Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

RLabs and She’s The Geek Win at SA Blog Awards

Last night the RLabs team had the honour of being one of the finalists at the South African Blog Awards held at theOne and Only Hotel in Cape Town. The event brought a wide range of bloggers, media personalities and other key people together to celebrate not just those who have been nominated as finalists but everyone who are making the online space a better place to be. So RLabs and one of its Start-ups She’s The Geek that included Best Group Blog (RLabs)Best Company Blog (RLabs) and Best Science and Technology Blog (She’s The Geek).

It came as a great surprise and much joy when we won all the awards we were nominated for and more so knowing that all the hard work and sacrifice by the people involved are finally being rewarded. These three awards we therefore dedicate to those in our communities who’ve decided to not let their circumstances silence their voices of hope. For the rest of the winners of the SA Blog Awards visit the list of winners here.

Social Media Surgery In Public Space

The Social Media Surgery concept is where we go to shopping malls, shopping centre and public places where we provide social media training, advice to the public, non-profits and businesses in the format of a surgery. This is the first of its kind in Africa allowing local citizens to engage with one another and globally. The spot for the Surgery was at the Bridgetown  Community Center a location that is central and where gangsters hang out.

Early Saturday morning the RLABS team met at the office and loaded all the equipment need for the Social Media Surgery. The cool thing was that we did not have to travel far as this event was to be held at the local community centre in the area. At the community centre we set up our speakers outside to play music and make announcements to attract the crowds. Inside we set up our laptops from where we were going to sign up various Social Media accounts for the locals.

Bridgetown Community Centre

It s was not long before the curiosity got the better of the people walking past and the streamed in to see what was happening. We explained to them what we are doing and they were more than happy to be signed up to facebooktwitterand blogging platforms for free. We have also invited the same people to theRLABS space in the future to enhance their social media knowledge.

A Saturday Morning At #RLab

Guest post:


This was an interesting day for MadamGeek at the RLabs office.

First thing this morning from 9 – 11am, Marlon Parker and Chantel Erfort ran their weekly Citizen Journalism session called ImoJourn here at RLabs. They have been running these weekly sessions since March 2010. This is a collaboration between RLabs and Cape Community Newspapers to bring Mobile Journalism to the community have been going well with the last few weeks having a focus on technologies such as TwitterFacebook and blogging to share stories via their mobile phones. The learners from 3 high schools in Cape Town have been taught some basic journalism skills the first few months ranging from writing, editing, ethics to photography. The sessions are focused on how the learners can use their mobile phones to share stories in real time using available technologies such as Social Networking tools.

She’s the GeekMadam GeekKingrossBrent’s JourneyTerence and the RLabs team came together today to host the Mom3.0 Cafe Session as part of RLabs Social Media for Social Change training. At 10am the Mom3.0 Cafe Session started with the continuation of the Speed Dating session on 19 June 2010. Today the moms played around with their facebook and twitter profiles and used online chats to communicate to some friends. And they added a bit of blogging to the session at the end.

We were honoured to have Mr. Arthur Charles van Wyk with us for a brief talk. Brent Williams invited Arthur to visit RLabs while he is in Cape Town. They met on Facebook and have been communicating via various social networks to set up the meeting. Arthur shared with the ladies his journey into the world of social media and how Social Media has changed his life. The women were in encouraged and felt inspired to continue blogging and contributing to the social media space. He says: “if you are not making a difference in someone elses life then what’s the use doing what you do?” This is exactly what RLabs is about, making a difference.

While the Mom3.0 Cafe Session was still in progress Etv’s Tech Report walked in. The team came to interview Marlon Parker on JamiiX. In the last interview on 17 June 2010, Tech Report interviewed: She’s the Geek and Craig Ross. Today they interviewed myself, Rene Parker and Brent Williams on the JamiiX service.

So after a busy morning and early afternoon, we called it a day and wrapped up! It seems that every week more exciting things are uncovered and we get to be part of it. Well done RLabs on a successful Saturday morning.

Eager To Learn More (Mom 3.0)

The Mom 3.0 classes is up and running in full swing again this Saturday. It is always good to see the progress the moms are making on the Social Media scene and how they are getting more and more comfortable with their laptops. There seems to be no stopping them now.

One of the moms that really caught my eye this morning was Zaaida Davids. She has given birth to a new born a couple of months ago, but that has not stopped her from attending the classes here at RLABS. She has come to the classes without fail, baby on arms now for the last couple of months.

This is how much the moms have got to love Social Media and eager to learn more. This takes me back to when I started out using social media and how I was excited and eager to learn more. Watch this space as the mom’s progress into becoming gurus in their own right. Keep up the good work moms.

10 Tips For Bloggers Block

So I went and did some research about bloggers block and this is what i found. Here are ten tips on how to beat bloggers block.

1. Lower your standards

Blogs aren’t novels, so don’t start a post by worrying about being perfect, insightful, original, or even grammatically correct. Take Anne Lamont’s advice: begin with a “shitty first draft.” Let yourself write a big stinking pile of poo. Good writing, like good design, is a process of iteration and editing.

2. Start with a headline

Do you feel pressure to write a full-length piece? Don’t. Instead, brainstorm headlines for articles you would like to read yourself. It could be as crazy as “How to Get Great Hair Like Sanjaya” or as controversial as “Why Design Education Sucks Today.” Even if you don’t end up writing the article, you’ll create an arsenal of ideas to inspire you when you’re stuck. To get started, check out Brian Clark’s excellent series on writing magnetic headlines.

3. End with a deadline

Never start a post without a deadline. I really believe in Parkinson’s rule: work expands to fill the amount of time available. If you don’t have a deadline, you’ll never finish.

