Grant-in-aid Project from DoIT (Ministry of Communication and Information) to Center for Exact Humanities, IIIT-H

A large proliferation of mobile technology has taken place in India, with the cell phones reaching virtually every household. Internet based hand held devices including the cell phones are likely to come in a big way. There is an urgent need to understand the role of physical community with respect to the Internet, and how to strengthen it through right applications.

Through the Socionity project, we seek to identify applications which will be of use to common people residing in rural areas, small towns or urban areas, power them through technology, and create local content for the application through the involvement of students and other users. Some of these applications will be enabled to work on cell phones, so that they can reach a large number of users. The local content (which would make many of the applications useful in the first place) would be through the mass effort of crowd sourcing/community sourcing.

To ensure that a good amount of initial content gets created, the effort will be linked to the students in schools. The goal would be to link content preparation to school curriculum wherever possible. It would also strengthen the efforts in the direction of learning from local content.

  1. To select, design and implement suitable applications which will be relevant to a community in a rural or urban area.
  2. To power the applications with local content using a variety of community sourcing experiments on a pilot scale. The community sourcing would be of at least two types: school sourcing and village sourcing.
  3. To design tools and services for mobile phone based web applications so as to provide access to a large number of users.
  4. To undertake a social study of relationships and how the pilot level experiments make use of them, and in turn affect them, etc.

Thus, the project will experiment with new interactional forms which are expected to work in community sourcing contexts. Design human interaction tools that enable idea sharing, non-hierarchical decision making and proper utilization of the community web.

Socionity is a two year project (Sept. 2011 to Aug. 2013) that seeks to identify applications which will be of use to common people and empowering them through technology. The two year time period includes identifying applications, their designing, execution and impact.

To view the complete proposal, Click Here.