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Bangladesh: Microblogging an election

In a few hours time 81 million Bangladeshi voters (51% women) will go to vote for the ninth parliamentary election. The election is crucial for the nation as it will bring the country back into the track of democracy after two years of emergency rule of an interim government backed by armed forces.

We have discussed earlier about the use of internet in the campaign and activism for an informed vote. Now we have got another interesting development.

Somewhere in, a software company and the pioneer of the first bangla blog community in the world has introduced a twitter like web based micro blogging community where message can be sent via web and mobile phones (sms) for dissemination of news of the election by the netizens. The messages can also be sent directly to an interactive map where location based information can be found.

Arild Klokkerhaug, the Head of Opportunities of Somewherein has this to say to the candidates of the election:

dear candidates for the 2008 bangladesh parliamentary election:

in case you are not aware, here is a small note to tell you that an election and holding power through a seat in the parliament, is no longer business as usual. tomorrow, any update from any blogger has the potential to reach the whole world.

this time, for the first time in your political history, bloggers are watching you. not only a few techie intellectuals. we are at least 30 000 bangla bloggers watching you. we blog through multiple blog communities and our writings are being read in nearly every country of the world.

we will support your efforts to build a strong and proud nation and share the good news with the world. however, we will also hold you accountable and report any misstep. blogs will never forget, bloggers will never be silenced, internet knows no borders. therefore, lets get it right this time, dear candidates. lets get it right.

The tools bloggers will be using:

bloggers share quick news to the election microblog
- just login and type from web or sms to 5455: ! your message

bloggers can sms directly to an interactive map
- send sms to 5455: ! your message @location regarding their district

bloggers can analyse and share political stories on the election blog

bloggers can share the latest microblogs through nearly any blog

SWI-New Age

Live coverages, streaming videos and webcasts of the election results can be found in these sites:

Another Bangla Blogging platform sachalayatan is providing a widget which will be updating the latest information on the election (in Bangla) and which can be placed in the side bar of any blog.

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