I believe mobile technology can empower community builders in two main ways:
Mobile technology helps build communities of tech users. No piece of useful technology is built without valuing the voice of the user and putting the needs of the user at the center. Sadly, we still have a long way to go in genuinely valuing the inputs from students as a community. My college’s official student course registration system was not only not mobile-friendly but also painfully difficult to use. A group of students had formed a coalition calling for a better system until the introduction of SCU-Classes, a schedule builder in the browser developed voluntarily by two students provided a temporary solution. Unfortunately, with the graduation of the developers, mobile SCU-Classes didn’t work out because of worries of the app’s compromised usability in mobile. So our students had to continue the fight for a mobile course reg system. Recently the administration finally decided to build a mobile version of the course registration system. What I appreciated the most from this story was the power students gained to fight together because of mobile tech. I feel extremely fortunate to be in the middle of a highly progressive community built by people who believe in the power of tech, and I am eager to join this rank of builders and engage in my communities through the medium of mobile technology.
P.S. To Facebook hiring managers: consider hiring a higher proportion of folks from non-target, non-tier 1 schools. You’re losing out on too much amazing talent and passion. It costs you money and reputation. Just saying.