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Homepage of the Project Overview Section
Short Paper
Medium-sized Paper
Full Paper
Papers by the participants (Spanish)
Web Navigation
Diagram (Spanish)
MISTICA at a glance (download the RTF file)
Animated Presentation
Official Project Document (download the zip file)
Article about Mistica published by the IDRC
Article published in International Journal of Technologies "Techknowlogia"

Presentación de Mistica ante premio Bettinho(Spanish)
MISTICA, finalista del Stockholm Challenge 2001 


Methodology and Social Impact of the Information and Comunication Technologies in America) is a two year project with two objectives:

  • strengthening of the NICT social actors in Latin America and the Carribbean
  • experimentation of an articulated methodology for communication within virtual communities

So, it is not a project on misticism! Nor is it a meeting of mistic people!! The meaning of the word is much more "the mystique of work", i.e. a special effort made in order to overcome barriers and reach one's objectives!

There are various manners to discover what MISTICA is. According to the time one has, to his/her previous knowledge of the topic and to his/her interest for the related questions, or, more simply, to the speed of his/her Internet connection, everyone can follow the way which fits him/her best. The documents are presented here with their main characteristics, in terms of (relative) size, reading time (direct or indirect, i.e. for a mere linear reading, or taking into account the hypertext links), target audience, as well as objectives. They are available sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish or French: some translations have not been performed yet, or they are in progress. In order to give you some helpful suggestions, we invite you to consult two different entries: the first one is a commented list made according to the time it takes to read the papers; the second way to make your choice is to consult a table which presents the documents according to the target audiences, taking their objectives into account.

Suggestions according to the reading time

If you have 15 minutes... They are five documents the readings of which do not exceed 20 minutes:

  • a short article: "The Mystic of Collaborative Work on the Internet With Social Ends" is a paper written in a journalistic style. It is very short (16K, i.e. some three computer screens) and it targets the general public.
  • the diagram sums up, in one single screen, the main components of the project. You need to understand Spanish and to have the Flash plug-in in order to access this presentation, the size of which is more than 100K. Everyone can get into the project moving the mouse on the various parts of the image and reading the related comments (journalistic type).
  • the papers by the participants: there is currently one single document, a very short review (14K, i.e. two screens) written in Spanish for the general public, following a journalistic tone similar to the one of the other two documents which do not take much time to read.
  • if you do not have time but know a little what the project is, "MISTICA at a glance", allows you to get the gist in 5 minutes and 20K, in a nice way, with humor, good rhythm, and a touch of mathematics... This document has been presented in September 2000 during a meeting gathering partners; hence it is well updated, but it requires some previous knowledge of what has been realized for two years.
  • the article "MISTICA: Expanding the Internet's Capacity for Development" written by Keane J. Shore, who is an Ottawa-based writer and editor, and published by the IDRC.
  • the article "MISTICA: A Collective Endeavor In Search of the Social Impact of ICTs in Latin America and the Caribbean" written by Luis Barnola and Daniel Pimienta, published by Techknowlogia: International Journal of Technologies for the advancement of knowledge and learning, V3N4, July-August 2001 (http://www.techknowlogia.org).

If you have less than one hour... There exist a series of pages which take some 30 minutes to read, and a paper almost as short as the pages:

  • the web navigation consists of a short presentation (less than 20 web pages, each of them containing a few lines, a couple of paragraphs maximum), which can be browsed in 30 minutes, and may take up to 50 or 60 minutes for the curious people who wanted to consult the references available through the hyperlinks. Be as it might, the document is easy to read, and it targets all types of audiences. Also, for having been written at the beginning of the project (late 1998), and having been created directly from the project document (it is kind of a "light" version of it...), the set of pages presents a rather "historical" perspective.
  • the medium-sized paper is also available in English: you may then read "Collaborating For the Social Impact of the Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean". This paper is a short version (zip file: 172K, HTML file: 22.5K) of the so-called full paper, with which it logically shares characteristics: it is academic, content-oriented, etc.

If you have between one and two hours... One of the documents may be read in some 90 minutes:

  • a live presentation using the Flash plug-in. It is quite a big document, which may then be a little bit slow if you consult it online (especially with a low-speed Internet connection). It is possible to download the directory, though: the zip file takes 800K, i.e. 1.2M once deflated (Note: the animated sequence may then be viewed with a web navigator, beginning with the "index.html" file). The target audience is rather large, and, in spite of some persistent flaws which prevent the document from being the pedagogical reference we wanted to offer you, it is henceforth a big effort to give everyone a chance to vizualize the project better.

If you have even some more time... Reading the following three documents take at least two hours:

  • the official project document: targeting project officers and managers, and initially written for the sponsors, this paper is then rather formal, and does not pursue any pedagogical objective. It is a long text, which is available as a zip file (24K). It was written during Summer 1998, hence presents a quite "historical" aspect.
  • the two-facet doc-Samaná: a "text version" in English may be read on the web, and an illustrated version in Spanish, longer and nicer, is available both online and offline (it is possible to download the 600K-zip file). This "Letter to Emilio or the Dreamlike Account of the Meeting in Samaná" takes the form of a letter written to a fictitious friend. In both cases, it is a pedagogical document, easy to read, quite nice, with pictures in the Spanish version. It focuses the process of the project, beginning when MISTICA started and ending with the regional meeting which took place in April 1998. The numerous readers (the target audience is the general public) may take between 2 and 4 hours to read it, whether they want to consult the hyperlinks or not.
  • the full paper: "The Mistica of Social Oriented and Collaborative Work with the Internet" is a very large article (the HTML file takes 92K), available online or as a zip file (35K) to download. It gives a comprehensive presentation in a quite academic style. Aiming at the professionals, the text is content-oriented (it does not put the emphasis on the process). Needless to say that consulting the hyperlinks increases the reading time... (it may easily take up to twice longer). Note: the Spanish version has been updated more recently than the English one.

Table according to the target audience, and reading suggestions

  General Public Specialists
Mere Curiousity Short Paper or Papers by the Participants
Web Navigation
Article published by the IDRC
Article published in International Journal of Technologies "Techknowlogia"
Web Navigation
Article published by the IDRC
Article published in International Journal of Technologies "Techknowlogia"
Interest Animated Presentation
"MISTICA at a glance" (RTF file, requires some previous knowledge)
Animated Presentation
Medium-sized Paper
"MISTICA at a glance" (RTF file, requires some previous knowledge)
Substantial Study Doc-Samaná (Spanish version) Full Paper (English version)
Comprehensive Study (may take several days) Official Project Document Browsing of all the MISTICA website

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Latest modification: 19/11/2002