Category: m-News & Journalism

SMS Enabled Social Group


Original title:SMS Enabled Social Group
Producer: IIT Madras’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator
Media Format: SMS; Mobile
language: English
Country: India


SMS Enabled Social Group is a SMS based social networking platform specifically designed and developed for villagers to exchange information with one another at the cost of single standard SMS. This
unique innovative platform has been developed by IIT Madras’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI).
The initiative uses pre-existing mobile phones and devices for news sharing channel in rural regions of Tamil Nadu. The idea is to provide virtual platform to villagers to exchange day-to-day news in the village like job opportunities, weather updates, cricket scores, temple festivals, collector visits, panchayat announcements, power cuts, etc.This SMS enabled Social Group platform was an integral component of the NOW (Namma Ooru Website; an initiative to digitize village specific information and create a global identity for an Indian villages) project. The village news on the website could also be updated through SMS which means that ‘live’ village news is streamed directly from the villagers via a simple SMS.
The pilot stage of the project was carried out in 50 villages of Thirukoshtiyur District, Tamil Nadu and later on reached among 200 villages.The uniqueness of this SMS enabled Social Group is the simple user-interface, the ease of use; not just for the village youth but also the middle age individuals as the heterogeneity of the groups point out.
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