OTA 09 and weekend working

September 29, 2009

OTA 09 at Imperial College on the weekend was fab!

Hundreds of mobile developers came together for tech sessions and an overnight hack in the “Great Hall”  at Imperial College, London.  There was even a “real” dalek to keep us in order …see   OTA 09 – Great Hall with Dalek .

I met some great people their and the Betavine Team worked the registration desk for the Friday and Saturday.

I was given a speaking slot at 9am on Saturday morning … not expecting a huge crowd but was pleasantly surprised to find some Betavine Social Exchange enthusiasts who had come especially for my talk!

A few snippets of my talk can be found on YouTube.

Following the talk I interview 3 very interesting people who clearly had a passion for bring technology to the developing world.

I was intrigued by Iris comments on “social entrepreneurs” …entrepreneurial in thinking whilst focussing on social problems.

Guillaume raised the issue of BSX challenges becoming “dead letters” i.e. getting lost and no-one working on the solutions.  We will work on features to help challenges to remain visible.

Joel thinks BSX could be a “great tool for connnecting people …”  – that is our aim and we will be seeking lots of feedback from our users to ensure we do this.

Please sign up for the pilot here:  BSX pilot.

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Gearing up for launch

September 22, 2009

Things are moving fast now as I set up all the details of the launch of the BSC pilot in Johannesburg.  We have a great speaker lined up from Vodacom and are working on a competition .. more on that later.

The design team have been hard at work on coming up with a clear and easy to use design .. see below for a sneak preview of the Social Exchange overview page.  Thanks to the Weaver Digital and Modify London teams.

hot off the Weaver Digital press ...

hot off the Weaver Digital press ...

Next up we need to promote to NGOs in South Africa and mobile developers globally.  I shall be sponsoring events and  setting up a few of my own events in the coming months.

We are sponsoring Mobile Tech 4 Social Change in Cape Town on the 31st October 2009 – see mobileactive.org .

In November we are sponsoring barcampafricauk .. in london – see barcampafrica for details.

BSX Pilot – launch date set

September 16, 2009

The Betavine Social Exchange Team are planning to sponsor this years Sangonet Annual Conference, to be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, see Sangonet for details – #sangonet09.

The BSX launch event will take place at the evening party on the 15th October in Joburg – I find this very scary as the website is still being built as I write this post.  Below you will see the current BSX overview page – this will change as I wanted a more impactful look.

BSX overview page

Early version of BSX Overview page

The team only have 4 weeks to go now and a lot of work still to be done – it will be ready at the last minute!

We are still looking for more people to sign up for the South African pilot – sign up here.

I am also trying to work out sponsorship for a BSX competition .. to encourage participation during the pilot.

Summer is over in England .. without the promised BBQ weather!

The Betavine Social Exchange is rapidly taking shape as my team code it up.  We are going to call it Betavine 4.0 as it is a significant update on the current release.

I am now focussing on getting some help with launching the pilot, particularly getting some example challenges and solutions that demonstrate the way it will work.

The current plan is to launch Betavine Social Exchange in mid October in South Africa.  The pilot is planned to run for around 6 months, in order to investigate the following:

  1. Functionality – we want to know what functions / features are missing or need enhancement.
  2. Usability – key to the success of BSX is the usability of the website so we will be looking for lots of user feedback on this.
  3. Integration with Vodacom – once solutions have been found they need to be deployed in a sustainable way, it is key that Vodacom engage with BSX and support the deployment process.

Below you can see a very early version of the new BSX homepage – this is just a wireframe with the style & graphics still to be added.

BSX Homepage - wireframe

BSX Homepage - wireframe

Comments welcome!