Mobile Social Networking Nepal @ Barcamp 2011

Kathmandu obvserved its third Barcamp Kathmandu on August 6, 2011 at Staff College, Jawalakhel. The event was organized by group of youth and volunteers that saw   more than 300 individuals participating in  33 different sessions that ran for the whole day. The speakers were able to create their sessions online before the event and others were able to pick the registered sessions of their liking before the event and also at the event, too. The organizers provided display boards for all the sessions, timing and their respective halls. Since parallel sessions were going on, participants had freedom to choose to be in any session they like at any time.

In this event, Mobile Social Networking Nepal team hosted a session to give a brief introduction about this community to the youth present there. A small survey with the participants was also done. In discussion with them, one of the participants made us aware of high potential of mobile technology  to grow against all the odds at the time of crisis, too. However, another participant was concerned about the high cost in using mobile services. He believes that it is hindering the growth in use of available services in Nepal. He suggested that we need to devise strategies or work together to minimize the cost to proliferate the growth. Some of the participants were interested to know if we were only concerned about the smartphones and their apps development.

After the session, we interviewed some of the participants and asked questions regarding mobile technologies, mobile devices, mobile apps that they are aware of or they are using. Most of them posses smartphones and even though the ones not are fully aware of them and their uses. Beside usual  voice communication, sms, internet surfing, games, IM(what most of the youth use mobile for), they also use apps like google map to navigate to unknown places, make international calls using VOIP, blog, keep financial tracks of their income and expenses, use GPS to map the places they visit and many more. One of the interesting notions was that even a basement programmer can develop mobile apps and earn from it. Some believed that mobile is very helpful in their business in terms of getting connected to their clients, reminder of their to-do works and being updated about the market. But some of them think that benefiting from the mobile is a slow process in Nepal and will take time for its full utilization. Overall, this event helped us to know what the youth think and know about mobile, mobile technology and mobile apps to some extent.

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