Giving Mobile: PayPal

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 27, 2006

From our colleagues at Donor Digital:

Mobile Text to Give for Amnesty and UNICEF

If you're one of the 100 million people with a PayPal account, now you can use your mobile phone to donate to Amnesty International USA and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Just register your cell phone at PayPal, then text AMNESTY to 78787 and you'll donate $10. Text WATER to 78787 and you'll donate to UNICEF.

Imagine you're at a baseball game or a rock concert and you're invited to get out your cell phone and donate $5 or $10. It may be another year or two before this gets big. PayPal's service is brand new and just launched its "Text to Give" tool. Verizon, Cingular, and Sprint take 40% off the top.

Try it out.


Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


SMS Messages in Use in the Thai Election

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 10, 2006

SMS messages were in wide use in the recent Thai elections, both officially and inofficially. 

In preparation for Thailands snap election last week, Thailand's Election Commission sent text messages to 25 million cell phone customers politely reminding them to vote. The message read: "You are cordially invited to exercise your right to vote on February 6, between 8 am and 3 pm."

At the same time, the Nation, a Thai newspaper, reported recently on a text message campaign among voters urging them to bring a a pen with them to mark their ballots.

The SMS stated: "Don't use the rubber stamp provided [by the authorities] to prevent fakes. Tell all your friends too." 

How Americans Use their Mobile Phones

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 04, 2006

A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project studies how Americans use mobile phones.  A must read for US-based organizers and advocacy organizations.  From the press release:

"The cell phone has become an integral and, for some, essential communications tool that has helped owners gain help in emergencies. Fully 74% of the Americans who own mobile phones say they have used their hand-held device in an emergency and gained valuable help.

Another striking impact of mobile technology is that Americans are using their cell phones to shift they way they spend their time. Some 41% of cell phone owners say they fill in free time when they are traveling or waiting for someone by making phone calls. And 44% say they wait to make most of their cell calls for the hours when they do not count against their “anytime” minutes in their basic calling plan....

SMS Campaign in India: Jessica Lal, An Update

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 31, 2006

The SMS petition campaign for justice in the Jessica Lal murder case that we wrote about here wrapped up last week with more than 200,000 SMS signatures (previous links no longer active). On air the 24-hour news station NDTV solicited their viewers – mostly middle class and mobile phone owners - to send a text message to the station protesting the injustice they saw in the acquittal of all nine men accused in the fashion model's murder in a crowded bar. These text messages, treated like signatures on a petition, were promised to be sent to the president to show the nation's outrage in what they saw as government corruption and a police cover up.

NDTV's managing editor said, "That just goes to show you technology has changed the face of mobilization completely. Because if this were like ten years ago and you were going door to door collecting signatures, which would have been its equivalent, it would have taken you many more logistics, just an army of volunteers. You didn't need any of that. You needed one rallying point on television."

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Getting Out the Vote in the US: TxtVoter and Mobile Voter

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 22, 2006

mobile voter logo 

This campaign is powered by Mobile Voter and MobileActive Ben Rigby, supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

El uso de teléfonos móviles para el activismo

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 15, 2006

otromadrid logo

Hay gente que afirma que los investigadores pueden localizarte en un radio de 10 metros, otros hablan de una precisión mayor.

Te gusten o los odies, el teléfono móvil es una herramienta muy útil para el activista contemporáneo. De todos modos, los beneficios que aportan en términos de anonimato y movilidad tienen una cara negativa, la de ser otra herramienta que el Gran Hermano puede emplear para controlarnos. Cuando el teléfono móvil se convierte en algo indispensable supone una amenaza para tu seguridad y tu privacidad.

Pero no todo está perdido, con unas cuantas precauciones sencilla

India: Justice for Jessical Lal -- via SMS?

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 15, 2006

From India: The "Justice for Jessica Lal" campaign is fueled by  massive sms campaigns across the country. 

