Mobile Applications for the Masses
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
It was in the middle of last year that we decided to launch the mobile award as an advocacy and innovation reference platform, and named it mBillionth to work towards enabling mobile as a tool to make every critical content and service reach the bottom of the pyramid-the billionth person. With rigorous exercise across South Asia through various partnerships and help, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Consider this: We got more than 250 entries from South Asian countries. And the thorough screening still left us with 168 quality “nominations”. Our 16-member grand jury selected the best we could have imagined, but I am not going to give you a countdown on the winners as the enthusiasm for 23 July’s Mobile Congress and Awards event in Delhi is contagious and we are loving it.
What is interesting, however, is the pattern of nominations in various categories and from different countries, which clearly sheds light on how we are doing in developing mobile content and application to reach the masses.
Nominations have been received from six countries. India contributed 121 nominations, followed by Sri Lanka at 28, Bangladesh at seven, and Pakistan at five. The three nominations from Nepal have excelled, and the solitary nomination from the Maldives was an oceanic surprise.
Coming to categories, m-Business and Commerce led with 36 nominations, followed by m-Inclusion at 26, m-Governance at 24, m-Entertainment at 20, m-News and Journalism at 18, m-Education at 13, m-Travel at 12 and m-Health at 10. We were disappointed that Culture and Heritage and Environment could not get any good nominations.
Clearly, there is a lot of work happening in exploiting entertainment, business and governance as far as mobile content and application development are concerned. What is worth noting is that most of the mobile content development work in the governance sector is happening in piecemeal, and it is mostly not scalable. It is at best at district level, and happening because of proactive district collectors and some individual visionary officers.