Tag Archives: content

Kirsty Sharman

Kirsty Sharman, Retromedia

Kirsty Sharman, Retromedia

Name: Kirsty Sharman

Designation: CEO at Retromedia, founder of GeeksDoingStuff.com, one of the girls behind @GGDJHB.

What do you do every day? My mom tells people I ‘do stuff’ on the internet and she isn’t far off. On a day to day basis I oversee the paid media accounts across our current portfolio of clients, and in my down time I campaign for new business and keep myself up to date with the latest digital trends.

How did you get into the tech space? Almost three years ago I ran an online campaign that kicked off my career in digital. #WeWantKirsty caught the eye of @MikeSharman (no relation) and the rest is history.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Google it.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? I think the tech sector is one that allows self-learners to thrive. I’ve taught myself most of what I know via YouTube and online forums. If you want to move into the tech or online space your first step is just to get yourself into a position where you’re surrounded by industry people you admire – even if that position isn’t where you want to be right now. Then listen to those industry people. Listen and learn.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Besides my bulldogs? 😉 I’ve been lucky enough to work with some awesome people. I don’t think we’ve ever had a day without laughter in the office. That environment makes it easy to come to work every day.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Lara Croft.

Find me on:
Twitter: @KirstyCarrot
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=45272088&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
Website: www.retromedia.co.za

Charlene Carroll

Charlene Carroll, Anti-Clockwise Consulting

Charlene Carroll, Anti-Clockwise Consulting

Name: Charlene Carroll

Designation: Owner

Company: Anti-Clockwise Consulting

What do you do every day? I manage and execute on the PR, communications and copywriting requirements of a handful of tech customers while trying to keep the team of Anti-Clockwise out of trouble. I also edit a custom lifestyle travel magazine, manage a few non-tech accounts, try and raise two children while reminding myself constantly why animals eat their young, and on occasion I ride my horse.

How did you get into the tech space? When I was fresh out of my studies I decided to break out of the mould of consumer PR and dove headlong into journalism. IT journalism, at that. My options were vast. The first was to edit a poultry magazine, the second a timber magazine and the third the old MNet magazine. The offer to be a junior news hack at the then Computing SA somehow just sounded more attractive. When I took the job I had no idea what an OS was and I had to have my boyfriend at the time painstakingly explain what a UPS was before my first interview. The rest is history.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Write like you speak, respect that your audience doesn’t have the time to look up big words, and never wear high heels when interviewing short men. Other pearls of wisdom were to place your trust with your people first, if fact finding shows them to have been in the wrong you can discipline them later, but it’s hard to regain trust when you at first believed another so easily. A good journalist will find, uncover and write a story from anything – no matter how mundane the event.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? You will need to be armed with a thick skin and a fantastic sense of humour. It is a demanding industry so you need to have your wits about you and you will be required to pull late nights. Don’t expect the people (read experts) around you to know what they are doing, a lot make it up as they go along. Learn to speak geek and stay abreast of what is happening in the industry – so read (all the time). Oh and please, open a Twitter account and research what a hashtag is. Be prepared that someone half your age will know more than you. More importantly have fun and try and not take people too seriously – there are a lot of opinionated people in this industry who will try and break your spirit – remember they are also probably making it up as they go along. So don’t give up it will be worth it in the end.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Coffee from my Nespresso machine which the tech industry paid for (jokes). That and trying to ensure my children have a little more of an edge on life than I did as a kid. I would lie if I said it was a spirited Sound Of Music leap into the office to hammer away at the next advertorial or brochure – but I do love what I do.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I always wanted to be the editor of Custos (the old SanParks mag). Now I think it is to own a small stable yard and to drink wine / whisky while trying to ensure children and friends don’t fall off their horses and working on getting rid of the nervous twitch from having been in the IT industry too long (that’s what the whisky is for).

Find me on:
Twitter: @Charlenecarroll
LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/pub/charlene-carroll/1/177/290/
Blog: http://charlene-carroll.blogspot.com/ – (I seldom blog though,­ too busy writing other people¹s blogs for them)
Website: www.anticlockwise.co.za

Tamsin Oxford

Tamsin Oxford, Interrobang Editorial

Tamsin Oxford, Interrobang Editorial

Name: Tamsin Oxford

Designation: Slave to the machine

Company: Interrobang Editorial

What do you do every day? Write about technology, learn about technology, talk about technology and immerse myself in geek stuff. That includes making stuffed toys out of geek cultural iconography.

