Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Approved Research Topic

Situation/Problem:

Online forums are common to us nowadays because this is where we usually have online discussions for our classes. We are encouraged to check the forums from time to time for updates. Checking for forum updates requires a connection or access to the Internet. The problem I see here is that not all users can access the Internet easily or conveniently. In our case (as a specific example), checking for new topics in a particular forum requires most of us to go to Internet cafes only to find out that there are no updates. This kind of situation results to a waste of time, money, effort and at the same time, ENERGY. From another perspective, for those who have Internet connections at home (like myself :D ), they are probably either too lazy or just forgetful to even check.

I am an active member of various forums (though most of them are unrelated to school :D) and I do experience the situation painted above. I am quite aware of so-called web feed services and even subscribe to them to get the latest updates in forums that I am a member of. A web feed is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content (Wikipedia). Web feed services, such as Feedburner, require you to subscribe with your email address, where the feed is sent. This answers the problem of updating users with content. However, just like the situation above, checking this feed on your email will still require access to the Internet.

Proposed Solution:

For my research proposal, I propose to develop a web application that will mimic the way web feeds are delivered to subscribed users. However, to answer the problem of Internet accessibility, I propose that the application will deliver updates not through emails but through TEXT MESSAGING.

Why through text? From observation (in our class, for example), I could say that more than 90% of us have cellphones. Cellphones are easier to carry and access, compared to computers with Internet connection. Thus, this proposal will take advantage of the cellphone's popularity and portability.

Where does the concept of "Green Computing" come in? I believe that this research proposal will save forum members (especially students like us) the time, money and effort needed to access the Internet and check for updates. This way, we will only need to use computers when we know that the forum is updated. In effect, the use of computers will also be lessened, thus, we can save a significant amount of energy.

How will it work?

This is only my initial judgment or concept of how the application will work.

Following the concept of subscribing to Feedburner, the user will be asked to provide his cellphone number. This step, however, will require the user to access the Internet. His number will be added to the list of recipients. Whenever a particular forum is updated, all recipients will receive a text message containing the title of the new content and possibly a teaser of, perhaps, 200 characters. I am still unsure, though, of the more convenient way of delivering the text - delivering it only on a particular time of day or delivering it every time new content is posted...

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Okay. So that's it, for starters. I am willing to accept your comments, suggestions, questions, etc., regarding my proposal. And if you can point out some important issues or can give me recommendations, I would be very happy to know. :p

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I don't have a title for my proposal yet, but I'll try to come up with one as I go along. All updates will be posted here in my blog and at the USEP-IC Forum.

2 comments:

  1. Guess all we needed was a bit of a push on the back to come up with those ideas..^^
    I was really happy that most if not all of us have their research topics approved..
    maybe its because our brains were so pressured that day with SIr's presence that why we had topics generated in an instant hahha

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