by Danny Lee

It has taken more than a year from planning to activation, but the results have been satisfying for the team behind the new ASEAN Website.

“It was one of the priority project since I joined the ASEAN Secretariat early last year. My team had spent a lot of time collating the needs and expectations of our users, and working with our technical specialists from ASEC, as well as the US Embassy, to see the convergence of the two,” said Ms Durudee Sirichanya, head of Public Outreach and Civil Society Division.

“All the efforts are focused in delivering a better user experience, enhance our capacity for visuals, and to facilitate the transfer of digital information from the ASEAN Resource Centre to the web,” said ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General Bagas Hapsoro, who oversees the Corporate and Community Affairs Department.

A new feature which many users will find useful, is the Search function, which will help better access to ASEAN documents. The project had enjoyed the full support from the   US Mission to ASEAN, which had deployed software experts and financial assistance to see the fruition of the project.

The enhanced capacity will also allow for videos to be uploaded for media sharing. Media partners, Facebook friends, and other users will enjoy more pictures. The site will also support heavier traffic.

“The US is committed to ASEAN, and we are pleased that this project has helped to enhance the user experience of a very public aspect of our old partner, ASEAN,” said Ambassador David Carden from the US Mission to ASEAN. He added the ability to share files from different media platforms will keep up with the demand from the increasingly tech-savvy people of ASEAN.

Pointing out that the revamp goes far beyond a technical upgrade, ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, said the effort is a critical platform in the integration of the Community.

“ASEAN integration is centered around the people of our countries, and the revamped site is one of many efforts to bridge our organisation and the masses. Researchers will enjoy better access to our unclassified data and documents, students will it easier to look for information, and I am sure the videos will attract new users,” said Dr Surin.

“All these are happening at a timely juncture. We have just slightly more than two years to the ASEAN Community. The revamped web site will help to meet the increased demand for ASEAN information, and to enhance our communications with our people. Cyberspace is a great equaliser. It does not discriminate against race, religion or ethnic background. Make a good suggestion, and you will see resounding support form the community,” said the Secretary-General.

“We are very proud to see our hard work becoming reality. We will be monitoring the situation to catch any teething problems, ” said Ms Anindhitya Sasti, one of the team members behind the project.

Do check out our revamped site at www.asean.org, and tell us your thoughts on our facebook @ ASEAN Secretariat.

To see the pictures from ASEAN Website Launching 2012, please click here