Neil Patel : POMI 2020 Workshop


Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Sharing Information in Rural Communities Through Voice Interaction"
11:45am - 12:15pm


Online communities are changing how we access and share information, but they are out of reach for poor and isolated communities around the world. The mobile phone has the potential to bridge this gap, but thus far most mobile information services have treated rural populations as passive knowledge consumers, and not as active producers. My research explores the design and usage of voice based social media for rural communities. Over the last three years, I have developed a platform for posting, browsing, moderating, categorizing, routing, and mass broadcasting voice messages, accessible through any phone. We have deployed the tool with six NGOs across India in the domains of agriculture, labor rights, women"s empowerment, human rights, and education, handling over 40,000 calls in total. In this talk I will present usage trends, our recent studies on emergent social dynamics, and current research on how to increase contribution through timely and appropriate solicitation, financial incentives, and motivational cues.


Neil Patel is a PhD student in Computer Science at Stanford University, where he works in the HCI group. His research explores the design and usage of ICTs for underserved populations; specifically, he works on voice-based social media for rural communities. He commutes between his home in California and Ahmedabad, Gujarat.