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Convoca!, new platform for 'smart mobs'

A new tool that empowers Internet users to create their multimedia narratives

April 26, 2013

From now on, you can check in thorugh your mobile phone in a crowd or public gatherings. Using the platform Convoca! , recently launched by the Spanish collectiveOutliers, any user can setup a meeting in the public space. Whether it’s a show or a protest, anyone who uses Twitter’s geolocation features can check-in in a crowd. Furthermore, Convoca! offers the possibility to add different location-based medias (photos, videos, texts). In their Convoca! blog, the collective Outliers explains all the details.

Captura de tela parcial do site
(image: | Outliers)

Convoca! is the natural evolution of that platform Voces25S that Outliers launched to map the public protest Rodea el Congresso, which happened last September 25 in Madrid. The platform associated different colors to various Twitter hashtags, and so it mapped the protest in real time through the tweets of users, that only had to tweet with geolocation enabled and use the proposed hashtags. The success was such – more than one million entries – , that Outliers decided to expand the platform.

With the upgrades, Convoca! is a tool that offers many more possibilities than Voces25S. For starters, it gives more freedom to the user, who no longer needs to be restricted to certain hashtags. On one hand, Convoca! empowerers: anyone can create a meeting and add your own narrative. On the other hand, the Collective Intelligence connects in the common spaces.

Perhaps the most interesting development is the possibility to check-in in a crowd. Other platforms or mobile applications usually prioritize consumer spaces. Convoca! allows anyone to check in and announce your presence in a crowd. Furthermore, the presence of each user increases the size of the spot on the map. The more people there are in the crowd, the closer we are to the concept ‘smart mob’ that Howard Rheingold coined. “We’re tired of seeing all those dots in most maps, that are basically an exercise of monetization”, says Oscar Marín Miró, one of the members of the collective Outliers.

Convoca! was developed with Django and MySQL, and the code will be publicly released in a few months, after the first tests.

Written by Bernardo Gutierrez

Bernardo Gutiérrez is a journalist, author and consultant . He is the founder of the global innovation network, based in São Paulo, Brazil. His reseerch is focused on hybrid environments, open data, hacktivism and digital media. On Twitter @bernardosampa and @futura_media.