29 October, 2010

Mazda USA Giving a 15 Thousand Dollar Car on Foursquare

Social media never ceases to amaze me.It takes a good investor and a keen eye to fully appreciate the immense opportunities that social media has created for businesses. It is true that social media marketing is hardly anything in Kenya at the moment but things are bound to change, atleast the corporate scene has began to morph in the rescent past but i am more immpressed by how foreign Companies such as Mazda are ingeniously utilizing the online socialsphere to pitch their sales and create brand loaylty.

I was particularly more than amazed when i came across this Foursquare (Twitter on geo-location perspective)campaign by Mazda .I am yet to see a Kenyan Blue Chip Company sales manager make good use of the social media scene to effectively brand and sell their products but the rest of the World is not sleeping!The win a Mazda competition has employed the following rules;

The apricipants/prospective winners have to :

1. Follow Mazda on foursquare

2. Check-in at specific locations to unlock any 2 of the following 3 badges: MAZDA2 Beat Junkie (concerts and music spots), MAZDA2 Style Guru (nightlife haunts, boutiques and fashion events) and MAZDA2 Button Masher (gaming competitions and retailers)

3. Once step 2 is complete you will automatically unlock the special MAZDA2 Inner Driver badge and learn the next, important step to easily qualify to win a brand new MAZDA2 So just follow Mazda, check-in at relevant locations to unlock 2 of the 3 badges (MAZDA2 Button Masher, MAZDA2 Beat Junkie, MAZDA2 Style Guru), earn the Inner Driver badge and follow the next step!'

One noticeable point about the campaign is that it will not only recruit fans but keep the fans engaged as they eagerly watch out for periodical tips that may come via Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. Mazda's give away illustrates what a successful social media marketing plan should entail ...not just informing the masses or getting the most number of fans on Twitter or facebook but actually continuously engaging the fans.(For more effective tips and techniques/consultations you can email the author at the link provided on the blog)

28 October, 2010

Flush-- Slush Restaurant?

Oops i just did this ! Yes i reviewed a Restaurant for inept service albeit having good goods and by goods i mean food being the main product they sell. Its important for restaurant and Kenyan business to gauge the feedback of their customers lest they feel the heat of new media that is social in nature.If you are a Business owner kindly watch not only the product but the customer satisfaction that your business does sale.With mobile phones hooked on to the internet, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, its important to think of what kind of reputation you are building Digitally;with good cause.

Now back to my post i just flushed of Slush, a nice Indian themed restaurant with nice Indian food with various retail outlets in and around Nairobi.  My particular nasty experience is with its retail outlet at Nairobi 's Kigali Road/Moi Avenue opposite Jamia Mall.Online culinary restaurant reviews is not my forte or usual field of play but this i had to write.

I had a meeting at two P.M, being a Thursday i thought of having something light.After much deliberations especially after having seen a review from a buddy on Foursquare- Slush's maru bhajias with sauce seemed a favourite after muc deliberations. Well the last time i was there my meal was delayed for around 15-20 minutes because of a sloppy waitress, i hoped there would not be a repeat perfomance, but to much dismay it was twice as bad!

I made my order with a request for a drink which came forth with at around 1:20, thirty minutes later the maru bhajias were still on the way coming.I took the menu thought i would order something different only for the waiter to assure me just a minute and i would have my order! Ten minutes later i stood up fuming, paid for the soda and guess what the sloppy lad delayed for another 5 minutes wiping tables until i had to go to the cashier.That notwithstanding there was not even a simple apology.Talk of the non existence of customer service.

Maru bhajias now a foregone histry, lunch hour gone , the poor man with his digestive system rumbling ahead of an expected stormy settlement meeting with clients. The other part of me almost tempting me to litigate.And yes i would not and will not tip for such sloppy service.I Just had to flush Slush (at the least this particular branch)out of my usual fast food joints.Have you had a similar experience with social media you have the power to change things or rather change perceptions.

25 October, 2010

Reggae Maestro Gregory Isaac is Dead !

Iconic Reggae maestro Gregory Isaac died  on 25 October, 2010 at the age of 59 from Lung cancer in a London hospital.The legendary and talented singer will be remembered for his cool mellow voice and lovely reggae tunes the likes of " Night Nurse" "Substitute This" etc. Gregory Isaac's tunes were a favourite for me while growing up and cannot help but condole with the family and the millions perhaps even billions of fans that the Reggae Icon Gregory Isaac had.

