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JWA RFP: Mobile device Apps



The Jewish Women's Archive ( is a 15-year-old national non-profit based in Brookline, MA., dedicated to uncovering, chronicling, and transmitting to a broad public the rich history of American Jewish women. One of the first organizations in the Jewish community to stake a claim on the new frontier of the Web, JWA continues to innovate in its use of the virtual world for academic, cultural, archival, and educational purposes.

We are very interested in exploring ways to use our web content on mobile devices. We are especially interested in applications which encourage interactive use and make our content accessible beyond traditional web uses. We have come up with two application ideas that we think would be of interest to our audience. These are both "proof of concept" applications, which means that they need to be small enough, fun, useful, and simple enough to be done in a relatively short sprint, at relatively low cost, so that we can learn enough to develop ideas further (or fail quickly and move on to different ideas). The descriptions, below, need to be understood as starting points for discussion and negotiation. What is critical is to deliver high quality, however simple, at the proposed price, with "quality" being determined by interface, usability, and whether or not it delivers value to the App user.

"Encyclopedia on an iPod Touch"

We will be giving away an iPod Touch as the main prize in a campaign to get people to sign up for our email list. Rather than just give away the device, we would love to bundle some significant site functionality with the device. It would be a significant bonus if the resulting application is sufficiently robust as to be worth adding (even at a cost of FREE) to the itunes store and an equivalent application, as possible, to other app stores (Android, for sure—more?)

One of the most popular sections of our site is the Encyclopedia. It contains ~2000 articles of two types: survey articles and biographies. On average, there is one JPEG image per article. The Encyclopedia is browsable by several facets: keyword, location, and time. On the web there is tags-based interface to facilitate exploration of these facets. Data are stored/served from Drupal 6.

We think it would be fun to have a copy of the Encyclopedia on the iPT, searchable, with the links to JWA (and to other sites) that accompany each article working. This probably means that a copy of the Encyclopedia needs to be created from the Drupal database, so that the content is always accessible and always searchable, even when the device is not in wifi range or not connected to the internet.

Bonus ideas:

  • Having comments (actually, article updates) also present in the local copy, rather than just the article texts;
  • Having the ability to post comments/updates from the device and/or to update the downloaded encyclopedia comments from the website;

Publish photos to JWA website

JWA has a new Google Maps mashup called "On the Map" in which site visitors are encouraged to put significant Jewish women "on the map" by uploading an image and accompanying that image with some basic information about who, where, when to our Drupal 6.x website.

There seems to be something obvious with connecting people with a mobile device that takes pictures with apps that make it easy to post those images to Facebook or to Flickr. In fact, such apps already exist. Why not an app that makes it easy to post directly to (drupal 6, but with some locally customized upload fields) so that we can most easily capture all appropriate information about the person featured/referenced by the image, permissions, and the person submitting the item. In a pinch, we are happy to consider an proof-of-concept app that posts to the appropriate group on, instead.

Bonus items:

  • Ability to search "On the Map" to by person or location (functionality currently supported on the webpage);
  • Ability to comment on existing entries;
  • Ability to see locations from "On the Map" on existing mobile device mapping applications also based on Google Maps;
  • Ability to use the same tool to post images to other areas which request the same accompanying data (currently, the sole other application would be for teachers w/classes working with our "Living the Legacy" project, for instance).

We look forward to receiving your proposal(s) no later than Friday, May 14, 2010. Please email it to Ari Davidow or send via snailmail to:

138 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Ari Davidow, Director of Online Strategy


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA RFP: Mobile device Apps." (Viewed on January 18, 2018) <>.


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