Why are ringtones-for-good so hot?

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 20, 2007

In addition to Twitter and mobile phones as a vehicle for economic development, mainstream press and the avant garde public are fascinated with ringtones for good.  It is the one topic in mobile campaigns for a cause that consistently get press and attention from mainline journalists.  A case in point is the recently featured endangered species ringtones which have the press all, well -- ringing.

This from Peter Glavin's press release from the Center for Biological Diversity:


Philharmonic Ringtones

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Feb 22, 2007

And for this cold February day, something lighter:  The nonprofit New York Philharmonic is selling ringtones of its performances on its brandnew site. Ringtones cost around $3 US, and include well-known works by Brahms, Mozart, and Dvorak. Cute.


Endangered Species Ringtones

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jan 08, 2007



picture of endangered species ringtone campaign

Great idea:  The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity offers free ringtones of rare and endangered animals. Download their haunting hoots, sensational songs and crazy croaks to your cell phone. Available are calls of the blue-throated Macaw, Beluga Whale, Boreal Owl, Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, Yosemite Toad, or any one of over forty other endangered critters.  Ringtones are free and available here. Nice way to build a list as well.



SMS and Democratic Governance in the Phillipines

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Oct 06, 2010
SMS and Democratic Governance in the Phillipines data sheet 2787 Views
Emmanuel C. Lallana
Publication Type: 

This paper examines the use of mobile phones, particularly the short messaging system or SMS, in promoting democratic governance - organizing institutional frameworks to achieve democratic ideals. The objective of this paper is to document how mobile phones is being used to promote popular participation in Philippine politics.

The paper looks into the various SMS-based services that enhance citizen participation. Specifically, SMS services that provides the following were examined: 1) Provision of Public Information; 2) Delivery of Public Service; 3) Amplifying Voice; 4) Vigilantism. 5) Elections and 6) Mass Action and 7) Developing Political Accounts.

Previous studies of SMS in government show that over half of Philippine government agencies use SMS-based services. Most of these national government agencies use SMS as a mechanism for providing information and receiving feedback. In a few instances SMS is used to enhance the delivery of public services.

The notable examples of SMS-based services that provide information are the Department of Agriculture’s Presyo and Panahon Text and the Department of Trade and Industry’s TextDTI. The PAYBIR is an SMS-based service that allows citizens to pay taxes through their cell phones. The Office of the President’s TXTGMA and the office of Marikina Mayor’s TXTMCF elicit complaints, comments and suggestions from constituents. These two are examples of SMS-based services that amplify the citizens’ voice. On the other hand, the DILG’s Patrol 117 is an example of a government service that promotes citizen participation in crime prevention.

The role of SMS in elections as well as its role in mobilizing political action is also discussed. Examples of how text messaging was used as the medium for organizing rallies, spreading information, and stating political positions were given. The discussion on how SMS help develop political account or interpretation of current events was considered through an analysis of political jokes spread through SMS.

While the focus of the paper was on how SMS is being deployed to promote citizen participation, it was noted that SMS is also used in anti or counter-democratic projects.

In sum, this paper documents the role played by SMS in the overall effort at creating an effective set of rules for managing voluntary political exchanges in the Philippines.

Texting for Beethoven: The New York Philharmonic Goes Mobile

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jul 22, 2008

A few weeks ago, audience members at a New York Philharmonic concert in New York City's Central Park voted for the encore. Given two options -- Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," the audience members texted in their votes. About 74% of respondents voted for Hendrix, so that piece concluded the concert.

Vince Ford, the Philharmonic's Director of New Media, told MobileActive a bit about the orchestra's first steps into mobile marketing. "We have offered ringtones on our website for two years now, but beyond that we haven't done much with mobile," Ford said. "This week was our first step in that direction." In addition to the SMS voting, the orchestra offered concert status SMS alerts on their website. "Not many people signed up initially, but once it rained on Monday the alerts really took off," he said. Ford said that 5,000 people participated in the concert alerts or SMS voting. About 61,000 people attended the outdoor concert.

Mobile Advocacy: A Primer

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jun 25, 2008

Note: This primer was written for the NTEN newsletter, targeted at a US audience and thus focuses on America.  For more on mobile advocacy in many other parts of the world, see here.

Mobile phones are more prevalent in the U.S. than ever before. Today, over 86% of the US population ages 13 and up owns a mobile phone. Although Americans say that the mobile phone is the device that they hate the most (it even beats the alarm clock and the television!), the cell phone is here to stay. In the past decade, mobile users have grown from about 34 million to more than 203 million, and growth is expected to continue to increase exponentially.

MobileActive in the Boston Globe

Posted by CorinneRamey on Apr 04, 2008

MobileActive was in an article in the Boston Globe yesterday, titled "Ringtones with a conscience." The reporter took her stories from the MobileActive blog and compiled them into an article that describes some of the ways that mobile phones are being used for social good. The article is below, with links to the original MobileActive stories.

The mobile phone is the new call to action.

Celebrate The Day of Love with Mating Call Ringtones

Posted by CorinneRamey on Feb 11, 2008

This Valentine's Day, forget the chocolate, roses, and poetry-filled greeting cards. Instead, consider surprising your love with ringtones of animal mating calls available for download to North Americans at eNature.com.

The site features 20 different ringtones with more to come in the future. Current animals include a lovelorn howler monkey, a horny tree frog, a lonely African lion, various birds, and many other species. The ringtones can be downloaded at no cost. And if you are curious and want to learn more, each mating ringtone page contains a description of the animal's mating habits and calls. We are sure you'll be able to delight your love there.

The US Election '08: How Are The Candidates Going Mobile?

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jan 18, 2008

Political ringtones, wallpapers, and SMS election updates are part and parcel of election campaigns in countries around the world -- from Spain to Kenya to the Phillipines, from Argentina to the Ukraine. It is has taken until this year's presidential election, however, for political contenders the United States to catch up.

image of cellphone

Another Use of Ringtones -- Catch a Leopard!

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jul 06, 2007

An end of the week story that is amusing, unless you are the leopard:

The Chicago Tribune reported a few weeks ago from Gujarat, India about an ingenious use of ringtones.

Ring it on! How to Make your own Ringtone for Change

Posted by michellem on May 18, 2007

So, you want to make a ringtone to make the world a better place?

You've heard them, the people next to you in the cafe that have some hit song as their ringtones - but try on an endangered species, a presidential candidate riffing to a beat, or an issue message to be the life of the party.

You're envious, I know. I am too. So, how did they do it? Every cell phone provider, of course, provides you a way to pay to download a ringtone. But why spend the money, when with just a bit of work, you can do it for free? Besides, the cell phone companies aren't likely to have a ringtone that sends the kind of message you might like to send.


Greenpeace uses ringtones in campaign

Posted by Jamie on Nov 21, 2006

Just a quick note about the current Greenpeace campaign surrounding the UN vote on a bottom trawling moratorium. Our international office created a South Park style viral animation featuring a song lovingly reversioned from the South Park Movie. On top of that, they're offering ringtones as MP3 downloads so you can support the campaign wherever you go. These just launched today so no idea on take-up yet but should be interesting.

Experimental Ring Tones

Posted by Eric Gundersen on Oct 18, 2005

Here are a couple of ring tones that I made last week after being inspired from the Mobile Active conference. Feel free to pass them around and post your feedback so I can make them better :).
- Bush, “Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job,” overlaid with Arlo Guthrie’s “The Train They Call the City of New Orleans” (listen: streaming download: mp3 | amr)

- Bush on pre-war intelligence, mixed with some British rock/punk including Billy Bragg and Califone. (listen: streaming download: mp3 | amr)