Drew Cogbill | Thesis Blog

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Archive for the ‘here comes everybody’ tag

web4dev Day 1

without comments

It’s the second day of web4dev conference hosted at UNICEF.  Those attending the conference are both development professionals looking for technological solutions and super techy people already working in the area.  There’s been lots of exploration into how mobile and web can be combined to create social change. Dr. Christopher Dye, Director, Health Information, Office of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization:

We live in a world of hugely under exploited information.

There has also been talk both the lack of information coming out of places that need assistance and the overwhelming level of information needed to be distributed and analyzed.  Dr. Dye also emphasized the need for connectivity, which was later further developed as the need for access to participation by Steve Vosloo.
Enabling access to participation

View more presentations from Steve Vosloo. (tags: to web4dev09)

Steve talked about participatory culture in the context of Africa.  It is light and lo-tech.  It is mobile phone based.  It’s not new, it’s different: cheaper, easier, faster, and more visible.  Referring back to the wealth of unused information, Vosloo emphasized that information systems need to be created that allow people to send data up where it can be processed and analyzed and then sent back down.  Steve also referenced Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody:

The barriers to self-organization of have collapsed.

Shirky, appropriately, followed Vosloo’s talk, and talked about 5 patterns that can be applied to communications.  Quoting WhiteAfrican quoting Shirky (my favorite quote too):

Access to information is such an abstraction, but mainly what people use communications platforms for is for communication, which everyone seems so surprised about.

Shirky stated that the information communicators desire is personal.  The seemingly irrelevant everyday communication builds social capital that can be used in crisis situations.  Basic communication is from point A to point B.  Shirky stated that successful development projects he had seen involved at least a few of these types of communication:

  1. conversation (exchange between 2 people)
  2. broadcast (1 to many)
  3. aggregation
  4. multi-casting

I feel there are some real implications of how to speak about and continute to develop Pigeon. Pigeon is designed to allow participation in whatever way users decide is best for their communication needs.  They can share seemingly unimportant life updates to increase social capital. Conversation, broadcast, aggregation, and multi-casting are all parts of the system, and with this contextual framework, can be even further emphasized.

Written by drewcogbill

February 12th, 2009 at 3:06 pm