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 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)
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)