Monthly Archives: March 2007

Unwinding after the GeekDinner

Sorry Andy, another post about the GeekDinner, well kinda.

At about 17:30 today I figured I needed to get off my Herman Miller cushioned bum and unwind while summer is still here. I walked up Lions Head listening to Amplitude 10 and back down with some Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust ending up on Glen Beach just after sunset. Spectacular sunset. “Cape Town in the summertime and the livin’ is easy”.

Had a four bean salad while reading the new GQ. Very nice illustration work in GQ by the same people who created the FrogPirate Dog.

The usual photos of hot woman, but no hot woman in datacentres. *grin*
Maybe we can write to them about that.

So.. I had some time to think about the GeekDinner since last night.

Mike phoned me this afternoon asking how the GeekDinner went and for some reason he was still a bit unsure if we had completely made peace after our little online food fight. He’s had a bit of a bad innings with criticism of the 27 Dinner and the Blog Awards recently.

Mike.. peace. Keep up the good work. You’ve done a super human amount of good work for the ZA blogging community.

This is a very long build-up to my point.. which is, I think I’ve experienced a bit of negative and lukewarm feedback today.. a path Mike has already walked. There was also plenty of good feedback.. so I figure the people who really like something and the people who really don’t like something will speak up, for the rest it’s just business as usual.

I guess the yapper dogs in the peanut gallery can change the world and start their own revolution or get involved in the movement and shape it. You can’t please everybody and the important lesson is that you should not expect to.

I think the essence of social media is community. You can give the ball the initial momentum but you have no way to control where it goes. Social media seems self perpetuating in some ways. Distributed effort, rough consensus and running code. A very interesting and dynamic system of how ideas rise and fall to feed conversation and inspire action.

The GeekDinner Wiki is now getting a life of it’s own. The GeekDinner planet is active and I think the idea to have a point of aggregation is working well.

Jump in and lets see what evolves out of this. The next GeekDinner should be at the end of May. See you at the 27 Dinner CPT in April.

I wanted the GeekDinner to be Inclusive and Interactive. Based on these very simple goals, I think it was a success. Thanks for showing up.

ps. My pics are here.

GeekDinner this Wednesday Night

I updated the GeekDinner Wiki.
18:30 for 19:00.
There will be 64 seats, a nice geeky number.
Remove your name if you can’t go.
Add more geeks if the booking number is less than 64.
Speakers please confirm on the wiki (very soon).
Bring business cards.
Make yourself a name tag, I’m serious.

The official announcement and GPS info.

I may be wrong, but I don’t think the IOL and Cape Times articles had much of an impact on the numbers. So much for traditional media :-P

Frogfoot Website Reloaded

A sneak preview of the new website look we are working on. The idea is to add a bit more structure for all the content that we’ve gathered over the last year, create some micro-sites around the main site and jack up the Web 2.0 side with syndication feeds and a blog for news.


How “sorted” is the SA blogosphere?

I’ve been looking at the Amatomu Top 100 blogs in SA list a few times over the last week. It’s a bit like day-trading.. watching your blog stock move. I’m in the top 40 today.

“SA blogosphere, sorted.”
I was wondering how “sorted” things are behind the scenes.

Looking at the top 40 (a snapshot obviously).. a few comments:

  • True Blogs
    At first glance a few “blogs” did not strike me as blogs, but they have syndication feeds and they have comments. They seem to lack the personal angle. When is a news site with teams of sub-editors no longer a blog? The top 10 contains at least 3 sites which I don’t think are blogs. Is there some filter process for what is a blog and what is an SA blog.. or is it just “law of the jungle”?
  • Local Traffic Patterns
    I would like to know how much of the traffic/requests to these sites originate from within SA. I’m sure Amatomu can easily work this out.
  • Locally Hosted Content
    You would think that Web 2.0 and Consumer Generated Media would grow the content on the local (SA) Internet.. but, it seems out of the top 40 only 10 of the sites are hosted in South Africa.

    You don’t need a PhD in economics to work out that this is a sad thing. South Africans are building their “local” content at the cost of moving Rands into Dollars to pay for traffic. Triple negatives.. traffic to create the content overseas, traffic to host the content overseas and traffic to consume the content. Walking over the toll bridge three times.

    What’s even more depressing is that the faster this “local” content grows the faster SA is drowning in the triple billing cycle.

