The Peeps Tweet #sango09

Day one of the Cape Town Social Media for NGOs has been tweeted and retweeted. Judging by the conference hashtag, it has been a day filled with ideas-sharing and project-showcasing.

It’s amazing how Twitter accurately captures the ideas – often in a succinct phrase – that have universal appeal. Take Marlon Parker’s discussion within the morning’s Mobile Society parallel session: it was highly anticipated with a number of people tweeting that they were looking forward to the “sex, drugs and mobile phones” presentation. This was certainly an attention-grabbing title for what was a compelling account of how the MXit platform is being leveraged for social good; in this case as a drug counselling resource.
 

 A statistic that got the peeps tweeting and retweeting was from Voadafone’s Steve Wolak, who stated that “By 2011, 75% of the world’s population will own a mobile phone”. This figure really contextualised the significance of this year’s conference theme, and also gave meaning to the issue that was picked up by Jonathan Donner from Microsoft Research who stated that non profit organisations need to consider that they should be reaching their constituencies through mobile and make sure that their websites are mobile-friendly.

The digital divide was another point that was picked up on during the Mobile Society, and the framing of this as more of a ‘difference’ than a divide.

Karen Thorne’s presentation during the Social Web parallel session was also commended. Karen spoke about Cape Town TV, of which she is the station manager. Cape Town TV is a community television station working towards empowering poor, disadvantaged areas in Cape by giving them access to communication tools, and also offering a space where communities can have a voice by providing community-generated programmes.  

I think that the best tweet of the day came from a quote by a Meraka spokesperson: 'If you build it they will come. Well, we built it where they were'. This encapsulates the thinking of a number of projects that successfully interact with their constituents by understanding their needs and creating interventions and tools that are relevant and firmly situated in their own contexts. 
 
 
 

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