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Swara Goes Live in Andhra and Jharkhand
Jun 12th, 2012 by admin

Swara is going hyperlocal! Over May and June this year, we have deployed two replications of CGNet Swara, one in Andhra Pradesh and one in Jharkhand.

This brings the total number of Swara deployments (the ones we know about at least) to 7.

Swara AP or Andhra Swara is deployed in Vishakhapatnam at the Samata offices. After the deployment we also did a training workshop for users in partnership with volunteers from DHAN foundation, SITARA and AID India. The venue was a community temple in Teslapur village. Trainees attended from the neighbouring blocks including Indraveli, Utnoor and Asifabad.

 

Swara JH or Jharkhand Swara is deployed at Solidarity Center in Ranchi. This one is a truly democratic platform…even the hardware is set up by coalition!

While Solidarity Center has volunteered to provide the physical space, electricity and a backup network connection, the SIM card was contributed by the Adiwasi Women’s Network and the broadband datacard came from Safdar.

The training workshop at Bagaicha in Ranchi had a whopping 55 participants…very fortunately, we also had 7 trainers!

 

 

CGNet Swara Stats Mar 22 2011 – Using Google Fusion Tables
Mar 25th, 2012 by admin

I figured I would do a little playing around with Google Fusion Tables and here is the result. Much as I am perturbed by the new privacy policy, Google does have some classy tools.
The data is all real so I suppose this could also serve for a status report :)

Locations Talked About On Swara

This is an experiment using Google fusion tables populated with data acquired by passing the transcribed message text on Swara through the Yahoo! Placemaker Service.

Obviously there is margin for error since phrases in some languages might refer to places in English. However, with some error checking thrown in (like a whitelist of countries) the error can be seriously minimized. I was able to produce the map below, which is a fast loading (and tad simpler to build) version of the Swara/Ushahidi Mashup I did a few weeks ago.

The catch of course is that you have to be online to visualize data like this and I didn’t like having to give my data to Google, but I suppose everything has a price….

 

Daily Calls Received By Swara Since Feb 2010:

This is a timeline of calls received by Swara every day since Feb 2010:

 

Call Length Distribution (2012 only) (x Axis=Number of calls, y axis=seconds)

This is my amateurish attempt at producing a histogram of call lengths (in increments of 60 seconds). The Fusion tables don’t come with a histogram feature. It would be nice to be able to aggregate the data into bins and produce a histogram automagically :)

 

That’s all for now, will push out more as I come up with them

Video Post: CGNet Swara Overview Video
Mar 14th, 2012 by admin

A short animated film describing how CGNet Swara is impacting people.

Video Post: CGNet Swara Founder talks about Democratization of Media at TedX
Mar 9th, 2012 by admin

Shubhranshu Choudhary is a Knight International Journalism Fellow and the founder of CGNet Swara. Shubhranshu was a BBC South Asia producer for more than 10 years. He serves as a media trainer for theBBC World Service Trust, the United Nations and Indian universities.He produced the first television coverage of foreign militants operating in Indian Kashmir and conducted the first television interview with the chief commander of Kashmiri militant organization. He was also a reporter for The Guardian’s South Asia bureau for two years.

Video Post: Voices Across the Digital Divide Presentation
Mar 9th, 2012 by admin

This is a video Arjun recorded while in Indonesia with Internews to replicate the CGNet Swara experiment for RuaiTV in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

RuaiTV are supported locally by AirPutih and Harry Surjadi who is a Knight International Journalism Fellow working with the International Center for Journalists.

Video Post: How to alter an MP3′s bitrate for publishing on Swara
Mar 9th, 2012 by admin

In this video we show how to alter an MP3′s bit rate (frequency), so that it plays correctly over the Swara IVR. The Swara IVR system uses the Asterisk PBX system to interface with the GSM/Landline networks. In our pilot, we have found best results with sound recorded at 8000 KHz.

Swara meets Ushahidi
Feb 26th, 2012 by admin

A couple of months ago, while I was visiting Borneo, I was looking at the Swara blog interface and wondering if there was some way to make it more exciting and informative, so that even people who didn’t necessarily want to wade through audio files could still get a clear visual snapshot of the subjects being discussed.
The usual ideas like tag clouds and slide shows would do part of the trick, but what I really wanted was a geographic representation of the data, so that viewers (including us at Swara) could tell where the content was coming from and who were the people generating it.
Still pretty new to the social tech space, I resorted to Google and a few searches on the lines of “map data visualization” threw up Ushahidi.
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Easy Hajj Demo using Swara and FrontlineSMS wins Kabul Innovation Lab
Feb 19th, 2012 by admin

The Kabul Innovation Lab (Jan 23-26) in Kabul was a rare privilege for me to attend. I was invited to the event by Internews, with whom I have been engaging since deploying Swara at RuaiTV in Pontianak, Indonesia.

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RuaiTV launches two new Swara deployments in Indonesia
Feb 19th, 2012 by admin

RuaiTV has launched three news service channels for its audiences in Indonesia on 15 February 2012. Since the coverage of RuaiTV is limited, to reach out more audiences not only to get the news but also to submit the news, RuaiTV has developed RuaiSMS, RuaiSwara and Swara Publik. Read the rest of this entry »

Swara goes “hyperlocal” at Jan Swasthya Sahyog, Ganiyari, Chhattisgarh
Feb 4th, 2012 by admin

Earlier this month I turned on the first of what I hope will be many “hyperlocal” deployments of the Swara platform at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in Ganiyari village, just outside Bilaspur in Chhatisgarh (Central India).The platform will be used by the community health workers associated with JSS, to record health related information from the field using their mobile phones.
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