Community Generated Media for the Next Billion - Social Media and Emerging World Contexts (CGM)



This EPSRC-funded research project aims to contribute significant insights into how social-media sharing systems should be designed and deployed to benefit many billions of people beyond the mainstream "developed" world. Our target communities live in both "developing" countries and those that are marginalised in places such as the UK.

The project will explore a series of novel information ecologies for media sharing in a highly populated, but remote, rural development context. Working with TransCape, our main project partner, we will build on a current wireless network to establish digital media libraries connecting multiple locations across 5 villages in the Wild Coast of South Africa. We will use this infrastructure to examine the interplay of mobile phones, pico-projectors, situated displays, word-of-mouth storytelling and paper-based artefacts to create and exchange multimedia content for education, health, agriculture, local social welfare and community decision-making. We will ground our innovations in local social systems, undertake participative design activities and iteratively test novel solutions and ecologies.

Upcoming Events

Community Media Toolkits Workshop

A half-day workshop will be held, at the Royal Geographical Society on 3rd July 2012 (9am-2pm). This event is by invitation and is limited in numbers. Please register to attend


This half-day event will launch two digital toolkits that provide innovative approaches to user-generated content. For more information on this event, see the CGM website.

Community generated media
This toolkit targets "developing world" regions, providing solutions for content creation and sharing in locations where there is low textual and computing literacy and limited power and network coverage. We will present the components of the toolkit that include a mediaphone application; a tablet-based repository and phone charging station; and, the TVCam.

Going beyond the standard media sharing and mapping solutions currently available, Placebooks aims to provide communities with richer ways to tell the story of the places they live in or visit.

The event
Both of the toolkits are being made available for open, free distribution. During the event, there will be presentations from the teams that developed each toolkit along with opportunities to discuss how your organization may wish to use or adapt the tools. There will also be a complementary lunch and time to try out the toolkits in hands-on demos and for networking with other attendees.
The toolkits are outcomes of RCUK funded Digital Economy projects. More details of the projects can be found at the community generated media and placebooks websites.