Betavine Social Exchange – Accessibility
June 6, 2009
One of the topics that is a key focus of Kiwanja is how to get mobile technology and their associated services into the hands of the poorest people in the developing world. Ken has made some great progress with FrontlineSMS – a service to enable text messaging between groups of people anywhere that there is mobile coverage.
Ken challenged me to think about how to make the Betavine Social Exchange accessible to the widest possible audience and in particular to the poorest communities that do not have access to PCs and broadband. This is going to be a big challenge for us but we will consider this as the project progresses and seek input from NGOs, like Kiwanja, to help point us in the right direction.
How can we make the “problem definition” part of the Betavine Social Exchange accessible to people who only have access to low end mobile phones? Clearly, text messaging is an option but we will have to think about how complex problems can be described in 160 characters! Another idea is low cost mobile internet capable handsets. Maybe we can use widget technology?
One of the key things we can learn from Kiva is the importance of a local partner so there may be ways of linking people to the BSX via the local partner network.
As usual, I would love to hear your views and comments on this.