Archive for April, 2010

WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION – LOSING CUSTOMERS

You have finally decided its time to take your business online. You have taken the decisive step of purchasing a domain name and securing hosting space for your new website. Congratulations!

But hold on, you don’t have a website yet. A former colleague of yours has recommended this web developer who did one or two things for her a while back. He promises you a great website, asks for a very pocket friendly payment and tells you the website should be live in a week or so given your requirements.

So far so good.

Well, in the mean time, why not put an ‘Under Construction’ page with your logo and contact details, you know, just in case someone cares to visit your domain. So the web developer hurriedly does a page for you and up it goes. You have now began your journey into Cyberworld. You can’t wait reap the fruits of this highly acclaimed resource that is your company website. Continue reading ‘WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION – LOSING CUSTOMERS’

GOOGLE, FACEBOOK…AND NOW TWITTER!!

I recently posted on Intervangelist about Ushahidi, the crowdsourcing website that grew from a simple Kenyan post-election-violence inspired project to an international success. Despite being a not-for-profit entity, it still gave us a very good lesson on Building first, then money later. Well, in comes Twitter. Continue reading ‘GOOGLE, FACEBOOK…AND NOW TWITTER!!’

BUILD FIRST, MONEY AFTER

If you are an ardent reader of my blog then please allow me to apologize for this late entry. The essence of credible blogging is if the author can keep up with the hunger in blog readers for fresh, authentic and informative material. However what I gathered from the Mind Speak event hosted by Aly Khan Satchu at Silverbird cinemas last Saturday is timeless in the least, a rare element in cyber world.
During the aftermath of the Post Election Violence in Kenya, five bloggers and tech developers came up with the idea of a crowd sourcing website that would allow people, who were already prisoners of their own making in a land they considered theirs, to be able to relay information real time on what was happening on the ground. This included information on cases of Violence, infrastructure damage, shortage of food, clothing, shelter and other outcomes of that surge in national insanity.
Out came Ushahidi, an online platform that receives input from the public via sms or email, sorts it, categorizes it, and then displays it in an orderly fashion for AID agencies, Government and well wishers to respond accordingly. Its proliferation has been phenomenal. Acclaimed worldwide (and sadly not locally), and in use in about 5 crisis regions in the world namely Haiti and the Gaza Strip just to mention a few, Ushahidi is a success story that I as a Kenyan developer, web-blogger and self proclaimed techpreneur hugely admire and maybe even envy a little bit.
Sitting in that dark Silverbird Cinema Theatre with other equally curious minds, listening to Erik Hersman – one of the founders – talking about it, I could barely hide my excitement. But enough about my feelings.
Eric took an interesting angle in talking about Ushahidi, not as an entity in itself, but as a lesson for innovation and entrepreneurship, something that all the people present could associate with on a personal level. I will try breaking it down in the way I wrapped my understanding around it. Continue reading ‘BUILD FIRST, MONEY AFTER’