The real potential of micro-blogging is in developing countries

Given a slow morning, I was just reading through some older Google Reader feeds, and came upon this excellent post over at VentureBeat. Anand Rajaraman is an investor in an Indian service called SMS GupShup, which serves as a Twitter-like micro-blogging service for the Indian mobile market. Why would micro-blogging matter in places like India? Here’s a short example that Rajaraman mentions:

One day the GupShup spam control team noticed several messages that looked like gobbledygook to them. So they sent these suspected spammers account termination notices. They didn’t expect the response: messages not just from those senders but from many others, pleading with them not to terminate the accounts. It turns out the messages were in a language called Hmar, only spoken by some 65,000 tribal people living in the hilly regions of India’s northeast. There are now several Hmar groups on SMS GupShup; the tribal group sees this as a major communication channel. Being too small to attract mainstream media, the group also sees SMS GupShup as their main form of media and a way to save their language and culture from extinction as they assimilate into the Indian mainstream.