31 August, 2010

Tandaa Announces Winners of Kenya Government Information Portal grant

The Kenya ICT Board has just released the names of the winners of the Kenya Government Information Portal grant 2010 .The successful bidders will each receive a Grant Amount limited to a maximum of US$ 50,000 for firms and US$ 10,000 for individuals. The Tandaa symposium was conceived with the aim of generating and distribution of locally relevant digital content,the initiative grants seed money to webprenneurs with ingenious products to develop the same.

Among the winners cited at the website and their innovative projects include:

1. Octopus ICT Solutions Ltd for their 'HIV and AIDS in the workplace e-Learning Course' that will bring HIV and AIDS workplace policy to every civilian servant in the country. Starting with training for over 40,000 health workers in the first year, Octopus will develop an eLearning course that will work to sensitize civil servants on how to address HIV and AIDS at work and in their private lives. The course will help to reduce stigma and create a safe and supporting working environment for all civil servants including people living with HIV.

2. Infotrack Strategic Solutions Ltd for their 'Teacher's Portal' that will link teachers to their employers, the Kenya Teacher's Service Commission. Teachers across the country often have to travel al the way to Nairobi to access service. The portal will allow the TSC to reach teachers country-wide with services and teachers to communicate easily and effectively with the TSC. The portal will also have public facing competent allowing citizens to review information on teachers in each county.

3. iBid Labs for their 'Kenya Online Museum' project that will seek to document Kenya's history online. Through multi-media, ibid labs will capture 3 million years of Kenyan history to be distributed online and accessed from mobile phones. Inspired by over 25 museums in Kenya that host a rich history of the country, ibid started their project several years ago by extensively researching Kenya's history. The grant will give them the opportunity to realize their dream of making Kenyan history accessible to all Kenyans.( this is quite creative and will indeed rake in revenues with additional tourism interest being generated)

4. Foundation Support Services (FSS) Ltd for their 'IVR Tax Filing Solution', which will offer a voice prompted option for tax filing. The Interactive Voice Response system will allow any Kenyan with a mobile phone to fill taxes in variety of Kenyan languages. The system will help more Kenyans fallen their tax requirement. The team at FSS have a variety of experience in voice enabled technology and are passionate about making service available to all Kenyans country-wide.

5. BTI Millman Company Ltd for their 'eMazingira Software Application' - an open source application that will run on Ushahidi's crowd-sourcing platform. eMazingira will concentrate on documenting and collecting information on environmental degradation and abuse. The environment is one of Kenya's most precious resource and eMazingira will help citizens ensure that our natural resources are preserved for future generations. Citizen will be able to report environmental degradation cases to a dedicated mobile short code number and the information relayed to the relevant authorities for action. People will then be able to view reported cases and the actions being taken on an online interactive map of Kenya.

6. RiverCross Technologies Ltd for their 'EDUWEB - An education institution listing and interactive mapping portal' that will provide a comprehensive list and interactive map of all education institutions in the country allowing users to locate institutions by proximity to relevant locations. The solution seeks to integrate data already available from the Ministry of Education, as well as additional information--all accessible from a computer or mobile phone. The portal will allow students and parents to research and identify the best schools and will also the allow the public to view and analyze vital data on educational institutions.

7. JBA Advertising Co Ltd for their 'Lost and Found Project', which will collect information on the hundreds of IDs and official documents lost every day and provide an online and mobile based solution for search and retrial of lost documents. Loosing an ID can be quite a debilitating experience, and yet the document could be lying in a building or office nearby. With security and privacy in mind, JBA Advertising will build on a platform they have developed over the years to enable Kenyans to find their documents by accessing the internet or a query from their mobile phone.

Without doubt the Kenya online sphere is rapidly developing and creating avenue for creative solutions and products to develop.Our ministry of Information especially the vibrant Permanent Secretary Mr Bitange Ndemo are actively involved in harnessing and encouraging the development of local talent, products and solution.

Indeed here at 'A Nairobian Perspective Blog' we laud their efforts and congratulate the winners .It is our sincere hope that with the financial impetus much good will be accomplished and that the resources will be conscientiously utilized in the development of user friendly portals that will enhance the Afro-presence on the digital divide.