4. Eliminate distractions

Use clever writing tools such as Writeroom (Mac) and Dark Room (Windows) to eliminate all distractions on your computer. You’ll see nothing but words on a screen, not even an oppressive clock. Outside the computer, find a quiet room, silence your mobile phone, lock out the pets, and turn off your TV.

5. Write at dawn, not at dusk

Even if it’s just a hobby, don’t blog before bed and after a long day’s work. Take a cue from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and 15-year old blogging phenomGlenn Wolsey. Both schedule a time to write in the wee mornings. It’s quieter, your mind is fresher, and you avoid making excuses like “I’ve had a long day, I’m just too tired to write.”

6. Take a break

Who says you have to blog non-stop or even every day? Hit the gym, go to the movies, take a vacation, and spend time with your loved ones. After all, doing real meaningful things is what inspired you to blog in the first place. If you don’t blog today, the world doesn’t end.

7. Automatically spawn ideas with HitTail

HitTail analyzes the words on your blog and makes suggestions for related topics you can write about. It’s free and a great source for getting relevant inspiration based on your past writing. If used wisely, it’ll even help boost your site’s traffic.

8. Get a little help from your friends

Blogging doesn’t have to be a solitary journey. Run headlines or ideas by your friends, and ask what they think. Chances are, they’ll point out new ideas and angles you’ve missed.

9. Capture ideas before you lose them

Ideas for articles come when you least expect them. It happens as you’re walking to get a donut, commuting to work, or even on the toilet. To stop your thoughts from vanishing, always carry an easy-to-use device to jot down ideas as you get them. You can go as high-tech as a T-Mobile Sidekick (my personal favorite) or as low-tech as a little Moleskine notebook.

10. Breathe

After recently taking my first Yoga class, I’ve turned into a true San Franciscan. My biggest realization? My habitual shallow breathing contributes to a lot of tension, blocking the flow of ideas and thoughts. I know its cliché, but take a moment to breathe deeply. It’s easier to unstuck yourself when both your mind and body are relaxed.


My Bloggers Block,Unblocked

I have been having bloggers block lately and  was just plain struggling to get a post together. So my colleague, Clinton Liederman comes to my rescue and says: “You know that is it is so easy to blog? If you can speak and have a conversation the you can blog or write”.

The very second he said it lights started to go on in my head and immediately it sinks in. When he said it just sounded so simple and easy to comprehend and really takes off the pressure of thinking what I will blog about next. So I take what he said into my spirit immediately and here I am blogging about what we spoke about.

So if you are out there and you are having bloggers block please remember:”If you can speak  you can blog!” Thank you Clinton for bringing that to our attention. Great tip

My Social Media For Business Presentation

Social Media For Business

On Tuesday we hosted a Social Media For business workshop here in the RLABS space. We had 5 companies that were represented. We are looking to grow this numbers in the future. We basically took them through a process to show them how Social Media could effectively grow their business and how they could effectively use all the Social Media tools available to them.

Here is what the programme for the day looked like:

9:00am  – Coffee/tea

9:15am – Background and benefits of social media for your business (Craig)

10.00am  – Develop social media plan for business (Craig/Brent interactive session)

10:45am – Business going Mobi (Clinton)

11:15am – Coffee/tea

11:30am  – Social Media Tools for your business

Twitter (Brent)

Facebook fanpage  (Clive)



BBC interviews RLABS staff

My BBC interview with Gareth Mitchell

Saturday was a very busy day at RLABS. First we had class with a well known Cape Town blogger, iGeek. After he left it was time for the BBC crew to come and do some interviews with the RLABS staff. Gareth Mitchell from Digital Planet and his BBC crew came to see what we are doing at RLABS and how we are changing the lives of others through the use of technology and cellphones.

Bit of background on Digital Planet:

Digital Planet covers a wide range of issues affecting technology. This can vary and cover many different areas, although often there are segments on technological solutions to problems facing charitable or humanitarian causes, with a speaker representing the cause being interviewed by Gareth Mitchell

Monique Theron Ross also known as "Shes The Geek" doing her interview with BBC

The world will hear what is happening here in Bridgetown and how God is blessing us and giving us intellectual property. I thank God for this team and that I can be part of what is happening here. Go Team RLABS and thank You Jesus!!

Happy April Fools Day All

Early this morning Craig and myself was sitting in the RLABS office and working (doing reports). During our discussion he reminded me that it was April’s Fools Day. Being the geek that I am I had saw an opportunity on how I could capitalize on this day and blog about it.

That is when we decided that I should announce that I am getting married soon as most of my followers know that I am single (on twitter and facebook). So this the status update I put up  on Facebook and Twitter.

Needless to say that it was not long until someone commented on this post to congratulate me. And of course there were lots of questions asked. Some wanted to know who the lucky girl is. Other people were sceptical and mentioned that it was Aprils Fools Day and commented about it on facebook. However there was a plan of action in place. I simply deleted their comments and then thereafter sent them an inbox message informing them what I was doing. Luckily none of them was offended.

On Twitter I soon received @ messages from people congratulating me from all over the world. I soon sent a DM (Direct message) to all of them telling them what I am doing. Twitter is the Social Media application that I am best known on and some of my followers were not happy that I caught them out in this way lol. It is awesome to see how many people are actually interested in my life. I have nothing but love for you guys.

@ messages on Twitter

Just to say that the next time I do make the announcement, it will be for real. Problem now is that I have to just find her still. I am trusting God that He will show me who it is.



Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Get this widget at
Click And View
Brent - Find me on
Click And View
Click And View