Tag Archives: social media

Grow bridging The Digital Divide

The past 5 days have been like no other for a group of young people hand selected to attend this groundbreaking initiative at no cost to the pilot group. The founding companies of the GROW Academy are WooThemes, RLabs, Silulo, WebGrowth and GivenGain.

The GROW Academy launched its first attack with an initial pilot ‘Boot Camp’ in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Course Outline:

– DAY 1: Course Overview, Ice Breakers, Soft Skills Workshop, Online Forums (ALL)

– DAY 2: Blogging, Micro Blogging, File Sharing, Mobile Apps (RLABS)

– DAY 3: Websites, Web Development, Web Design, Themes (WOOTHEMES)

– DAY 4: Search Engines, SEO, Website Tracking, Site Performance (WEBGROWTH)

– DAY 5: Databases, Communication, Campaigns, Wrap Up (GIVENGAIN)

“I have never seen so many smiley faces (actual smiles on faces) when the recruits realised that they were being taught by the best in the business,” says Rene Parker Project Manager at RLabs.


I had the awesome privilege of being present for the duration of the 5 day Boot Camp covering social and new media for the event. I witnessed how “The Cadets” just embraced the opportunity of a lifetime. One of the Cadets, Jason Martin updated on his Facebook profile “I saw hope coming out of a computer today.”

If this is what The Grow Academy achieved in only their pilot project then I cant wait to see how lives will be transformed and changed when they go all out in battle…

You can follow Grow Academy on Twitter, Facebook and their Blog.


Filed under Events, News

RLabs Academy 2011

This year has started off with much anticipation for the RLabs Academy providing the community access to professional training courses. There has been such a buzz in the RLabs space about the Academy and we already received an overwhelming response to our courses being offered this year. The RLabs Academy strives to ensure that community members get the best training available to create opportunities for further personal and career development.

We will offer long term and short courses through our network of experts in a wide variety of industries.

The courses on offer through the academy this year are:

1. Social and New Media – programme aimed at individuals who would like to learn more about Social and New Media in a social and community context.
2. Mom 4.0 – programme for women and mothers who would be introduced to Social and New Media tools.
3. Social Media Teens – programme for teenagers where Social Media is used as the medium to teach life skills.
4. Geeky Moms – advanced Social and New Media programme specifically aimed at women who want to maximize these tools. This course is the follow up to the Moms (2.0 & 3.0) programmes.
5. Executive Social Media – advanced Social and New Media programme for individuals who would like to use social media as part of their business or as a career path.
6. Social Media for Mobiles – programme specifically focusing on the use of mobile social media tools. Participants will explore current trends in the use of the latest mobile social networks.
7. Multimedia – introduction programme for individuals who want to start a career or business in multimedia.
8. Mobile and Web Development – cutting edge software, mobile and web development programme giving participants the ideal platform for career in programming.
9. Innovation and Entrepreneurship – programme providing participants the opportunity to explore the field of entrepreneurship and innovation.
10. The Legacy Programme – a programme specifically for matriculants providing them with the opportunity to develop leadership skills, follow their dreams, job and business readiness, development of career options, involvement in industries and social upliftment projects and developing individuals who will leave a legacy and be a change maker.

Due to limited seats and a huge demand RLabs will only be able to take 12 participants per course to ensure each participant get the maximum out of each session. If you would like to book a seat for one of our courses please make contact with us online or call our office on +27 21 699 1453.

Watch this space for the new academy website and all our courses are offered FREE of charge to the community.

Source: RLabs


Filed under RLabs Academy

How Twitter is changing lives on the Cape Flats and beyond

Over the last two years Twitter had a very big impact on the lives of many in the RLabs community on the Cape Flats. The journey with this micro-blogging platform started in 2008 when a number of young men and women were introduced to Twitter for the first time by Rafiq Philips from Web Addicts fame. Most of this group were ex-drug addicts and ex-gang members who found Twitter to be an outlet where they can share their voices of Hope. In the beginning stages all the tweets were between the group encouraging one another and telling their stories of hope to the rest of their followers. What we saw was that the lives of those tweeting had a major transformation not just by the stories (See Video below) they were sharing but also having an impact offline. Instead of only using twitter as a news, media and sharing online tool it was also used as a gateway to positive messages that the group could disseminate offline with family, friends and wider community. These ex-gangsters were now calling themselves “Twitter Gangsters” also known as “Twitsters” even had the opportunity to share some of their stories at a World Bank event. One of the “Twitsters” (aka Brent Williams – no relation to Evan Williams) who was an ex-gang leader said he has more followers on Twitter than what he had when he was leading a notorious gang and he can now through Twitter leave positive footprints in the community.

