Mobile Innovations

by Dina on July 23, 2009 · 9 comments

in Blogs & Blogging,Bridging The Divide Rural India,Ethnography,innovation,Mobile

For a few days over the next two weeks, I’m going to be a “scribe” where I will visit with people who’s lives are being transformed through mobile innovations. This will be in rural Maharashtra and Kolhapur, and the two projects we are covering in India are Nokia Life Tools and Nokia Tej.  This is part of  Progress, a Nokia initiative with Lonely Planet that is focused on capturing the human impact of mobile innovation; bringing to life real stories of people.

As a scribe, I will be reporting on ordinary people progressing through mobile innovation from a fly-on-the-wall perspective, taking parallel content – text photos, podcast and video.

Why I accepted this project is because it’s a great opportunity to be exposed to mobile innovations on-the-ground. One of my pet research themes for the last few years has been to study how technology is making or can make a real difference in the way we live, work and play. Also how it might bring real changes in people’s lives. It also ties well into my experiences and skills of being a researcher, and I’m hoping to view these projects through an ethnographer’s lens.

I, like Stuart who is covering other programs in San Francisco and Manaus Brazil, was asked by Andy Abramson [@andyabramson] and Danielle Ross of Comunicano to participate in an evolution of the Nokia blogger relations program.  Stuart has a good post on what this means for blogger relations and how might a company engage with bloggers in such programs.

Full disclosure – I’m not getting paid to do this, but my travel and accommodation costs will be borne by Nokia.


Here’s the full series:

  1. Mobile Innovations – Introduction
  2. Nokia Life Tools – Agriculture Service – “The Internet for the next million” – mobile innovations in rural India
  3. Nokia Life Tools – Education Service – “Raju go get bakery” – mobile innovations in rural India
  4. The old, the not-so-old, and many facets of the new
  5. “My laptop, my MBA” –  Commercial Mobile Innovation for SME’s


{ 2 trackbacks }

Conversations with Dina » “Raju, go and get some bakery” - Mobile Innovations
August 30, 2009 at 5:48 pm
Conversations with Dina » My laptop, my MBA! Commercial Mobile Innovation for SME’s
August 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hemant Puthli July 23, 2009 at 3:35 pm

This is really interesting work that you have set out to do. The impact of technology on people’s lives is important to assess if we are to take steps to improve the quality of life for all.

I happen to be associated (as an external advisor) with an info-tech company in Tamil Nadu that is currently in the process of test-launching a mobile-based service for semi-urban / rural employment. It has been successfully prototyped for a particular region and a particular industry. If you are interested in studying or covering it, do let me know.

2 Abhishek Suryawanshi July 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Mobiles do contribute a lot in Villages n Farms. . .

Firstly, there was lot of communication GAP if a farmer goes to farm. . . and if his brother wants to perform same kind of irrigation activity, there were possibilities chaos. . .

but as MOBILES n TARANG . .its just so much smooth in villages. .

it do contribute a lot. . .

And m damn sure, u also going to get GREAT EXPERIENCE. . .

Actually, Honestly, I havent got WHOLE CONCEPT by your Post . .
but got lil idea. . . .

Best of Luck for Project . . .

And Kolhapur n Maharashtra is IDEAL PLACE for such research . .

Even, I have visited many villages n asked them about Mobiles n its related Questions . .

Its just too wonderfull . . .

3 Dina July 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Thanks Abhishek.

Hemant – thanks for the share – would love to take a look at the project sometime!

4 Rahul Jauhari July 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Hey Dina, sounds like an awesome project.
Have fun – look forward to interesting stories on the same 🙂

5 Aman August 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Especially looking forward to health related uses and to see what is the most important use. I am also wondering if there are too many programs and services via mobiles that crowd one another out.

6 Lalitha August 19, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Hi Dina

Are you covering Nano Ganesh and a project that attempts to capture contact details through a photograph and QR codes… Iforget its name…


7 Priyanka September 4, 2009 at 9:12 am

Hi Dina, I read the whole series and all the posts are really well written and informative. I think I am going to use some of these posts in my lectures. This is so interesting. Priyanka

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