Bandwidth divide: What's fast to you, isn’t fast to others

10-12-2010 – Filed under ICT4Dperformanceweb2fordev

On my last post, I talked about how slow websites can trigger higher search costs. In this post I want to further elaborate on the bandwidth divide that exists within and between countries, and which is largely ignored by website developers. There is also the notion that we have unlimited…

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Talking with the audience: Development organisations and social media

28-05-2010 – Filed under communicationICT4Dconversationlisteningvideoweb2fordev

In addition to my recent Twitter analysis, I wrote another article on development organizations and social media on the web2fordev blog, which I crosspost also here. Many organizations have approached the social web and new technologies from different angles during the last years. Large organisations have engaged in one or…

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Twitter analysis: Development organizations and their listening skills

27-04-2010 – Filed under communicationlisteningorganizationtwitterweb2fordev

Everybody wants to be on Twitter and development organizations are no exception. But what do they really want to gain from Twitter? Do they really want to use Twitter to interact through a two-way conversation with their audience? I was curious, so I did a small analysis. I have chosen…

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Culture of social networks in Africa on the example of trade

01-12-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabusinessmarket-informationmobilesocial-networkvalue-chainweb2fordev

There are over one billion Internet users worldwide according to a list from Wikipedia. Every day thousand of people joining social networks such as Facebook. How can these social networks be used to boost business? Are there differences between countries or regions how such social networks work? Mark Davies from Esoko, explains…

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Maptivism: Maps for activism, transparency and engagement

14-09-2009 – Filed under activismawarenessmappingmashupopenstreetmapstransparencyweb2fordevgeo-data

It is estimated as much as 80% of data contains geo-referenced information. So, a lot of information can be displayed through maps. Digital maps allow easy ways to present large amounts of data and reduce complexity. Activists have found creative ways to use maps, but also development organizations have to…

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Social networks for a good cause – growth, culture and impact

20-07-2009 – Filed under activismcausecollaborationdevelopment-2.0social-changesocial-networkweb2fordev

Imagine if people were using social network sites such as Facebook not only for leisure, but to contribute to a good cause.  If engagement would go beyond Slacktivism to be part of a cause, and millions of people were contributing to a common for worldwide development work. Why doesn’t it…

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Exploring the potentials of blogging for development

14-07-2009 – Filed under ICT4Daccountabilitybloggingconversationsocial-changeweb2fordev

In the recent edition of the “Participatory Learning and Action” magazine titled “Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development”, I wrote an article about blogging and whether writing blog posts could make a difference in the development work. In this times of breathtaking web changes, blogging seems already outdated, therefore,…

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The race to map Africa and ethical issues around online mapping

03-06-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dlinksafricageospatialmappingopen-sourceopen-dataparticipationprojectsvisualizationweb2fordev

I started blogging at the Web2fordev gateway, from which I will crosspost some articles here from time to time to get some further discussions on web2fordev. I wrote the following piece together with Giacomo Rambaldi, the initiator of PPgis (Open Forum on Participatory Geographic Information Systems and Technologies). Online Mapping…

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What does local content have to do with low-bandwidth applications?

14-04-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dlinksafricabandwidthbloggingconnectivitymobilerural-developmentweb2fordev

High bandwidth access expands worldwide, finally in Africa too, but in many places the connectivity does not allow for an easy Internet usability, let alone the use of many tools for publishing own content and interacting easily with other users. Aside from many other challenges, one important to remark is…

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The participatory web – new potentials for ICT in rural areas

11-01-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dagriculturelocal-knowledgemobilerural-developmentweb2fordev

I had the honour to be the editor of a new cover publication by the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation). This is one of many pieces the sector project “Knowledge System in Rural Areas” has published in recent years, which I can highly recommend. One is a…

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Web2fordev one year after – a critical review

09-09-2008 – Filed under ICT4Ddevelopmentinnovationlocal-knowledgemashupnetworkorganizationweb2fordevwisdom-of-crowd

Most of my readers know how enthusiastic I am about the potential that Internet has; being this either social web, social media, web2.0 or however you want to name it. But if I look back at what has happened in the development field during the last year, I have to…

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Wisdom of crowd: Bottom up measuring of development results

19-05-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Ddevelopmentkenyamobileopennessorganizationweb2fordevwisdom-of-crowd

Some days ago, I had a talk with a colleague from another development organization about web2fordev. We were asking whether web2.0 can really make a difference in development work? We both agreed it can, but we were unsure whether the organizational culture has to change first or the external pressure…

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United Nations mashups: Visualizing world challenges

08-04-2008 – Filed under ICT4Ddevelopmentenvironmentmashupstatisticsunited-nationsweb2fordev

It is quite exciting to see that the United Nations and their different branch-organizations are slowly harnessing the potential of the web in innovative ways. I have previously blogged about the idea of a huge interesting UN aggregator project and the UNDP water wiki during the last web4dv conference. To…

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Search the web for global development topics

29-03-2008 – Filed under knowledge-managementdevelopmentrsssocial-bookmarkingweb2fordev

If you want to find decent information about development aid, Focuss.info is a good source to start from. Basically, it works with a customized Google search, which allows you to search only certain websites – in this case, within many websites relevant to development aid. Focuss.info, an initiative by the…

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Web2.0 - potentials or obstacles for connectivity?

25-03-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dbandwidthconnectivityweb2fordev

The discussion about web2.0 and development is divided roughly into two groups. One argues for the potential of the social web and that finally the users shape the web and applications to their benefit. And the other side wonders what does web2.0 make for a difference in the field of…

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Is mobile development repeating ICT4D errors?

