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Sean Wheller
Feb 04 2008
Get Blogged in the Bundu
Monday, 04 February 2008

Here's an African site worth blogging about called , don't asked me why an African website should rightfully have a .com domain extension, but this one does. I'm happy to overlook this non-African twist simply because this is a blog website for Africans.

Looks like the the site is built on an open source platform which interests me. Site features are kewl but I am not sure if Technorati is automatically pinged when you blog here. With everything what remains important here is that this site is African and hence is showing that Africa is starting to address the need for social media in an African context. Web 2.0 sites and especially social web 2.0 sites are lacking in the African context, so it's good to see somebody has realized this and is making a difference.

Traffic to the site is still nowhere on the Alexa scale, so I guess it will be one to monitor. Interested to see whether this builds the critical mass of sites like amatomu. 

So kudos to Gordan for scratching his itch and building the site. 

Feb 03 2008
Property Investor Network Birthday
Sunday, 03 February 2008

It's one year ago since we launched our Property Investor Network website and it's still rocking and growing everyday. In one year we have achieved much and have over 1500 members. We've held our Investor Letting Workshop four times with great response and positive feedback from property investors. The course is even attened by property professionals such as principle estate agents. The forum is widely acclaimed as the best forum on property investing in South Africa and, some months, gets more page views than websites like Property 24. Amazingly the site sometimes also gets more page views that sites like iafrica who have a broader reach because they are not limited to the subject of property alone.

Feb 03 2008
Launching Stock Investor Network
Sunday, 03 February 2008

Finally we're out the gates and we're telling the world that Stock Investor Network is here. Over the next few weeks we expect to have thousands of hits to the Stock Investor Network website. We're offering people who register 5 FREE e-books and not just any old e-books, but five quality publications that people normally have to pay for. We hope that this will encourage people to register and take part in building Africa's first web-based trader community.

Feb 01 2008
Property Owners Sigh a Relief
Friday, 01 February 2008
Yesterday the Reserve Bank decided to leave rates unchanged. I could almost hear the country sigh a sigh of relief, but while this is good news for home owners, it may not be the best news for vulture-like property investors like myself. Myself and other property investors that have held cash reserves during the recent property boom have been enjoying the pressure on property sellers which interest rates have brought about.
Jan 20 2008
Growing on Mid and Upper Market Pressure
Sunday, 20 January 2008

As the shine on the property market dulls amid concerns for rising interest rates that have come close on the back of a new national credit act, many people are losing interest in property. Personally I think this is great news as it is giving sellers more of a hard time selling their property and placing over exposed investors under pressure to keep financing their increasing shortfalls on their bad buys.

It's great news for property investors who have paced themselves and not been sucked into the fever and hype of the South African property boom. Pressure on the market has been building for sometime and we have, for a few months now, started to see seller become more flexible at the bargaining table. In some areas we've noticed that average asking prices have actually decreased. Doing some back referencing, we've seen that these area's have been under pressure for near a year.

Jan 18 2008
Will the real Mr. Web 2.0 please stand up
Friday, 18 January 2008

I can't help but wonder about the state of the South African Internet as a place for commerce. The South African Internet and its' marketers seem to face so many obstacles. Now speak to any person doing business on the Internet and the first and most foremost thing they will complain about is the poor DSL services and bandwidth limitation caps that limit what one can do. But this post is not another tick on the wall complaining about Telkom and their amazing lack of service or understanding that access services to the Internet should be considered as a basic public utility, like electricity or water.

No sir, that problem is just one of many and I think need no further discussion from me, there are enough other activists out there doing that.

Now I can see what what you're thinking, "OK, this guys going to talk about the prohibitive hosting costs." Well, no. It's not about that, although just so you know, I agree that is one of the challenges Internet Marketers in South Africa face. This post is also not about the total rip-off by our banks when it comes to charging on merchant accounts, nor the crazy monetary policy that restricts us on taking money off-shore and taxes us heavily if we need to repatriate funds back to our local banks.

No, this post is about something even bigger than these problems.

Jan 07 2008
An African Trader Community Website
Monday, 07 January 2008

Since I've now included stock trading as part of my investment activities I thought it would be good if I also created a community-based website for traders. On research, I found that such websites do exist, but that they are international in context. While much of the concepts of trading can be applied globally, I could not help but think that there should be trader community websites that have a more local context.

So I started building the Stock Investor Network website and had loads of fun doing it. Got to try out some new stuff along the way and figured out what I think are some very kewl features that are lacking on similar international websites. On the face of it, the website includes forums, groups, events, blogs and aggregated news. All of these are open and free for reading. To participate users must be registered.

So what makes Stock Investor Network unique. We'll, first thing is that it is the first website in the African internet space that is focused solely on building  trader community that is predominantly African in nature or interest. Then there is functionality. Stock Investor Network is the first trader community website where trader groups, not just forums and blogs, is a key feature of the service offered.

Dec 29 2007
Trading CFDs on the JSE
Saturday, 29 December 2007

I'm not a gambler and I've always viewed stock market trading as gambling. Hence, I've never really investigated the opportunity of investing this way. I've always preferred to place my money in real-estate. I've never lost money in real estate. However, I was recently chatting with a friend about stock market trading when he mentioned that he new somebody that was doing very well from it. In fact this person makes their living from trading CFDs or Contract For Difference on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Long story short, my friend arrange a meeting with this person. During our conversation he outlined a method of trading and showed how he makes his living from it. He agreed to help me get started and give guidance as to what I should and should not do. Naturally, nothing comes for free. There is the cost of purchasing the software toolbox and commission charges to brokers. What does this person get out of it? Well he gets a percentage of the brokers commission every time I trade.

Dec 29 2007
The sales volume business model
Saturday, 29 December 2007

I get many requests to build people websites. Most want some kind of e-commerce functionality. I've found that when I build websites, they generally don't get used to their full potential. It's almost like people think, "Build it and they will come."

I reality, even on the Internet, this is not the case. Having a website with e-commerce support is not that much different to owning a shop in a mall. People visit the mall everyday and hundreds of feet pass through the mall corridors, but how many will enter the door or your shop and how many of those leave having made a purchase?

It's crazy to think that a website with a shopping cart will just bring in the orders. I've first hand experience that it does not work this way. Here's how it goes.

Dec 29 2007
The dilemma with marketing Joomla website development
Saturday, 29 December 2007

I've been building websites using Joomla! for a few years now and have noticed a few things that bother me. Not about Joomla! itself, I mean Joomla! rocks, rather about people and customers who come to me asking to build them a website.

The first, most disconcerting thing about clients wanting a Joomla1 website is that they seem to want you to build them a great website for nothing. I wonder if this is because of the open source roots of the product. Perhaps they see Joomla!, see that it is open source and think, "Oh! I can get a website with all the features I want for next to nothing."

Dec 22 2007
Feed the Gator
Saturday, 22 December 2007

Syndication is a big thing, don't know why it does not get used more. That's changing I see, as more websites start showing RSS symbols on their pages. With good cause to, because syndication has the ability to drive large amounts of traffic to ones website.

So I started playing with RSS and soon, as is usual, found myself in the midst of building another website, of course using open source technologies. Only this time the website has practically none of its' own content. All the content is taken from other websites using syndication.

The domain for the website is aptly named FeedGator and it has the job of 'chomping on content' which is retrieved from site syndication feeds using technologies such as RSS, ATOM and OPML. As FeedGator does so, it automatically creates back links to the websites where the content originated from.

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