ViralVCD

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Describes a low-cost method to trace information-diffusion paths and technology access in poor communities. Employs Video-CDs and missed calls to gain social, technological, and developmental data. Can help HCI4D researchers.

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ViralVCD

  1. 1. viralVCD Tracing Information-Diffusion Paths with Low Cost Media in Developing Communities Nithya Sambasivan, UC , Irvine Ed Cutrell, Microsoft Research India Kentaro Toyama, UC, Berkeley
  2. 2. The problem • Western world HCI techniques not always applicable globally – Differences in users, needs, contexts, practices, and goals • ICT4D project require assessments of: – Technology penetration – Social structures – Understanding of key players – Dynamics of diffusion • Surveys and interviews are limited by lack of in-situ monitoring and organic usage
  3. 3. Enter VIRALVCD • A low-cost, rapid data elicitation technique for low- income contexts • Employs physical media and mobile phone questionnaires • Gathers data that is: – Social: networks underpinning diffusion – Technological: ownership, access, and usage – Developmental: assessment of baseline • Combines probes and snowball sampling
  4. 4. Sites and method • Preliminary ethnography in 2 slums in Bangalore, India • Total: 6 slums in deployment • In collaboration with SJS and CLT India • Topics for further conversation: healthcare and education • 30 / 64 households owned a DVD player
  5. 5. The process Participatory Screenings Mobile call-in Diffusion videos + VCDs contest
  6. 6. Participatory videos • Useful and interesting content – But a lens into its own diffusion – 13 minutes at most – Showcase local practices • Observation of a subset of social networks – Interested in “development”
  7. 7. Nutritive cooking • Food-related issues due to lack of resources • Constraint of small budgets • Leverage local knowledge
  8. 8. The video 1• Conducted a cooking contest – Local knowledge – Openly competitive – Taste and nutrition as criteria – Budget cooking 2• Importance of a balanced diet – By a general practitioner 3• Editing – Voice-over narration – Use of images
  9. 9. Childhood education • Parental lack of literacy attributed to poor academic performance • Showcase best practices from ethnography – Of non-literate women with academically successful children
  10. 10. The video 1 • Soap opera style drama between two non- literate women – A’s son fails in school – A walks up to B, whose daughter does well – B demonstrates the techniques – A follows them – Lo and behold, A’s son scores first rank! 2• Long-term benefits of education – Contextualized by an education expert 3• Editing and voice-over
  11. 11. dissemination • Screenings in communities (6-14 members) • Recall and retention exercises
  12. 12. Call-in contest • At the end of each video – A phone number appears – Voice-over provided instruction son call-in contest • VCD sleeve contained – Picture of a celebrity – A unique identifier (6-digit number) • The viewer gave a “missed call” to advertised number • We called them back
  13. 13. ப ோன் ண்ணுங்க! ಫೋನ್ ಮಾಡಿ! 98411 21111
  14. 14. Call-in contest • We determined – Unique identifier / photo – Socio-economic profile and baseline – Source of VCD (person received from) – Unique content-related question • Correct answers – Utilitarian incentive (bed sheets or utensils) – Varied experimental conditions to test effects • They then pass the VCD to someone else – Contest ended in a week
  15. 15. results • 131 VCDs to 64 attendees (1 / 2 / 3 each) • Call response: 31.25% (20 callers from original; 50) Community #VCD #A #R L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 1 Nakalbandi 30 10 17 5 9 2 1 - 2 Ragigudda 27 9 3 3 - - - - 3 Jakkur 8 8 7 2 1 1 3 - 4 Byssandara 16 8 13 4 3 3 2 1 5 Sampigehalli 24 12 1 1 - - - - 6 Chocanahalli 18 9 6 2 1 1 1 1 7 Ragigudda2 9 9 3 3 - - - -
  16. 16. 1 4 5 2 6 3 7
  17. 17. Social insights Micro-level • Two forms of diffusion – Peer-to-peer (A→B→C) • Multiple key actors – Actor-driven (A→ (B and C)). • Key actors with a strong social network • Active callers were also active members – VCD diffusion mirrored pre-existing social strictures • Families with older children called more • No apparent influence of rapport on response
  18. 18. Social insights Macro-level 2 7 • Diffusion reflected social solidarity – Communities with heavy internal politics responded less – Tightly-knit communities responded more – Janitor case 3 • Helped understand relationships in an ecology – Employers, relatives, neighbours, and friends
  19. 19. Technological insights • Understand in-situ usage – Communal usage of technology – Place, time and group information • 50% of callers had proximate access (neighborhood) • All mobile, except for 4 pay phones • Strong correlation between owing mobiles and DVD players
  20. 20. Developmental insights • Development extensions • Contest at the end necessitated viewing of videos • Provided a direct interview opportunity • No difference in diffusion across income levels
  21. 21. opportunities • Identify key players in communities • Assess the socio-technical makeup of the setting. • Across income levels, with appropriate incentive • Medium technological penetration may be sufficient for the technique • Identify and recruit peers of the same stratum, possibly across communities.
  22. 22. conclusion • Avoided additional infrastructure • Helped us understand – Social networks – Technological access and ownership – Developmental baseline • Could use other pervasive technologies – Cassettes or notebooks
  23. 23. Ok tata bye-bye!

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