Our users make a difference

Sign up

\o/ stats



Archive | Musings

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 Read more


News That is Node-Worthy: An Idea For Connecting Community Radio Stations in Indonesia

Editor’s note: this post was jointly written by Trevor Knoblich, Project Director at FrontlineSMS, and Harry Surjadi, Knight International Journalism Fellow and freelance journalist   Worldwide, media outlets are increasingly mastering two-way communications channels. Radio and television stations are equipped to receive text messages, phone calls, and social media inputs. Staff can then decide to Read more

Our Delicious Reward [photo by Sean Martin McDonald]

The View from 100,000

Here at FrontlineSMS, we’ve been making software for a long time. When we first released Version 2 of our software, a little over a year ago, we were one of a few SMS management platforms available- one of even fewer that was free and open source. At the time, we were proud to have around Read more


7 Ways Newsrooms Can Boost Citizen Reporting

This is the second in a series of three posts, originally published on the PBS Idea Lab blog. In my previous post, I argued that established, traditional newsrooms tend to be most comfortable accepting citizen reporting or user-generated content during a large-scale, widespread emergency event. In these circumstances, newsrooms often accept photo and video submissions Read more


Can Citizen Journalism Move Beyond Crisis Reporting in Traditional Newsrooms?

This is the first in a series of three posts, originally published on the PBS Mediashift blog. The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings demonstrated yet another significant marker for citizen journalism. Felix Salmon, in an excellent post on the Reuters blog, wrote that the manhunt for a suspect in the bombings “in many ways Read more


Lowering barriers to adoption isn’t just one approach – it’s critical to real ‘scale’

This post is a write-up of a talk I gave at the recent Mobile Web East Africa conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Thanks to the team for inviting us to speak! Technology companies are in the business of changing habits. Creating a new tool, and getting people to use it consistently, means trying to change something Read more

Our Nairobi office, just before v2 launch, June 2012 []

Our brand of ‘agile’

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a rare insight into operations at our secret developer base, deep in the bowels of a nondescript office building in Nairobi, Kenya. Warning: this post may be techier than usual, but we hope still intelligible to our readers… “Our dev team does SCRUM, with user-centric, test-driven Read more

Data Divide Illustration

The Data Divide

Do you remember when grocery stores didn’t know you were pregnant before your parents? Or when newspapers couldn’t find naked pictures of you by looking through your phone? Boy, those were the days (When did I get this old?). Still, there’s no escaping it. Things are digitizing. Everywhere. Whether you’re registering to vote in Washington Read more

News Participation Starts at ‘Home’

Seemingly every major news event worldwide is heightening participation in news. People are eager to share updates and photos of an unfolding news event, ask questions of media outlets, and share important information. But there are two important aspects to this type of participation: (1) people are most interested in sharing news about the community Read more

Social media and the rise of FrontlineSMS

It’s Social Media Week this week, and in recognition of this and our seventh anniversary next month, we asked our Founder, Ken Banks, to reflect on the role that social media has played in the history and development of FrontlineSMS. In a recent BBC Future article I wrote about the “democratisation of development”. In it, Read more

Connect with us

Stay in touch