Subject: Re: [NYCGA Internet] Phone App to Facilitate Communication
From: Todd Grayson
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 11:40:04 -0600
To:, OWS Solutions <>

Thanks for these comments, register and monitor the OWS list as well. You can sign up from the FLO working group page you can find the link to their working group page on

There is an active discussion on spreadcasting technology ideas, check the OWS thread history as well from the page you register for the mail list on.  I'm not sure if there is a way to get a "commit", but it will definitely help to be aware of what is out there as discussion continues.

On 10/12/2011 9:19 AM, Russell wrote:
Here is the problem:
After having been at several of the rallies, I realized that we had a
problem communicating with thousands of people at once. Protesters are
not allowed to communicate with a PA system which really hinders our
ability to get important messages out to the populous quickly. This
means that when we try to organize we need to scream everything out to
each other and pass the message along. As you can image, in the game
of telephone things are unheard, get distorted, and are misunderstood.
While the "mic check" technique is beautiful in it's own way, it
becomes problematic going from hundreds to thousands. We need some way
to relay messages to anyone who needs it quickly.

I believe that an app would be the best way to facilitate this. While
there could be updates online, that’s slow and requires people who
want to post something online to go to the blog. It also means that we
would have to constantly check. It also means that someone would have
to type long messages in through a touch screen. Not efficient.

What if you added a voice element to twitter? A service where you can
speak into your phone and like a text message it sends that vocal
message to everyone who is a member of the group. A push notification
tell everyone about the new message. Then everyone would be able to
get important information about what’s happening, what we’re doing.
For example sending out the free phone number for lawyers. Telling
people that police are arresting people who are doing x and help
advice our constituents to calm down. Or to communicate that we need
to divide into various task groups to solve a problem and where to go
for each. A text element for quick messages would also be great. In
egypt some people create a hack for a similar tool linking google
voice to twitter. Let's do this through an easier more accessible
interface and have anothe tool to keep us connected.

Luckily for us, people have been working on this.  I have been in
touch with developers over at "Coco Voice," an app that is currently
on the iphone market but does not yet have a group voice element. But
they have been working on this and may be willing to devote more time
and money into this FREE application. I will state now that I am in no
way a developer and am not a stake holder in this program. I have been
talking to several people down there about this for two weeks now,
before i made contact with the Coco Voice developers. I was just
introduced to the app by a friend and contact some people over there
who have been open to the idea.

What I am hoping is that people really see this as useful. I really
believe that this has so many uses for us that if it existed it would
be essential in our communication. If things can be done easier than
where we are now, that's good. I believe I can convince them to push
this out sooner rather than later. They have the infrastructure and
basic coding to get this done faster than anyone else i've spoken
with. I think this is the quickest option we have, and I have explored
a few.

My reservation is that I wouldn't want to push them to focus their
resources on this if other people in the movement didn't see things as
I do. So what I want to know is opinions. What do you guys think? Does
this seem like it could be useful? Would people be willing to adopt
this? Am I personally naive or am I onto something? It's a free app,
but not open source, does that matter that much?