'Orange Revolution' (November/December 2004). When I mentioned the Orange Revolution and that I was there in-person (and of course online)
with my friends from Ukraine
he said, "you look so familiar, I think we must have meet there already ...".
From what I can see (I don't read Ukrainian) Dmytro, Serhiy and so many collaborators (4.500 registered users) have done a great job and I wish them well with their new media partner and with their extended projects in the Social Media environment (e.g. Hi-Blogger).
We meet at SoftPress Publishing Office and so I had a chance to introduce him to my Ukrainian friend and business partner for 12 years Ellina Shnourko-Tobakova and with her publishing activities in the field of Computer & Communication (e.g. Hi-Tech Pro, ITWare.com.ua) she has collected as distinctive crowd of professional, enthusiast and active readers and leading media entities.
For my understanding, there are great chances for Highway & SoftPress to cooperate on several levels. Moreover, as on a long run social media & citizen journalism is about networked media, networked reporting, networked XY ... and not about building a new silo maybe something innovative and beneficial might blossom out of this first contact.
I shared with Serhiy some ideas on a more holistic model for a Social Media platform and I would be happy if one or the other idea would be useful for Highways and UA's Social Media development.
Serhiy, I enjoyed our meeting, you have my 'number' and I hope to meet you again online and/or offline.