    I use the Sage feed reader plugin for Firefox to read my feeds. I’ve had to start sorting my feeds from quick response to slow response. Granted, the Sage reader is synchronous so it attempts to get one xml file after the other, but.. I often find it can take about a minute to do an update run on my feeds. Add ~300ms latency to every packet moving around to do the most trivial work of just fetching an xml file and you get this lame outcome.

  • The A-list
    There has been talk of A-List bloggers in SA. I was interested to see how the popularity of blogs compare. What is the cut-off point for A-List in the top 100? The A-list does not really jump out at me.

Good work MG people. Nice site, useful resource.

GeekDinner RSVP

Today is your last chance to RSVP for the GeekDinner which is on Wednesday night. Add your name to the wiki.

We’re at about 50 people now. I’d like to get to 80.

If you are a “last minute” person, this is your last minute. The restaurant needs figures for preparing the food.

Amobia Profile


Abz wrote an introduction for a document about Amobia today. I think it makes a good “we love ourselves” posting (-:

Amobia Communications

Amobia is a joint venture between two existing companies: Frogfoot Networks, an Internet Service Provider, and Cape PC Services, an IT support company. The company was formed in order to pursue opportunities related to wireless internet access provision in Southern Africa.

Formed at the beginning of 2005, Amobia was no newcomer to Wireless technology. Built using the management systems developed by Frogfoot Networks and its vast experience building Wireless networks in South Africa and Mozambique, Amobia proved to be a leader in almost every aspect related to Wireless connectivity.

We were the first to

  • build a fourth Generation Wireless network
  • implement end-to-end VPN security on all customer connections
  • build a fully redundant wireless backbone, high-site and access point systems with robust OSPF routing, 3 day backup power and comprehensive remote management systems
  • offer custom developed Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) units with feature packed, user friendly web interfaces, remote software upgrades and preconfigured settings for rapid deployment
  • offer “Last Mile” bandwidth guarantees
  • offer automated routing, bandwidth profile management and reporting systems
  • a reseller and franchise friendly (“inclusive”) design
  • As a testimony to our professionalism and truly innovative technology, we have managed to accumulate a wealth of enviable customers including Truworths, Pepkor, The DataPro Group, Storm Telecom, Arivia.kom, and many others.

    It seems clear that our fortunes are set to continue. Our latest victory is by no means a small one. We have just secured a contract with Pick ‘n Pay Retailers to provide them with connectivity to all of their retail stores. Our first phase of the project includes more than 60 stores in the Western Cape with more than 170 to follow in Gauteng.

    Amobia’s commitments and ideology do extend further than our commercial interests though. We are acutely aware of the need to contribute back to society.

    Since our humble beginnings in 2005 we co-sponsored the Kayamandi Disaster Management Fund. In 2006 we co-founded the Wireless Access Provider Association and more recently, in cooperation with Inkululeko Technologies and the Department of Education, Amobia has embarked on a mission to provide more than 100 schools with free connectivity. In less than 3 months we have already connected more than 65 schools in rural areas in the Western Cape with more to follow throughout the country.

    What are customers saying about Amobia?

    “I’d just like to comment on the installation of the wireless equipment at TDC and Head Office: It’s not often I have the pleasure of working with a highly proficient and professional installation team. I must commend the installation team on their high quality of the work done at TDC and Head Office.”
    — IT Manager of Truworths Ltd. after the installation of two 1Mbps VPN links

    New Websites for WAPA

    wapa logo

    I’ve configured 3 new websites for WAPA.

    This was actually very easy, about 1 hour of tinkering. We just “cloned” the whole GeekDinner Xen virtual server and added some new skins.
    Now we just need to migrate the content from the current Joomla site to WordPress.

    Joomla is not bad. But I think it’s just a bit too complex a machine to drive if you “just want to get something done”.

    Top 3

    My Camper posting made it to the top 3 on the Muti hot list.


    I’d be interested to see how the “hot” ranking system works, maybe I’ll start using Muti more often.

    FrogPirate Dog

    I’ve commissioned myself an art masterpiece.. a green frog pirate dog (-:
    I should have it this weekend. Can’t wait.

    You may have seen them around.

    They are the work of The Big Man at Am I Collective and the rest of the team.

    A picture of the dogs in production:
    Art Dogs