Introducing NikaNOW: A Mobile Platform for Hyperlocal Media in South Africa
This paper looks at NikaNOW, a turn-key solution for hyperlocal media organisations wishing to enter the online space. The system is optimised for use on mobile phones within the African context. NikaNOW is characterised by a strong focus on locality and immediacy and aims to promote local businesses and civic engagement. The first instance, based in Grahamstown (South Africa), has been operating for two years. Uptake has been good and a number of lessons have been learnt. The project has displayed technological innovation as well as useful content production and service awareness.It has been found that traffic is driven mainly by young and affluent users through a desktop connection which is contrary to original expectations of a mobile site. The core of the project is the presence of advertising initiatives such as competitions and special offers. This has resulted in a sustainable example of thinking locally and acting globally.
Keywordsmobile services hyperlocal community media journalism
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Negroponte, N.: Being digital. Vintage Books, New York (1996)Google Scholar
- 2.Jenkins, H.: Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
- 3.Shirky, C.: Here comes everybody: How change happens when people come together. Penguin Books, London (2009); Shirky, C.: Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age. Penguin books (2010) Google Scholar
- 4.Morozaw, E.: The Net Delusion: How not to liberate the world. Penguin (2012)Google Scholar
- 5.Castells, M.: The Power of Identity. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, vol. 2. Blackwell, Oxford (1997)Google Scholar
- 6.Moyo, L.: The digital divide: scarcity, inequality and conflict. In: Creeber, G., Martin, R. (eds.) Digital Cultures: Understanding New Media. Open University Press (2009)Google Scholar
- 7.International Telecommunication Union (ITU), http://www.itu.int/
- 9.Nathan, M., Mock, N., Papendieck, A., Kocmich, N.: Independent Evaluation of the Ushahidi Haiti Project. DISI – Development Information Systems International (2011)Google Scholar
- 10.Hellström, J., Tröften, P.: The innovative use of mobile applications in East Africa. Sida (2010)Google Scholar
- 12.Ahonen, T.T.: Mobile as the 7th of the Mass Media, London, Future Text (2008)Google Scholar
- 13.Gruskin, B., Seave, A., Graves, L.: The Story So Far - What We Know About the Business of Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School, Tow center for Digital Journalism (2012)Google Scholar