How did you get into the tech space? There was a wormhole. Also, it was because I have programmed since I was about eight on a ZX Spectrum, played computer games since the first ones came out, loved the idea of what tech could potentially do to change the world and wanted to be the first to find out when it did. So I tumbled into tech journalism and then pulled it into every space of my life that I could find.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Don’t take it personally and just do the damn job.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Be excited by it. It’s very easy to get lost in jargon and office politics, but the real frontier of tech with contact lenses that can track your health or 3D printed blood vessels, that’s pure brilliance. Bask in the light that these people give off and learn from it.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? Usually the idea of coffee. Also the fact that there is always an exciting piece to write or pitch, or something that someone has done that’s too delicious for words. Every day I wake up thinking that there is so much possibility in the next 12 hours. I could write something that changes someone’s life or uncover something that could stop bad things from happening. I have done both in my career and received letters of thanks from people across the world. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, better than that.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I STILL have no idea. How unfair is that?

Find me on:
Twitter: @TamsinOxford
LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/pub/tamsin-oxford/15/133/533

Elizabeth Gould

Elizabeth Gould, Bloomberg TV Africa/codeX

Elizabeth Gould, Bloomberg TV Africa/codeX

Name: Elizabeth Gould

Designation: Presenter and Tech Correspondent / CEO

Company: Bloomberg TV Africa / codeX

What do you do every day? Tell stories about awesome innovators and entrepreneurs across the continent, and build a startup breeding many more.

How did you get into the tech space? I got the chance to produce a show called Innovators on Bloomberg TV in the US and I’ve been hooked on creating the future ever since.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Ask forgiveness not permission.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? As important as coding is, the business of technology is fundamentally about understanding the behavior of humans other than yourself. Cultivate empathy.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Being around people who create.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A novelist.

Find me on:
Twitter: @lsabeth3
LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/pub/elizabeth-gould/4/884/576/

Tiana Cline

Tiana Cline, Hypertext Media

Tiana Cline, Hypertext Media

Name: Tiana Cline 

Designation: Editor of Tarsus Channel, Managing Editor of htxt.africa and Tech Made Easy, and tech consultant to Women & Home South Africa.

Company: Hypertext Media 

What do you do every day? I manage the overall production flow of all of our publications – both print and digital – to ensure that we meet our deadlines and produce top-notch content that people actually want to read on a daily basis. There’s also a lot of research, tweaking, brainstorming, editing, gadgets, gaming and digital stuff that happens along the way…

How did you get into the tech space? I’ve always been passionate about technology, but I actually started my publishing career in fashion at ELLE South Africa when it was still under the reins of Nadine Rubin. One of my (many) duties was to review books and movies for the magazine.

During a press screening I was chatting to a well-known entertainment journalist who asked me what I wanted to do for a living. My response? Play video games. At this point I was in the middle of my second honours thesis as well, and he would often give me research advice. He kindly introduced me to a writer at a student magazine who had a page on gaming and said I could take it over.

The very next day I was driving over to pick up the office PlayStation 2! When my time at ELLE came to an end, my next step was to write for a business-technology magazine – mainly interviewing CIOs and CTOs. I ended up taking over a monthly video game publication at the age of 21 when the editor left, something I did lovingly for four years, and everything just continued to flow from there.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? No one will remember you for being nice, but they will remember you for being good at your job.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Learn SEO, social bookmarking – everything and anything digital that you can, while you can. Coding? Try it. Find a mentor. Make connections and network extensively to get your face out there. You could also blog about something you’re passionate about. Most importantly, don’t take your studies for granted. Do I sound like a Hallmark card for ICT here? 😉

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My family… and the possibility that I might be travelling somewhere exciting at some point. 

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Iris Apfel… or a security analyst at Kaspersky Lab. I’m multi-faceted. 

