Kate’s New Directions

By Kate Fitzgerald

Upon our journey to Morocco, I unfortunately hit a brick a wall with my research. As I have shared many times, the case study I was looking to do with Transparency Maroc fell through. I was unable to contact them or get interviews with them due to their fear of speaking about so controversial an issue. After reviewing my first draft from last semester, I realized a large part of my method consisted of an equation. I was looking to use an equation to develop a method for NGOs to see the most effective ways to use their social media during protest situations. I used elements such as amount of times hashtags are repeated, rate at which it was spread and the network size that it reached. I wanted to apply this equation to my case study, but I will now have to figure out a different way to integrate it. I’ve decided to change my method entirely and use this equation only as a supporting detail. I’ve recently been inspired by the Israeli conflict and the use of apps by the government to warn about bombings. Two apps in particular were used during protests to communicate with loved ones, and to provide a general alert for the bombings. I want to explore what the government did right and what it did wrong in supplying these two apps. Ultimately I would like to create or suggest a draft model for an app to be created by NGOs. Instead of relying on Facebook or twitter history to prove my point of efficacy I can develop something entirely different. My boyfriend fortunately is a computer science major and I am hoping he will be able to work with me this semester in creating a very basic app. If creating the app itself will not work out, I want to at least make a creative poster or web demo of what I would aspire it to look like and what I hope it could include. Even if I can’t create an app I can start to brush the surface of what would be involved. This app would serve for NGOs specifically rather than government based to provide safety warnings, information, communication mediums with loved ones, and inspiration from other protests going on. I am hoping to get in contact/get feedback from creators of apps similar to this one. This will help me incorporate my equation. I will ask them questions of the logistics to see if it is possible within the actual app to record peak usage times and how much they can see of who uses it and how often. This will be much easier than finding this on Facebook or Twitter because they are big companies that aren’t necessarily going to release that kind of information. It is helping me narrow it down from a huge platform of Facebook to a controlled environment of one app. If anyone else knows of any resources that might be helpful for this app creation (websites/guidelines/how tos) or has any computer science major friends that could help me with this I would really appreciate the support!

 

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