Tag Archives: media

InsightsAfrica: Explore the Media Habits of Consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa

InsightsAfrica provides online behavior data about urban consumers of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.  Internet usage is becoming increasingly widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa.  For two years now, the market research firm Basis Research Ltd has worked with Google to collect and evaluate data on public opinion with regards to the Internet.

As we discussed in class, knowledge is considered by many to be a commodity.  One of the great things about this project is that it works to make this information accessible in multiple ways.  The data is both easy to access and easy to comprehend.

This project is important because it addresses multiple issues that we discussed in class regarding the digital divide.  They interviewed over 13,000 people in urban areas to gather information about internet usage, and for those interviewees who did not use the internet, what the barriers to access were. Additionally, this data is very useful to entrepreneurs, and will make it easier for businesses to succeed in these areas.

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Project Glass

In recent efforts to compete with the unsurpassable Apple products, Google has released its newest creation: Project Glass.  The Project Glass sector of Google has been working to develop glasses that essentially function exactly as the iPhone does, but commands are entirely voice activated and no hands are necessary.

The Project Glass promotional video depicts a man going about his daily life—scheduling meetings, taking pictures, listening to music, getting directions, and even video chatting—all via a glasses lens that covers his right eye.  The product has caused quite a commotion on the Internet as people submit their feedback and opinions.  Many believe that Project Glass is enhancing reality in a manner that is unnecessary and distracting, while others believe that it actually frees people from the handheld confinements and distractions of technology.

Although I have not yet formed an opinion on how I feel about Project Glass’s everyday use, if this product were available in times of emergency, it would aid all aspects of response.  Granted the proper networking would be necessary, if emergency response teams had access to this product they could receive instant information—be it videos, 911 calls, or health information—without pausing their work.  In times when debris or smoke are causing vision handicaps, the lens could lead them to safety and it is not a device that would need to be carried around.  News feeds can stream information from social media or other networks, informing rescue teams of additional precautions that they should take or jobs that they should attend to.  Responders have the opportunity to respond to media quickly so that followers and other organizations and response teams can be informed of situations as they change rapidly.  In regards to health care, the view sharing tool could allow for doctors in other places to easily evaluate patients and instruct lesser health care providers on how to treat them.

Really, Project Glass is not very different from the current iPhone, but I believe that when applied to disaster response, its handheld features it becomes more of a survival tool than a toy.  Many are anxiously awaiting the official release of the product and it will be interesting to see the price and logistics of how it receives information, but for now Google has created a wave of controversial response to increase anticipation and publicity.

Here is a link outlining Google glasses.


The Voice of Women in Reporting

When using ICTs strategically, it is important to use them directly, strategically, and internally. More specifically, the article, ICT Enabled Development Plan 2010, states the vital factors for planning strategic uses of ICT. When reading the article, context analysis stood out as central to establishing successful ICT projects. Context analysis helps to establish “what is possible and affordable in current policy and market conditions, and highlight inequities or potential policy advocacy issues. Analysis of local information and communication contexts by community members, local organisations and government stakeholders should be a routine part of community consultations for strategic planning processes” (ICT Enabled Development PLan 2010, p. 13). Secondly, it is also important to report on stakeholders and key providers of skills and expertise. Nevertheless, ICT development work should also be reported on from within the targeted community in order to understand what it exactly is needed and how such needs can be met.

The Women’s Net and The Media & Diversity Agency presented a meeting named “The Johannesburg Agreement.” This meeting, and their ongoing project, is an example of thorough context analysis that successfully meets specific needs. Within the meeting, a series of workshops are performed to train “women journalists from community media (radio and television) in the practice of online and mobile citizen journalism in the wake of the COP17 conference and the Climate Change phenomena” (www.womensnet.org). Here, women are trained to act as community journalists, empowered to generate information that is apart from main stream media. The conference focuses on strengthening the importance of citizen journalism on climate change, therefore locating exact needs and successfully meeting such needs.

Participants will be trained on how their voices can be heard throughout the world, allowing for ICT development to be reported on within their own community from their own citizens.