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For the Campaigns, Online Debate Response is All About Mobile

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 3 2012

The Obama and Romney campaigns will be trying to reach supporters through mobile devices tonight to talk about this evening's presidential debate, and for good reason.

Half of all Americans have Internet access through a tablet or a smartphone, according to data released Monday by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The Economist Group. It doesn't matter whether someone is watching the debate on home television, at a computer or in a bar — there's a fifty-fifty chance that any debate viewer has an Internet-ready second screen.

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WeGov

Africa in Flux: How Urbanization and Digital Technology are Changing a Continent

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, September 24 2012

SMS in Kampala, Ungada (photo: Future Atlas/Flickr )

A new report details the ways in which urbanization and mobile technology are driving profound change in Africa. Read More

WeGov

Burma Liberalizes Internet Access, But Connectivity Remains out of Reach for the Vast Majority

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, September 11 2012

The Burmese government is lifting media censorship and lowering the cost of Internet access, but the cost remains prohibitive for most people in this impoverished nation. Freedom House examines the pros and cons of digital liberation in Burma in a report authored by a researcher who recently spent 10 days meeting activists in Rangoon. Read More

WeGov

Websites as Political Organizers

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, September 11 2012

A prominent Egyptian activist and labor organizer explains in detail how websites can be used for effective political organization. Includes fascinating data about the rise in Internet access amongst the very poor, whose primary portal is increasingly their mobile phones. Read More

Chinese College Students Forced Into iPhone Assembly Lines Rather than Attend Class

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, September 7 2012

In China, thousands of college students are being forced to work on factory assembly lines rather than attend classes so that Apple's Chinese manufacturers can make up a labor shortfall and meet the September 12 launch date of the iPhone 5. Read More

Google's Launch of Navigation and Traffic Maps in India Coincides with Domestic Launch of Affordable Android Phone

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 6 2012

On Tuesday Google announced the launch of voice guided navigation and live traffic reports for India's major cities. While the announcement was generally met with enthusiasm, some pointed out that the apps might not be of much use to most Indians, since they are only usable via Androids, which are not widely used in India. But of course Google already thought of that. Read More

WeGov

In Georgia's Troubled Border Region, Text Messaging is Fostering Community Safety

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, August 28 2012

Screenshot from Elva homepage

On the troubled northern border of Georgia, next to the disputed territory of South Ossetia, where two wars have been fought in the last two decades, an NGO has been quietly pioneering a new kind of distributed reporting system, one that uses SMS text messaging and the web to combine the data-rich mapping of Ushahidi with the meticulous requirements of human-rights researchers. In a region where few people have internet access, they've come up with an ingenious solution for data gathering via text. Read More

WeGov

Crowdsourcing Disaster Response Via Social Media and SMS

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, August 27 2012

In two detailed and important blog posts, Patrick Meier explains how grassroots activists are using social media platforms and mobile phones to coordinate disaster relief, often when the government's response is inadequate. In many cases, Meier points out, the grassroots networks existed already, having been created as a means of coordinating political protest. Read More

WeGov

Vietnamese Authorities Charge Political Bloggers With "Conducting Propaganda Against the State"

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, August 23 2012

Vietnamese authorities have charged three prominent bloggers with "creating propaganda against the state" for having published videos and photos showing violent clashes between farmers and the police who had come to enforce the appropriation of their land for the construction of a luxury hotel. Read More

WeGov

How Mobile Phone Technology is Changing Lives in Developing States

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, August 22 2012

The Toronto Star has published a nice overview of how mobile phones are facilitating information access and improving peoples' lives in undeveloped regions with poor infrastructure. Read More