Today we live our lives knowing what is happening in other cities and even on the other side of the world, but we have no idea of what is happening immediately around us. We don’t know the people in our own street, it is very difficult to find out what is happening in our own neighbourhood, and we travel around the city and country having no idea what might be happening around us.
We might, for instance, have gone to the beach and entered the water having no idea that a shark had been sighted a couple of hundred metres away. We could be driving through the hills not knowing that a branch had fallen across the road or there is a bushfire nearby. We could be walking through the city not knowing that a bank was being held up a block away. We could be walking down Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall not knowing that there was a car driver acting very erratically just a block or two away.
So My Village is designed to let you communicate, safely and securely, with the twenty closest people to you, wherever you may be. Any person receiving your information can re-send it on to another twenty people who have not yet received the information and so on. In this way information about any emergency situations or about anything of great interest to people, eg George Clooney turning up at the local shopping centre, will spread right through the city and may even spread right through the country. People enjoying a picnic in the country, for instance, would soon hear about any fires that may have started nearby and could very quickly find out exactly what is happening and how to escape the danger.
There are two types of messages:
1. Amber messages are simply messages that people might find interesting.
2. Red messages relate to emergency situations, eg heart attack, lost child, shark sighting, bushfire warning, house being broken into, etc.
The idea of the mini village is that there are many groups of people who would be interested in sharing information with other members of their group who happen to be nearby. Furthermore, it is much more likely that a member of a group would receive assistance from other members of that group than from the general public. For instance, a member of the Rotary Club would be much more likely to get assistance from other members than from people in general.
For these reasons, mini villages can be set up for, for example, members of a large organisation, eg the Lions Club, Rotary, Greenpeace or the Crows fan club; or members of a demographic group, eg “grey nomads”, unemployed people or backpackers; or people wanting to keep abreast of a certain organisation, eg a particular retirement village, a city council or country town they live in or a radio station they like.
Mini Villages Created so far are:
* LoneWolf (for unemployed people)
* Uraidla (for the people living in and around the small Hill’s town of Uraidla)
* Fresh927 (for listeners of the Fresh927 public radio station)
* CharlesSturt (for the Charles Sturt council area)
* LHI (for the retirement villages run by LHI Retirement Services)
All information sent via this app can also be viewed on websites. There is one website for My Village, www.myvillage.news, and one for each Mini Village. For instance, the one for Lone Wolf is lonewolf.myvillage.life.
As this app has only just been released, there is only test data on these at the moment.
To use the app, the user is first directed to a registration screen where they enter their name, email address (not verified) and a four-digit pin number (entered twice).
As the user is not required to register their real name and their email address is not verified they can remain anonymous to others.
People receiving information from you only see your pen name and the suburb from which the message was sent. However you can opt to send people your exact location, particularly in times of emergency.