We think it is time for a SuSanA mobile social group. Will it be Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack or other?... Whats your say?

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  • depinder
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  • Depinder Kapur is currently Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.
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Re: We think it is time for a SuSanA mobile social group. Will it be Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack or other?... Whats your say?

Any mobile platform that has a larger number of participants, will be best. One of the shortcomings of a mobile platform is the length of a post that you can make. Discussions are hampered and sometimes mis communication happens because of language use. 

A selective use of mobile option with be better. I suggest only news and announcements are made on the mobile platform. That people can check and be updated. Discussions and long commentaries should be encouraged on the web platform.

Zoom meetings and webinars should be rolled out by Susana. 
Please initiate this on priority.
Allocate a weekly zoom meet for 45 minutes to each working group in rotation. In addition invite any Working Group to take special sessions
Depinder Kapur is Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment. He has taight at Shiv Nadar University and has lead the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) of National Institute of Urban Affairs. His professional engagements have been with AKRSP(Program Officer Forestry), SPWD(Sr. Program Officer), CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator) and as an independent consultant.

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  • Chaiwe
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Re: We think it is time for a SuSanA mobile social group. Will it be Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack or other?... Whats your say?

Thank Elisabeth for your feedback. Slack looks really good and seems to accommodate a lot of what we are looking for. What do the numbers look like currently with respect to usage? and is there a fair distribution of users across the globe? 

Reid, I quite like the idea of Zoom meetings (or webinars). Of course, we do have SuSanA  Network meetings at least once or twice a year (virtually now on account of Covid) so maybe the question may arise as to how this would be different? Do you have any suggested objectives in mind to set something like this apart?

Chaiwe
SuSanA Forum Moderator
Skat Foundation (With financial support by GIZ and SIRWASH up to November 2023)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
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  • reidharvey7734
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  • I am a ceramic industrial designer focused on environmental health and development. Ceramics is ideally suited to addressing the urgent needs of low-income communities and countries. Those embracing ceramic developments will industrialize, gaining resilience and self-sufficiency.
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Re: We think it is time for a SuSanA mobile social group. Will it be Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack or other?... Whats your say?

A SuSanA mobile social group would be great in whatever format. But how about Zoom? Meeting face to face can be wonderful.
All the best, Reid
Anthony Reid Harvey, ceramic industrial designer
Africa Prosperity Inc.
Niagara Falls, NY USA
Here is a video presentation that gives an overview of ceramic WASH and development interventions:
Harvey, Anthony Reid (2021): Sanitary stoneware toilets: production closer to the need. Loughborough University. Conference contribution. hdl.handle.net/2134/16941193.v1

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: We think it is time for a SuSanA mobile social group. Will it be Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack or other?... Whats your say?

Thank you for initiating this thread, Chaiwe. I feel that Slack could be a good option for us. Whilst people might say "oh not, not another app!", I think it has its merits:
  • It can deal with larger groups
  • It allows threaded conversations
  • It allows several channels
  • It doesn't need to know your mobile phone number
  • It works on mobile phones as well as on computers
And I don't think it will be a competition to this discussion forum, rather complimentary. It would be used for:
  • Quick informal posts and chats
  • Some social interactions
  • Posts that are not meant to be findable with Google searches
  • To alert people to discussion thread of the SuSanA forum
  • Quick questions by newbies
I used Slack for the first time last year as part of our Wikipedia edit-a-thon Wiki4Climate . It worked well, and the basic version of Slack is for free. If you want to see what it looks like, join the Wiki4Climate Slack channel here . 

Whatsapp has the advantage that many of us use it already. However, I think Whatsapp will eventually loose its popularity (as will Facebook). Also, I don't think it is meant for larger groups. The official group size limit is 256 (although apparently it can be extended beyond that).

Telegram and Signal are similar to Whatsapp but lesser known. Apparently Telegram is less secure against hackers. See e.g. this article .

If we plan to open up a new Slack channel then the strategic question is:
  • Should it be SuSanA branded, or should it go beyond SuSanA? In particular: should it include water supply as an equal component, or should it focus purely on sanitation and hygiene? So should it be a WASH communication platform, or a sanitation one? Could it perhaps be a joint effort between several players, e.g. SuSanA and RWSN.
Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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  • Chaiwe
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We think it is time for a SuSanA mobile social group. Will it be Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack or other?... Whats your say?

Dear All,

The SuSanA forum has continued to grow over the years, with continued interaction from different WASH enthusiasts from across the globe and our membership base now exceeds 13,000 individuals and organisations. As one way to increase and improve engagement for users, the SuSanA forum moderation team is prompted to think about and is willing to hear opinions about creating a SuSanA Whatsapp or Telegram group. How do people feel about creating SuSanA groups on either platforms?

Whatsapp and Telegram are both instant messaging platforms that are designed to make communication easier and convenient. Telegram allows users to share any type of files up to 1.5 GB while Whatsapp restricts the number of images, videos and document-type files. Additionally, each app comes with access to group messaging, although you can invite more people to a group with Telegram up to 200,000 compared to a restricted number of 256 on WhatsApp. Telegram also has the unique feature of channels similar to the experience that you get on apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

In the business space, where these collaboration tools are becoming more popular, channels are a familiar way for groups to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in a specific environment. Any files that are sent in those channels or instant messages are also saved to the cloud, so you can transfer files from one contact to another with ease with no need to re-upload between conversations.

As SuSanA continues to strive to connect sanitation experts across the globe, and provide a voice for all members. Making a decision on this is best achieved through a broader consensus. Please feel free to share your thoughts (pros and cons) and opinions on creating a SuSanA group either on Whatsapp, Telegram or other and how this could complement the current forum arrangement.

Regards,
Chaiwe 

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Comment by moderator (EvM): There is already a social Whatsapp group called Poo Crew for informal chatting. Anyone can join it but it's close to reaching its limit of 256 members.
SuSanA Forum Moderator
Skat Foundation (With financial support by GIZ and SIRWASH up to November 2023)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaiwe-mushauko-sanderse-21709129/
Twitter: @ChaiweSanderse

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