Repost: How one woman is using Google Maps Platform to transform the trucking industry

For Chiamaka Nwosu, Google Maps Platform is about more than tracking cargo in Africa. It’s about making a lasting mark on the world through the power of technology.

Chiamaka Nwosu still remembers the day her father brought home a computer. She had always been fascinated by how things worked, tinkering with everything from toys to the family generator. To 10-year-old Chiamaka, the computer posed an opportunity — a mystery, which, once understood, could unlock remarkable possibilities in the world around her.

Chiamaka channeled her fascination with tech into the classroom. She became one of only 12 women to study computer science in her university class of 110 and, after years of hard work, was awarded a prestigious scholarship to an incubator program in Ghana at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. It was there that she set her sights on solving a real world problem. Read the rest of Chiamaka’s story here.

YouTube’s clap back

Just last month Facebook announced Watch, an upgrade on its Video hosting platform. The perks were many: a platform that allows creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.

You may recall I wrote it that was a move that could kick Facebook off its top spot as video King, adding and I quote:

For now Watch will be launched in the US alone, giving YouTube a little time to dash into its workshop and further up its game.

Well here is what’s happening:

YouTube as I suggested has been up in its lab ever since , tinkering at its award winning software. It’s been a about a month but their project upgrade? It’s alive!

Kurt Wilms , YouTube Live Product Lead, said on the company’s blog earlier this week:

Whether it’s solar eclipses,NBA superstars, the hottest music artists, pro gamers,creators donating to charity, or the world’s most famous giraffe, creators use live to connect with fans during the moments that matter.

Their upgrade includes:

  • Real-time interaction
  • New tools to make live chat moderation easier
  • Stream more easily from iPhone and iPad right to the main YouTube app

This is turning out to be as interesting as a game of table tennis. Will this continue or will someone eventually through in the towel? 

If you’re a creator who very interested in the nitti gritty of the new and improved YouTube,  click  here for more on this juicy news.

Could Facebook’s Watch tip YouTube off the top of the Video market?

Sometimes the name that gets attention is Straight forward and obvious. Remember Audrey Hepburn’s pet in Breakfast in Tifanny’s? It was an orange Coloured feline simply referred to as cat. I mean I watched the movie only a couple years back and don’t remember what Hepburn’s character was called but I certainly remember Cat.

So when Facebook decides it’s launching a tab that allows users host regular videos in TV style , called Watch, I say it’s smart.

Smart because it’s simple, memorable and descriptive…Watch. It is for watching, afterall. It’s the kind of information you would instantly give if someone woke you at 2.34 am in the morning, just as the fog settles into your head and asked you what it’s called( This is in reference to regular mortals, mind, not the types that can tell you the square root of 9.36 trillion in the split second)

According to Facebook,

Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. We think a wide variety of Facebook shows can be successful…

If you’re a new Vblogger, you’re in luck. It looks like Facebook has put some modalities in place to ensure audience growth, amongst others.

The creation of this video tab is one of the amazing ways Facebook keeps reinventing its game , beating its competitors in the process. Which competitors? You ask. My sentiments, exactly.

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://ctt.ec/hCd27″><img src=”http://clicktotweet.com/img/tweet-graphic-trans.png&#8221; alt=”Tweet: If you’re a new Vblogger, you’re in luck. It looks like Facebook has put some modalities in place to ensure audience growth, amongst others.” /></a>

When it comes to hosting videos though, YouTube has always been the top shot; Vimeo tried but never quite rose to the occasion. This time around however , YouTube appears to be facing some serious opposition. If you’ve followed the history and growth of Facebook, youll realize they don’t start perfect. They begin with a foot in, test the waters and gradually plunge the rest of their body in as they nip, tuck and review their services. See what happened after they bought WhatsApp and Instagram? Notice all the live updates and the extra ‘like’ buttons plus the live stories that suddenly showed up on your newsfeed? For now Watch will be launched in the US alone, giving YouTube a little time to dash into its workshop and further up its game.

In the meantime, we’ll sit back and watch as these social media giants fight to sustain fans through video innovation.

