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29 and 30 September 2010 – Mobile Web in Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa (#MWA10)

I returned to South Africa to attend the 2010 edition of Mobile Web Africa, a conference focused on the remarkable adoption and development of mobile networks and technology in Africa.

The conference took place on 29th & 30th September 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I presented a workshop on social media network analysis, see:

The conference twitter hashtag #MWA2010 received a significant amount of traffic.  I mapped the collection of collections formed when people who tweeted “#MWA2010” also followed, replied, or mentioned one another.  The following two EventMaps of the #MWA2010 twitter hashtag illustrates the development of the network.

Mobile Web Africa 2010

Map of the connections among people who tweet “MWA2010” on October 5th, 2010

20100929-NodeXL-Twitter-MWA2010-Top Between

Map of the connections among people who tweet “MWA2010” on September 29th, 2010

The later graph is defined by three leading contributors who each generated significant retweeting along with mentions and replies.

I attended the previous 2009 Mobile Web Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, organized by AllAmber Media which also featured a focus on the next wave of mobile devices and services.

Mobile is BIG in Africa.  The “Remote control of the Universe” = Mobile Phone.

The speaker from Samsung last year noted that for many Africans, the mobile device is their first and main method for managing digital objects.  A phone is not just a phone, it is a still and video camera, music player, watch, web browser, flashlight, wallet and file system.

Mobile Web Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa

The representative from Yonder Mobile Media noted that mobile phones have now exceeded the installed base of the previously most widely used communication technology: FM Radio.  But mobile is different from FM: mobile devices are two way, provide a method for exchanging payments, and are a primary method of access to the internet for many billions of people.  Mobile is the “first” screen for many people in Africa, not the third screen role that it plays in more developed economies.  Regional services like MXIT and The Grid are offering Internet services tailored to affordable mobile devices.

Photos from this year’s event:

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Photos from last year’s event:

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Photos from Cape Town:

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