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Pomegranite’s NEW office

You guys, we have BIG news! We’ve moved into a brand new office and it’s great.

It all happened quite suddenly so here’s the full story. We had been at our lovely spot on Long Street for just over a year when Sarah went to meet with one of our first clients (and now good friend) Helen from White Rabbit Days. Returning from the meeting, Sarah made a convincing case to go and check it out so I did and I fell for it too. Two weeks later and we’ve started our first official week at 75 Harrington Street. We’re even on the wall!

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What made us so keen to move is that, while it’s a co-working space, it’s not just plonk at your desk and put your head down. This is a real community of a wide spectrum of small businesses including everything from The Braai Tool to Gravity Ideas to NGOs like Open Streets and artists and freelancers of all descriptions. The building connects us all.  It’s abuzz with entrepreneurial energy and that’s what makes it greater than the sum of its parts.

When we first met Steven Harris, who is the driving force behind 75 Harrington and who owns and runs The Design Bank next door, he compared the space to Darwin’s idea of the tangled river bank and I totally get how this building is an ecosystem. There’s growth, there are thought-provoking conversations, there’s a bagel joint across the road, there’s competition, there are events, there are connections, there’s life! Here’s the Darwin quote before I get too poetic:

“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. […] There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” 

We’ll be posting a bunch of photos of our new spot so you can have a good old digitial snoop soon but here are some teasers for now.

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The one where we go surfing at Muizenberg

Once a month, Pomegranite leaves the office for a morning or afternoon, and spends some time out in the world, talking about the business, coming up with new ideas, and just having fun, doing something we will remember with more clarity than answering emails and drawing up invoices.

For our March inspiration day, we decided to visit one of my favourite places in Cape Town, Muizenberg Beach. Liz, who grew up in Durban and hence knows how to surf (the two are synonymous aren’t they?) agreed to teach me the art. Let me just say that I am the biggest Vaalie. Having lived in Cape Town for nearly a year and a half, I still get SO excited when I see the sea and feel the sand between my toes. So, when Liz suggested the surfing idea, let’s just say that I was on board (Yip. That just happened).

If you know me at all, you will know that I am something of a perfectionist, and I am unlikely to quit anything until I get it right. Surfing was no different.

So, from my (vast) experience, here are 10 things every beginner surfer needs to know:

1) Trying to carry a surfboard in the wind is bloody difficult. Have you ever watched someone trying to bath a cat? Ja – it’s kind of like that. Just harder. Top tip: let your business partner carry it. She loves it. And you’re a novice, remember? Do not be afraid to play that card.

2) Set aside a good hour to put your wetsuit on. It’s an acquired skill apparently.

3) Don’t skip the embarrassing “lesson on the sand” part. People have come to the beach primarily to people watch. Do not deprive them of some quality entertainment.

4) You will feel like a child initially. A special needs child. Embrace it. Everyone needs to feel ridiculous from time to time.

5) It is likely that your “teacher” will speak to you in a soothing voice you’ve once heard her use while babysitting a screaming child. She will tell you that you are doing “soooooo well!” And she’s right. Obviously. That nine year old kid has nothing on you.

6) Make sure your wetsuit is the right size. The guy at the surf shop underestimated my height a bit, so I kind of felt like my wetsuit was trying (and succeeding) to choke me the whole time. Not ideal.

7) You will get a lot of sea water up your nose, which is ever so slightly unpleasant. Ever so slightly. On the plus side, no blocked sinus issues for what I can only assume will be the rest of your life.

8) Don’t be afraid to just kneel on the board in the beginning. People may tell you to “stand up, dammit!” But what do they know? You’ve got some moves. They’re just jealous of your lunge.

9) Make sure that you yell loudly at people in your way as you cruise into shore at break-neck speed. They need enough time to throw themselves out of your way. Be considerate.

10) It’s not the most comfortable experience you’ll ever have. But that feeling of riding that final wave right into shore, casually hopping off and dancing a wild victory dance glancing nonchalantly at your “teacher” as she cheers you on… It’s pretty damn amazing.

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Office for the afternoon

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Putting on a wetsuit is HARD

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As I said…

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Post-surf smugness

 

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Rise and Vine! Get the low-down on this micro video app

Over on our Facebook page, we recently launched Vine Vednesdays (Wine Wednesdays are still alive and well, remain calm). Named after a ‘Vignette’, a short impressionistic scene, this mobile app enables its users to create and post short looping video clips.

Why it works

The limitations of time (7 seconds) and editing (the camera records only while the screen is being touched) has forced users to become increasingly creative and to plan their precious moments. The result? Some really original entertainment.

In terms of watching Vines, the brevity of the looping clip makes the app mesmerising.

What people are doing with it

1.Capturing moments: watch cute kittens getting tickled or the view from  parasailing over turquoise waters.

2. Making moments: check out guys pulling off amazing tricks and some slightly bizarre theatrical moments.

3. Dorseying: founder, Jack Dorsey loves to take a selfie (usually half a selfie actually) with a scene, landmark or moment going on behind him. Dorseying has inspired many an entertaining parody.

