gSouthAfrica 2.0 Day 1

Ok, so gSouthAfrica Day 1 didn’t really grab my interest in the slightest, perhaps the coolest thing I saw was some of the features around Google+ that are either just released (Google Ripples) or planned soon (like the integration with YouTube to add music play lists and share and control these from Plus, although can’t really see a use case for a built in music player in Plus?). Anyway, so besides the funky Plus things coming the rest of Day 1 was pretty much a rehash of last year. The keynote again focused on Google’s plans for expanding into Africa revolving around solving some of the key problems to introducing wide scale technology to the continent. I must admit they are making some nice strides to solving this but are a far way from making Google an everyday name in the dark reaches of Africa.

All in all for me the day was boring, but then all the technologies they spoke about I know on a deeper level already so I expected that. Day 2 (Developer Day) sounds like it could be good though (at least I hope so) and I’m actually looking forward to it…

gSouthAfrica 2.0 Hackathon

Attended the 1st day of gSouthAfrica 2.0 (, the second incantation of the Google South Africa conference. The first day was a Hackathon focused on the Google+ API ( in its current incantation. For me the day was a bit of a let down, the Plus API is severely limited with only the basic ability to read data and even that is limited. There was a bit of a competition with the Hackathon but for me it could’ve been organized better. The turnout for me was also surprisingly low, in the end I did a bit of experimentation with the API and that was ok, didn’t really get to build anything constructive, in fact I couldn’t even think of something constructive TOO build with the API, although this could be partly due to the fact that I’m knee deep in Android development.

In closing a nice idea the Hackathon, next time though, and especially if you’re going to make a competition of it, create a common goal for everyone to do, like a build a particular app that will use a lot of the API. Also, Google need pull their thumbs out of their butts and seriously ramp up the deployment of the Google+ API’s full functionality if they’re hoping to get any kind of value out of it, in fact, I’m almost thinking if they don’t then Plus is at risk of running down the same track as Blackberry… a dead horse looking for a place to fall over.

Let’s see what tomorrow holds, it’s the official Day 1 of the conference, all about Marketing and other such interesting topics 😉 Lets hope they don’t dumb it down too much.