I LOVE Facebook! If you are not a member yet you should go join immediately.

I never quite get used to any of these social networking websites. I play around with them for a while, and many of them are here one minute and gone the next. Well not the case with Facebook.com. Started by college students to be able to network with their friends on campus, this website will connect you with friends you have not seen or spoken to in years.

At first I just went through it and did not quite know where to begin. Then I started searching for people I have not seen for years. And sure enough I found some of them. I was immediately hooked. Because of the fact that you have to approve your friends who add you to their network you have full control of who lists themselves as your friends.

This can be a valuable tool both in your personal life as well as in business. PodCamp Cape Town also created a Facebook group and daily more and more people join. This is a great way to distribute information to all the members of the group and a great way to build a network. When you join a group you will probably get into contact with people who share many of your views.

There are hundreds of fun applications and plug-ins that you can add to your profile and it will keep you busy for hours. You can post your photos, videos, thoughts and send emails to your friends. It is a one-stop gathering space for you and your friends.

Sign up today for a free account and give it a try. Hey, maybe even add me as your friend.


Heltasa 2007 Conference


Shrek Third!

Each week I write about technology and the Internet, the way it influences and impacts our lives. I think that if there is one area where these new technologies and social media will have an ever increasing role to play it is in education.

The problem is that educators do not always have opportunities to find out about all the changes taking place in education around the world and in the end we end up just sticking to the past practices. Because of the rapid pace at which the world is changing we need to stay up to date and implement new strategies. We need to make use of a variety of delivery methods to enable us to reach each and every student. We need to adapt to each individual’s learning style. When we stick to the old methods this is not possible. By utilising these new technologies we are able to do more and truly educate more effectively.

This year, the Central University of Technology, Free State, will be the host for the 2007 HELTASA (Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa) conference. This is the ideal place for educators to get in touch with peers from other institutions to gain and share knowledge and experiences. The conference will have a strong emphasis on new learning and the use of new technologies in education.

This is a great opportunity for local educators from schools and tertiary institutions to attend an international education conference right here in Bloemfontein. If you are an educator who would like to participate or maybe a company who works in the education field please contact me and come and share in this educational experience. Please visit the conference website at www.heltasa2007.com.


Shrek Third!


Kevin Rose is known in the web community as an innovator. His first big poject was Digg.com which was a huge international success. Digg is a social information website where you are able to submit “news stories” and other readers are able to vote or “digg” your story. The more “diggs” your story receives the closer it will come to being listed on the front page. if you succeed in reaching the front page of digg you are assured of a few hundred thousand hits that day. Because users constantly submit stories to digg you are assured that there will always be new content to read. If you have not visited Digg.com please go there today.

Kevin Rose has now started a new project, simply known as Pownce. Pownce is still in beta but you can join when you receive an invitation. I was fortunate enough to receive my invitation earlier this week and after hearing many great things of this website I was not dissapointed when I finally got a chance to play around with some of the features. it is a way to send messages, files, links and events to your friends. You create a network of people you know and when you share “stuff” you share it either with all of them or with individuals.

I like the fact that you can download a small application and have complete control of all the website features on your desktop. No need to revisit the website each time. Through this application you can also chat easily with your friends and I know we have so many chat clients available these days, but for some reason this one just feels smoother.

If you want to give it a try and you do not want to wait for an invitation or the beta period to end before you join please send me an email. I still have a few invitations to give out and would love to hear what you think.

Sluit aan by Second Life (repost from JIP – article)

Sluit jou aan by Second Life

Sê jou vriende gereeld vir jou get a life? Maak dit jou woedend? Wel, met Second Life kan jy nou werklik net mooi dit doen.Second Life is ’n opwindende virtuele wêreld wat deur Linden Labs geskep is. Dit is nie net ’n webblad waar jy besoek kan gaan aflê nie. Dit is ’n wêreld wat elke oomblik van elke dag net groter en groter word. Die hele virtuele wêreld word deur sy inwoners besit en dit word amper net soos die regte wêreld bedryf.

Jy kan gratis aansluit. Eerstens laai jy sagteware af en installeer dit. Jy registreer en begin dan jou reis deur hierdie ongelooflike wêreld. Wanneer jy klaar “jouself” geskep het, deur ’n virtuele karakter vir jouself saam te stel, gaan jy na ’n eiland waar jy leer hoe alles werk. Jy sal oral mense sien ronddwaal wat net soos jy nuut in hierdie wereld aangekom het. Wanneer jy vertroud is en alles geleer het wat jy kan doen, kan jy jouself by die res van die bevolking in Second Life aansluit.

Dit vat nogal lank om eers die hele wonder van hierdie wêreld te ontdek, want anders as gewone online games probeer jy nie die hele tyd om mense dood te skiet of om plekke op te blaas nie. Jy leef net daar. Jy kan eilande koop, jy kan ’n winkel oopmaak en produkte verkoop en selfs as jy ’n regstudent by Harvard-universiteit is, kan jy van jou klasse daar bywoon. Jy loop oral rond en jy leef daar. Jy ontmoet jou vriende daar en julle kan selfs konserte bywoon. Aangesien daar ook nagklubs in Second Life is, skep dit geleenthede vir opkomende kunstenaars om in hierdie klubs op te tree en wêreldwyd voor ’n gehoor op te tree.

