[South Africa Blogging Tour 08] Nic Haralambous is part of the Blogging Tour and the General Manager of Zoopy. Founded in 2006 by Pat Elk, Jason Elk and Gerry da Silva, Zoopy is the South African Youtube and a new version was just launched on Monday. I took the opportunity to talk with Nic about the new website during the bus trip to !Kwa ttu, the cultural center of the San people.
In South Africa, the bandwidth is expensive and Yoututbe does not have a server there, so it takes forever to upload movies. There was a real need for a local video sharing site and Vodacom, one of the three mobile carriers in South Africa, is an investor in the company since early 2008. The new features include the launch of Zoopy TV, 3 channels where journalists with “extreme blogging training” (Nic), post breakings news nation wide, the multiple uploads capability (up to 20 files simultaneously), and the mobile version, available at m.zoopy.com.
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Photo: Nic Haralambous, photo by Simon Barber
Zoopy is also a blogging platform, and before the user generated content was mixed with the content produced by Zoopy’s professional bloggers, now it is separated. Zoopy will generate a secondary revenue stream by producing content for third party companies on its new TV channels. The main audience comes from South Africa, and from the South African communities in the UK and Germany. In Africa, Nigeria represents a huge potential audience since there are 48 million internet users for a population of 133 million; Kenya has a very active blogging community, and Ghana being the fourth most attractive audience.
Since I got to know Nic on this amazing tour, I asked him about his background. Prior to join Zoopy in August 2008, he was the Head of Mobile Division at the Mail and Guardian and before, he worked as a freelancer journalist for the Financial Mail, the largest business newspaper in South Africa. At the Mail and Guardian, Nic Haralambous was involved in the development of Thought Leader, an award winning blogging platform created by Matthew Buckland, the newspaper’s former General Manager.
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