Tomomi and I and our friend Taku Nakajima have been working on a project for the last year and a half called Cojiro, which we submitted to the innovation awards last week. The project is to build a web platform for what we call “cross-lingual curation”: curating content from one language to another. We’ve actually already built a prototype (see below) which we’re currently testing — if we get the grant then it will fund the next stage of the project, which will be entirely open (for more info see the github page we just setup). Continue reading
We are sort of all aware that mobiles (smartphones+tablets) are invading the world, and are/will be changing the way we pick and read news, interact, comment, crowdsource, form communities. Stats are there to prove it, especially in Africa, where one can forget about landline and broadband at home, but where 3G mobile coverage is growing better and better (sorry, have not a lot of infos on other continents, but I suppose it’s a growing trend everywhere). I’d like to stress that for many young people in Africa, a mobile phone is their first and only taste of the Internet nowadays, and of the Web 2.0 experience, along with SMSs.
With this is mind, I’d like to suggest an innovation project consisting of: a community discussion + a task force + a pilot project to 1.vamp up our mobile version, 2. think ahead on how citizen news will be impacted by a small screen, a roaming access ( sometimes expensive). What becomes of our mission to connect people and foster conversations on mobile internet?
The questions for now are endless: how do readers search, choose and pick news with a mobile handset in their hands? How do they identify a citizen news media – versus a traditonal media? What are the successful mobile phone social network such as Mixi (Japan) and MXit (South Africa) doing to capture so many users? Are we condemned to “the app” or is there a more democratic and universal platform? Where do comments and interaction fit in on such a small screen and with very little info about other readers/members ? Should GV posts be tailored for mobile consuption? On the GV main site or on a sub-site, with shorter entries, that could also be distributed via bulk SMSs ? What about geolocalized translation? When will censorship pounce on mobiles? Etc.
With so many questions, and so many knowledgeable specialists in our community, all with their ear on the ground in their part of the world, wouldn’t it be useful we create 1- a Nifty GV version for mobiles, 2 – Dive in, and test all the innovations we can pack on a pilot project, to be tested in a few countries, where our volunteers could provide feedback as beta users?
My proposal is referred to how to increase our presence and use of video.
The intention is to create Global Voices own videos through agreements with small independent video producers (individuals and organizations) in Spanish speaking countries. So these producers would be in charge of creating audiovisual material per request (Us specifying the subject and other requirements for the video).
The process of creating and publishing own video material through the alliance of Global Voces and video producers allows to include citizens’ voices from unrepresented communities or sectors on (and off) the internet and record their opinions about a specific matter, differently from the text.
The videos would be produced fortnightly (each time in a different country) as a base for GV articles. Articles that will be especially written by our authors from those countries.
Thus, our content will be dynamized and will feed our YouTube channel in order to enrich its image and attract new audiences.
Furthermore, to attract people interested in video production, a citizen video contest will be held during the project.
The project covers GV’s lack of own audiovisual material that would facilitate using the whole potential video has in informing and spreading content through platforms such as Youtube.
The idea of the project can be replicated on other sites of Global Voices, and so the whole community can be involved and also contribuye with the sustainability and its continuance in time, sharing the produced videos and proposing alliances with other smaill video producters.
If this proposal is chosen, at the end of its period I will publish a Guide with its procedures and experiences as a way to help duplicate it in others GV sites, and to stablish a long term plan.
Since its inception in December 2004, GV published a huge amount of material on a variety of topics, countries and languages. To date, just the GV English sites alone total over 75,000 posts long and many more have been published on each of the localized sites. Those archives are an important historical and cultural treasure and deserve broader dissemination, thus advancing GV’s mission of fostering “voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.”
We should take advantage of the themes we’ve already covered, re-packaging and re-proposing our archived multimedia content, after a proper search of relevant posts/materials across countries, topics, languages. We could create electronic books, dossier and topic publications in a variety of formats (pdf, html, epub, mobipocket, etc.), containing a collection of the best posts/material, preceded by an ad-hoc introduction or short essay(s) to provide the proper context. In time we can build a unique catalog focused on citizen and social media material to be distributed/used on many occasions and in many venues. For example, we could create right away a “Global Voices 2011” or an “Arab Spring Voices” ebook including best posts on these topics already published on GV, enriching and adapting them accordingly.