A brand new month means brand new events, and September has no shortage of mobile conferences, hackathons, and seminars to keep you busy! Read on to find out what's happening in the mobile world this month:

  • 6-7 September, Mobile Money CALA (Miami, USA) This event is all about mobile banking and payment systems in the Central American and Latin American regions. Discussion topics include how mobile banking case studies from around the world can be adapted to the CALA region, building partnerships between mobile networks and banks, and mobile banking for the unbanked.
  • 8-9 September, The Mobile Payment Conference (New York City, USA) For another look at mobile money, the Mobile Payment Conference gives attendees a chance to discuss how mobile payments can be used in both the business and non-profit industries.
  • 10-11 September, TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon (San Francisco, USA) In preparation for the TechCrunch Disrupt event, the company is hosting a 24-hour hackathon for developers to get together and code new projects. After the hackathon, participants demo their creations to the audience to kick off the Disrupt event.
  • 12-14 September, TechCrunch Disrupt (San Francisco, USA) Following the Hackathon, Disrupt brings together entrepreneurs, developers, and start-up founders. The event features the "Start-Up Battlefield," where participants compete to launch their start-up at the conference, with a $50,000 prize for the winner.
  • 16 September, Future of Mobile Conference (London, U.K.) This one-day event has panels on everything from coding in HTML5, CSS, and Javascript, to choosing the right app store in which to launch your app, to crash courses on developing for different operating systems. If you want to develop apps for smartphones, this is the event for you.
09.02.11 AnneryanHeatwole Education Livelihood & Economic Development

How To of the Week

Facebook has more 500 million users, half of which access the site through their mobile phones. Being able to communicate your message to an audience this large is exceptionally valuable. At the same time your activities on the site generate very detailed information about you and your networks. If you are concerned about surveillance, this information can put you at risk.

Assess Your Facebook Mobile Risks

Like Twitter, Facebook is a way to get your messages to a potentially large audience. It is not a secure method of communication for sensitive information.

This article offers advice about how to mitigate risks when using Facebook as a dissemination and organizing tool. In particular, we consider the following risks:

  • The risk that your public activities on Facebook reveal compromising information about you or your networks - for example, revealing the identity of supporters or identifying people who were present at a particular event.
  • The risk of your private information being revealed to a third party without your consent.
  • The risk that your account details (username and password) are discovered, and that someone may impersonate you.
  • The risk of your account being deleted or suspended.
  • The risk that Facebook is blocked or becomes inaccessible.

in general, you should only use Facebook to share information that you consider public. Public information can be freely distributed by you, your organization, and your supporters, without any risk to individuals or organizational operations. In communicating public information, you can send and receive this information without taking any precautions.

08.09.11 SaferMobile Advocacy

Mobile coverage reaches over 90% of the world's population, but mobile services in traditionally rural, lower-income areas have lagged compared to opportunities in more urban areas. One company in India, Ekgaon, is tapping into the rural market by bringing financial, agricultural, and citizen-oriented mobile services to under-served regions. Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya, CEO of Ekgaon, explained to MobileActive.org how his company developed and evolved over the years. 

With a focus on under-served markets, Ekgaon partners with financial institutions, agricultural organizations, NGOs, and corporations to bring mobile services to those who need them. Users of the agricultural system receive personalized and customized soil nutrient management information and crop advice along with weather updates, market information, and alerts; users of the financial services use mobiles to manage savings, remittances, insurance, investments and mortgages; and citizen services allow users to monitor and report on the delivery of government programs.

Explains Aditya, "Earlier, we were very technology-focused, very technology-oriented. We thought the technology will make things work. But over a period of time we understood that technology will not necessarily solve issues, you have to get the technology to work in the [right] context. [...] So we graduated from a technology focus to a user focus." In order to reach their target users, Ekgaon creates tools for basic mobile systems that are accessible to a wide number of rural residents.

07.01.11 AnneryanHeatwole Livelihood & Economic Development