Millions of people now routinely create and share videos and other information via web sites such as YouTube and FaceBook. “Podcasts” are now widely used for scientists to increase audiences. Particularly for teenagers and young adults these new technologies are becoming an important form of self-expression and communication. The success of these user-generated content portals owes much to rapid technological advances. Many homes now have high-speed internet access and computers with sophisticated video editing and display capabilities. Video capture devices, from high-quality camera phones to hard-drive dedicated video recorders, are also widely available.

There are however, many billions of people who would be astonished to hear of these innovative media tools and content and what they can achieve. Only a small minority of the world’s population has personal access to high-end computer resources and despite laudable efforts such as the one-laptop-per-child initiative this situation is likely to remain relatively unchanged for years to come.

This workshop will examine potential technologies, algorithms and engineering-design practices for digitally ‘impoverished’ communities to take part in the user-generated content revolution. The overall goal is to make progress towards prescriptive design criteria for successful systems that rapidly reach critical mass.