Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Using Web 2.0 Sites to Market Your Company in Africa

I came across a fascinating site today. At Discover Africa, you can search for images with only an African flavor. So, search for “playing soccer” and you’ll get ones that are geo-tagged in Africa or that also have another tag of “africa” on them. To do this, they’ve plugged into one of the poster children of Web 2.0, Flickr, to do it too. Pretty useful.

Discover Africa's Homepage

After a quick email dialogue with the organizers of the site, I came away more impressed They didn’t stop there though, and this is where they move from “pretty useful” to “pretty smart”. They’ve created this service as a way to generate a list of people who are interested in Africa and they are also running a campaign where two winners will win a dream African safari. You can enter the competition by blogging (using a traditional blog, Flickr or YouTube) about your dream trip to Africa in 100+ words with a link to Discover Africa.

“To do this you’re going to have to have a genuine interest in, or love for Africa – we’d like to see that come through in your entry.”

Why I like this

I like what Discover Africa is doing because it’s smart.

  • They have created a valuable African image search tool.
  • They’re using the hosting, computing power of Flickr and all of their huge user base.
  • They’re giving the value first, then asking you to join in and be a part of it.
  • The campaign looks easy and fun, and it has a big prize.
  • If it works, they’ll get a ton of search engine love.

I’m interested in seeing how this campaign goes. Who knows if they’ll actually share the numbers, but I plan to scan the web, in another 2 months, for results on the number of blog posts that have been written to enter this competition.

[Update: the below issue has been taken care of already. That was quick.]

Okay, the one thing I don’t like… When you click on an image to show it (see below), then there’s no way to get from their site to the image on Flickr. If I want to see the licensing usage for that image, I can’t easily find it. All they need to do to make me happy is make the image clickable, or create a link beneath it. Simple, and I’m sure it’ll make a lot of photographers happy too.

Soccer in Africa via DiscoverAfrica.com


  1. Hi Hash,

    Thanks for the kind review.

    I can confirm that there is indeed a link to each image’s flickr page. Clearly, it was just a little hidden…

    When you mouse-over an image in the search results, a tool-tip appears. The text in the tool-tip links through to flickr. These links were not underlined previously. Now they are.

    The lightbox also now has a link to each photo’s page on flickr.

    We look forward to seeing what people search for in Africa and hearing about people’s ideal trip through Africa in our blogging/flickr competition.

  2. Excellent. I’ve updated the post accordingly.

  3. This site is awesome!! Thanks for sharing and your insight Erik!

  4. It works but it is so slow !!! So so so slow !!

    running a campaign where two winners will win a dream African safari” – Excludes flights, insurance, visa costs

    Good luck to them !!!

  5. This is awesome!
    So glad to see something like this. I personally love the interface of the whole site. I hope to be using this tool often.

  6. Thanks for the great pointer, very user friendly site, though I’m not sure how big an advantage there is over just searching directly on Flickr.

  7. check out the flickr group i am running: It is about Creative Commons and Africa: http://flickr.com/groups/images-for-africa/

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