His music and song lyrics are hardly irreplaceable but of good note is that Gregory Isaacs music will live on even after his death!This year the "Night Nurse" finally meets his rest.

Night Nurse Lyrics

Tell her try your best jest to make it quick
Whom attend to the sick
'Cause there must be something she can do
This heart is broken in two
Tell her it's a case of emergency
There's a patient by the name of Gregory

Night nurse
Only you alone can quench this Jah thirst
My night nurse, oh gosh
Oh the pain it's getting worse

I don't wanna see no doc
I need attendence from my nurse around the clock
'Cause there's no prescription for me
She's the one, the only remedy

Night nurse
Only you alone can quench this Jah thirst
My night nurse
Oh the pain it's getting worse
I hurt my love

I don't wanna see no doc
I need attendence from my nurse around the clock
'Cause there's no prescription for me
She's the one, the only remedy

Night nurse
Only you alone can quench this Jah thirst
My night nurse
Oh the pain it's getting worse
I hurt my love

And I'm sure
No doctor can cure
Night nurse
Night nurse

12 October, 2010

Kenya's Hottest Celebrity/Entertainment Blog: HotSecretz !

It is undoubtedly Kenya's Hottest Celebrity/Entertainment Blog and that is not an understatement !For the record this is not a sponsored post.The opinions are 100 % mine and legit. HotSecretz  as a blog has acquired the admiration of many online pundits and Kenyan blog readers.The blog is crisp ,attractive, incisive  and authoritative. Many Kenyans frequent it for the latest celebrity information tit bits ,snips, rumors and its elegant photos.

For its appeal, couldn't help but wonder who is behind this great work of digital art.Below is perhaps a first in Kenya - a bloggers fellow  online interview with the brains behind One of Kenya best infotainment blog Grace Kerongo:

So who is Grace Kerongo?
Grace? Well she is a simple girl," inherently shy" – you wouldn’t believe it – but learnt to embrace the extrovert in me.

When did you start blogging and why did you choose that particular niche to cover?
I have always wanted to read about the story behind the story especially on entertainment personalities or just get to know more about them. But never had an avenue till I started working for a teen magazine, The Insyder. Here, I had a valid platform to quench my thirst.  In 2007, the magazine started an online portal to which I contributed to in addition writing for the magazine. I was fascinated. It did not take long for the blog bug to bite. And it did. That is how Hot Secrets was born.
         What are your aspirations, passions with respect to the blog?
I envision a day when every house in Kenya will have a computer. They will need content to read and the more Kenya and African content there will be, the more myself and the blogging community will get the satisfaction of having our efforts appreciated by roping in a wider audience.

What motivated you to put up the blog?
Blogging for me was a chance to inform just one or two curious beings like myself on the inside world of entertainment. Please get this as well, not just the downright dirty laundry, the tears and the scandals but also celebrate the beautiful moments Kenyan personalities go through.
I still endeavour to bring that to the Hot Secrets readers.

There is something about your blog and its visual appeal...any background on photography or website development?
Why Thanks you. No background on both.
I would say it’s all blogger, lol. But I also wanted to provide a portal where the hardcore fans can download the photos for free and keep them, just because... You know!
Back them, when I started bogging, if I googled say for instance Nameless the only photo I got -if any- was a thumbnail sized. Now, things are different. For example, if a German promoter wants to read up on Kenyan artistes and see if he can hire them for his gig, that information is now readily available including their battles, their victories and their endorsements.

Any barbs or bouquets experienced as a result of your blogging?
I have had both. Barbs obviously come when you publish a not so flattering story about a personality and with the vibrant online community; the link is circulated on Twitter, Facebook and on email. But what I purpose to always do is get my information right and accurate, that way you can sleep easy at night.
As for the bouquet, yes, the rewards are immense. The network of contacts built and the trust you get from readers who come online to get information from Hot Secrets is rewarding on it’s own.
Another victory I can celebrate is the fact that corporate Kenya is slowly waking up to the fact that the internet is becoming stronger by the second. Now, I get stuff sent to me for publication on the blog – something that never used to happen back then.
Have you had celebrity feedback/appreciations?
Yes, they do appreciate, especially because some of Hot Secrets readers are in the Diaspora and that is where they also want top built a stronger fan base.

