End-User Experience: IT / methodologies that impact Knowledge Workers using / training Mission Command, LVCG, Mil2.0 & Gov2.0 capabilities.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bits: Ushahidi Crowdmap, Productivity Suites

  1. Ushahidi: Ushahidi means testimony in Swahili. This crisis mapping technology was brought bear by an African organization amid the turmoil after the Kenyan elections of 2008. This is a platform for crowd sourcing SA - a capability to provide a means for any and all people in an area to contribute information about events in a particular area. The platform found huge success in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. A new offering from Ushahidi, Crowdmap, is a thin client version to be stood up and deployed rapidly by end users anywhere via the commercial internet. Imagine locals, local government and NGOs being able to add incident information to Crowdmap amid a crisis. Note that CrowdMap is cell phone SMS capable (this is significant in disaster areas and 3rd world regions). Powerful stuff.
  2. Productivity Suites: Word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation software have long been grouped and called Productivity software (a relic term from pre-Web 2.0 of course). I have always been amazed by the government and military use of MS Office with its huge licensing costs and maintenance). Most End Users of productivity suites only use the bare bones essential functions - even if they are PowerPoint Ranger tabbed. Why pay big fees for a ton of functionality when cost effective solutions are available? Open Office has been around for quite sometime, offers a very robust desktop productivity suite and is free. In the web based realm, Zoho's "fake Office" solution and Google's Apps for Gov would meet the need, provide huge cost savings and, arguably, increase End User / Team productivity! Need I say more?

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