Blueworld: South Africa’s Social Network

Charl Norman is one of the great examples of new media entrepreneurs coming out of South Africa. He’s has an amazing work ethic, showcased in a growing blog empire and three popular social networks. What Charl has been able to do in the last couple years should put the fire under any other web entrepreneur in Africa. He does quality work, finds hidden niches and works hard to promote them.

One of the social networks that Charl created was Blueworld, a social networking site for (younger) South Africans. Recently 24.com acquired a controlling stake in Blueworld for an undisclosed amount. That’s a big success story for a little startup, and one that gives Charl enough money to go do even more exciting things.

Blueworld: A South African Social Network

Blueworld is a social community where anyone can join and create a profile so your friends can find you online, upload an unlimited number of photos, share videos, write your own blogs, support your peers with groups, send text messages to any network for free, discover new people and connect with friends.

I remember when Blueworld first came out a couple years ago. Like many social networks, it was fairly simple and bare-bones. Looking at the most recent version though, you can see major changes. There are a lot more people using it, and the site is more robust.

Like any other social network, once you gain enough users you have critical mass and the site grows on its own. With 137,000 registered users by March of this year, Blueworld is becoming quite a force in the web space in South Africa. By any measure, Blueworld is a resounding success story for Africa.

Find out more about Charl at his blog, but also check out some of his other work:

Bandwidth Blog (SA web startup news)
BlogBuzz (a mini SA blog aggregator)
Carblog
GayPeers (social network for gays/lesbians in SA)
NetBuzz (a mini SA news aggregator)
Powerloss (focused on power/energy issues in SA)
SA Rugby Blog
Zoopedup (automotive social network)

9 thoughts on “Blueworld: South Africa’s Social Network

  1. Vuyo says:

    I like to measure an internet web site’s value by quality rather than mass quantity and by the look at the sites you have listed here, all of them look to be knock-off cheap ways to attract traffic. I wonder how many of these registered users are active? I admire any entrepreneurial spirit in our land but simply throwing up web presences does not equate to web presences of value.

  2. Thanks for the mention Erik, nice work

    @Vuya – Sure I respect your opinion – we have worked hard at pushing out quality work especially for our social networks and with my blog network. Yes you are a right a much smaller % of our user base is active – thats the case with any web property.

    We will continue to refine our platform and drive traffic.. and appreciate good reviews of our work! Thanks again WA

    Credit must be given to my partners in Blueworld – Bradley Voges and Brendt Brooks

    Also with the buzz network (netbuzz, blogbuzz) Malan Joubert (foxinni.com) spear headed both projects.

  3. Great stuff, Charl is a great example of the new wave of South African new media entrepreneurs. We need more of them!

    Keep up the good work Charl

  4. nalu2009 says:

    I am a Ugandan, 37 yrs, interested in getting friends from S Africa. I would like to exchnge ideas that are constructive, and sharing with them anything that we can think of.

  5. Hi, i am a ugandan based web developer and proud creator of veepiz . Its been a rough three months since we opened but im already placed 22nd in my country. I have created a social network branded African in all ways…. i didn’t even use CMS like many others. I have just recently added a University Research Tool which will help african students share their knowledge by submitting their assignments, notes exams etc University Research Tool . Please visit the site… i think africans need to unite and produce something quality on their own and this is my contribution in this sphere

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