Responding in detail to Mobile Active

Sharek961 | Sports club

We posted around 140 reports on election day. 11 of those reports were LADE sourced. The other 129 were citizen reports (often with media sources). Since we launched 3 days before the election, we see this as a success, and view building audience as a long-term project. Although higher volume would be nice, we missed no major events and the substance of our reports match the election day mood.The blog Mobile Active covered Sharek961 the other day as part 2 of a two-part article on mobiles and the Lebanese elections. We were flattered to be featured and excited about the coverage, as Mobile Active is a well-read and widely respected publication among the ever-expanding community of people interested in mobiles for development, social change, and other good things.

First, transparency: some of us know Katrin Verclas, the author of the blog post and founder of the site, through friends and conferences. We knew she was writing this post and had a friendly conversation about Sharek961 days before it was published.

When the post came out we were a little surprised by its tone. We felt Mobile Active had not quite understood what we were trying to achieve with Sharek961. This might have been paradigmatic – the only other example of Ushahidi in elections was Vote Report India, which positioned itself as a monitoring site – and it might have been our own fault for not articulating our position clearly. So we wanted to respond in a little more details to the post, and perhaps answer or clear up some general questions about who we are and what we are trying to do.

Sharek961 was never intended to be another LADE. LADE is an accredited monitor with an official mission: observe and report violations of poll code. Sharek961 is a neutral platform for citizen reporting on issues happening around Lebanon.

We know it’s the job of bloggers to find a story behind the story. However, the heart of Sharek961 is transparency. . Our team is made up of individuals, not affiliations. Everyone on our team is listed. All our partners are listed. We receive no backing, financial or otherwise, from any organizations other than the ones listed on our partner page. Lebanon is a small country where you are born with a background, but you are free to choose how and whom you engage, and that’s the core of Sharek961.