I won the "Best Business Blog" category at the 2009 South African Blog Awards!

Over 4000 blogs were nominated in this year's awards, and over 25 000 people voted.

I also scored some free goodies with the award, including:
  • A subscription to the Sunday Times  (I still love reading the newspaper in print as a special treat, so this is a super prize for me);
  •  A subscription to Encyclomedia (a PR match-making tool that helps local businesses get press releases out to the right journalists);
  • 12 SA Blog Awards branded Kika-sacks (I'll use one of them next time I hit the beach and give the rest away with reckless abandon); and
  •  "Black Bottle" whisky.

As much as I enjoying getting free stuff, by far the most enjoyable part of the experience has been all the congratulatory messages I've received on Twitter, Facebook, Email and SMS. Thanks everyone! This award and the whole experience of winning it is very encouraging for me as a blogger.
Kelele Africa

Kelele, an annual African bloggers’ conference, was announced yesterday at BarCamp Africa at the GooglePlex in San Francisco. This exciting event will be held in a different African city each year and run by an organising committee in that city. Kelele will be held for the first time in August 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Daudi Were is producing the event, along with an organizing committee of bloggers from all over Africa. This includes Ndesanjo Macha, Erik Hersman, Nii Simmonds, Mshairi, Sami Ben Gharbia, and me.

Why Kelele?

Kelele is the Kiswahili word for noise. We are organising a gathering of African bloggers in the tradition of historical African societies where everyone has a voice.

The specific theme of Kelele ’09 Nairobi is Beat Your Drum – which connects the traditional Africa method of getting your message across vast distances – the talking drums – to the 21st century and the tools we use today, blogs and the Internet.


We are working to make Kelele a world-class conference, but in order to do this we will need Sponsorship to cover costs such as delegate's flights, venue, AV and bandwidth.

We’d like to invite all organizations with an interest in blogging, Africa and citizen media to become a sponsor of the inaugural African Bloggers Conference: Kelele!

There are a variety of ways that you can become involved as a sponsor for Kelele - your contribution doesn’t only need to be financial in nature. If you’d like to find out more about the sponsorship opportunities, please email daudi.were@gmail.com
AuthorDave Duarte
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Later this week I'll be going to Kampala, Uganda for the Africa Media Leadership Conference (AMLC) in Uganda.From Wikipedia:
The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered on the east by Kenya, the north by Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania

The following is from the conference press release:
AMLC is an annual meeting among African media bosses. This year it is focusing on how the continent is embracing new media technologies to serve the changing needs and interests of their customers.

The conference will be attended by 40 senior editors and CEOs of media firms stretching from South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland in the south to Kenya and Ethiopia in the north and from Senegal and the Ivory Coast in the west.

The topic of the talk I am presenting is: How African Traditional Media can Tap Into New Social Media and Blogs.
The conference is co-hosted by Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership (SPI) in South Africa and Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation.

“This year’s conference is looking at a range of digital media platforms that have emerged and continue to emerge around the world and the challenges that face media companies in Africa in adopting and adapting these platforms for their competitive advantage,” said Francis Mdlongwa, Director of the Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI).

“Given the breath-taking technological changes which are re-shaping and even redefining the entire media industry, we felt that Africa should pause, take stock, look at what works and does not work in our part of the world and why, and plan ahead,” he added.

The SPI is Africa’s only university-level institution offering high-level media management and leadership training programmes to both practising and aspirant media leaders from across the continent. It runs a post-graduate programme in media management and leadership and a series of certificated management programmes for senior editorial and business media managers.
Frank Windeck, the head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Sub-Sahara Africa Media Programme, the sponsor of the Africa Media Leadership Conference series, said: “These meetings give Africa’s top media people a unique opportunity to network at the highest level and to examine key industry and other issues which concern them and to seek practical solutions by examining case studies drawn from Africa.”

The conference series was launched by the SPI and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in 2002 to promote high-level interaction among Africa’s media chiefs and to seek practical, innovative and creative solutions to challenges faced by the African media.

