A question at BarCampAfrica: What use is a wiki, for the poor who have no internet?
- First you need to develop the information the resource. But over time I’m sure the Appropedia community will put more and more effort into dissemination.
- There are all kinds of ways of distributing offline content – in a computer (e.g. OLPC bundles), CD-ROM flash drives, hard drives, printouts (leaflets, booklets or books*), education programs based on content developed on the wiki.
- Phones. A story was told at BarCampAfrica of a conversation in Africa. “Have you heard of Google?” “Yes, of course.” “Have you searched Google from a mobile phone?” “Of course – how else can you search with Google?” You only need one phone in the village with this capability to massively increase people’s ability to find information.
- Villagers who have moved to the city to work, that maintain a connection to the village – if they have internet access, they can send or take the information back to the village.
- That other way – the one none of us have thought of yet.
There’s no need to put weighting on the different channels. You might think #4 won’t be effective, for example. You may be right. For now, the important part is #1: Create the resource.
* This is one reason that it’s so important to use an open license that allows commercial use, so people can be motivated distribute this knowledge.