Ten Ways to Use SwiftRiver

On August 30th we’ll release the first public beta of the SwiftRiver platform, an open source toolkit of semantic web technologies. It’s been a busy few months as we’ve been working round the clock to bring you a solid product.
One of the questions I’m asked frequently is “What can I use SwiftRiver for?” Here are a few examples:
1. Monitoring Real-Time Conversations

Liberia: Building Trust in Tools

Some information in this post has been updated.
Occasionally, in partnership with others, Ushahidi takes on projects that help test certain applications of the platform in order to improve the tool. Ushahidi will also take on projects on a consultancy basis from time to time; in the unique instance of Liberia, I will be acting as a consultant for Ushahidi, working with partner organizations on the ground to implement Ushahidi as each partner sees fit.  Over the next six months, I’ll be checking in regularly on this blog to provide updates on how Ushahidi is being used in the Liberian context by local organizations and networks of early warning actors.

Mountain meets mobile

In the twenty-first in our series of FrontlineSMS guest posts, Laura Hartstone – one of the organisers behind the “3 Peaks 3 Weeks” Challenge – updates us on their recent use of FrontlineSMS to provide daily climbing SMS updates to supporters around the world
“Keeping in touch with family and friends while in Africa can be a challenge, and even more so while climbing Africa’s highest peaks. Remarkably, mobile phone connections can be picked up from the tall grass plains of the Serengeti to the tallest summit, Uhuru Point – Mount Kilimanjaro.

Which is Better: $100 Smartphone or $15 SMS Mobile Phone?

The $100 smartphone price barrier is broken! Nokia recently announced the 2730 Classic and Synchronica released the MessagePhone. Both mobile phones will retail for $100 or less across the developing world.

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Freedom Fone promotes information-for-all – a Zimbabwean NGO who work to strengthen the use of email, mobile and the Internet among local NGOs and civil society organisations – were the very first FrontlineSMS user way back in October 2005. This initial contact lead us to work together on an early prototype of “Dialup Radio”, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service they’re now about to fully launch as “Freedom Fone”. As the service nears release, Amy Saunderson-Meyer – Media and Information Officer at Kubatana – talks about the tool and how they see it helping civil society in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Ushahidi-Haiti + CrisisCamp Boston = SMS Tracker

Denise Roz Sewell is on the core team of Ushahidi-Haiti @ Tufts and has been instrumental in connecting with our partners at Crisis Camp. Roz is a Pickering Fellow and was a Fulbright scholar in Morocco prior to joining Fletcher. She shares a startling experience with us here.
Capacity. Comparative Advantage. Workflow. Crisis Camp. Ticket Tracking.

Aucun homme n'est une île: les solutions TIC pour reconnecter Haïti

Dix jours après le violent séisme en Haïti, deux techniciens d’Inveneo, CIO Mark Summer et Andris Bjornson, sont arrivés sur place pour le déploiement d’un réseau wifi longue distance dont bénéficieront les organisations partenaires de NetHope situées à Port-au-Prince. Ce réseau permettra à ces organisations humanitaires d’accéder à l’Internet, d’utiliser la téléphonie VoIP, de collaborer et de partager l’information.
Après une catastrophe naturelle, la restauration de la communication est essentielle et plusieurs organismes comme Inveneo sont en train de mettre en place leurs propres solutions TIC afin de soutenir les efforts de la reconstruction en Haïti :

Why SMS in Africa?

Erik Hersman recently tweeted “I’d like to hear more on whether we should build SMS or internet services in Africa?”  This had the serendipitous effect of breaking a bit of a blogger’s block for me.

SMS joins battle against human trafficking

January 2010 is National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In this, the nineteenth in our series of FrontlineSMS guest posts, Aashika Damodar – Founder of Survivors Connect – gives some background and context on the challenges of fighting human trafficking, and talks about the impact FrontlineSMS has had on their anti-trafficking efforts

From Mobile Healthcare to Payments to Microfinance, SMS Remains ‘Tip of the Spear’…

In less than a decade, mobility has gone from a mere convenience to an absolute must-have, both in the US and globally. In the US, mobility is most commonly used for social connections, and is gaining momentum for high value transactions and mobile services such as banking, healthcare, government, and more, albeit on a slower scale, [...]

Information into action: Africa and beyond

Two organisations I’ve had the pleasure of working with – Tactical Tech and Fahamu – have independently announced the release of a film and a book which cover different aspects of non-profit digital activism. Both are well worth a look.

Episode 3 of the Ashoka Tech Podcast: Interview with Bright Simons

After just two episodes, we're thrilled to say that the AshokaTECH Podcast has been selected by The School for Social Entrepreneurs blog as a "Top 10 Podcast for Social Entrepreneurs!"  Thanks so much -- we're honored to be included among other great shows.

Mountain-top texting for charity

In the seventeenth in our series of FrontlineSMS guest posts, Laura Hartstone – one of the organisers behind the “3 Peaks 3 Weeks” Challenge – talks about their plans to use FrontlineSMS to provide daily climbing updates to supporters around the world via SMS
The 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Challenge is an annual all-female climbing event which aims to summit three of Africa’s highest peaks in less than three weeks raising money and awareness for the three peak issues currently facing Africa; environment, education, and health.

SMS registration for Maker Faire Africa

Attendees of next month’s Maker Faire Africa will be able to register their attendance by text message, thanks to a clever hack by  Henry Barnor and Henry Addo, two Ghanaian developers.

Grameen’s AppLab comes of age

Today is a very exciting day for many colleagues in Uganda, a day which sees the launch of a suite of new services from Grameen’s AppLab project. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the very early stages of the initiative, spending a month on the ground studying a mixture of geography, culture, challenges, data availability and technologies in and around Kampala (and occasionally beyond).

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