Social bookmarking in Africa
Geeks in the West are infatuated with social media. And for good reason, sharing makes good, selfish sense. It allows processing the infoglut through the filter of people you know and trust. And yet, as in so many things that computers make easy, social sharing of data requires nothing more than a communication medium and a community.
Two weeks ago we visited Mfensi, a village outside of Kumasi graced with a clay-banked river. It is, thus, a pottery-making center. I’ll post about the fascinating process from river-bottom to pottery in a bit, but for now have a look at this. It isn’t graffiti, but rather the village phone book.
The mobile phone is king in Africa, of course, but there are no add-on services as in the West. No voicemail, no server-side contact list. You can call and text and that’s about it. So why not have a community address book? Scrawl it on the wall. No downtime — and if you need context you just ask someone. Simple and wonderfully efficient.