Who do you think would win, though?

What Andy Black can tell you about succeeding in a Digital Economy 

Meet Andy.

He is the CEO of Andy Black and Associates, a London based Digital Media firm. He began his career in Film, Television and Theatre before making the switch from traditional analogue media to digital media-that’s close to an impressive thirty years ago! Andy’s message on his website is a constant reminder to visitors that having digital presence is profitable for all businesses:

‘Are you ready for the Digital Economy?’ It says.

Those who have attended Andy’s trainings know that he is very practical in his teaching methods with great insights on ways to manage a fast growing numbers of digital channels. Andy has a process: he tries and then tests the latest apps and digital platforms before introducing them to you.

The digital economy is huge. Think Konga, think Dealdey don’t forget Amazon or eBay. Part of world globalization includes the luxury of getting across to people, opportunities and products regardless of distance, language , time or even business type.

Here’s an interview I did of Andy about three weeks ago. He tells you just how relevant Digital Media is to you and how you can own it.

                            *                        *
Amina: Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Could  you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself?

Andy: I am Andy Black, a 50 something digital consultant, I have been running my own digital consultancy for 3 years and have been working in the technology sector for over 25 years.

In the 1970’s I was a pupil at Emanuel School in London where my contemporaries included Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web, Sir Sebastian Wood, UK Ambassador in Germany and Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

In the early 1980’s I was a student at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where I received practical training in film, TV, radio and acting. My contemporaries at Bristol included Daniel Day-Lewis, Miranda Richardson and Samantha Bond – in this sort of company I soon realised my limitations and became an expert in spear carrying.

I worked professionally in film, TV and theatre for 2 years before joining a Soho video production company in 1987 that was launching the first analogue to digital film tech – that was 30 years ago!

Since then I have worked in data analysis, information services, search software, intelligence gathering, digital marketing & content creation. I am divorced, happily single and have a 28 year old son who is getting married next year. I look forward to being a digital granddad.

Andy (left) worked in film, TV and theatre for 2 years – here appearing as Oberon in a 1983 production of A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Bristol Old Vic with Lisa Bowerman as Titania and Tony Howes as Puck


Amina: Digital grandad! That would an interesting title, definitely. When and why did you make the transition from traditional to digital media?

Andy: My transition from traditional analogue media to digital media occurred in 1987 when I started working for TTV. TTV introduced the first analogue to digital video display technology to the UK, and I joined a young team of 4 edgy techie creatives who started to play with and evolve commercial services with the new technology. Lots of late nights, laughter, hard work and busy weekends.

I became a digital obsessive and tried out things like subliminal messaging and building digital sculptures with monitors that displayed video & information. We were involved in lots of interesting projects including the launch of Sky TV, video displays at the Conservative Party conference and lots of air and defence trade shows. I will always remember working on the the launch of SkyTV at the National Theatre, the highlight was Rupert Murdoch slowly walking through a swirling sea of dry ice engulfing two of our huge videowall sculptures as he launched Sky TV to the assembled global media – no pressure on me in the control room!!

In 1990 I was headhunted to join Perfect Information a City start-up, where digital was used to scan original company documents and newspaper cuttings to create a unique image based real-time information service for City clients such as Goldman Sachs, Cazenove and Kroll Associates – I learnt on the job about data management, ISDN, metadata, information, RAID, internet, broadband, cloud computing, telecoms, optical storage – as well as how the City and M&A teams operate.

In 1996 I joined Excalibur Technologies, a US based advanced search software company, where I worked on projects including the Excalibur rapid rebuttal database for the Labour Party. In many ways Twitter and automated bots have now democratised rapid rebuttal. Unfortunately it has also led to memes, fake news and algorithmic manipulation being used as a type of information warfare to distort traditional news flows and disrupt public opinion. It is fascinating to watch the analogue to digital revolution.

Amina: It must have been exciting to be part of that revolution. What do you find is the major difference between the two?

