It is often easy to neglect the benefits of having a great deal of information about a local area available online. For anyone who has lived in a place that does not see a great deal of coverage online and includes only a limited population with internet access, it can be hard to find any reason to go online. Google Baraza is intended to help fix this problem in Africa. Many internet users in Africa find that there is a serious lack of information about their local communities. Google is attempting to change this by encouraging question and answer participation focused on countries within Africa. It is the hope of this internet titan that more users in Africa will begin trying the internet for the first time and discover more information that is relevant to them.Show more screenshots »
Google Baraza is a part of the Google family of applications. Google is easily the most popular search engine out there. The company has expanded a great deal since it was first conceived by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996. The original Google began as a research project intended to improve the way searches were performed on the internet. As the idea evolved, PageRank was born. The domain name Google was officially purchased on September 15th, 1997. Nearly a year later on September 4th, 1998 the company was incorporated. Since then, Google has risen in the virtual ranks to become the enormous entity that it is today.
Google Baraza’s main defining factor is the geographical location it is intended to promote. The application is focused on Africa and its communities. Individuals are encouraged to ask questions and provide answers so users in this region of the world can discover more relevant information about their home.
Google Baraza utilizes the typical Google application appearance, with a white background, colorful Google logo and relatively neat organization. The homepage is pretty much all text with headers and a few small icons. At first, a user might feel information overload, but this will quickly pass as they sort through the various columns. A list of hot topics is showcased at the top of the homepage while top user reputation ranks and follower ranking is highlighted along the right hand side of the page.
Signing up for Google Baraza is simple, especially if the user already has access to Gmail or one of Google’s many other applications. Just like al other Google products, Baraza requires users to log in to their Google account. Users who do not have a Google account can register for one by clicking on the blue “Sign in” link at the top, right hand corner of the page. Next, the user must click the bold “create an account now” link found just below the login area. The registration form requires a current email address, password, date of birth and other basic information.
Google Baraza is available to all users for free. There are no fees associated with using Baraza. This is definitely a plus considering that the purpose of the application is to entice activity and participation from users in Africa. Charging a fee would be counter productive to this mission.
Google Baraza is intended to bring more users online from Africa. This would essentially be the group who benefits the most from the application. Of course others can chime in and help provide information or learn more about the area through the question and answer system.