Election Watch Project

If there’s one thing the Maguindanao massacre has taught me it is that having the world as witness could be a deterrent to stop evil men from doing the evil deed.
My vision is to provide a facility so people can report what’s happening INSTANTLY as a preventive measure (a kid would not get cookies from a cookie jar if he knows Mom is watching) and as a trigger for action (when you know what IS HAPPENING (emphasis on the immediacy of info) you can act.)
Here are the things that I think needs to be done. Just a stream of thought so I may miss some. Do feel free to add. Let me know how anyone can participate:
  1. I’m working on getting a deal with Globe, Smart, Sun to provide free SMS/MMS facility for reporting. 80% of phones in the Philippines are still not internet ready. We need to be able to give them the facility to report for free.
  2. We can create syntax on twitter hash tags so we can easily automate the collection of tweets to mash to Google maps.
  3. I want to provide streaming video capability, again mashed to map. This will be critical especially during counting. The world has to be the witness to the actual counting and not just a select few to avoid “dagdag bawas.”
  4. Facebook app? It seems like Facebook is the social network du jour so let’s use it.
  5. Email reports? Email is still the most ubiquitous way to communicate in the web.
  6. I know it’s no longer fashionable but given the penetration of smart phones, we may still need to design a WAP specific User Interface.
  7. Hosting it on bigger, more scalable and faster data centers.
  8. Encourage our company’s (Chikka.Com) engineers to volunteer their time for this. Developers and techies out there, we need you.
Once we’ve built this, we then need to let everyone know it exist. We need to solicit the help of volunteers who are experts in media and communications. This will come to naught if no one knows about it. The bad guys won’t feel deterred. the good guys can’t act. We need as much help from as many areas: Media, Namfrel, Volunteer groups. Let’s spread the word like wildfire
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  1. UPDATES:
    I had a brainstorming session earlier and interestingly we were 1 pinoy, 1 american and 1 brazilian. It’s just funny that for something that concerns our country’s future, 2/3 of concerned citizens are foreigners. I hope it’s not an ominous sign.

    Fabi (from Brazil) has graciously offered her house for meetings on this.

  2. Gio you will be competing against the candidates who will try to stage an Obama-like SM campaign blitz.

    Some doubt they can do it successfully

    (http://socialmediaphilippines.com/why-social-media-will-not-work-in-philippine-election-2010/)

    However, keep it organic, keep it viral, and aim for transparency and ‘out’ all manipulators publicly.

    I have been in the Philippines for the last two farcical elections, hope this time is really different-for the people!

  3. Romil

    Bro,

    Just contact any active member of the Order. I’m sure they would be glad to support a senior member like you. I’ve seen some sites dedicated to members of the order including Jobies and Rainbow. That’s a start.

    Regards,

    Romil

  4. carol

    (this is a revised post, since the first one accidently didnt submit)

    These are great plans! In connection to #3, I have a suggestion. Why not form a team to every barangay/schools to video check the voting. This way, no cost and it’s immediate. I’m not sure if everyone in this country has mobile phones with video in it. so we just get need an organization to participate, like school orgs, religious orgs. You name it! The only problem is, will government approve this? Anyway, it’s just a thought.

  5. @Romil, would you know anyone? I’ve been so out of touch.

    @Carol, thanks for the suggestion. We are trying to contact organizations who already have those teams in place like PPCRB, NAMFREL. If you guys know any other organization who already have teams across the country willing to monitor the elections or contacts within team, please let me know so I can meet with them ASAP. Thanks.

    We don’t need government approval, do we?

    Please keep on coming up with ideas. Thanks




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