In The Field Online a complete mobile-powered information system


Posted Mar 16, 2011
viewed: 1783

The consumption, creation and dissemination of information should not be inhibited by the lack of technical skills. Tools should be as open and accessible as the open societies they build. This is the main objective of In The Field Online and its information platform: to provide a software framework in which anyone can change any component of a mobile-powered information system so that an organization or individual with minimal technical skills can use it to make information accessible to their communities.

I started In The Field Online during my time at the Reuters Digital Vision Program at Stanford University in 2005. The focus of my fellowship was to find ways to improve the news coverage in troubled areas and war zones. The project focus grew to include how to share and distribute any information in emergency situations as well as, in environments where information is not open and readily available. The work was covered on CNN, BBC, PBS and also one of 25 highlights on Discovery International.

In The Field Online provides a complete cellphone-powered content management system, allowing  any organization to setup a complete regional cellphone-powered information system with no technical skills. 

The three main outcomes of the project will be:

  1. Creating a mature product allowing for full-scale, worldwide use
  2. Full-scale tests of the platform in at least three vastly different settings - Central America, Africa and India. Possible collaborations are currently being discussed in Palestine.
  3. Full integration of micro-donations using the Spot.Us API and similar tools.

The platform seamless integrates with Facebook and Twitter, enabling organizations to distribute their content efficiently even without extensive knowledge of best practices in social media.

A central component to the project is to add an extensive micro-donation support for the creators, editors and maintainers of the users of the platform.