We’ve launched our latest project, The Guide. It expands on the excellent Mail & Guardian newspaper music, theatre, arts listings, and also includes a searchable, expanded venue guide, by city. A strong component of the guide will be user-submitted venues and events, which will drive the content on the site.
We’ve also decided to give a bit of an edge to this project by adding a basic social networking component, which we have called Yiza.
At the moment it’s a specialised events-based social network. If ever we were going to get into this heavily saturated space, we felt that The Guide, which is entertainment focused, was the right vehicle for it.
At the moment, Yiza is merely a plugin. Admittedly it’s quite basic and experimental and we’ll still be developing on it for a while. The basic idea of Yiza is that it will allow you to see where your friends are going out and what they are doing, and they will see what you are doing (if you want them to). And the idea is that it’s integrated with an events-based site, the Guide. Oh — and it’s local only at this stage. If Yiza hits the spot we’ll develop it into something much bigger — for now this is a tester.
Part of the philosophy behind this is that we think people are naturally bad communicators and disorganised creatures (or maybe that’s just me???). So this is a great way of letting friends know where you are going out and it’s an opportunity to go where your crowd is or organise a posse to go out with. It will also eventually give you an idea of where your primary networks and secondary networks and so on are going out… ie where the cool and happening spots are that your friends are going to. Well that’s the idea.
The editor we have put in charge of the site is Lisa Van Wyk. It’s been a hard and fun couple of months’ work with Lisa, Vincent Maher, Riaan Wolmarans and myself.
Let us know what you think and please send us suggestions and bug reports.