Archive for December, 2008
Back before the internet became mainstream in South Africa — 2004, I think — my then boyfriend got me to download Opera Mini for my k700i. I was reluctant to do so; I didn’t think I needed the internet on my phone, too.
My resistance didn’t last long and I have been using this browser ever since. I’m an Opera Mini Missionary. So I find it surprising that some people still choose to use the default browser of their phone. Unless you’re using a phone with Windows Mobile you should consider getting a proper browser.
But this isn’t my biggest gripe, actually. My biggest gripe is with companies who build these mobile sites. I’m not sure whether anyone tests it out first. Or perhaps the tester thinks the end-users won’t be interested in building content.
So this means that it’s difficult, nay, impossible, to edit a Wikipedia page by using the mobile version. I played around with the default web browser of my k800i yesterday. The page looks terrible and takes long to load. The information that gets displayed is perhaps only a quarter of what one can see on the ‘real’ web; the page on grammar is divided into three pages.
I also tested the local iAfrica site. I’m not impressed. The News24 site is even worse than iAfrica. The font is small and users cannot comment on articles. Is this the Web 2.0 Digital Divide?
Not even Opera Mini is perfect: it doesn’t recognise predictive text; however, the browser of my phone does. But Opera Mini just makes life so much easier. So I can’t imagine switching. Unless someone develops a new mobile browser that can use predictive text when typing in a Google query *and* doesn’t ever convert sites to the mobile version.
But not many people know about Opera Mini or alternative mobile browsers. Hell, most people do not even know that any WAP-enabled phone can connect to the internet.
So what does this mean for us in South Africa? Most black people do not have access to the traditional web. But almost everyone has a cellphone. The purpose of the internet is no longer just to get information; it is to get information, be entertained and create content. And it is pretty damn impossible to create any type of content with a mobile browser.
I forgot to wear my name badge to the Heavy Chef thingy last night. I only realised it when I got home and my circa 2006 Kauai name badge fell out of my laptop bag. I wear it to work sometimes – today – to freak my colleagues out. It works so well!
But back to the Heavy Chef event. @Winterboer and I got there at almost exactly 17:30 and settled down to some socialising. Well, actually, I didn’t socialise much last night. I’m shy so I prefer smaller groups of people. But somehow @eyespy managed to get a few good shots of me.
I finally met @Amabacha and met @frichter again after 7 years – we were waiters at the Mount Nelson Hotel back in 2001. I started talking to Matt, another SEO copywriter, and Bruce Wade before the talks started.
I’m sure the evening was informative to some people; however, I didn’t learn anything new. I connected wif a few new people but the evening was disappointing. Perhaps I was expecting a more digitally savvy crowd.I kept thinking that we all probably read the same blogs: Seth Godin, Six pixels of seperation, Micropersuation, Digital Immigrant and all the rest. Are we still only regurgitating international ideas? And does this mean South African marketers only have to read those blogs to be above average?
People were taking notes on notepads! Isn’t that blasphemous? Where were the se.ri.as.ly. digital okes? Other people were handing out business cards. I still can’t understand that. I will forgive someone like Sybil Sands. Her business ’card’ is beyond awesome. But if you’re not Sybil why are you still handing out business cards? Your website should contain all the links to your internet persona: what you do, your Twitter, your Friendfeed, your LinkedIn and your Pipl. Come on, people, it’s not that difficult.
Something else that I noticed last night: where were the questions that challenged? @cluckhoff, @eyespy and Matt, the copywriter dude who sat next to me, were among some of the only people who were asking intelligent questions.
What surprised me most was these okes’ research. I expected more. Why not mention Trendwatching 2009? There are a myriad such trend reports out, one of which is IAB Smartbrief. I get their weekly newsletter and it’s always an interesting read. Another report that has created interest this year was the Opera Mini State of the mobile web.
Also, I do not use Mxit much but I do know a bit about it. Mxit has been trying to integrate with as many IMs as possible: mobimii, MSN, GTalk, AIM, QQ, GaduGadu. Hell, I’ve never even heard of these last two IMs before. Yes, there have been problems with MSN integration but that is supposedly sorted out now. Not that anyone still uses MSN…
And finally, I wished we could have had more time to discuss teh supposed ‘evil’ of Google and Facebook Friend Connect. My issue wif this? None at all. I live a transparent life. Well, mostly. My internet life is open to all, except for my Facebook. I don’t know why but that’s that.
What did I like about the evening? It was a chance to flirt wif ouens such as @Amabacha and LOL at the T-shirt that @wikidknickers was wearing. And I will most certainly wear my name badge to the next Geek event. It’ll confuse everyone: “So, Joy-Mari, you work for Kauai?” And I’ll laugh and say that no, actually I am a Word Whisperer
Thanks to Gabrielle Rosario for telling me Simon Leps, not Grant Fleming, spoke to us last night.