Back in October, when I was at Barcamp Africa, I was quite surprised at how many Google staff were there who had a vested interest in Africa. I had kind of forgotten about this until an article on White African prodded me toward remembrance me of it. Google has recently released SMS service for Ghana and Nigeria, which is good stuff for folks. They obviously have a long way to go and I’ll be interested to see how they handle mapping requests since maps of African countries are a wee bit sparse on Google at the moment and the exact number addresses we’re used to in the US and Europe aren’t used in the same manner in a lot of places.
It was then that I went back and checked out the main Google Africa Blog and saw that they are indeed keeping it up to date with some good content. Admittedly, this is all Google-related stuff, but still it’s news about Africa and what Google is doing there to stimulate (and of course ultimately monetize) the exchange of data within the populations on the African continent. I’ve added it to my Netvibes just to be a bit better at keeping up to date on everything.
It is interesting to see Google’s approach to multi-lingual blog entries wherein they just stick the English and French version of each post directly in to one post. While immediately accessible, it won’t fare too well for more than two languages as each post will get very long and unwieldy. I have to say that I am going to blow my own horn and say that I think Maneno’s approach is quite a bit better and this is before we release a number of changes that are going to make it even more better, or at least I think so. I’m sure this will be a short-lived triumph as Google will undoubtedly make their system much, much better in short order if it is deemed worthwhile.
Oh, and do yourself a favor and install the font for Ethiopic languages. It makes viewing things a lot friendlier.
Not Forgetting Google Africa