Where do you see your blog two years from now?
Moving from a blog to full-fledged site that provides not only news but other products as well.
Do you feel that Kenyan Celebrity Blogs will ever have the appeal or success such as that of American or British Celebrity bloggers ,the likes of Perez Hilton.
Of  course, who would have ever thought the Prime Minister would go to an theme night event that has young entertainers liked D’Banj and have a ball?
Thing are changing very quickly and those who are moving with the times are going places. Another example, recently Safaricom signed up a number of artistes who will get a good chunk of cash for a period of three years to endorse the telecommunication company. So therefore, once Africa embraces this untapped potential, nothing can stop scrupulous bloggers.
 Currently, I’m a showbiz columnist with The Star Newspaper for the daily column, Word Is…
NB/ The picture with me holding an award was from the Organisers of Chaguo La Teeniez for the Hottest Blog 2009.
There you have it, heard it first here at the award winning blog" A Nairobian Perspective" where we keep it all  Kenyan (.....well atleast sometimes) updating you on the best of African Blogs.

If you are not reading Hotsecretz Blog  you better start now because...."therein lies the secrets that great men have been killed for...beware! "

02 October, 2010

Human IPO 48 Conference -Nairobi 2010

"Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about." Quote by Ashleigh Brilliant.

It is without doubt that people are a repositance of great ideas but however great the ideas they have, if not put into action the ideas are worthless. It is with this knowledge in mind that Human Ipo is bringing together the following people(you included) to generate,conceive ,develop and implement otherwise inert ideas within 48 hours.The team that comes p with the most brilliant concept will win Kenya shillings 1,000,000/= as seed venture capital.Among the ICT tech enthusiasts expected to attend include:
* Visionary entrepreneurs and project managers - people with ability to start new business ideas, run teams and deliver results
* Designers - mavericks creating visual identity and user interfaces
* Web Developers - HTML/CSS/AJAX/JS wizards making the design work smoothly in all web browsers
* Programmers - planning technical architecture, writing functional code and testing the outcome
* Mobile Developers - building apps for mobile platforms
* Marketers and business developers - evangelists and sales marketers

The Human IPO conference is scheduled  for 29-31 October, 2010 for details please visit the site.

01 October, 2010

CIO East Africa Hosts the Inaugural East Africa CIO 100 Premier Annual Awards Competition in Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenyan Tech scene is rapidly expanding with a lot of vibrancy , to quote the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Information and Technology Mr Bitange Ndemo," This is the area to watch" he can guarantee that I.T will rival Agriculture in the next ten years in its contribution to the Country Gross Domestic Product. Hence without doubt i could not pass on the opportunity to highlight the following press release when requested by CIO Kenya:

Nairobi, Kenya 27 Sept 2010 -- CIO East Africa, the leading magazine for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in East Africa, will host the East Africa CIO 100 Premier Annual Awards Competition at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya from 16 - 19 Nov 2010.  The event will draw participants from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The first annual East Africa CIO 100 Awards will celebrate 100 organizations (and the people within them) that are using information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers.
“A CIO 100 Award is an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence. For more than 24 years, the CIO 100 Awards has honored 100 companies each year that demonstrate excellence and achievement in IT across the globe,” said Harry Hare, the Editorial Director of CIO East Africa. The inaugural East Africa CIO 100 Awards is the first time that companies from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will be distinguished for their innovative use of IT.
CIO 100 recognizes organizations that have taken risks on emerging technology or deployed the tried-and-true in a new way. Maybe an organization has built a better business process or fostered closer collaboration. Or an organization found ways to get more from existing customers, to pursue new markets, to save money or to make more. CIO is an opportunity for businesses to share with their peers about the technology innovations that have enabled or led the way to greater success for their organization.
Mr Hare said, to be selected, applicants must show not only that they have executed their project well, but that they have done so in uncommon, innovative ways: “…pioneering a new technology, applying a familiar technology to a new purpose, setting the bar higher for competitors.” And they must demonstrate business value, not just IT benefits.
CIO East Africa has partnered with Synnovate who will take the interested participants through the survey process. Synnovate is a global leader in research with extensive experience and an impressive client base in the region. 
“This is the first initiative of its kind within this sector and we are very excited to partner with regional professional organisations such as Synnovate and Delloite to make sure that the quality of the outcome is comparable to the US edition of CIO 100,” Mr. Hare continued.
To be eligible, companies will need to have an annual turn over of at least US$650,000 (approximately Kshs. 50 million), be tax compliant, and in operation for at least 3 years. The organization can be drawn from the private sector, public sector or any non governmental organizations. The closing date for all applications is Fri 1 Oct 2010.
The East Africa CIO 100 Premier Annual Symposium & Awards Ceremony will be held at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya from 16 - 19 Nov 2010.  The CIO 100  Premier Annual Awards Competition will honor leading companies that demonstrate excellence and achievement in innovation and business value.
Additional information on the CIO 100 Premier Annual Awards Competition is available at www.cio.co.ke.
About CIO East Africa
CIO EAST AFRICA is the leading magazine for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in East Africa, published by African eDevelopment Resource Centre in conjunction with the International Data Group (IDG), a world-renowned publisher of legendary brands.
The publication highlights ICT investment opportunities, innovation, intellectual property and trends of the converging technologies. Through such authoritative information, the investors get business leads and end-users make informed choices.
More than ever before, ICT has become an integral part of a company’s business strategy, and therefore, the CIO editions makes it possible for companies to tap into new business segments and optimize on processes shared in the publication.

