The first objective will ensure that the deployment of the platform is seamless and replicable. The first year’s field testing will be in Guatemala and Central America as part of the HablaSalud (http://www.hablasalud.com) network. The community-driven approach of the development and testing is essential and vital to the success of the project. The second year I will work collaboratively with Ken Banks, founder of FrontlineSMS, and Erik Hersman, co-founder of Ushahidi, to both develop bridges between their platforms and the In The Field Online platform as well as, further test the platform in their existing settings. These collaborations are already setup and agreed upon. The aim is to have tested the platform in real settings in at least three continents.
From a feature perspective, it is also important to extend the distribution and collection of content to more than text via cellphone messages (as well as, provide the necessary applications). Very soon extensive support for photo, audio, and video will be added natively to the information platform. The submitted photos, audio and video files will be automatically transformed into optimal formats for cellphone distribution.
One of the most important parts of any platform is to allow people to get paid for their work and provide ways for the users of the platform to create sustainability for their own unique endeavors. The micro-donation platform will use the backbone of upcoming Spot.Us API, which I am currently developing. This will extend fundraising tools to work even on cellphones and even allow text-message-based donations or paid subscriptions.
Discussions are underway with Nokia to form a long term collaboration to develop the health information project, HablaSalud, which will allow for distribution of health content and creation of gateways on low-level handsets.