Ten (More) Young South African Digital Citizens To Watch
In March 2007 (jeez, that long ago??) I wrote a post titled Ten Young South African Digital Citizens To Watch. In it I highlighted the guys and girls I believed would make a big, meaningful impact over the next few months in the South African digital space.
I’m pleased to report that many of them have done so and in most cases exceeded my hopes and expectations for them. The likes of Tyler Reed, Mark Forrester and Nic Haralambous have forged formidable reputations for themselves in the industry.
It’s over a year since that post though, and it’s time to highlight some fresh new faces that have popped onto my radar. Please understand if I don’t mention you on this list it’s because I’m human. It’s also in no particular order, unlike the Nerdy Awards :) Here are my Ten More Young South African Digital Citizens To Watch:
- David Perel
- Palesa Sibeko
- Vincent Hofmann
- Saul Kropman
- Nick Jackson
- Heidi Schneigansz
- Jason Bagley
- Christopher Mills
- Charl Norman
- Adriaan (Adii) Pienaar
I don’t know David as well as I’d like but I love what he and his brother Marc are doing with their stylish video podcast (which they smartly call a video show) From The Couch. They describe it as “an Online Video show, hosted by brothers Marc and David Perel, which covers everything web orientated. We show you CSS tips, how to create websites from nothing and also chat about news in the web world. Don’t miss our daily shows right here!”
Once upon a time a hundred years ago I tried publishing a podcast once a week and found it damn near impossible. These guys are doing a great job of their show and deserve your attention.
I make some good business decisions. I make more bad ones though. Hiring Palesa Sibeko was probably the best I’ve ever made though. Not only is Palesa phenomenally good at her job of community and content manager for sites like the Samsung Blog and our Toyota blogs, but she is pretty sharp on development and brilliant with clients. On top of all that she is a scary-good gamer and a gifted musician – one of the better bassists I’ve met (and I’ve met a few). Catch her on Twitter.
Ignore the Hof at your peril. Vincent is damn smart, very resourceful and highly connected. He understands the business and technical sides of the Web and has a track record of excellent work to boot. He runs the Moral Fibre Network (which also does super cool T-shirts, incidentally), listens to metal and plays a mean round of golf. In 2008 Vincent stirred the pot a little with co-conspirator Saul Kropman with Beat Magazine, a much-needed satirical look at the SA technorati. It was a super idea that was ended before it’s time :)
Another dude I don’t know well enough, other than in reference to his contribution to the afore-mentioned Beat Magazine skandaal, Saul comes across sharp, well-written and full of promise. His blog always makes for excellent reading, and I keep an eye on both his entrepreneurial ventures – Visual Affair, a student marketing company and FirstStep.co.za, an “online youth consultancy site where (he) give(s) information to the lost youth of South Africa.”
In my limited interactions with Nick, usually over a Jack at the 27dinners, he has come across as mature and insightful way beyond his years. Nick is one of the brains behind Firewater Interactive and likes pretty cars and fast girls. Or is that fast cars and pretty girls? He’s well worth a lunch bill, either way.
I have oooodles of respect for Heidi. From being a graphic designer in Standard Bank’s corporate cubefarm, clueless about social media a year ago, she has learned, climbed, fought and forged her way to not only being recognised as a significant personality in the SA social media space but shouldering the responsibility of representing the bank at the same time. A classic example being the sterling work she does for the bank in Twitter. She is unashamedly proud of the bank, and it’s damn contagious (“but I don’t want to love a bank – aaaargh!”). Find her at her blog and of course, on Twitter.
The Bagley, from all my interactions with him, is as solid and as nice a guy as you could hope to meet. As far as I know he’s currently doing work with Tyler at Younique and Fred and the gang at World Wide Creative. He’s clued up in the ways of WordPress, PHP, and all them other geeky things.
I hope Chris would not be offended when I call him an opportunist. It’s not meant negatively at all – this guy knows how to spot an opportunity, see a gap, fill a need, and capitalise on it all. He’s formidable. He runs one of South Africa’s most widely read and popular blogs, and is one of those people that is probably too smart for this planet. He’s clearly looking forward to space travel, so that he can find others like him in the galaxy. Good luck with that Chris, I have no doubt you’ll be off to register MilkyWayTalent.com in a mo…
Charl Norman is not just a promising young talent, he’s already proven what he can do. Climbing on the social networking explosion of 2007 and 2008, Charl realised he could use his Web savvy and business instincts to bring niche social networks (like BlueWorld and ZoopedUp) to the South African internet. And he did it so well a big-ass media company paid him lost of money for it – and rightly deserved. Charl has, despite his admirable succes, remained a pleasant, humble and trustworthy dude that I sincerely enjoy meeting up with. The only downside is that I have to have four Red Bulls laced with acid to keep up with the conversation…
I think I’ve said it on this blog once before, but one of my all time biggest blunders was underestimating Adii the first time I met him. One minute he was a nice guy helping out with a WordPress site for a conference I was attending, the next minute Barack Obama was phoning him for relationship advice. I’ve asked Adii to employ me but since my pet iguana has more coding aptitude than I it ain’t gonna happen. Want to know how to make money online? Look no further than Adii, WordPress Rockstar, and his WooThemes project.
Here’s to seeing you all move from strength to strength, flying the flag of SA digital talent high :)