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Appropedia:Can the poor access Appropedia?

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What use is a wiki such as Appropedia, for the people in developing countries which have little to no internet access via computer ?

  1. First of all, internet access that one person has, can also be shared over many people/computers (ie via WiFi/WiMax, or using a Category 5 cable. As such, the official figures of internet access (supplied by internet access distribution companies) may be off by a significant margin.
  2. Although internet access via computer is limited in developing countries, smart phones are being used on a massive scale, and these can access html websites aswell. Thus, the amount of access is actually higher. In any month, Appropedia allready welcomes visitors from about every country (except some 4 or 5 countries as North Korea, Greenland, ... Also note that the number of people with access to the internet/Appropedia is also still increasing, so more people will be able to reach it as time passes.
  3. Next, although the not everyone may have access to the internet themselves, information obtained by one person from it can be passed on to others. For example, villagers who have moved to the city to work (and which often return to their village) can become informed, and send or take the information back to the village.
  4. Often, the people that do have access are also the most schooled people, and often have a job. They are hence often in a position to use the information they search online themselves, effectively. An example is a local craftsman that can use information to produce something more effectively. This, in effect, actually benefits everyone involved in the manufacturing plant.
  5. Similarly, local community education programs (led by aid and development workers and local community development workers) may also use content that was made available through this wiki.
  6. There are all kinds of ways of distributing the information at Appropedia using offline methods, such as:
    1. Displaying Appropedia's offline content bundle on a computer (i.e. using CD-ROMs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives). See also: Appropedia:Offline browsing
    2. Printing out information on paper (leaflets, booklets or books) - e.g. use the "Create a book" link in the left-hand navbar. (This is one reason that it's so important to use an open license that allows commercial use, so small businesses in developing countries can be motivated to distribute this knowledge.)
  7. Appropedia can benefit even the poor who never see it, by teaching the rich to live in ways that reduce their negative impact on the poor. For example, Appropedia can motivate the rich to cut their carbon footprints, thereby reducing their contribution to the climate destabilization which is possibly the greatest single threat confronting developing nations.
  8. That other way - the one none of us have thought of yet.

Ways on how we try to get more people to our wiki:

  1. We try to keep the site lightweight, and users can customize the size of images that they see. If you can help us improve our "low bandwidth" performance further, we'd be very happy.
  2. We keep developing the information, the resource, and continue to put more effort into dissemination.

Feel free to help work on whichever channel feels the most effecting, or that you have the most experience in!

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