For people, by people

Geeta Padmanabhan at the Hindu: “Ippodhu, a mobile app, is all about crowd-sourced civic participation for good governance…Last week, a passer-by noticed how the large hoardings outside Vivekanandar Illam, facing Marina Beach, blocked the view of the iconic building. Enraged, he whipped out his smartphone, logged on to Ippodhu and wrote: “How is this allowed? The banners are in the walking space and we can’t see the historic building!” carried the story with pictures.

“On Ippodhu, a community information mobile application, the person complaining has the option to do more,” says Peer Mohamed, the team leader of the app/website. “He could have registered a complaint with the police, the Corporation or a relevant NGO, using the ‘Act’ option. This facility makes Ippodhu a valuable tool for beleaguered citizens to complain and puts it above other social media avenues.”

Users can choose between Tamil and English, and read the latest posts just as they would in a Twitter feed. While posting, your location is geo-tagged automatically; if you find that intrusive, you can post anonymously. There is no word limit and one can enlarge the font, write an essay, a note or a rant and post it under one of 15 categories. I decided to check out the app and created an account. My post went live in less than a minute. Then I moved to Ippodhu’s USP. I clicked‘Act’, chose ‘civic issue’ as the category, and posted a note about flooding in my locality. “It’s on Apple and Android as just text now, but expect picture and video features soon when the circulation hits the target,” says Peer. “My team of 12 journalists curates the feeds 24/7, allowing no commercials, ads or abusive language. We want to keep it non-controversial and people-friendly.” It’s crowd-sourced citizen journalism and civic participation for good governance….(More)”