Interesting Kenyan Sites #13

Communications Commission of Kenya – it is not often that you get a website done by the Government of Kenya that stands out for being well done. The CCK website does just that! The site design is well thought-out and the information on the website looks fresh and well managed. Kudos, CCK! Every other Government webmaster should look up to this!

50-50 – an interesting domain name. But sadly, we do not think the idea behind this site is well executed. I still cannot answer these questions: “What is the purpose of this site?” “Why should I sign up?”. Hopefully we’ll get an answer soon.

McDave – this is an Online Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Shop Based in Nairobi. I personally think that such a business, if well done, can be very successful in Nairobi and other major Kenyan towns. Sadly, McDave does not seem to be well done. First, their design seems to be “all over the place” but the main problem is this: When you see an online shop put, on their website, advertisements from Google Adsense, then you know the online shop is suffering from a lack of purpose. If this goes on, it will not be long till you see McDave go down in failure. This would be sad. McDave should either focus on their stated business of selling fruits and “veges” online, or change their focus to something else and do that.

Global Essence – I’m not quite sure what this site is supposed to be all about. It looks like some sort of music related information website. Their footer says “Copyright 2008 All rights reserved” so we know the last time anyone put some effort into this site was way back in 2008. – another week, another site by the Government of Kenya down. Sigh. We do not know how long this one’s been down, but its pretty clear no one is interested in seeing it get back up. Sigh. website down down, and out (click for larger view)

Word on the street is that a bunch of Kenyan have just received a considerable amount of funding to build a high class Kenyan porno website. The website is to focus on amateur pornography (where you are encouraged to upload your own clips of the stuff). While I think that this website has a good chance to become wildly successful, I wonder if it is right to go ahead and do it. What do you think? Do you know of any other similar Kenyan websites?

Very Cool: Safaricom Annual Report 2010

The Safaricom annual report for 2010 is available online. Why are we writing about it on Like Chapaa, you ask? We dislike like Safaricom just as much as the next guy, but we have to give credit where it is due.

Before any further talk, have a look at the Safaricom Annual Report 2010.

I’ve personally never even seen company reports that look so good. Let alone a Kenyan company. Safaricom, you did well, very well. Kudos! More of the same innovation, creativity and ingenuity, please.

Are you a Safaricom shareholder? Aren’t you proud!

PS: Thanks to SkunkWorks for pointing this out.

Update: It appears that this is nothing new, Zain had one just like it: Zain Annual Report.

Meet RockMelt – The New Browser

Interesting Kenyan Sites #12 – this a Kenyan site made in the mould of that offers deals whereby you can buy stuff at discounted prices. I must say that the site looks to be made exceptionally well. Kudos to the guys behind this! We wish them success in their new business.

Inside Kampus – this site (from what we can tell) is trying to be a portal for campuses in Kenya. The site is well made and, while it is low on content at the moment, if done well could be a good success. Good job, and good luck to the people behind it – and please populate your site soon. – Niaje is a source for local celeb news from the same guys behind its a good attempt and we feel that they are just getting started. We cannot wait to see it filled up with more content – we hope that, unlike the competition, the site will really focus on being local, and not just the “big” names.

What could have been…
Taxi Match – Taxi Match was a site – and business – that literally formed before my eyes during the IPO48 event in Kenya. Taxi Match was so good that it won Second Place at IPO48. If you ask me, the guys behind it did a very good job in building the site, and the business. The site is based on a service that connects anyone in Nairobi to a good, experienced and trustworthy taxi driver at any time, day or night. Rumour has it that the people behind Taxi Match will not be pursuing the business further. What a shame, eh? Good job all the same!

The Department of Immigration – it is quite shameful to have a government website offline due to a technical issue. It is unacceptable that it be offline for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the website of the Department of Immigration has been offline for at least a week now. Surely the government of Kenya has enough resources at its disposal to fix this? Right? Fail.

The Kenya Department of Immigration

The Kenya Department of Immigration (click to see larger)

What do you think of this week’s interesting sites?

Interesting Kenyan Sites #11

Stoundi – I had the good fortune to learn of this website from the developers themselves! It looks like it can be something amazing – for one thing, the technology behind it is very advanced (they use artificial intelligence technologies). Basically, this is an “answer engine” and the creators of the site say that they are building it to be able to give you answers to any question you could ever have (to do with local stuff). So, for example, if you wanted to know the Governor of Kiambu county, you would just ask Stoundi and it would return the answer. Nice eh? Good Kenyan technology!