Find me on:
Twitter: @tianatweets
LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/in/tianacline

Helga Pearson

Helga Pearson, Geek Girls SA

Helga Pearson, Geek Girls SA

Name: Helga Pearson

Designation: Marketing Consultant/Content Developer/Social Media Manager

Company: Redbrick Online (Online Business Developer)

What do you do every day? The list of what I DON’T do every day would be much shorter! This is a common occurrence with nearly all tech start-up companies. First employees tend to be generalists. With any new brands that we develop for the online market, I am involved in the initial strategic planning and development as well as the content creation and subsequent marketing.

This year with SnowReport.co.za I have also taken up the role of social media manager, which has been challenging but also really exciting!

In a social capacity I’m also the founder of Geek Girls SA. I just felt there wasn’t any local organisation in South Africa that represented woman who are passionate about all things geeky – tech, sci-fi, fantasy and gaming. My heroes are Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, individuals who have turned being quirky and different into a movement and thriving community. That’s my vision for Geek Girls SA – let’s build a South African community online and in real life with women who aren’t afraid to be smart and who are proud of their geeky fandoms and hobbies.

How did you get into the tech space? I started my career in advertising at TBWA Hunt Lascaris and took a break for a few years to raise my son, Ethan. I’m actually surprised I didn’t venture into tech and online marketing sooner as I have always been a bit of a nerdy web addict.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? “We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one.” Okay, it’s a Doctor Who quote (I told you I’m a geek) but it’s also brilliant life advice! You only get one chance to live this particular life, so make it the best story ever!

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? We are living in an adventurous time in the digital landscape of South Africa. The horizons are rolling out before us and we get to choose how to shape and create them as we go. Now is the time to plant your flag and start building.

Be an online entrepreneur; come up with a solution to a problem; design an app; work for a digital agency and gain some experience – There are so many avenues currently available to join up with the information super highway right now, just pick one and go for it!

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? I’m a natural enthusiast; I find something to get motivated about in nearly everything. Working for a digital start-up is the best place to be for me because there is something new to tackle or something new to learn all the time.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? The Mother of Dragons… Ha! No wait, I never really want to grow up so that’s a trick question. 🙂

Find me on:
Twitter: @HelgaTheGeek
Website: www.geekgirls.co.za

 

Mich Atagana

Mich AtaganaName: Mich Atagana

Designation: Managing Editor

Company: Memeburn/Burn Media

What do you do every day?  I run a tech news publisher. I manage the core Burn Media team as well as our contributors. I am tasked with driving editorial strategy, promoting the brand as well as the production of content around tech issues and Africa’s tech ecosystem.

How did you get into the tech space? I am not sure if there was a defining moment, I have always been interested in tech and it seemed a natural fit. I never thought I would do anything other than play in the tech scene.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? One of my oldest friends once told me: “Never stop dancing in the rain, it will keep you, you.” I think about it often when I start feeling myself slip away or the things I want begin to deviate from the plan or what is right and makes me happy or the good of others.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? If you love technology jump in with both feet and let it wash all over you.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Possibility. I get to travel a lot and I am always amazed at what is happening in technology in Africa.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I hope I never grow up. I get to play so much now. I want to play forever.

Find me on:
Blog: www.globemich.com
Twitter: @michatagana
LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/pub/mich-atagana/2/745/33a/

Frew Murdoch

Frew Murdoch, HR Pulse

Frew Murdoch, HR Pulse

Name: Frew Murdoch

Designation: Assistant Editor: HR Pulse

Company: ITWeb

What do you do every day? I write, do the online publishing for HR Pulse, sub, edit and proof, publish press releases, meet clients and co-run the SEO and keyword strategy for our website. I set up the newsletter and love playing with HTML code. When I publish, I use a Joomla backend for events, modules, press offices etc.

How did you get into the tech space? With a lot of luck. I had a profile on Bizcommunity and no experience, but the previous editor of HR Pulse found me and ‘threw me in the deep end’. I was fortunate enough to be able to swim and went from intern to assistant editor in three months.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Rise above!

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Hit the ground running, so to speak. It takes hard work and great character to make it in this sector. Don’t give up – be determined to grow personally and professionally.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Each day is a new chance to prove myself.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? An editor – a great one!

Find me on:
Blog: http://frew78.wix.com/thoughtleader
Twitter: @frew_murdoch
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/frew-murdoch/22/59b/775