April 2, 2008

Google SA

Filed under: Advertising,Technology — Allan @ 8:57 pm
Tags: , ,

Just got back from the AMASA end of year thing where a talk by Stafford Masie was the main attraction.   Overall he came across well and is certainly passionate about Google.  The bulk of the audience seemed to be somewhat oblivious to what’s happening online (Google Maps street view drew oohs and aahs) so the talk was aimed squarely at them.  All the usual stuff was trotted out about media landscape changing, consumer is in charge of your brand, user generated content – you know the drill.

What was interesting was that he said that South Africa has the most expensive broadband in the world.  OK, I’m with you.  Then he went on to say that in 18 months, South Africa would have the cheapest broadband in the world.  Really?  Where can I sign up….

He mentioned a few things that Google SA would be doing – Google Maps of South Africa in 2008, and GDrive – 20GB of free online storage.  Also demo’d Google Co-op which looks like it could have some awesome applications.

At one point he asked if there were any reporters in the room, but didn’t ask if there were bloggers.  This was after mentioning CNN using citizen journalism a bit earlier.  Little bit of a disconnect there :P

Then, he unfortunately went into demo mode.  I say unfortunately because it’s easy to get caught up in the moment when the audience are easily impressed.   The demos weren’t as focussed as the first part of the talk and as much as the audience were interested and enjoying it, it dragged on a bit.

One thing that did occur to me though.  Stafford was showing street view and saying that they have teams of people out there getting the images.  Imagine if they could combine an image pool like flickr, geotag the images, feed them through a tool like Photosynth and show that as the street view.  Now that would be cool.



  1. when is the gdrive coming! it’s been forever

    Comment by Faris — April 2, 2008 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  2. He didn’t give a date – at the time I assumed 2008, but reading about it now I’m not so sure.

    Comment by Allan — April 2, 2008 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

  3. Apparently Douglas Merrill, the former Google Information Officer, IS going to be heading record group, EMI.

    Comment by Eric — April 3, 2008 @ 12:28 am | Reply

  4. I knew it, Google Maps will rock SA. Allan, next time you see Stafford Masie, tell him to give me a call. :P

    Comment by Tyler — April 3, 2008 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  5. Google have had street level maps of SA for well over a year now – they’re not particularly detailed, MapQuest still kicks their ass in that department, but they’re there. A friend of mine got his travel business started based on my building him a Google Map of SA and getting him to no.1 for related street map terms.

    Comment by Luke — April 6, 2008 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  6. Yep, but as you say, not very detailed. I suspect he mentioned it specifically because they’re looking to bring new and improved maps to SA.

    Got a link to your buddies site? The examples Masie gave were international.

    Comment by Allan — April 6, 2008 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  7. Hey Allan,
    yes I’ve been checking regularly for more detail for a while now.. at the moment Fish Hoek main road still takes a short cut across the bay to sunny cove.

    The site I’m talking about is not great – built by his accountant – all I’ve done is the street map page and seo. I have a complete rebuild in the works (remember we talked about Expression Engine – v2.0 is looking sick). If you wanna check out the page google street map of south africa – its the budget travel site at no.1.

    Comment by Luke — April 7, 2008 @ 6:58 am | Reply

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