Mobile Commons

The Mobile Minute: Polling Station Locator, Mobile Security Holes, and Nokia Expands its Rural Programs

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 02, 2010

Today's Mobile Minute brings you the latest mobile news. Mobile Commons helps people find voting stations in the U.S. via SMS, Nokia pushes for rural users, NPR's mobile services win them an Online Journalism Award, and seven out of ten people store sensitive data on their mobile phones – without security measures.

  • Today is election day in the United States, so if you want to find out where your nearest polling station is, check out the Mobile Polling Place Locator by Mobile Commons. Text WHERE (for English instructions) or DONDE (for Spanish instructions) to 30644. You'll be prompted to enter your home address, and then be directed to your local polling center.
  • The New York Times reported on Nokia's Ovi Life Tools program, which uses basic text messages to transmit market and agricultural data to rural mobile owners. The program has already been successful in India, and now Nokia is gearing up to launch a similar program in Nigeria. 
  • The BBC reported on a study from security firm Juniper Networks that found bad news for users worried about mobile security: "In its research covering 6,000 participants spread over 16 countries, Juniper found that 61% of all reported smartphone infections were spyware, capable of monitoring communication from the device. A further 17% were text message Trojans that charge fees to a device's account holder." 

[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog posts, white papers and research, how-tos, and case studies.

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

Mobile Commons

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 01, 2009
Mobile Commons data sheet 2727 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Michael Sabat
Problem or Need: 

Mobile Commons’ software makes it simple to create mobile campaigns and applications, and to connect them to the web, CRM Tools, and other media through a web-based intereface.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

Mobile Commons’ software makes it simple to create mobile campaigns and applications, and to connect them to the web, CRM Tools, and other media. Mobile Commons clients focus on cause-related marketing, fundraising campaigns, and advocacy. Mobile Commons provides tools that allow full two-way messaging, integrated audio, and web tie-ins.

Tool Category: 
Is a web-based application/web service
Key Features : 
  • Two-way text campaigns
  • Mobile fundraising
  • Mobile advocacy


Main Services: 
Bulk SMS
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Premium SMS and Billing
Voting, Data Collection, Surveys, and Polling
Information Resources/Information Databases
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
All phones -- SMS
All phones -- Voice
Program/Code Language: 
.NET Compact Framework
Organizations Using the Tool: 
  • Oxfam
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • Sierra Club
  • Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh


Languages supported: 
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 
Global Regions: 

Human Rights Campaign Launches Info Line on Corporations

Posted by MattBieber on Dec 21, 2007

Human Rights Campaign, an American NGO focused on gay and lesbian rights, launched a mobile ampaign that allows users to learn about their favorite companies’ inclusiveness policies via text message. Users text in the word “shop” and then the name of a company to receive a text message rating of that company’s policies towards gay and lesbians. (Give the service a whirl: text SHOP and then the name of a company – SHOP KELLOGG, for example – to short code 30644. This service works only in the United States)

Human Right's so-called mData program allows consumers concerned with companies’ policies vis a vis gay and lesbians to get specific information about those companies when they’re considering making a purchase – at a store, while browsing the web, or even when they’re making investment choices.  The data was uploaded in the form of a spreadsheet (in this case, thousands of company-specific ratings).