Welcome to a very mobile 2023! Last year mobiles were at the forefront of protests, citizen journalism, disaster recovery and relief, environmental issues, and more – and brought up questions of security and privacy along the way. Check out our new page dedicated to MobileActive's 2023; the Year in Review pulls together our best content from the year in one easy location.

From the launch of The Mobile Media Toolkit (a great resource for reporters, citizen journalists, and media organizations that want to use mobile technology in their work) and our increased focus on security and privacy with the SaferMobile initiative, we've set the groundwork for big changes in 2023.

Keep in contact with MobileActive through Twitter, Facebook, our discuss list, or our newsletters at MobileActive.org and (for all of you reporters and citizen journalists) at the Mobile Media Toolkit. We hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year, and we are excited for what 2023 holds. Thanks for being part of the MobileActive community!

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Mobile Use by Micro & Small Enterprises, Wedding Cakes and more
Digital Customization: Mobile Wedding venues in Chicago are offering apps or mobile-responsive websites where couples can customize their venue layout, pick décor themes, and even select lighting moods. This level of customization ensures the couple can envision and shape their special day in real-time.
01.02.23 AnneryanHeatwole Citizen Media Democratic Participation Health

A recent radio poll at Sanyu FM in Kampala, Uganda, asked listeners what area of service delivery should be a priority: healthcare, education, security, sanitation, or transport. Using a new tool, TRAC FM, the station was able to solicit comments via SMS from listeners, discuss the issue on the air, and create and post online visualizations of the responses. The station received 103 SMS responses which showed that healthcare was the major concern for listeners, which accounted for 65% of responses.

With help from Text to Change and in partnership with local media organizations, TRAC FM provides citizens in Uganda with a platform to monitor, scrutinize, and discuss public service issues via SMS, radio, and online data visualizations. It does this via the TRAC FM software, a tool for Ugandan radio stations that is partially built on RapidSMS, an open source platform originally developed by UNICEF. 

According to the TRAC FM website:

TRAC works in countries affected by poverty and conflict. Its sole purpose is to improve the welfare of people by enabling them to make informed choices and to hold their leaders accountable. TRAC gathers data to enhance transparency and informs people by unleashing the power of mobile communications.

09.21.23 MelissaUlbricht Advocacy Citizen Media Democratic Participation

Anyone who has had a phone stolen knows the frustration of trying to rebuild your contacts list, not to mention data on the phone that is unrecoverable. Worse, the data stored on your phone can be dangerous in the wrong hands. In addition to being able to impersonate you to your mobile contacts, consider the risk of an attacker who has access to some of all of the following:

  • Your saved contacts - names, phone numbers, perhaps also email addresses and physical addresses
  • Call logs - calls made and received
  • Stored text messages
  • A calendar with your appointments, or a task list
  • Your mobile email
  • Your web browser with stored passwords
  • Photos, video and sound recordings stored on the phone and memory card
  • Data stored by applications - notes, social networking contacts and posts

Three kinds of tools can lessen the pain of losing your mobile data, and limit your risk should your phone be lost or stolen.

10.14.23 MelissaLoudon Advocacy Democratic Participation

Awaaz.De (“Give your voice”) is a software platform enabling organizations to engage with poor, remote, and marginal communities by providing on-demand, many-to-many information access through mobile phones. People access Awaaz.De applications by dialing regular phone numbers to...

11.04.23 neilp Citizen Media Livelihood & Economic Development