We are living in an age of social media that provides numerous channels for digital expression and sharing with people almost instantaneously in any part of the world. By bringing different media as well as modes of distribution — focused, narrowcast, and broadcast — social networks (SN) have revolutionized communication among people. Many people believe that almost instantaneous communication using Social Networks and their ability to provide different types of communications is at least partly responsible for the spread of revolution in the recent times — particularly the last one month — in several countries. This may be exaggeration of the role, though I believe this to be quite accurate, of the social media. It is clear, however, that social media is a new mode of communication and it is going to be with us and will be a dominant mode of connecting people across distances.
Technology is advancing rapidly, particularly in the areas of mobile phones and sensors and sensor networks. I believe that by using the enormous reach of mobile phones equipped with myriads of sensors, the next generation of social networks can be designed not only to connect people with other people, but to connect people with other people and essential life resources. We call these networks Social Life Networks (SLN) and believe that this is the right time to focus efforts to discover and develop technology and infrastructure to design and build these networks. Social Life Networks may be the mechanism that will bring the digital dividend to masses in developing countries.
In a series of posts I will present few ideas that we are putting together in a white paper related to this topic.