iCommons LogoCalling the Opensource Community (Content, Education, Software and Business): Next Saturday, Cape Town is hosting 1 of 50 parties that are happening all around the world in the interests of connecting people who have a shared interest in Opensource stuff.

Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia and head of the Wikimedia Foundation) and Heather Ford (Exec Director of iCommons) are coming to town for the gathering, and will be sharing some ideas and insights for open projects and community development. Mark Surman (Shuttleworth foundation) also happens to be in the country, and will hopefully be sharing some thoughts with us too.

Attendance at the event is free. However we ask that you offer to contribute something to the Commons - a picture, an article, a Wikipedia edit, or even an application of your skills or connections.

Lastly, a little bit of sponsorship would go a long way... If we can get contributions totalling around R2000 then we can use that to pay for corkage on some wine Stormhoek has offered us, get a proper AV system, and perhaps even a musician. Please mail me or pop your name on the wiki if you can help out with the whole amount, or a contribution to it (the donation will be processed through iCommons, a registered NPO).

UPDATE: Ronald Wertlen of eKhaya ICT has put forward the whole R2000 that we needed to zoop up the party:) Thanks Ron!
And Stormhoek is providing the wine:) Thanks Graham!

To sign up to attend, please pop your name on the wiki >>HERE.

UPDATE: The Times wrote an article about the party:  50 Fabulous Parties just for the fun of it. Thanks to Carly Ritz:)
AuthorDave Duarte
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Kath with the ChampersOn Friday evening, a small group of bloggers and podcasters met at Stormhoek's farm in Wellington for a special braai.... And besides having a really (really!) great time, I had some thoughts about Marketing (goodness gracious - does anyone else out there think about marketing while inebriated at 2am??)

Stormhoek wine has become a global marketing sensation, thanks in no small part to their blog strategy - which got them onto Ad Age's Marketing 50 for 2006 along with huge spenders like Toyota, Fanta and Xbox360. That type of prominence doesn't happen by mistake... We can learn alot from these guys.

My takeaway thoughts from the braai:

  • Sure they sell wine, but they're in the entertainment business (why do you think people drink wine?)

  • Extremely popular business phenomena are usually driven by a core group of enthusiasts at the heart of the brand

  • If the product experience is perceived as poor quality, then no amount of promotion is going to make up for that.. There's got to be authentic passion for the product itself.

  • Most importantly, as a Stormhoek enthusiast, I connect with their people - their personality shines through in what they do....

As Hugh Macleod, blogger in chief at Stormhoek points out: Growth will come, not from yet more efficiency (we're already very efficient), but by humanification (more). In other words, by forming more personal relationships and allowing a smarter, more personal conversation to happen between you and your customers and evangelists.

And lastly: "If you want to have a cool brand, you have to do cool stuff".
AuthorDave Duarte
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Garden Route GeekDinner   Stii and Gerry are organising a kickass geekdinner in Kwelanga, George on February 9th.

GeekDinners, as some of you may already know, are about free and open-idea sharing in an informal atmosphere in the interests of connecting South Africa's top internet innovators.
This is sure to be one of the most enjoyable GeekDinners we've yet had - wow, a roadtrip to a Garden Route Country Retreat for good 2.0wine and meeting some super-smart tech people. What a pleasure!

Uno mentioned that we could use his Vito bus if we can get about 8 people from Cape Town to make a roadtrip there with. So far we have 5 people in - so put yourself onto the wiki and drop us a mail if you wanna join us!
AuthorDave Duarte
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