No, you don’t need an app

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App Store iconsIt seems like everyone who’s starting a business nowadays wants an app. They want to go “mobile first” and launch an app – maybe just on one platform too. Because, you know, thats how you launch a ‘lean startup’ right?

“I want it to be like Uber crossed with AirBnB” or “the way instagram launched on only one platform…” If you’re thinking about your app in this way, you’re doing it all wrong.

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What does Silicon Cape do…. exactly?

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This is a question that I was often asked in my role as coordinator at the Silicon Cape Initiative. But it’s the wrong question – you should be asking what is Silicon Cape trying to achieve. Let me explain…

The Silicon Cape Initiative was formed on the premise that South Africans are generally very bad at advertising what we have and what we can do.

When you look at the various countries that have tried to stimulate innovation and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem there are 2 distinct camps. The first (read Russia and China) have tried to do it through building infrastructure. The have built large techno parks and tried to entice entrepreneurs to fill them with innovative companies. In most cases this approach fails, normally only after massive amounts of capital has been spent.
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Emotional Twitter

Twitter is overly emotional. Whenever you really feel emotional, like being really pissed off or bored, that is when the urge to tweet about it is the strongest. But is this online record how we really feel?

People use twitter in a variety of different ways, be it as a source of news, a way to reach out or keep in touch or maybe event a way to broadcast every minute of your life. Many people see different uses for it and it’s power as a way to rapidly spread news and information is unprecedented. A few of its characteristics lead to polarized ideas.The limit to 140 characters is a very interesting way of forcing you to cut to the chase and forces you to be very direct with your tweets.

However, because of this limit in length, often the context or full details of the message are left out. Opinions are distilled to the simplest core of their sentiment making them either positive or negative – often taking the comment out of context and polarizing it to an extreme. A lot of the time the grey area is removed. In situations where one person tweets an opinion, more often than not it is responded to by the other side and due to the limit of words it becomes a very direct and often very personal battle. I have seen this happen recently with #GeekRetreat and around the #SiliconCape #CellC event #4 #advertising. Continue reading

Web 3.0 – The Symantic Web

§If Web 1.0 was the ability to create sites on the World Wide Web, and Web 2.0 was the Social Media revolution that we are currently goig through, What will Web 3.0 look like? There seems to be a lot of speculation and division among the web futurists. The basics that they do seem to agree on is that Web 2.0 was all about content creation whether it be personal or business and that Web 3.0 will be about creating value to the connections between the data.

In a fascinating little video by Kate Ray, she interviews many of the top scientists and developers working what Web 3.0 (Often called the Semantic Web, depending who you talk to. ) Through the people that she interviewed it starts to become evident that as the number of pages moves from millions to billions and soon on to trillions, the current search methods dealing only with data become very limited.

Talking about how we currently use search, this is what the inventor of the world Wide Web had to say: “And so that’s not really a search, I think people use the word search to mean this sort of parachuting in, crossing your fingers, and hoping to land somewhere really good.” – Tim Berners-Lee (2:18):

At some point we will need to start dealing with the context of the data. What its relationships are with the other data and assign value to those relationships. This sort of contextual linking and structure is what the Semantic web is all about. “The Semantic Web, at it’s lowest level, is just an expression of information, that’s all it is.”  – John Hebeler.

Wikipedia explains that, “the semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so computers can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, combining, and acting upon information on the web.” It is by handing over the information to a computer in a way that it can easily process and do the interpretation of the information for you. It will involve the system being able to understand that a tweet, blog, mention in an article, LinkedIn group etc, all link to information about the same person and creating value to the relationships between that data.

As utopian as the concept of the semantic web is, it is currently the most common prediction as to where the future of the web is going. The fact that the internet is going to continue to evolve is a certainty, could this be the direction that we may be headed? Plenty of experts think so, do you?

For more reading see :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_Web

http://semanticweb.org/wiki/Main_Page