Hierdie wêreld het natuurlik sy eie ekonomie en omdat daar reeds meer as ’n miljoen inwoners is, kan jy ’n goeie inkomste aanlyn verdien as jy iets het wat die ander inwoners wil koop. Jy maak jou onderneming oop en begin verkoop. Hiervoor gebruik jy Linden Dollars en wanneer jy ’n goeie bedraggie opgebou het, kan jy dit in regte geld omsit, of dit daar bestee – koop ’n huis, koop virtuele klere, miskien ’n motor?

Die moontlikhede in Second Life word net beperk deur jou kreatiwiteit en jip, jy kan vlieg ook!

Soos met alle gemeenskappe op die internet is dit altyd belangrik om te onthou om nie te veel inligting oor jouself aan ander bekend te maak nie. Dit is ook veiliger om eerder by die tiener-weergawe van Second Life aan te sluit by http://teen.secondlife.com. Gaan besoek sommer vandag nog hierdie virtuele wêreld en word deel van hierdie vinnig groeiende gemeenskap! – nico baird


For a while now all over the world a number of “unconferences” have been held. They they are known as Podcamps and for quite a while I have wanted to attend one. But due to travel costs and the fact that they are usually just for a day or two I have never been able to go. Until now! Glen Verran from theZAShow.com has taken the lead in organising South Africa’s first Podcamp.

A PodCamp is a free BarCamp-style community UnConference for podcasters and listeners, bloggers and readers, videographers and anyone interested in New Media. It was held for the first time in September in Boston, Massachusetts and is now spreading across the world.

This is the prefect place to share ideas and gain new insights into the whole Web 2.0 and Learning 2.0 phenomenons. A number of speakers will be presenting talks on these topics and I think the most important aspect of this unconference is the networking and individual conversations that will take place.

The Podcamp is free to attend and there are just a few things you need to do. First, add your name to the Wiki at www.podcampcapetown.com. As soon as your name is on the list you are registered. Now, plan your trip, tell all your friends to join you and lastly wait for the 20th of October to attend the event.

If you are a blogger, podcaster, educator or just interested in everything happening online make sure that you do not miss this event. If this one goes well I am sure we will be able to host one in the Free State soon.


iPhone launced

Die hele wêreld sit in afwagting vir vandag se groot bekendstelling. Die iPhone word uiteindelik vandag in die VSA beskikbaar gemaak.

Die afgelope paar maande is dit al waaroor die Tech-gemeenskap op die web kon gesels. Daar is groot verwagtinge op Apple om ‘n uitsonderlike produk beskikbaar te stel, maar niemand weet nog regtig wat die iPhone gaan bied nie.

Apple is bekend daarvoor dat hul produkte uiters gebruikersvriendelik is en dat tydens die ontwerp van hul produkte die gebruiker se ervaring prioriteit is. Gaan die iPhone voldoen aan al die verwagtinge wat bestaan?

Van die GPS tot die iPod, videospeler en ander web en rekenaar funksies is baie van die dienste reeds beskikbaar op selfone soos die Nokia N95. (Indien enigiemand weet hoe om die GPS op die Nokia N95 te aktiveer laat weet my asb, want my diensverskaffer weet nie).

Apple het ook aangekondig dat gebruikers YouTube videos direk op die iPhone sal kan kyk. Die vraag is net of jy nog ‘n oproep sal kan maak na ‘n paar videos, want die batterylewe van die iPhone is nog ‘n raaisel.

Daar word verwag dat duisende entosiaste vandag voor die Apple winkels in die VSA sal begin tou-staan om van die eerstes te wees wat die iPhone sal besit.

Ons in Suid Afrika sal maar ‘n paar maande moet wag om presies te kan sien waaroor al die opwinding gaan aangesien die iPhone moontlik oor ‘n hele paar maande in Suid-Afrika beskikbaar sal wees.

Apple verseker gebruikers egter dat die iPhone ‘n deurbraak in die gebruik van ‘n selfoon is, indien ons kyk na Apple se geskiedenis is ek geneig om hulle te glo.

Free State Adobe Usergroup Started

Training Course

 Adobe Photoshop is in my opinion probably one of, if not the best graphic design software available at the moment. With the advances that has been made in the latest release of Photoshop a new standard has been set.

Photoshop is however only one of a variety of creativity software products that is produced by Adobe. The products give you a way to unleash your creativity in the fields of photography, video, web design and graphic design.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Adobelive event which was held in Johannesburg and I also invited interested readers to join us at the event.

We quickly realised that there was quite a bit of interest in these products in the Free State and that as a designer it is often very difficult to stay up to date with product changes, design trends and tips and tricks when designing. You can always join groups in the larger cities but it will take huge effort to attend these events.

On Tuesday, with the support of Adobe, we launched the Free State Adobe User Group. The idea is to give each and every professional and amateur designer, photographer and video producer who uses Adobe products to have a place to share ideas and also gain new knowledge from other users. Joining the group is free of charge and is aimed at building a community and stimulating exploration and discussion between the members.

I would like to invite everybody who is interested in attending some of these informal discussion sessions to send me their contact details. I will then be able to add you to the emailing list and I will let you know when we will have the next meeting. Adobe will also get top designers from all over the world to join us and share their secrets.

Training Course