With the proliferation of social networks and social networking we have fundamentally changed the ways that we do business, interact with people and make new friends. Those living in more disparate and rural communities do not always have access to this phenomenon until now, where we are able to deploy low bandwidth social networks via mobile and web.
Rural businesspeople and entrepreneurs often have a difficult time exploiting online media to push their products to market. This can easily be overcome by creating working groups and social interactions with people in more urbanised environments that may have access to these resources. Keeping in mind that web access and broadband landline based access is sparse in these areas (especially in Africa), mobile data access makes much more sense. With cheaper data rates and over 67% penetration of mobile on the continent, simple services can be deployed using very low bandwidth techniques like text over XMPP or text based browsing.
These social interactions can also be aggregated to web to create online communities of practice in many disciplines. Making use of semantic web technologies and microformats brings people together and creates many more opportunities
I am currently employed by the University of the Western Cape as Chief Software Architect for the AVOIR network (http://avoir.uwc.ac.za/), as well as the manager of the Free Software Innovation Unit based (http://fsiu.uwc.ac.za/) at UWC (http://www.uwc.ac.za/).
I hold a Bachelor of Science in Botany, from the University of Port Elizabeth. I have many interests including Geographical Information Systems, Botany, Computer Science and Free Software. I have created and contributed to many Free Software projects and at any one time, am working on around 10 different FOSS projects collaboratively with a global community.
I have a strong interest in e-learning and teaching, using Free Software, and have contributed greatly to the AVOIR network and projects. I have a passion for coding and a passion for capacity buiding and skills transfer.
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