I feel very proud that my digital expertise and pioneering mobile work helped potentially millions of people feel more connected. I just looked deeper into some strategy work I did for Al Jazeera years ago, where I came up with the concept for the first crowdsourced news channel – The Stream. It connected brand new mobile SMS, GSM mapping and emerging social media technologies for people to help report news in places that are hard to reach through war, distance or limited Internet, all they’d need is access to a 2G mast. Some interesting things snowballed after my initial work. The platform became the backbone behind UgandaSpeaks, SomaliaSpeaks, KenyaSpeaks and the 2012 Kenyan Elections, as well as much much more.

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Somalia Speaks: How Al Jazeera Reports Via Text Message

Al Jazeera’s ambitious new project uses SMS text messages to gauge how ordinary Somalis are coping with the ongoing conflict in their country. It’s the first time they’ve been polled in years, and things in Somalia may be worse than anyone knew.

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