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A new platform for good

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A new Internet platform has been launched to help South Africans get connected to causes that can use their help.

It is called forgood and it connects people to approved Non-Profit Organisations (NPO’s) and allows them to respond to existing needs and campaigns.

Users can create their own personalised offers for a new “giving” experience. forgood also targets businesses, aiming to improve the efficacy of their corporate social investment (CSI) programmes.

“There are over 85,000 registered Non-Profit Organisations in South Africa, but very few technology platforms that connect people who want to do good – to the organisations that need their help. There are even fewer platforms out there which provide this service to business,” says Andy Hadfield, CEO of www.forgood.co.za.

“In the short term, we want to connect 100,000 people to causes and bring on a group of forward- thinking businesses that would use our platform to help with staff volunteering and community engagement projects. That’s going to teach us a lot about this industry and we have some big ideas to come.

“Essentially, we want to build the digital ‘glue’ underneath the NPO industry in Africa – it’s a critical industry that is often under-supported and under-appreciated. A platform approach can provide efficiency and scale – it could be transformative.”

“Many people don’t know this, but South Africa was the second biggest climber in the CAF World Giving Index 2014.  That’s largely because last year, 4.5 million more South Africans gave up their time in some way to help a good cause than in 2013. That’s a huge number of people and a big trend – something we’d like to build technology around.

The forgood product revolves around three propositions:

  • It allows users to browse and respond to existing needs and campaigns from an approved database of causes.
  • It encourages people to change the way they think about “giving” by creating personalised offers around any interesting skills and passions they have – and matching these to the right causes. Everything from gardening, marketing, clothes and metalwork have been successfully matched to causes in early tests.
  • It offers business functionality that allows companies to manage internal CSI campaigns and report on the impact their staff are having through these mechanics.

“We’re trying something different,” said Hadfield. “The temptation might be to work inside the NPO sector as an NPO ourselves, but we’d like to bring a bit of startup hustle, automation and urgency to the space – so forgood is actually registered as a for-profit – it’s a social enterprise. We’re a company that wants to make returns for our investors – but we’ll do that while we’re making the world a better place.”

The team includes Andy Hadfield (previously of Real Time Wine, FNB and gAL.co.za) and Garth Japhet (founder of Soul City, South Africa’s longest running and most successful media NGO, South African representative for Social Media at the World Economic Forum and currently CEO of Heartlines).

Hadfield comments: “We’ve been fortunate. forgood was incubated in various forms inside Heartlines, which has given us some time to learn about what might and might not work. We’ve taken those lessons and built the current product from scratch – meaning we’re treating this like a startup. I’ve been honoured to join a team that has already done so much work in this space. This launch is about kicking it up to the next level. Come and change the world with us.”

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search

From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.

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Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.

Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.

Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.

As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.

South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday  as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019

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According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”

Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion

Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024

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