Andy: A digital file is cheap, made once and can be easily stored, copied and also shared an infinite number of times. A printed book is expensive to print and also difficult to share or store. The economics of digital totally disrupts any sector it touches. Every business needs a digital transformation strategy otherwise they risk being Blockbuster when their customers want Netflix.

Amina: For a lot of people, digital or social media is what they do on the go with no specific time scheduled for it. Your case obviously is different, perhaps with more structure. What is a typical day like for you?

Andy: I am connected 24/7 and regularly monitor Twitter for news, Facebook for news from friends, LinkedIn for news from connections, Twitter Lists for expert news and Google Custom Search for key website content for projects i am working on. I also use extensive Boolean search operators and scripts to retrieve deep web information that is not indexed by Google. When not working at a client site or on a specific project, my typical day is as follows:

At 08.00 am I normally start by checking Twitter for trends and news – I then curate interesting stories regarding the digital economy and use scheduling tools so my tweets appear at the optimum time for my followers, which is between 1pm-4pm – I normally send 5 tweets and 1 LinkedIn share a day. I use Twitter saved searches, Twitter Lists, Google Custom Search and Hootsuite to make this fast and efficient.

After this I monitor trending topics and hashtags to see if I can “newsjack” a relevant trend and share a link to my website – this is a very effective tactic for growing followers and increasing traffic to my website. I normally complete this by 10.00am.

Hootsuite allows you to schedule and analyse your posts

 Then I login to my website, check emails from website visitors, check my SEO, Google Analytics, Adwords and Woorank to make sure my pages and ads are all functioning. A key daily task is monitoring for any changes in the Google, Facebook and Twitter algorithms, these three companies are now the gatekeepers for news and content and any changes they make can have a dramatic effect on content marketing and digital campaigns. I finish this by 10.30.

From 10.30am to 12.00 i do my admin, other business emails, proposals, Skype calls with my associates . In the afternoons I attend meetings or go to the Frontline Club to work.

In the evening I normally do 1-2 hours reading, OSINT deep web research or try out new software/apps. Google only indexes 5% of the Internet so an understanding of information resources on the deep web is absolutely vital, otherwise you may make “fake decisions”.

Amina: The digital sphere is flooded with all kinds of apps and social media channels, if you’re an outsider it’s a bit hard to decide on which one to embrace or ignore. Which 5 platforms would you say are an absolute must for organizations or businesses and why?

Andy: Whilst there are regional and demographic differences, I think the 5 key platforms are;

  • Facebook (Page, Live, analytics, ads, Messenger)
  • Twitter (ads, analytics, Periscope, lists, geo-location search, advanced search)
  • LinkedIn (ads, SlideShare, posts, advanced search – and soon Skype)
  • Hootsuite (social media management/engagement, Hootlet, apps, scheduling)
  • Website (SEO, mobile responsive, AdWords, blog, YouTube, navigation, ecommerce, Skype)

Amina: Let’s take a look at the digital economy. I notice it’s the first thing that pops up on your page. More specifically, we see the question ‘ Are you ready for the digital economy?’ Why is that such an important thing?

Andy: Digital technology is reshaping traditional industry, especially those sectors that rely on direct engagement with consumers (for example, marketing, PR and design) and technological innovation (for example. science and high tech). Education, however, is the sector with the lowest proportion of digital businesses.

Countries like India, Nigeria, Brazil are using digital and mobile to transform their economies.


Digital is ubiquitous. Mobile devices are everywhere and countries like India, Nigeria, Brazil are using digital and mobile to transform their economies. This represents huge opportunities for collaboration, trade and knowledge sharing, organisations that fail to grasp these opportunities will go out of business .
Amina: Finally, what do businesses and organizations need to do to get ready for the digital economy?

Andy: They need to move away from hierarchical structures to self-organising networks. 
 

Move from hierarchical structures to self-organising networks.

If you want to know more about the Digital Economy follow  Andy Black Associates on Twitter ‪@AndyBlacz ‬. 

You can also access their free Advanced digital toolkit here.

Finally , check out how sales work in the old days versus now. Yes, just look at that for a moment. Or two.