Election Watch Project Update

I met with Rick Bahague of the Computer Professionals’ Union who are a jolly good bunch of computer professionals (hence the name) who volunteer their time (hence jolly good bunch) to bring technology to the people, help NGOs with their computing needs, etc. Among the many projects they have on their plate, they started Vote Report, which is “a grassroots-based electoral campaign that aims to inform, organize and mobilize the Filipino people to push for meaningful reforms in the 2010 automated polls with the aid of new media technology.”

When I first stumbled upon their website, I thought wow! no need to reinvent the wheel for the Citizen Election Watch Project. So we met. Rick turned out to be a really cool guy with a purpose that makes mine look amateurish. We agreed to work together. We also concluded that since this is voluntary, i.e. no company requiring its employees to give in their time in exchange for compensation, we need as much help from all sectors.

We agreed that CPU will implement the project. This may be just an enhancement to Vote Report. We, including you, will brainstorm on added features like reporting by SMS, video streaming, etc. but whatever we decide, CPU will make that happen.

We still need more volunteer programmers. I will continue to encourage our engineers to volunteer. If you want to volunteer or know anyone, please join in.

We need a hosting or datacenter company out there who’s kind enough to donate servers, hosting space and bandwidth. Know anyone?

For my part, I will continue to work on getting Smart, Globe and Sun to allow their subscribers to send SMS to a shortcode to report an incident (that’s about to happen or has happened) and capture location data so they don’t have to type in where they are, MMS, stream video, in that order. For Free. Wish me luck.

Then we need to let the world know about it. This is critical! If the no one knows about it, no one will use it. If no one knows about it, it will produce no fear on the bad guys therefore it is no deterrent.

If anyone has contacts in both traditional and social media who can help, please ask them to get in touch with me.

Celebrity endorsement could give this a boost. Anyone?

I’m trying to get hold of NAMFREL, church groups and other organizations who already have people in place nationally. They can use this tool. We can train them to use it. Do we have contacts there?

Like all voluntary work, this is a choice you have to make without any form of reward, renumeration from me or anyone. If you don’t do it, it’s ok. If you do it, only you can feel that satisfaction that’s hard to explain to anyone but it doesn’t matter. You know when you feel it.

Anyways, that’s what I can think of right now. If you have any ideas, please share it. Spread the love baby!

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