User-Generated Content Creation and Dissemination in Rural Areas

Sheetal K. Agarwal, Arun Kumar, Amit Anil Nanavati, Nitendra Rajput


A majority of the world’s population does not have access to the Internet. Therefore, there is a need for a simple and affordable interaction technology that can enable easy content creation and dissemination for this population. In this paper, we present the design, development, and usage pattern of a VoiKiosk system that provides a voice-based kiosk solution for people in rural areas. This system is accessible by phone and thus meets the affordability and low-literacy requirements. We present usability results gathered from usage by more than 6,000 villagers during nine months of the field deployment of the system. The field experiments and post-pilot feedback suggest the importance of locally-created content in their own language for this population. The system provides interesting insights about the manner in which this community can create and manage information. Based on the use of the system in the nine months, the VoiKiosk also suggests a mechanism to enable social networking for the rural population.


User-Generated Content; Rural areas; digital divide; interaction technology; VoiKiosk; literacy; field study; social networking

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