16-03-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dconferencemobilemobilewebweb2fordev

In the mobile and development list of Dgroups, Prof. Richard Heeks wrote this message recently: There’s a notion that “m-Development” will be more attuned to the needs and context of users than was the initial round of ICT4D projects (what we might call “ICT4D 1.0”). But I wonder if, in…

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Web2.0 and development studies

04-02-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dcollaborationopennessweb2fordev

In my last post I argued that the collaborative web has its implications for development aid. And yesterday I read an interesting article by Mark Thompson from the University of Cambridge titled “ICT and development studies: towards development2.0.” The article is an attempt to highlight the potentials of the web…

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Not English, but a multilingual social web is the key for collaboration

17-12-2007 – Filed under communicationcollaborationcultureenvironmentlanguagesocial-networkweb2fordev

**The social web is quite separated in different language domains. English is a key language to bridge different cultures, but it can also be a dead end. Worldwide collaboration can only work in a multilingual network. ** English is one of the major languages on the net, whether it is…

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Notes from the web4dev conference

03-12-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricaconferenceconnectivitydevelopmentweb2fordev

Continuing with the web4dev conference in Nairobi, I wanted to add some more personal perspectives. During the conference, on the second day, twenty different workshops were offered. We, Nynke and I, gave a presentation that same day, and as with most other sessions, not many people showed up. We highlighted…

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From small to big engagement - big players are entering the web2fordev field

27-10-2007 – Filed under communicationbloggingdevelopmentmicrofinancepovertyweb2fordev

This week two interesting web2.0 projects for development were released. One is a new website from Ebay called MicroPlace, and the other is a new blog called ideas 4 development. Slowly, big players such as development organizations or companies use web2.0 technology to promote discussions around development or to bundle…

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3 different conversations: blogs to fight poverty

08-10-2007 – Filed under communicationbloggingdevelopmentnetworkpovertyweb2fordev

Thanks to Tom L. and Peter Ballantayne for their very interesting remarks on my post “an overview of blogging for development.” Peter argued that there are a lot different blogs in development aid or international cooperation out there and “must be loads more, just not very visible.” And Tom had…

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Development aid 2.0

02-10-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dcivil-societydevelopmentparticipationweb2fordev

I was interviewed by the Deutsche Welle (German version) last week during the web2fordev conference. As a result from the interview, an interesting article was published (Entwicklungshilfe 2.0) in which not only the potential of web2.o in the context of development is discussed, but it is also questioned whether web2.o…

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web2fordev conference impressions (2)

30-09-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dcollaborationconferenceculturefeednetworkopennessrssweb2fordevwiki

Complexity Another key lesson was the big question of ‘how to best combine all these web2.0 tools to obtain better results.’ Everybody is still experimenting –this might be what web2.0 is all about. Nevertheless, I understood the importance of taking a holistic approach and use a combination of blogs according…

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web2fordev conference impressions (1)

29-09-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dconferenceopen-sourceopennessrural-developmentsharingweb2fordev

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to blog during the web2fordev conference. Organization work was more than what I expected, and of course there were so many interesting people to talk to around, I just couldn’t let go. Favourably, we got about 50 blog posts mainly from our journalists,…

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web2fordev conference has started

25-09-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dbloggingdevelopmenttaggingweb2fordev

A great first day on the web2fordev conference lies behind me. I arrived on Sunday and already had the pleasure to sit around with my fellow bloggers - journalists from Africa. Lately they already made some very interesting podcasts and during the conference we will have video interviews, but also…

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Few steps to a powerful social software application

08-09-2007 – Filed under communicationICT4Dfeedopen-sourcesharingsocial-networkweb2fordev

I have been dealing with different kinds of content management systems for some years now. What I find fascinating lately it is how applications became powerful and how easy they are to handle by non-experts. **Through these applications, creating social media and networking is possible for everybody. **Wikis and blogs…

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What effects does web2.0 have on development aid?

01-07-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dcivil-societydevelopmentnetworkweb2fordev

The new web does not only offer a great potential for development in different domains, it also has its implications for traditional development aid, said Giulio Quaggiotto and Pierre Wielezynski in their recent article, “Development 2.0: A New Paradigm for the Non-Profit Sector?” The authors highlight different facets of web2.0…

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Challenges of web2.0 in Africa

18-06-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabloggingcivil-societyconnectivitymobilewebnpk4devweb2fordev

Recently I met Toni Eliasz from Ungana-Afrika in Pretoria. We discussed over web2.0 in the context of development. His thoughts were interesting on that of the potential and challenges of the collaborative web, given his experiences in South Africa and the region. Ungana is a NGO which devotes its work…

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How can Web2.0 contribute to development?

08-06-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dcollaborationsharingsocial-networkweb2fordev

I am part of the organization team for the web2fordev conference in Rome, this coming September, and therefore I am excited to anounce our new blog here too. Dear friends, colleagues, bloggers and readers, Here are a few questions for you. How can Web2.0 contribute to development? What are your…

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Do new web applications benefit the poor?

04-06-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabloggingcomputerconnectivityopen-sourcesharingsocial-networkweb2fordevwiki

I was curious when an article titled Web 2.0 can benefit the world’s poor appeared on Scidev.net. The authors Waleed al-Shobakky and Jack Imsdahl see in new web applications, such as Google docs, a great potential for developing countries. They write, “Web 2.0 can help these students create documents, track…

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