30 Jul 2010

You know, four years ago when I started my one matchstick journey, I knew nothing about social media and the extent of the possibilities of the internet. I knew about emails and bit of HTML, and had just started to hear about blogs.

Then everything changed when I heard of Kyle, and my journey into the world of possibility and Web 2.0 started. Over the fours years I've learnt a lot about blogs, facebook, twitter, myspace, google, websites, etc and the technology that's most useful to manage all this. On the other side I've learnt heaps about negotiation, bartering, resilience, writing, and met the most wonderful people along the way!

And now I get to step up again in my learning and learn from the best in the WORLD about these things, and where technology is heading- especially in Africa.

In two weeks time I will be attending the Tech4Africa conference here in Johannesburg. As I mentioned previously, a lot of what I have learnt so far was applied in getting me to the conference, and now it's just a few days away.

I have been researching all the speakers and topics so that I can squeeze every opportunity out of this conference, and wow is there a line up of fantastic speakers!

Having just upgraded my phone (am I still a closet geek?) to a smart phone, and knowing that Africa has led the way with a few of the applications of mobile solutions (like the example of Nigeria to America, that Clay Shirky shares in this video), I am looking forward to hear Jonathan Snook of Yahoo! talk about the latest stuff with smart phones.

And then there's one of the panel discussions about where the mobile industry is going with applications like banking and weather alerts and more. Also Justin Spratt is going to be talking about wireless and how more of and cheaper communication is coming Africa's way.

I'm especially looking forward to hearing about building a brand on line from Alex Hunter, and all about Social Media from the panel including the likes of Walter Pike, Andy Hadfield, Mike Stopforth and Alistair Fairweather- all experts who I know I'll learn a lot from, having met some of them already!

There is also the key note speakers: Leila Chirayath Janah, the most innovative woman in technology who is combining crowd sourcing and mobile technology to give farmers in Africa work tending to virtual farms in social networks, where they could earn more than ploughing their land. And the Clay Shirky, who says that the internet runs on love!

And then – the cherry on the top of highlights for me is going to be the Q & A session with Andy Budd, Dustin Diaz, Joe Stump, John Resig and Jonathan Snook – For the coach in me this will be fascinating, to hear how they overcame challenges and their personal experiences on their respective journeys.

And then the Bootstrap session with the panel of entrepreneurs- hearing how Brett Haggard, Barbara Mallinson, Gareth Knight, Eve Dmochowska and Andy Higgins think! The theme of the session is that ideas are everywhere, but execution is everything! So true!

So for those that know me, you should by now have an idea of why I am so over the moon about the Tech4Africa conference! It combines all my passions in a few jam-packed days: technology, entrepreneurship, learning, networking, Africa, the Internet, and love!

Gareth Knight- the visionary behind Tech4Africa- says he hopes "to inspire a generation of Africans to go and do extraordinary things with the Web and other emerging technologies" through this confernce.

Well Gareth, so far you've inspired me! Let the extra-ordinary start rolling out!

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