Ed’s Note: It is with much pride and elated pleasure that I welcome Stii as the newest SA Rocks contributor. Stii has taken over the weekly Tech contribution on a Thursday.
He has a great technical/personal blog and is involved in some of the most cutting edge projects in the country at the moment, one of which being Afrigator, the hit blog aggregator for Africa.
Stii will be writing about all the wondrous things happening in SA surrounding technicals and technology!
South African projects are very democratic. In SA a lot of these new and exciting startups tend to listen closely to their users. They are all extremely keen to give you what you would like, rather than expecting you to take what you can get out of their services.
Recently a new service launched called iJol.co.za. It is a social networking site where you can register and tell other socialites about jols happening and what the jol is about. They released early (like most other projects!) and are still actively developing and improving and changing.
When a couple of bloggers mentioned some features they would like to see, iJol was very quick to respond and more so take action. Some of us wanted them to build in the hCalendar Microformat so that you can export and save events to Google calendar if you were using the Operator plugin on Flock or Firefox.
In a matter of days, they have done it! Dispite the fact that there are little use for microformats yet, they have done it and they impressed their community by giving them what they asked for.
It is a healthy situation for a growing community to make users an integral part of a project. Not only does it give users a sense of belonging, it also makes the project grow quicker and in the direction of demand. Its not always a healthy situation for the developer implementing the changes and demands, but thats what he does. He’ll just have to put up and shut up!
So next time if you think a South African project needs some feature, tell the people developing it. Rather than thinking it would be cool to have this or that, say it! Get involved, thats what these project thrive and depend on.
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