For a taste of what’s out there, check out Vine’s Twitter account or just keep an eye on our Facebook feed for the best of the best every Vednesday.

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Sources: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100807818,
http://eggboss.com/technology/10-facts-probably-didnt-know-vine/

Hamba kahle, Tata. Go well.

It’s a strange thing, to feel so much love for someone you never met. Or to feel such grief on hearing that they have died.

But I do love Madiba. We all do. Because he loved South Africa – in the most remarkable way. The lessons he taught this country – and the world – still bowl me over. Nothing and no one make me prouder to be South African than Nelson Mandela.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I sat glued to Twitter, wishing I had a TV, listening to 5fm until the early hours of the morning as South Africans from all walks of life called in to share their collective sorrow. In a country that is so divided on so many issues, it feels bizarrely wonderful to be so united in our love for such a wonderful leader. A wonderful man.

Each new caller said something that touched me. A young, black lawyer who couldn’t get out of his car, he was so struck by the enormity of Madiba’s passing – the enormity of what he had fought for and what he has given us. A nightclub owner who stopped the music and announced the news to the club-goers, who all stood in silence, together. A white woman in a relationship with a coloured man who was so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy that were hard-fought, hard-won.

As the tributes pour in from around the world, the beautiful things that are said make me feel warm and lighter.

Mark Gevisser captures our nation’s feelings so beautifully in the Mail & Guardian: “The words ‘Nelson Mandela is dead’ feel strange in the mouth today, almost impossible to say, given the unique way he was both martyred and canonised during his lifetime. He embodies a paradox: on the one hand we love him for his humanity; on the other, he already passed long ago from the world of the flesh… In person, he was not notably affectionate, but his image beams a very particular sensation: you just look at him and you feel held, hugged.”

Goodbye, Tata. Thank you for all you have done for us – for South Africa and the world. I am honoured to call the same country home. It is a place I love fiercely. And so much of that is because of you.

Hamba kahle. Go well.

[Image source]

The world welcomes the #RoyalBaby – thanks to social media

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It amazes me that some brands/businesses are still reluctant to establish a presence on social media. In this day and age? Even the queen is doing it.

Earlier this week, the world was abuzz with the news of the impending birth of the #royalbaby – and no more so than on social networks. As Stephen Fry quipped on Twitter, “Labour has never been so popular,” adding dryly, “My guess is that it will be a baby.”

While the traditional easel was set out at Buckingham Palace announcing the birth of the newest heir to the throne (“Ta da!”), the royal family demonstrated that they are “hip with the times, yo” by posting the news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Did you even know that the British Monarchy have a Facebook page? Me neither! How thoroughly modern of them.

The image and announcement of the baby’s name, George Alexander Louis, as of 16 hours ago, has been shared 34 116 times, commented on 4366 times, and liked by 95 614 people. I know, right? And that’s just one image on the official British Monarchy page.

Twitter went into overdrive about the birth, with more than 500 000 tweets about the baby being sent before he was even born. Tweets announcing that the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labour were viewed by 487 million Twitter users – again, before the birth.

I could go on and on with stats like these demonstrating just how great an influence social media platforms have in 2013, but you get the picture. Social media = powerful. If the British Monarchy are talking about labour on Twitter, I guess that tells you all you need to know, really.

Join the party.

Original blog: Embarrassing get-ups, 27 June 2013 (Liz)

So Pomegranite’s social media has taken a dive of late because well, I’ve been working don’t you know! Realizing how time has flown and the gnawing feeling of being left behind is a big shock, especially when I’m supposed to be good at this sort of stuff! But it has given me real insight and shown me exactly how to motivate our offering to potential clients.

Most people either don’t have the expertise or the time to run their social media properly. Like anything worthwhile in life, it takes planning and work.You can tell when something is posted on a Facebook account in a panic or when someone tweets because they feel they ought to say something.

Without focus, efforts come across hollow and unexciting and social media platforms are no place for a brand to wither and die.

Another big shock is going to your own website and realizing how far it is from reality. It’s tough because a website is generally a pretty static platform. You give it a lot of attention when you build it but, before you know it, you, your business, your brand have evolved and what’s on the website is not quite you.

Keeping a website up-to-date can be costly and time consuming but social media provides a bridge to maintain momentum between make-overs.

So neglecting online presence leads to a pretty awkward state of affairs. It’s like only having your childhood wardrobe at your disposal to go to a swanky party (that’s a genuine dream I’ve had): they don’t fit, they don’t suit you anymore and you’re acutely aware that what people see is you but also definitely not, not anymore.

I’m the one with open eyes

Ja, ja laugh it up. While I loved my sunflower aliceband, strutted myself in an over-sized surf t-shirt and wouldn’t be caught dead without my denim bomber jacked (sported here in a nonchalant waist-tie), I’m not that person anymore. What we wear is by no means the sum of what we are. I could still be myself in this ridiculous outfit. But I’d rather not. We take care of how the world sees us in real life. It works the same way online. So throw out your embarrassing wardrobe and get your sexy on!