ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

eGov by SMS

Thus far, it seems that official announcements to the public have been mainly through the newspapers, BBS and radio. Not any more! Yesterday, I received an SMS from "T.Thromde" on my B-Mobile. The message reads (I quote exactly as it shows on my phone):
ThimphuThromde invites land owners of respective LAP to for public consultation meeting, Babesa 28Aug@RIMhall 10AM, Semthokha 4Sept@ Lungtenphu 11Sept@YHShall 10AM
Using SMS for reaching Thimphu residents is a great example of "eGov by mobile". Especially here, where not everyone has access to the Internet, and definitely not on the weekend, an SMS is likely to reach a large portion of the population.

SMS is of course just the tip of the "eGov by mobile" iceberg, but at this point it is the most effective given the majority of simple, "not-so-smartphone" in the country. In the future, when smartphones become more popular, there's scope for various eGov-services-by-mobile, similar to those in other countries.

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