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Social and online media for social change: examples from Thailand

Anne Elicaño's picture
Also available in: ภาษาไทย


In Bangkok, a campaign to save land from being turned into another mega mall
brings people together online--and offline. Photo credit: Makkasan Hope

As a web editor and as a digital media enthusiast I’ve seen all sorts of content online: a close-up photo of someone’s lunch, a video of singing cats, selfies (for the blissfully uninitiated- these are self-portraits taken from mobile devices), and more.

Can such content change the world for the better? What if these were more substantial or inspiring, would it spur change more effectively? While messaging is important, I think the real power of social and online media is in its convening power.  The changing the world for the better bit happens when the communities formed by social media take things offline and act.

สื่อสังคมออนไลน์เพื่อเปลี่ยนสังคม: ตัวอย่างจากประเทศไทย

Anne Elicaño's picture
Also available in: English
การรณรงค์เพื่อสงวนมักกะสันไม่ให้เป็นห้างใหญ่ได้รวมพลังชุมชนทั้งในออนไลน์ และ ออฟไลน์ ภาพถ่ายโดย เราอยากให้มักกะสันเป็นสวนสาธารณะและพิพิธภัณฑ์

ในฐานะบรรณาธิการเว็บไซต์และผู้มีความกระตือรือร้นในเรื่องสื่อออนไลน์ ฉันเห็นเนื้อหามาทุกประเภท ตั้งแต่ภาพถ่ายใกล้ๆ ของข้าวเที่ยงของใครบางคน วีดิโอแมวร้องเพลง และภาพถ่ายตัวเองจากกล้องโทรศัพท์มือถือ และอื่นๆ

เนื้อหาเหล่านี้สามารถเปลี่ยนโลกให้ดีขึ้นได้ไหม? ถ้าหาก เนื้อหาเหล่านี้จะมีสาระและให้แรงบันดาลใจมากกว่านี้ จะทำให้มันมีประสิทธิภาพในการนำไปสู่เกิดการเปลี่ยนแปลงมากกว่านี้ไหม? ในขณะที่เนื้อหาก็เป็นสิ่งสำคัญ ฉันกลับคิดว่า พลังที่แท้จริงของสื่อสังคมออนไลน์คือ ความสามารถในการรวมพลังชุมชน นั่นคือ การเปลี่ยนโลกจะเกิดขึ้นได้จริงๆ เมื่อชุมชนที่รวมตัวกันจากสื่อสังคมนำสิ่งเหล่านั้นออกไปสู่โลกจริงๆ และลงมือทำ

Solomon Islanders enjoying cheaper calls as competition is increased in telecommunications

Alison Ofotalau's picture

Competition in the telecommunications sector in Solomon Islands has officially arrived. bemobile held its launching ceremony on  Aug 31, making it the first competitor to Solomon Telekom (known as “Our Telekom”) effectively ending the previous monopoly. This is the result of the Government’s policy of reforming the telecoms market in Solomon Islands including promoting competition, developing a new legal framework, and setting up a new regulator, the Telecommunications Commission of Solomon Islands (TCSI).

Internet usage in China jumps to 338 million people, latest data show

James I Davison's picture

Internet usage in China continues to grow, and the latest figures released by the Chinese government’s Web research organization show that the total number of online users, at 338 million, surpasses the population of the United States. The impressive statistics – which reflect a 13.4 percent jump from 2008 – had a number of blogs and news sites buzzing late last week. The full report is available in Chinese here (pdf), and WSJ’s China Journal blog has a nice roundup of the findings in English here.

The growth in China – and the rest of East Asia and the world for that matter – is nothing new. Last year, we shared 2008 comScore statistics showing Asia’s internet audience growing faster than all other regions worldwide. And according to more recent information from comScore, the Asia-Pacific region has the highest global share of internet users, at 41 percent (although it’s important to note that the penetration rate of the region is only around 17 percent of the population – well below most other regions – according to this web stats site).

We’ve seen that increased connectivity through mobile phones and the internet may lead to improved economic growth, job creation and good governance, as well as other activities like mobile banking. And as more people, particularly in developing countries, get connected, this growth trend clearly seems to be a positive one.

Image credit: TimYang.net at Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

Philippines offers insight into future of mobile banking and the poor

James I Davison's picture

It’s now evident that people in developing countries have access to the internet and mobile phones like never before, which (as I recently wrote about) may lead to increased economic growth, job creation and good governance. A huge piece of this broad puzzle is mobile banking, and utilizing mobile phones to bring financial services to people who wouldn't otherwise have access to banks ("unbanked").

A new study, released last month by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and GSMA, estimates that there are more than one billion people worldwide who are unbanked, yet have access to mobile phones. And by 2012, that number is expected to grow to 1.7 billion people.

New web and mobile connectivity report: China, the Philippines lead region in IT jobs

James I Davison's picture
Students take a computer course at a private school in Cambodia.

A number of fascinating web-related findings came out of a World Bank report, released this week, which ties Internet and mobile phone access in developing countries to economic growth, job creation and good governance. Connectivity in the developing world seems to be better than ever. In developing countries worldwide, there are currently three billion mobile phone users, and the number of Internet users in developing countries increased by 10 times between 2000 and 2007.

In East Asian and Pacific countries, the number of Internet users (15 percent) was slightly above the developing-country average in 2007 (13 percent), but was still below the world average that year (22 percent). The connectivity and access to new information and communications technologies changes the way companies and governments do business, while bringing vital health, financial and other market information to people like never before.

While India is the clear leader in creating information technology-related jobs, China and the Philippines both stand out as benefiting by generating new job opportunities. And within the industry, the Philippines is also notable, because its IT services workforce is made up of 65 percent women, who hold more high-paying jobs than in most other sectors of the economy.

You can take your own look at the statistics compiled on each country, or create your own custom reports, from the IC4D Data & Methodology page.

You can also submit questions now for Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang, World Bank economist and editor of the report, for a live online chat on July 28 at 11 a.m. in Washington, D.C.