In Mumbai, "TV news channel NDTV launched a "Fight for Jessica Lal" campaign to garner support for a fresh trail in the ‘Jessica Lal murder case’ where all the nine prime accused were "honoroubly" discharged by a Delhi sessions court this week. (Lal, a model, was filling in as a bartender in a posh south Delhi restaurant when she was shot in the wee hours of 30 April 1999 after she reportedly refused to serve liquor to Manu Sharma, the son of Haryana Excise Minister Vinod Sharma."  Sharma was recently acquitted.  

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Fury over Danish cartoons: Do Mobs Rule?

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Feb 14, 2006

Fury over Danish cartoons - A cell phone is held aloft as protesters angry over caricatures of Muhammad burn Danish and U.S. flags in Amman, Jordan. Digital communication has become a lifeline for protest organizers. (Photo by Ali Jarekji -- Reuters - published on the The Washington Post). [via]

Control Arms -- Using Mobiles for Petition Campaign

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jan 20, 2006

Control Arms, a joint campaign of Oxfam, Amnesty, and Iansa, is running the 'Million Faces' campaign to push for an international arms trade treaty.  Mobile users can upload teir picture and join the petition via their mobile phones in the UK (curiously this is not mentioned anywhere on the site..)

Here is how it works: To join the call for an international arms treaty on a mobile phone, participants text the word 'petition' followed by their full name to a number in the UK (84118) and their name is automatically added to the Million Faces petition.  Alternatively, they can upload their picture (to 07955 474747) with their name and age and their photo will be added to the petition. 

BBC: How mobiles changed the face of news

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jan 12, 2006

BBC: How mobiles changed the face of news -

A wonderful 22 minute video from the BBC looking at how user-generated content and mobile phone footage on stories like the London bombings has changed the way broadcasters report the news. The BBC has been looking back at how user generated content has become part of everyday news throughout 2005. Input from news editors from around the world, including Dan Gilmore. [via]

Intro to SMS Bulk Messaging, Frontline SMS and a homegrown SMS Gateway

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Dec 11, 2005

MobileActive held its first conference call for activists, exploring sms bulk messaging. 

Thanks to Ben Rigby of Mobile Voter! Audio of the conversation is here. (thank you, Eric!)

Notes from the call -a Primer on Bulk SMS messaging (focused on the US, for the most part) are here on the MobileActive resource wiki.

Topics discussed included:
* what is bulk text messaging?
* how does it work through an SMS gateway and through an aggregator?
* what are the pros and cons of either method?
* what are other systems (FrontlineSMS, and others) and how do they work?
* what does it cost?
* what is the connection to applications such as CiviCRM (a constituency relationship management system) and Drupal?

Meanwhile, MobileActive Justin Oberman wrote a feature of Frontline SMS, a low-cost tool for small sms campaigns:

Texting and Politics: Mobile Voter

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Oct 20, 2005

Date Published:
October 19. 2005

Published in:

Story Title:
Want to Vote? Text me Now.

Story Link:

Great story about MobileVoter, MobileActive, and mobiles in politics on CNET's

"On a billboard alongside a busy San Francisco boulevard, above a restaurant called "My Tofu House," a message aimed at young Asian-American voters is helping break new ground in political activism. "Register to vote," reads the advertisement, which looks more like an ad for a hip new Nokia phone than a public service message. "Text 'IVOTE' to 80837." The campaign, jointly produced by a new nonprofit called Mobile Voter and the city's Chinese-American Voter Education Committee, is one of the first in the United States to take the surge of political activity that has emerged around e-mail and the Web and move it wholly to the cell phones that are appearing in more and more pockets."  More here.

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Cell Phones for Campaigns -- Stories from MobileActive

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Oct 06, 2005

Date Published:
October 5, 2005


MobileActive is over but the work has just begun...Stories about the convergence and the use of cell phones and texting in avocacy and civic campaigns are coming in fast after the first-ever MobileActive.  The event brought together a group of activists from around the globe to explore the use of cell phones for social justice and citizen participation campaigns.

Patrick Burnett, a participant from Fahamu, puts it well: "In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) SMS is being used to monitor child rights violations.

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970