Thursday, May 14, 2009

Net Prophet the perfect wake-up call


Alarm went off at 6am and it was my wake up call to attend the First Net Prophet Event in Pinelands, Cape Town. With winter weather outside and still tired I was hesitant and very close to not attending but with such an interesting line up and having the "Prophets", "Gurus" and peers of Web, Social and Mobile Media all in the same room, that was enough reason for me to at least take time to learn from their experiences.

Upon arrival hundreds were gathered at the Old Mutual Business Park in Pinelands, Cape Town and it seemed as if an interesting day was lying ahead by seeing the fellow attendees present. Platform was well set by Rob Gilmour from RAMP Foundation and with Arthur Goldstuck, Peter Flynn, Herman Heunis, Henk Kleynhans, Dave Duarte, Mike Stopforth, Hannes van Rensburg, Andrew Smith and Charl Norman in the wings it was an event that I am glad I didn't miss.

My specific focus was around how the social web can be used to not just be monetised but also sustain and support social initiatives. With many of the speakers emphasizing the importance of mobile in a South African Context and more specifically the increased number of possibilities this provides for a developing country.

Highlights of the conference was that "The digital revolution levels the playing field and that the Internet should be taken to the masses", with "Mobile, blogs, video content, social networking and Podcasts having huge media revenue growth" this opens the doors for organisations to also explore the platforms where huge corporations are placing their investments. Software would also become more service oriented according to the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This offers businesses more an operating expenses budget allocation than capital expenditure. Herman Heunis shared how MXit applied the philosophy 'We do not compete, we create' and how the right mix with motivation allowed them to become giants in the Mobile Instant Messaging space in Africa. How to approach Venture Capitalist (VC) and harnessing the Social Web were other highlights to this great Net Prophet event.

Well all in all from a social change perspective I do believe that Net Prophet was the perfect wake up call.

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