It did not stop there, the group who were trained in using Twitter then started the Twitter School where they empowered women in the community to share their stories and encouraging one another. These Twitter Schools also moved into public areas where Social Media Surgeries were hosted to share twitter with community members.

This gave birth to the world’s FIRST Social Media Factory, where trained community members who are unemployed are given opportunities to create extra income through being part of a team managing social media strategies for businesses, organisations, schools and public figures. This meant that those organisations who are in need of having their Social Media Strategy being managed or outsourced not only get access to these services at very good prices but also the teams implementing these strategies will consist of a mix of experts and community members like our Twitsters and Twitter moms. Exciting when a housewife who have no other form of income can use her Twitter skills and manage the Twitter stream for an organisation via her mobile phone. She would then be rewarded for each tweet thus being able to make a basic living via the Social Media Factory system. No wonder one of these moms shared some insight to why she believe all women should be on twitter (See video below).

However what really got us excited was when we were able to give people in need access to our advice and support services via Twitter. This meant that access to LIVE support in the area of substance abuse, abuse, depression, stress and coping and debt counselling were now only a tweet or instant message away. These services extended beyond just the Cape Flats and reached the rest of Southern Africa.

Although most of the users accessing these services do so via Mobile IMs such as MXit the opportunity to reach wider audiences with Twitter has assisted us reaching close to 200,000 users to our mobile support services. The integration of Twitter with JamiiX gives us hope that we would be able to extend what we are doing to other parts of the world and changing it one tweet at a time….

Source: Technology For Community Empowerment


Filed under Innovation, Mobi, News, Social Media

Breaking social barriers at #wtf conference Day 2

Day 2 of the conference saw more people turning up and everyone seemed a lot more relaxed than on Day 1. That together with the line up of speakers simply set the tone for a good day.

One of the highlights of the day was the open question and answer session that happened because of technical issues with the technology. While the technical issues were being resolved the M.C on the day, JP Naude, on twitter @jpnaude, showed great initiative by keeping the show going by involving the crowd and some of the other speakers.

All the speakers like on Day 1 were well prepared and passionate about their areas of expertise and kept everybody riveted to their seats with great case studies.

The last speaker on the day was RLabs’s very own Marlon Parker (in pic above) who spoke on ‘Breaking social barriers through social media’. Marlon shared some heart wrenching stories of how social media reconstructed and changed the lives of individuals on the Cape Flats.  By the end of his talk he left many people with a fresh sense of hope. You can follow Marlon on Twitter.


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Storytelling at #wtf conference – Day 1

Had an early start on Day 1 with registration at 07:30am and with all the hype building up to the conference I didn’t get much sleep the night before. Arrived at the venue bright and early and got a bit concerned when there were not many people there. This did not deter the speakers who still went on to present with so much passion and insight on their areas of expertise.

One such speaker and the Keynote speaker on the day was none other than Shel Israel, you can follow him on twitter @ShelIsrael, who has a list of achievements longer than my arm. He started off by telling everybody that he loves storytelling and that’s exactly what he did. He had the crowd eating out of his hands with his storytelling capabilities. He pulled in real life stories about real people with real experiences all related to social media and how they overcame the challenges they faced using social networks.  Shel showed us that social media can no longer be ignored  by any institution. You can read more on Shel’s talk on memeburn.

Another speaker that stood out on the day was none other than the ninja himself, Eran Eyal (@EranEyal on twitter) the co-founder of Springleap speaking on ‘Crowdsourcing: travelling beyond the barriers of social media space.’ Eran introduced his latest project he is working on, Evly, the first crowdsourcing social network. We managed to get an interview with Eran, check out the interview below.

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WTF Media Conference – CPUT October 20 – 22, 2010

I’m looking forward to attending this conference again this year as I did for the past 2 years. Last year I was particularly impressed with the line up of speakers and this year it looks as if the conference comittee went all out once again and this time over 3 days. See you there 🙂


WTF Media Conference – CPUT October 20 – 22, 2010, powered by Neotel, will take place from October 20 – 22, 2010 at CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology). The conference will host prominent pioneers in social media, mobile media and cloud computing.

