NetSquared Projects - Day 2

Here’s a quick summary of the projects presented at NetSquared N2Y4 this morning. The complete list of Featured Projects is on NetSquared’s site.

Cell Alert

Cell Alert: SMS information to developing countries.

  • Pilot projects in Pakistan and El Salvador. Preparing to expand in Sudan, Gabon and Sri Lanka.
  • Uses Frontline SMS as an SMS gateway.
  • Information could be used for everything from security/crisis alerting to telework job opportunities.
  • N2Y4 project description

See Click Fix

Community reporting of 311 information. Anyone can report a problem, a pothole, graffiti, etc. The problems appear on a map, for corroboration and response.

  • Quite successful in initial cities.
  • Partnerships with media, incorporated into NYTimes and other community reporting initiatives.
  • Provide a widget, so can be incorporated elsewhere. API forthcoming (works now, working to document and stabilize).
  • N2Y4 project description


VozMob: Community journalism by cell phone.

An example: citizen journalist reporting by day laborers in the Los Angeles area.

Mobile Voices is an academic-community partnership to research and design a digital networking platform for low wage immigrants in LA to publish stories about their lives and their communities directly from their mobile phones.

  • Send MMS messages to n2y4@vozmob.net. See the results online at http://vozmob.net. Both photos and audio go online.
  • Runs on Drupal. Code is available: http://code.vozmob.net. Drupal modules that support this to be released.
  • Funding from a number of foundations right now. $200,000 raised, 20k spent so far.
  • N2Y4 project description

Handheld Human Rights

Bringing SMS-based human rights reporting to Burma.

  • Working to share information among groups on the ground.
  • Next steps: On the ground development of communities of practice this summer.
  • Uses INSEAD and Ushahidi’s SMS to mapping software. Frontline SMS is the gateway.
  • N2Y4 project page


Using SMS to help farmers in Cameroon gain access to markets, get crop pricing information, etc. A market information service relies on middlemen to relay market conditions to participating farmers.

Public Stuff

Connects people to public services. A replacement for 311 systems. Differentiator: addresses needs of both governments and citizen users.

  • Web and mobile platform.
  • A pilot program in 3-4 cities in the next couple of months.
  • Business model: licensing fee for local government agencies.
  • Project is in incubation by Good Company Ventures in Philadelphia.
  • N2Y4 project description