talk-share-learn

web 2.0 for development


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\o/ FrontLineSMS new release

kiwanja is releasing a new version of its famous software FrontLineSMS, the leading SMS management platform. Now the software allows users to manage forms to collect and share data:

You can read more on afromusing, an interesting blog on innovation, technology and beyond or on Ken’s blog.


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Mobile Telephony in Rural Area – Final greetings

The Forum on Mobile Telephony just ended. I think this has been a very interesting discussion, not only for the postings themselves, but mainly for the large number and value of people involved, experiences described and points of view reflected during two weeks.

To give an idea the complexity and the value of our last discussion in this thread, I used wordle to create a cloud with the words used in the last conversation. In the image below you can see the graphical result of this exercise.

complexity


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This closer marriage between Mobile and Internet

The IAALD-AFITA-WCCA Conference in August 2008 in Japan highlighted the importance of mobile communication to bridge the digital divide. In the final declaration about “Theme 1” of the conference – Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas – one of the panel prediction was:

“mobile phones will be used as workstations and effective Web2.0 platforms

I totally agree with this statement and I’m very curious to see how this topic will evolve and what ideas will come out of the special Online Forum on “Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas” – 17/28 November 2008, that I’m joining as Subject Matter Expert.

Since the beginning of this reflection about convergence between Mobile and Internet, I’ve seen two main directions where this relationship is going:

  • In Parallel: offering to different user groups a few basic services with some points of contact (short term);
  • Towards interaction and partial merge: with users accessing either or both technologies to collect and share data (medium term).

mobile-internet convergence

New cellphones, ad-hoc software (have a look at iPhone Appstore and android market) and enhanced services are necessary to sustain this integration process!


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The first competitor for the iPhone

A new challenge for the iPhone was launched yesterday: it is the first mobile phone with Android inside.

Even if not everybody seems to be so enthusiast about the product, more than everything else in the DEV perspective, at least, I see a very interesting trend for prices. The announced price is 120 Eur (at certain conditions) which is fine is compared with many other models and the iPhone itself. So, the tendency of prices to get lower is happening this time as well and we can really start thinking about a wide spread of these tools, also in developing countries.

Linking this news with the possibility of wider access available in two years time, than the scenario could be very much different in the near future.

Are WE going the same direction? Will we be able to provide good services for that time? How much time do we need to design new services for these devices? Are our Human Access Points ready to help us designing them?


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New connection for the South of the world

It is called O3b and stands for other3billion: that’s to say the 3 billion people who are not connected yet to the Internet. It is a new initiative funded by Google, Liberty Global, and HSBC to build a new telecommunications infrastructure, with 16 satellites, offering high-speed, low-cost Internet connectivity to emerging countries.

The service is supposed to become active in 2010. It seems very close, so I suggest we immediately start thinking how to exploit this new potentiality, preparing new mobile and Internet services of the future.

In this sense, I very much agree with Dion Hinchcliffe when, mentioning the peculiarities of the web, he underlies the need for a deeper knowledge of its mechanism. I see it fundamental to well interpret the Internet and get the best out of it.

The Jakob’s law

“Users spend most of their time on other sites”

can be a good stimulus in this sense.