The last week has been exciting at RLabs as their JamiiX counselling team have been working hard in changing the world one message at a time. JamiiX is a cloud-based solution allowing its users to manage conversations via various Social Network Chat and Instant Messengers. Typically described as a “Contact Centre on the Go”. During a session the following is achieved per hour:
- Each advisor have an average of 40 users (250 – 300 users are assisted per hour)
- Average of 20,000 messages are exchanged per hour
- 5% of conversations during a session will receive an offline referral
- 2 out of 5 Users are new to the service
- Bulk of our users communicate via Mobile Chat platform MXit
What really excites us is when we hear stories of people whose lives are being changed because of the members of the community who sacrificially offer their time to help those in need. Today was another such day where one of the JamiiX Mobile Counsellors met with a subscriber to the service offline for further support. Well done to all at RLabs for the amazing work you are doing and we celebrate with you and the rest of the online community through the BEES Awards finalist nomination dedicated to you.
With more than 450 million mobile phones in Africa, it is no surprise that it is a hotbed for low cost mobile innovation. Below are some tips for Mobile Developers, Organisations and Entrepreneurs who intend venturing into Africa with their mobile innovations, solutions and services:
1) Africa is still flooded with Old mobile handsets.
2) The 2G and 3G penetration although available in many African countries are not always reliable.
3) Data cost is still very high especially if you are providing data intensive solutions.
4) PC penetration is still not close to mobile and your solution should not mimic PC functionality.
5) Africa still has a lot of poverty so keep that in mind with revenue models and pricing.
6) Africa has a diverse range of cultures and languages that could impact the adoption of your solutions.
Over the last few years we’ve worked very close with MXit using our JamiiX platform to provide social support to community members all over Southern Africa. Today was therefore a great move in the right direction for MXit as an API (or SDK as some of us want to believe. Read post by @paulscott56) was launched to open up the popular South African Mobile Chat platform to developers.
The importance of this API to the South African Technology community is due to MXit having well over 20 million subscribers all over Africa (majority being in South Africa) and more than 5 million globally (Indonesia boasting the highest number outside South Africa with approximately 3.5 million users).
The MXit age demographics also shifted from being youth in their early teens (3 years ago) to 58% of its current user base being aged 19 – 35 years. Therefore it is no surprise that they’ve launched their Mobile Wallet services driven by their internal MXit currency (Moola) that also allows their users to purchase the MXit Moola through a local bank, premium SMS (Texts) and a large South African supermarket chain.
This API launch (with revenue sharing model and MXit app approval system) does mean that a number of interesting things could be realised by the development community who would like to leverage the power of the MXit platform. Some of the things that could be leveraged through the MXIt API are:
- Mulit-media possibilities
- Large Community
- Supports more than 2,500 mobile handsets
- Access to the Internet via MXit
- Location based info is available
- Extensive user information is available
- Viral effect and social networking principles
- Multi-group communication
“When you’re working in a community that has been devastated by drug abuse and ravaged by social problems, then prestigious marketing awards probably seem a million miles away. But that is the strange position that Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs) finds itself in after being nominated in the category “Best Use of Mobile” in the first annual Bees Awards, which recognises outstanding work in the field of social media….Read more
Last month I had the privilege of presenting RLabs at the One Percent Event in Amsterdam and did a talk titled “What is in Your Box”. The One Percent event is hosted by the One Percent Club that is the online marketplace that connects people with smart ideas in developing countries with people, money and knowledge around the world. The event was a lifechanging experience for me and you can watch my “What is in your box?” talk at the event below:
Since 2008 the RLabs team were involved in using mobile technology to provide counselling support services to thousands of youth at risk accross Southern Africa (Read more…). It was with great excitement when we got feedback today that this RLabs initiative is a finalist for The Best Use of Mobile for The Bees Awards. The Bees Awards is the 1st international social media competition for marketing and communications professionals. Brands and agencies from all around the world were invited to share their best work and the finalists were selected by a jury composed of 20 renowned social media experts from 13 different countries.
To be a finalist for this award is such a great honour and privilege considering that about 74% of the entries were from large brands coming from 21 countries. This recognition by the international social media community will continue encouraging the RLabs family and community to continue pushing boundaries in using Social Media for Social Change.
The Awards Ceremony will be held in San Francisco on November 9, 2010 and will be live streamed.
An exciting Crowdsourching Social Network Evly is the World’s First Crowdsourcing Social Network that allows everyone to gather the power of the crowd (funding, wisdom etc.) and through this get the community to solve problems. Also a great platform not only for businesses but also an innovative way for non-profits to maximise social media to address local and global needs. Below is a short interview with one of the founders of Evly, Eran Eyal and we will definitely be exploring the use of Evly to empower Communities in Tension.
JamiiX is continuing pushing boundaries of innovation with the first version of JamiiX Mobile allowing you to manage your conversations via mobile. This means you can setup a JamiiX eXchange in minutes from your mobile phone which comes in especially useful when you are managing support services on the go. We will keep you updated on the latest developments of JamiiX as we have a few major announcements coming over the next few weeks.
Last week Thursday RLabs featured on the ETv The Tech Report. It was a great opportunity to share with the world how we are using Social Media for Social Change. It also featured the founder of the She’s The Geek Brand, Monique Ross and Craig Ross our Innovation Manager. Really incredible knowing that RLabs are only 16 months old and that this is only the beginning of the journey for us. Be sure to catch the ETv The Tech Report Thursdays on Channel 403 on DSTV.
Over the last few months we’ve seen an increase in projects and programmes at RLabs. It is therefore with great excitement that we’ve partnered with Given Gain that will allow our partners and friends to support these projects and programmes. To make a donation fee free to check out the RLabs GivenGain page.