Simple Motion – if you look at it closely, this site will simple blow you away! It is a news aggregation site built by Kenyans for Kenya. And they use some of the most uniquely amazing technology. For instance, they are the first (and maybe only) company in the world to have videos embedded on maps! (The site is, however, not fully done yet.)

PesaPal – Have a look at this page. It seems that PesaPal has done little SEO, going by the fact that the site’s description in the search results is not optimized. I’m not bashing PesaPal, but why wouldn’t they do this? It takes a minute or so only…

The Office of the Prime Minister – You’d think the site would look as good as the PM’s spanking new offices, eh? Not so. While the design is okay, many links on the site seem not to work. And what are those squares on the home page? I’d expect better from a website of such a ‘large’ office.

K24 – I do not know what the K24 site even looks like….because they’ve been hacked and cracked. Invest in security, people.

K24 hacked

K24 hacked (click to view larger)

Want a FREE Online Shop?

The very first time that I got interested in making money online was around the time when I hit puberty. I was reading this magazine – sikumbuki jina – and there was this story of a woman with three kids who had quit her job to take care of her babies. Since she was home a lot, she started spending a lot of time on the Internet.

One day, she discovered a nice little website where she could set up an online shop for free. At the time, she had nothing to sell online but the idea stuck with her. Weeks later, she started a little duka selling hand-made jewelery (she made it herself at home). According to the magazine article, in a few months her little duka was making her twice the amount of money she used to make at her old job.

This story just spoke to me and I promised myself to one day make money online somehow. I later realized this dream through Like Chapaa and other online businesses that I am a part of.

How about you? Have you ever wanted to make money online? have you managed to do it?

Only you know the answers to that. Today, though, I am very pleased to announce our newest project! OurDuka.

What is OurDuka?
OurDuka is a site that enables you to start a simple online shop easily and for free.

Why are we doing this? because of public demand. Since we launched DukaPress, we got quite a lot of people telling us they love it but also telling us they have no idea how to get started – few people understand how to download it, upload it on a server, bla bla… A lot of you just want to “get a shop” without worrying about the technical details. Well, now you can do just that, just signup at OurDuka and you’re good to go! All 100% for free.

Do you have anything you think can sell online? Why don’t you get off your behind and try sell it? You have no excuses since we’re giving you a shop for free, ama?

The site right now is still a bit crude but as we engage with you, we hope to make it better as we go along. Hop on, make money, be happy! Don’t worry if you get little things here and there that seem out of place, we’re fixing that.

Why would you use OurDuka?

  1. You get a fully featured shop just like this one or this one or this one. Free.
  2. Our shop management software is used by over 3,473 people. Would that many people be wrong?
  3. You can very very easily accept money via PayPal, AlertPay, or even MPESA. We don’t charge any commissions.
  4. We are known for providing top-notch support so you will never ever be stranded.
  5. We will love you forever! Seriously.

How do we make money?
We feel that before we even try to make money from this project, we need to make sure that you make money from it. Therefore, right now, this thing is free. Completely. We’ll be experimenting with how to make money using this in the future (when we have 1,000 users, if we ever do :p).

So, well, the ball is in your court. If you ever wanted an online shop, now you can get one that is very powerful and easy to use, and free. Visit OurDuka and sign up ASAP.

Interesting Kenyan Sites #10

Pata Jibu – this is an interesting looking Kenyan Q&A site. The design looks sharp and smart. Good job, I wish them success. They just need to market the site a little more and they could make it. Maybe.

DealFish – there are so many directory-type sites in the Kenyan space. And so many of them are so poorly designed. DealFish is not among those, it is extremely good looking and functional if you ask me. Real Kenyan quality, for a change. I just hope that they get the success they deserve…

50-50 – I don’t know, I don’t like the design. And it is yet another site in what is becoming a crowded space (directory-type sites). Despite not liking the design (which may be down to personal taste), I think the site is well made and it works. Their success will depend on how well they execute their business plan. Good luck, and kudos.

The Kenya Revenue Authority – There is no doubt that the KRA site is changing Kenya. I applaud them for bringing essential Goverment services online. I especially appreciate the online PIN and VAT services. Kudos KRA, you are doing exactly what Kenya needs! However, you can easily do it better. The KRA site is not particularly well designed, there is little in the way of usability design and your service is just “down” way too often. When you offer some services “online only”, you need to make sure the site is always up and working. I believe the KRA has the resources to do this the right way and that is why I am listing them as a “Flop” even though they’ve done so well.

Here’s a typical complaint against the KRA: I just hate it that if you were to visit their offices at Times Tower you’d be told that everything is accessible online while it’s like a puzzle to navigate the site!

Please act on this and improve, dear KRA.