From the Frontline (Team)

Hello! It's been too long! We've been heads-down on some big improvements to make Frontline more powerful, accessible, and easy to use. There's a bunch of exciting stuff to cover - but the first, and most important thing, is that we'd love to reconnect. If you're thinking about using messaging, or it's been a while since you've looked at Frontline - shoot us an e-mail. We'd love to reconnect, hear about your work and challenges, and see if there are things we can build better together. 

Here's some of the better we've been working on: 

Frontline for Free! 

We've made our free trial into a freemium tier of our web-hosted Frontline platform. With up to 250 interactions per month free, we're making sure that our best tools are available to the groups that need them most. We're also creating a bit more space to try out what works, A/B test different approaches, and experiment in a safe, cost-free environment. Give it a try, it's free!

Industries! 

Some of the hardest parts of getting started with messaging isn't building activities, it's figuring out which activities to build. We spend all our time working with partners to answer those questions - and now we're releasing tailored versions of the platform so you don't have to. Just like with Frontline for Free, you can start with the bundles we've built - try them in your work, and THEN figure out what works for your team. We're going to continue to update and improve these industry offerings, and plan to offer new industries regularly. For now, we're starting with some of our most popular offerings - Radio, Campaigns, Education - and introducing CoWorking! 

A new website! 

You're already here, but take a look around. Are there things you'd like to see that you don't? Questions you have that we're not answering? As with all the technology we build, this is the first version, and we're sure there'll be lots to improve along the way. Let us know if you have suggestions at info@frontlinesms.com! We love the input.

These are the big changes, but there's a lot happening under the hood, too. We've introduced easy-to-use message scheduling, dramatically increased our throughput (to millions!), and made it substantially easier to customize and visualize our messaging activities. Still have questions? Ask! We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Finally, if you're reading this, chances are you've helped us grow into the self-sustaining, social impact product company that we are today - and we're overdue for a thank you. Just today, we learned that users we didn't even know about are connecting lost and orphan children to their families in Ethiopia and DRC using Frontline. These are the kinds of stories that inspire us and the kind of better we've seen thousands of you build with messaging. If you've got a story, an idea, or solution you think we can help build better, let us know! 

\o/

 

What to expect here at Frontline

What to expect here at Frontline

Frontline turned 10 years old over last week! As we recover from all the Halloween candy and birthday cake in Nairobi, I wanted to take a moment and tell you a little bit about what has changed at Frontline, and what hasn’t. Over the last decade, we’ve changed leadership, structure, and product – but what hasn’t changed is our values. Here are 5 of our favorites:  

The Big 1-O

The Big 1-O

Today Frontline turns 10 years old! And we've come a long way. Frontline started as a way to make communication easier, using SMS as a way to reach everyone quickly and efficiently. We were founded on the idea that increasing access + efficiency = impact, and that's what we've done ever since. Frontline's most powerful stories come from meaningful, two-way engagement that's owned and controlled by the user. 

Build a Better Campaign

Build a Better Campaign

90% of all SMS are read within 3 minutes of being received. In the last few days of a campaign, getting your message seen by the right people is key. What can you do to make sure the people who are going to support you show up to the polling station on the day?

The Radio Star Strikes Back

The Radio Star Strikes Back

More than 95% of the world’s population uses radio, making it the most popular communication technology in the world. Radio stations and DJs have also been some of Frontline’s earliest and most inspirational users, taking on climate change advocacycoordinating responses during emergenciesamplifying voices for peace during conflict, and bringing communities together

Frontline Powered by APIs

Frontline Powered by APIs

Here at Frontline, we recognize that each user has specific needs, operating on a wide variety of platforms. That’s why, over the last decade, we’ve tried to makeFrontline as configurable as possible to meet these needs, wherever you are. With our new APIs, you can push messages and information in and out of FrontlineCloud – letting you keep data where it’s most useful to you. To get things started, we’ve preconfigured an integration into one of our favourite digital campaigning and management platforms, Nationbuilder. You can use Nationbuilder and Frontline together to RSVP to events and to update contact records inside your nation.

Running an SMS Quiz for 1000s of users with Frontline

Running an SMS Quiz for 1000s of users with Frontline

Last month our friends at the iHub celebrated their 5th anniversary (happy birthday!) with a fittingly grand celebration in the Nairobi Arboretum. The tech conscious of Nairobi, from senior organizations to aspiring developers came along and a great day it was.

Technology Volunteerism for Social Good; How we made Frontline easier to use

Technology Volunteerism for Social Good; How we made Frontline easier to use

At Frontline, we believe that partnership and collaboration best help us drive positive social change. Today I’m delighted to share how our partnership with SocialCoding4Good, an initiative of Benetech, has resulted in great improvement to the FrontlineSMS contact search and selection capability, using our newly released Multi Selector tool. See the demo of the multi selector to see how it works.

Frontline Honored by Nominet 100 2014

Frontline Honored by Nominet 100 2014

Last week, the Nominet Trust included us in their top 100 social innovations list. A little over a month before, Frontline celebrated its 9th birthday, making us one of the older initiatives to receive recognition. But you know what? Nominet is right on time.

FrontlineCloud is one year old today!

FrontlineCloud is one year old today!

As the latest iteration of the Frontline product suite celebrates its first birthday, now seems the perfect time to sit back with a cupcake and reflect on the successes – and challenges – of the past twelve months.

How we made FrontlineSync

How we made FrontlineSync

This year we deployed our Android SMS gateway app — FrontlineSync — to public beta. We decided to build FrontlineSync to make it easier for our users to connect the power of FrontlineSMS to the GSM network. Connecting to the mobile network can be a barrier to users, so we wanted to build a resilient and easy to use platform that would work everywhere.

Frontline at Nine

Frontline at Nine

For a technology product, a 9th birthday is no small feat. It’s an even bigger feat for a technology non-profit. So, it's taken a lot of deliberation, but it’s time to announce something we’ve been working on for a while: Frontline is becoming a business.

SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to create a conflict Early Warning System

SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to create a conflict Early Warning System

After successfully using FrontlineSMS in the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project to monitor and improve radio dramas in the Niger Delta, SFCG Nigeria chose to use the platform in a completely different capacity in Jos, a city in Northern Nigeria.  SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs. 

FrontlineSMS transforms Community Radio in Malawi

FrontlineSMS transforms Community Radio in Malawi

Nkhotakota Community Radio Station, along Lake Malawi, is a Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) recognized broadcaster and has been in operation for eleven years. More than 500,000 people live within our coverage area- transmissions reach Nkhotakota and Ntchisi districts and parts of Nkhatabay, Salima, Dowa, Mzimbaand Kasungu.

SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to Improve Radio Dramas

SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to Improve Radio Dramas

SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs.  To support the reconciliation and reintegration of ex-militants in the Niger Delta, the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project was implemented with the support of the European Union from December 2011- June 2013.  The project was carried out with five local partners,[1] who were instrumental in SFCG Nigeria’s ability to work directly with seven local communities in the Delta.

Piloting SMS for Legal Aid

Piloting SMS for Legal Aid

Legal aid in the United States is broken. Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the country's primary funder of legal aid organizations, estimates that about half of eligible clients are turned away from the organizations it funds, and about eighty percent of the civil legal needs of low-income Americans remain unmet.

Understanding Mobile Access From an Ecosystem Perspective

Understanding Mobile Access From an Ecosystem Perspective

The expansion of mobile access has been a common refrain in international development for years now. It plays an important role in supporting human development, from economic and educational opportunities to political freedoms and human rights. Increased access to mobiles has been linked to positive social outcomes in dozens of countries.