Nokia N8-Bound For Kenya

Safaricom,Kenya's leading mobile phone communication service provider had an interesting endeavour and in the same vein an interesting experience on Wednesday 29th September, 2010 when they put the Nokia C3 phone on offer at Moi Avenue Customer Care Branch.

First and foremost the queues were overwhelming ,further the sale resulted in a somewhat riot and breaking into the store.An analysis of the event reveals the stunning appeal of Nokia Phones in the Kenyan market especially if affordable! Nokia phones are the unrivaled phones of choice for many Kenyans due to the functions, specifications and availability of support services.Hence the following press release does definately appeal to most of us Nokia phone users;

Powerful Nokia N8 set to reach East Africa in weeks: 

Nairobi, Kenya 29th September 2010 –Nokia’s latest entertainment smartphone, the highly anticipated Nokia N8 with Ovi services, has started shipping. Customers who have placed a pre-order for the Nokia N8 in Nokia Online Shops and Nokia retail stores will be the first to receive their Nokia N8. Market availability will vary by country and operator, with broad availability in the coming weeks. 

“With the N8, and the new Symbian ^3 software, we are bringing a familiar, faster and more intuitive user experience to the world’s most popular smartphone platform. The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history and we are thrilled to start shipments of the N8, the first of Nokia’s new Symbian smartphone range,” said Ken Oyolla, General Manager for Nokia East and Southern Africa.

"To appeal to today's high-end buyers, smartphones have to be enjoyable, useful and beautiful. Ease of use, excellent multimedia performance and elegant design are all essential elements of the package," Oyolla added.

Dubbed the world’s best camera phone, the Nokia N8 lets you take the highest quality photos and shoot HD-quality videos in supreme clarity with the 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics. The first of a series of smartphones based on the new Symbian, the Nokia N8 is fast and easy to use and supports true multitasking, allowing users to run multiple applications simultaneously and switch between them easily.

Nokia N8 users can edit photos and videos on-screen and choose from multiple ways to share them; transfer large files to an external hard-drive with USB-on-the-go, or upload photos to social networks like Facebook, Twitter or RenRen straight from the homescreen.  All this is delivered in a robust aluminum body in a range of vibrant colors with a real-glass 3.5” AMOLED display. 

The Nokia N8 has a black belt in entertainment. Its WebTV apps from channels like E! Entertainment, National Geographic and CNN and the intuitive music player inject an element of fun into idle moments.  Plug the device to the home entertainment center to watch HD-quality videos from the big screen with full Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound.  The latest version of Ovi Store, available first on the Nokia N8, gives easy access to more apps – from social networking services like Foursquare to games like Need for Speed Shift or productivity apps like Tesco in the UK.

Like other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia N8 comes with free Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation in more than 70 countries worldwide, with no hidden costs. The latest beta release of Ovi Maps is also available for download from Nokia Beta Labs for the Nokia N8. It features visibility to public transport in 85 cities around the world, as well as real-time traffic, safety camera alerts, visibility to parking and petrol stations, and speed limit warnings.

About Nokia
At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (www.ovi.com), including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia's NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.


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