19 August, 2010

Zain Shakes Kenyan Mobilephone Market With New Tariff Rates !

"It takes a courageous person to effect great change"- Zain Kenya has just proved to be that person in their recent  call rate price cuts.In a media briefing at the Hotel Inter-Continental  yesterday, the Managing Director of Zain Kenya Mr Rene Meza  yesterday announced that both pre pay and postpaid Zain Kenya mobile subscribers would be able to call across all networks at a flat rate of Kenya Shillings 3/= per minute and send Short Messages(SMS)at Kshs 1/=.

The bold move has resulted in many Kenyans switching on to Zain from Safaricom which has been the dominant mobile phone operator with the most subscriber base.The move is a harbinger of serious competition for the big players  in the African Telecommunication industry from Indian telecoms giant Bharti Airtel’s following its takeover of Zain’s Africa business two months ago.

The recent SIM registration exercise being conducted by the Communications Commission of Kenya seems to indicate that Safaricom has over 12 million 'active' subscriber base.However the mobile phone operator needs to be responsive to its consumers if it intends to remain relevant both in the mobile phone and data market.Consumers just like politicians have no permanent friends or enemies, service delivery and costs count more than brand loyalty.The price wars are welcome since the beneficiary is the end user !

17 August, 2010

Antoine Dodson YouTube Video -A Rise To Fame !

Antoine Dodson YouTube Video -A Rise to Fame!

Antoine Dodson, a 24 year old resident of a rundown estate in Lincoln Park Huntsville, Alabama(AL) has in an overnight risen to fame thanks to a video he posted to YouTube ranting on how an alleged rapist/intruder who broke into their house and  tried to assault his sister.   On a local Television News Channel Antoine Dodson made the following comments on the event:

“Well, obviously, we have a rapist in Lincoln Park,’ he told local news channel WAFF-TV ‘He’s climbing in your windows, he’s snatching your people up, trying to rape them. So you need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband because they’re raping everybody out here."
300x250 BannerThe local police in that State have commenced investigation with attempt to arrest the intruder. However for Dodson his YouTube Video rant turned viral attracted  over a Million Hits (reminiscent of the Kenyan 'Makmende's'- Just A Bands ,Viral Music Video).The Dodson Video has inspired the Gregory Brothers to produce a song entitled "The Bed Intruder Rap".The song  has soared to No.3 in the R&B soul chart ranking better than  rapper Eminem  song in the list of best selling songs on iTunes. The simple YouTube Video has not only propelled Antoine Dodson to Fame but has generated him enough income that he is now considering moving his family to an up market area safe from such intrusions(SEE his website).

The Antoine Dodson story simply illustrates the power of social media to thrust seemingly simple idea/issues across a broad spectrum audience resulting in a measure of success. Something’s and or issues are not as simple as they look; social media makes them relevant as people begin to identify with the opinions expressed.

10 August, 2010

Crowdtap: Getting Consumers Engaged !

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Crowdtap. All opinions are 100% mine.

Marketing and public relations is rapidly changing in the era of digital /online marketing. Engaging consumers with an attempt to maintain their loyalty, building brand awareness and creating feedback is the in thing! Imagine working or rather innovating  with  leading brands,start-ups, non profits... etc  to create an award winning product and earn some rewards( may be in the form of cash, freebies or gift cards/vouchers) in the process-all that is possible thanks to a whole new ingenious web platform that you can access if you  Tap In at Crowdtap.com


What perhaps may endear you to Crowdtap is that you as a member, you will have the opportunity to help a charity of your choice anytime you earn cash. 5% of earnings will automatically be donated to the charity of your choice and Crowdtap will match that 5% to make the impact even greater.If you feel more generous you can increase the level of money to be donated to your select charity.That is indeed truly endearing.

The more you engage at the site  by answering questions, completing your bio,surveys  contact info, inviting friends  etc the more points you earn, the points will eventually translate to rewards $$, hence ensure that you sign up at Crowdtap,get crowdtapping and enjoy the benefits of social media marketing .

At the moment Crowdtap is in Beta testing and is enrolling US residents only .However the promoters of the site have assured us that Crowdtap will soon roll out internationally especially in consideration of  its exponential appeal ,potential  and growth!

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