The conference meets annually in an African country, and past conferences have debated topics such as Revenue Generation for Robust African Media (Cape Town, South Africa); South Meets East: Strategic Challenges for African Media (Nairobi, Kenya); Managing Media in Recession (Mauritius); and Policies and Strategies for Media Viability (Maputo, Mozambique).
I'm looking forward to the trip, and to meeting and engaging deeply with the ideas of some of Africa's top media people. I will, of course, be sharing as much as possible of the knowledge I gain with you on this blog.
AuthorDave Duarte
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Andrew ZolliOk, so we're not officially launched yet (we need some kind of party for that in my opinion), but Huddlemind is already co-hosting our first international speaker, Andrew Zolli.

Zolli is a futurist of note, and has brilliant insights on Ecologically Innovative Capitalism (<<this link is well worth clicking. The best article I've read this year). He discussed how the next billions are to be made in sustainable development for the "bottom of the pyramid". His case-studies are fascinating, and his insights profound.
I think this message will strike a chord with us South Africans struggling with electricity cuts, and our heightened awareness of the scarcity and cost of energy resources.

We jumped at the opportunity to be involved in this (we're teaming up with Business Architects and Symphonia), because the ideas he raises are critically important. We'd like to do more of this kind of work in future.

The talks are in Cape Town, on February 15th at Spier (R600 with breakfast); and February 18th (R800 with 3 course lunch) at the Arabella Sheraton. You can Phone Nicolette on 021 – 913 3507 or send an email to nicolette@symphonia.net if you'd like more info.
AuthorDave Duarte

Mike Stopforth often speaks of a concept called Guerilla Kindness. There's not much about it online though, so I thought I'd spark the conversation.

Guerilla Kindness is an ongoing strategic approach undertaken by a company to surprise and delight people in the hope of creating a great story associated with the experience to pass on to their peers, and hopefully mention online.


  • Graham from Missing Link was sent a toy car by the call-centre agent at Outsurance when he crashed his car. He blogged about it, and many a reader of his blog (including me) was impressed by the remarkable courtesy and good humour displayed by the insurer.


  • Aston Martin gave Mike the keys to a DB9 for a day after he wrote an article mentioning the vehicle. He subsequently blogged the experience, the post was picked up by some major sites and over 50 000 people read it. As a result and I'm sure quite a few of those have grown their appreciation for the company and its cars (I have).


  • An idea might be to organize a flashmob to clean up a really messy city street in an instant; paint an ugly building; plant a few hundred trees or organise fabulous suprises for random clients.

  • The idea is not to brand the act, nor to publicize it yourself.

  • Your intentions should be good, and hopefully someone will mention it of their own accord (that's how things work in the blogosphere and the world of Social Currency)

In other words it refers to random acts of kindness that are:

  • Creative

  • Unexpected, and

  • Personal

(Drink from the CUP of kindness :-p)


By the way, the more money you spend, the less it is trusted. Use some energy, thoughtfulness and time instead.

It's a fun idea. I'm already working on my company's Guerilla Kindess strategy for 2008.

AuthorDave Duarte
31 CommentsPost a comment
Geek Dinner LogoJune 2006 saw the first BarCamp being held in Cape Town - a co-created (un)conference for SA programmers and web-heads. As a result, many new friendships and business alliances were formed and an off-line trust community started developing. More recently we had the successful PodCamp Cape Town, more specifically focussing on new-media content creators.

The third installment in the Cape Town un-conference series is called *Camp (or StarCamp), it's being organized be Neil Blakey-Milner and Jonathan Hitchcock. It's a two day event on the 8-9th December, it's for all the new-media rock stars - marketers, geeks, entrepreneurs and bloggers. There's likely to be some great connections to be made and new hacks and opportunities discovered.

Attendance is free, although the organisers ask for your participation in order to attend - by giving a talk, blogging about it, sponsoring, or helping with logistics. Checkout the wiki for more.
AuthorDave Duarte
10 CommentsPost a comment