WTF MEDIA CONF aims to unpack the various layers of the “buzz” term new media, making it easy for the person on the street to grasp. Key social media themes will be highlighted, while using common old garden words to provide relevant answers to real questions as how to use new media to its full potential. Since new media is fast changing the world of media, the conference will be a platform on which one can explore, explain, speculate, debate and be educated and informed, opening the mind to endless new media possibilties. It will also provide access to the online/mobile environment.

Speakers include:


Dave Duarte – Blended Learning: Social Media, Cloud Computing And Augmented Reality In Education

Simon Leps – Convergence Of the Mobile And Social Media

Paul Stafford – The Cloud: A South African Success Story

Eran Eyal – Crowdsourcing: traveling beyond the barriers of Social Media space

Shel Israel – Twitterville People

Yossi Hasson – Wave 3: Understanding The Driving Forces Behind Cloud Computing, Web 2.0 And Social Media And Why Your Business Survival Depends On It

Mark Gray – Recruitment 2.0: Recruitment Re-Invented

Sheena Gates – Personalising Social Media in Business

Justin Hartman – Social Media ROI: Does It Exist?

Vincent Maher & Nic Haralambous – Innovation At Mobile Operators Part 1 And Part 2

Hannes Van Rensburg – Poverty Alleviation Through Mobile Phones

Gordon Parkin – Simbiology – The Study Of Mobile Lifestyle


Andrew Cardoza – Mobile – The Glue Between The Digital World And The Real World

Professor Johannes Cronje – The Role Of Social Software In A Learning Organisation

Andy Hadfield – Online Reputation Management: 10 considerations for shaping your strategy

Mandy De Waal – Writing the new world of journalism

Jason Xenopoulos – Transmedia Storytelling – Building Brands Across A Fragmented Mediaverse

Justin Spratt – A Peak Around The Corner

Paul Jacobson – Social Media: Giving Traditional Legal Paradigms The Finger

Matthew Buckland – Future Of Social Networking: A Concept Investigation With Augmented Reality

Zibusiso Mkhwananzi – The Effective Use Of Social Media In The Marketing Mix To Meet Sales And Marketing Targets

Heidi Schneigansz – Social Media, SEO & ORM: The Holy Trinity of E-Marketing

Marlon Parker – Breaking Social Barriers Through Social Media


Andrew Brand – The Rise Of Digital Doesn’t Mean The Death Of Traditional

Christine Da Silva – Discovering Search Marketing

Matt Visser – Musicians And Social Media

Beverley Schafer – The Rise Of Social Media In Politics

Wesley Lynch – Ebooks and the Future of Digital Media

Dirk Visser – Open Innovation

Ivor Price – I Am The Media: Social Networking And Journalism

Mark Horner – Using Open-Everything And Social Media To Support the Teaching Value Chain

Jarred Cinman – From Websites to Digital Presences: the changing landscape of marketing and media in the digital age

Daniel Neville – Crowdsourcing and Its Effect On The Marketing And Communications Industry

This is the 12th annual media conference organised by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Since 1998 the media conference has covered topics like 2003: CoNextion: The Relationship between Branding, Public Relations and Advertising. 2004: Upfront & Uncut – Can You Handle Free Speech? 2005: Media on Trial. 2006: Women In the Media. 2007: Protect the Unprotected. 2008: Social Technology: 2009 Online.

Early Bird: R2000.00

Standard Price: R4500.00

Student Price available on request and valid 2010 student card

Delegates are advised to bring their WiFi enabled laptop and your cellphone (topped-up) so they can fully embrace the new technology

For more information, please contact the organising committe on either 021 460 4287 / 021 460 9077

Issue by WTF Media Conf Committee

For further information 021 460 4287

021 460 9077

Contact Ms Wardah Peck

Organised by: Cape Peninsula Univesity of Technology


Filed under News, Social Media

Social Media Strategies for all

As most organisations have staff and clients making use of Social Media, adopting a strategy for engagement and marketing should be considered to maximise the use of these powerful tools. A few questions to ask before making use of Social Media in your organisations are:

– Where are your customers having their conversations? Are they online?
– Are you willing to manage and engage with your clients through Social Media tools?
– Are you ready to deal with critism?
– How do you integrate this in your organisation and make it part of daily activities?
– What are you willing to invest and what are you expecting in return?
– How will you measure results of Social Media strategy?
– What are your timelines for using Social Media in the organisation?
– How will Social Media be part of your current marketing and communication strategies?

Source: Social Media Factory

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