Since I started my professional/work blog, I try not to post Web Stuff™ here. But this is a bit different.
Every once in a while, something happens in my professional life which I want to share with everyone - not just my industry colleagues.
A few weeks ago at a conference the lights dimmed, the screens lit and we watched Mark Pesce's closing keynote for Web Directions South. It was called Mob Rules and just one of the after effects is the start of a grass roots mesh networking movement across Australia.
That presentation is now available thanks to Mark putting it on YouTube: Web Directions South 2007 | Mark Pesce, "Mob Rules" (for the first 2 minutes you might not be quite sure where it's going, but trust me and just stick with it).
If nothing else it will show why mobile phones may be far more significant for the third world than they ever were to developed nations. For many of us, mobiles are toys; they amuse us and they are convenient. But they are unlikely to fundamentally change our lives at the food and shelter level.
For the fishermen of Kerala, this is not the case. Being able to phone ahead to market has changed their lives, from randomly making a profit or loss with their catch to consistently being able to make a profit. It has also changed the markets from randomly having no fish at all, or too much fish.
You can read about it on Mark's blog (Mob Rules (The Law of Fives)) or watch the slides/audio on the Web Directions South website (Web Directions South 2007 | Mark Pesce, "Mob Rules").