Podcasts & mobile phones

Two articles that struck me today:

In the Guardian, Richard Wray mentions that

the head of the UN’s agency for information and communication technologies predicting that there will be 4 billion mobile phone users – or more than half of the planet’s estimated 6.7 billion inhabitants – by the end of this year. [from here]

On SciDev, Katherina Nightingale writes an interesting entry about the applications of podcasts in less developed countries for purposes similar to radio. There is information about a Practical Action project in Peru allowing people to request information and receiving them via a podcast in a nearby telecentre, and several other potential applications for podcasts are presented.

So how is that connected?

Well, actually it’s easy. Podcasts record voice and with mobile phones it’s possible to listen to voice. Now why not combine this and put podcasts somewhere online, accessible with a telephone number? Easy said, easy done – Webby Award winning project Podlinez does just that with any desired podcast and an American number.

In my opinion this would be also a great thing to do with local numbers in less developed countries – to make these podcasts less expensive to call. The combination of podcasts and mobile phones has a low technological entry barrier – every mobile phone has this ability – and it doesn’t even require the user to be literate.

This would be an easy way to make information accessible. In a university course last year, two friends and me already created a mashup which transforms information into a podcast and then publishes it on an American number – NoisR.

Another approach is to create voice-based internet portals, like Mosoko which attempts to offer a voice-based marketplace for goods and services.

So overall this combination has great potentials I think.

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Podcasts & mobile phones
was published on 28.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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