07 May 2009

Web conferencing services

An idea to cut travel and your carbon footprint. The following services allow everybody to be 'on the same page' during a long-distance meeting.

1. GoToMeeting
Free 30-day trial.

2. Adobe Acrobat Connect
Free 15-day trial.

3. WebEx
Free 14-day trial

They work on the same principle. Install the application on the host machine (e.g. a laptop that you will use on the day). Having registered in the service, you generate a code that is sent to the participants. They simply click on a link, enter the code (or this is automated), and then watch whatever you show them, via their web browser.

The host PC controls what is visible on the other machine (a spreadsheet, video etc.). The host can also hand the controls to any of the participants. The host controls what the participants see: just a window from the host PC, or the whole screen.

Both services enable participants at up to 15 locations to join. Additional facilities include voice (VOIP) integration, and instant messaging (chat windows to ask questions, send messages between participants etc.). Webex even enables users to log in from a smart phone.

05 May 2009

UNICEF Innovations

UNICEF is innovating around social networking, mobile media and 'rugged computing' (think beyond one laptop per child), and the people responsible have even built a website dedicated to innovation. At its root, UNICEF is about children and their development, so it is interesting to see how they employ innovative technologies and communications channels.

03 May 2009

Communicating in low-bandwidth environments

Opening Facebook takes 3 minutes, podcasts are impossible and major blog tools (like this one) are off-limits. Censorship? No, it's a lack of bandwidth. Welcome to the developing world. Broadband is coming, but for most people it remains a remote possibility.
Happily there are tools and techniques for communicating in low-bandwidth environments, as blogger Christian Kreuz explains.


01 May 2009

How to pitch your social venture to the media

From Social Edge (Skoll Foundation):

Do you need media coverage? And if so, what is the best timing to reach out to journalists?
  • Peg your business to a news event
  • Journalists love celebrities
  • Write an op-ed piece
  • Focus on the solution of the problem
  • What are the results
  • See: guidelines for freelance writers

Mobile Web for Social Development

"The MW4D Interest Group explores how to use the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Mobile phones as a solution to bridge the Digital Divide and provide (health, education, governance, business) to rural communities and under-privileged populations of Developing Countries.

The objective of MW4D IG is to gather all stakeholders in a global forum in order to identify the key challenges of using mobile phones as an ICT-platform in Developing regions, and to draft a roadmap to work on.

The targeted players are Web experts, Mobile specialists, Academics from Developed and Developing regions, NGOs with field expertise, and International organizations working on reducing the Digital Divide."


Developing countries drive growth in mobile phones

From The Guardian (UK)

More than half the world's population now pay to use a mobile phone and nearly a quarter use the internet, as developing countries rapidly adopt new communications technologies.

By the end of last year there were an estimated 4.1bn mobile subscriptions, up from 1bn in 2002, according to a report published today by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the UN.

That represents six-in-ten of the world's population, with developing countries accounting for about two-thirds of the mobile phones in use, compared with less than half of subscriptions in 2002.