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The GRID and South Africa’s First Mobile Documentary

November 30, 2008 by  

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As if staying at the Rosebank Hotel didn’t already completely spoil us, we began our blogger’s road show of South Africa with a box full of gadget goodness thanks to the kind folks at Vodacom. Included in the bag was a Vodafone E172 Mobile Broadband USB Stick with enough 3G data to keep us publishing blog posts and uploading photos and videos from the road wherever we may be. We were also given the new Samsung G810, a mean mobile media monster which will let me upload photos and videos directly to Flickr within seconds of taking them. The phones come pre-loaded with a small piece of Java software called The GRID, which I first saw on Vincent Maher’s blog a few weeks ago. The mobile program automatically detects your location and allows you to upload text, photos, and videos which are then displayed on a map along with all the other user-generated content around you. In this way it is very similar to Brightkite’s iPhone application. Here in South Africa iPhones are rare, but lots of phones are able to install java apps like The GRID. The…

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Painted Faces

November 30, 2008 by  

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Scenes from the kick-off lunch.


“A Very Exciting Experiment”

November 30, 2008 by  

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Michael Spicer, International Marketing Council trustee and CEO of Business Leadership, welcomed the bloggers at a lunch at Moyo, Zoo Lake. Here’s what he said:
We are here for the kick-off of a very exciting experiment. At the IMC, we’re in the business of telling South Africa’s story, and helping others tell it. We aim to promote this wonderful country of ours both as a destination for investment and travel, and as a source — a source of goods and services, a source of ideas and innovation, a source of hard earned wisdom in dealing with some really tough challenges. Our guests, as you know, are well-established bloggers and they are here to blog about South Africa. What’s a blogger? You might say that a blogger is to a traditional journalist what a hedge fund is to your father’s pension fund. Bloggers and hedge funds don’t operate under the constraints that bind their traditional brethren, although, given present circumstances, how long that remains true for hedge funds remains to be seen. But bloggers are unlikely to have their wings clipped any time some. They can call the shots as they see them in any medium they chose -words, pictures,


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Getting Connected

November 30, 2008 by  

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Vodacom, lile Q, supplies the latest gear.


Flickr, Twitter & YouTube Feeds to Follow Us in South Africa

November 30, 2008 by  

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South African blogging tour has begun. Be sure to start following our twitter and flickr channels – both accounts named We Blog the World and the YouTube We Blog the World channel, which you can also tune into on the We Blog the World blog – just click on the Video page. Join us, read along, send us your comments. Come along for the ride as bloggers from Huffington Post, Ubergizmo, Brand South Africa, Global Voices, Matter Network, VentureBeat, The SmartSet, The American Scene, EpicFu, ThoughtLeader, Down the Avenue, and others express their views and share their stories.


Johannesburg’s Rosebank Hotel

November 30, 2008 by  

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Are you heading to South Africa and worried that you won’t be able to enjoy the very best of metrosexual hospitality. Check out the Rosebank Hotel, probably the only hotel I’ve ever been to which is much more impressive in person than on its website. It is just two blocks away from the Rosebank Mall and, for all you cyber-enthusiasts, from the offices of the African Commons Project. The lobby has lots of smiling faces and the kind of lighting that makes everyone look pretty: lobby Plus there’s this underwater garden lounge type thing that looks like the perfect place to drink too many gin and tonics:
lobby Also appropriate for confined debauchery are the cocktail pods: lobby The rooms have all the added touches: slippers by the bed, flower petals on the pillows, and, get this, mirrored-glass that looks out on the rest of the room from the shower: lobby All that was missing was the accompanying super model. Well, you don’t get everything. Most impressive of all, though, was the restaurant and its mammoth breakfast spread: lobby lobby The rest of my photos are on Flickr.


Today the Trip Starts – Let’s Tour the Country

November 30, 2008 by  

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It’s Sunday morning and we’re at the Rosebank Hotel. It has recently been redone in it’s entirety. What a pleasure.
So basically the next ten or so days I will be on a whirlwind nationwide tour around SA!
I am blogging on various platforms and have decided to try my best to split up the [...]


Blogging Tour South Africa Kick Off

November 30, 2008 by  

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I am invited by the International Marketing Council of South Africa to see some of their best technology, and to get a sense of the country. All expenses are paid but I will write what I want about this trip. Africa is not the first place that comes in mind when we think about broadband connection and technology, so I thought that it could be good to go and check out what is going on there. I arrived two days ago in Johannesburg at the Rosebank Hotel and I met the other bloggers last night during an instructive dinner. Check out the photos by clicking on the gallery button, all names will be written later when I confirm the right spelling. During the week, we will visit the deepest mine in the world (3.7 km underground!), and the largest diamond mining ship in a government secured area, this is for sure backed by some serious technology! We will get a demo of the South African electric car and I will discover the latest Web apps that are coming up here.


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