Where Africa and Technology Collide!

The Power of Community Catalysts

BlogOrlando attendees at Kennedy Space Center

I just got back from a fun day spent at Kennedy Space Center with a bunch of bloggers and tech guys coming into Orlando to take part in BlogOrlando (tomorrow). Last Sunday was BarCamp Orlando, an unconference for techies in the area. While in South Africa I took part in a Johannesburg 27 Dinner, a monthly event for creatives and developers. In Nairobi, Kenya I was able to sit in on the weekly Skunkworks meeting where like minded developers get together to share ideas.

These are all wonderful events that provide a reason for the local community of developers, creatives and bloggers to get together and meet each other face-to-face. You might live in the same town for years and not realize some of the amazing people living right near you.

What’s the common thread here?
There is ALWAYS a consummate networker that takes the time to foster relationships. There is ALWAYS a person who steps up and champions the local community into getting together.

Community Events

In Orlando you find guys like Josh Hallett creating excellent events like BlogOrlando out of his own time and imagination, Gregg Pollack stepping up to drive super successful events like last week’s BarCamp Orlando, and Ryan Price fostering the Florida Creatives.

In Africa you have Mike Stopforth and Dave Duarte bringing the bloggers, technologists and designers together monthly in different cities around South Africa for their 27 Dinner. In Kenya there is Riyaz Bachani and Josiah Mugambi creating a local Skunkworks group and organizing BarCamp Kenya.

Being Part of a Community
Everyone in the areas that these community catalysts touch should thank them for all the work they do. They should also make sure that they too stand up and be a part of that community. It’s not good enough to stay cooped up in your office or home, it’s imperative that everyone get together to continue to grow both personally, professionally and as a local community.

The collaboration and relationships that grow from face-to-face interaction have a multiplying effect that tends to improve the lots of everyone who takes part. A closer tech and designer community tends to bring more credibility and business to all those who are involved.

Again, a special thanks to Mike, Dave, Riyaz, Ryan, Josh, Gregg and Josiah. They don’t do it alone, but they are the catalysts that make it happen.


  1. Thanks for the acknowledgment, Hash.

    Though participating in these network events we meet some motivated, talented and highly skilled people. Once that happens, we start sharing more work around, and the community of participants benefits greatly.

  2. There is a tendency to stay cooped up inside your home/office, I can admit that. I try and get out and meet like minded people once a week. Not going so well so far, but that will change!

  3. Thanks dude. We wouldn’t be where we are without people lending some support.

  4. Thanks Erik. It’s a bunch of fun, mate. Free wine helps…

  5. Thanks for the kind words….I took the rest of the weekend off, so today is catch-up day. I hope to post a big wrap-up/thanks post soon.

  6. Yes, the lure of the internet and the exciting, interesting world within the box can keep you from looking out the window, going outside to feel the breeze and the sun on your face– a different kind of excitement, but still essential. And a virtual handshake has nothing on a real one. We all MUST get out from behind the computer to connect face-to-face– I can’t hear you laughing, despite your lol and šŸ™‚
    Use the internet as a tool to connect offline.

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