Reaching the world with online mediaDate Released: Fri, 26 April 2013 09:40 +0200
South African IT entrepreneur Matthew Buckland is at the forefront of what he sees as a revolution in media as new formats are upending the accepted models of large corporations.
After fifteen years in corporate online media, Buckland decided to flex his entrepreneurial wings in 2010 with the founding of Creative Spark, a company which builds websites and develops mobile sites and applications for a range of high-profile clients.
Creative Spark also publishes the widely-read multi-author weblog, Memeburn, and the blog aggregator Amatomu.com.
“I’m not someone who sits quietly in the corner – I want to help grow an industry,” Buckland tells itheroes.org.za. “Being an entrepreneur enables me to do this on a more fundamental level.”
He believes these are exciting times for media with ‘the reader’ now having direct access to blogs and other publishing formats, and he sees the work of individuals creating, publishing, and propagating information for other users as the indicators of an industry revolution.
“When I set up Memeburn I tried to achieve a hybrid of a blog and a traditional media site,” Buckland tells colindaniels.co,za. “I see the industry as an ecosystem – we want to grow it, spread knowledge and ideas, and build relationships. This is a good way to do it.”
There is an overwhelming global movement towards entrepreneurship, says Buckland. “In many respects we are entering the ‘age of the entrepreneur’. It has to do with the fact that technology and the web have lowered production and distribution costs significantly.
You don’t need big investment to start off an online business or publication. So much knowledge, open-source technology and resources are available online for free. The internet era has ushered in a new paradigm for publishing and for business.”
With a passionate interest in computers from an early age, Buckland started programming when he was seven years old. One of the earliest graduates of the New Media Lab at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, he went on to hold a number of high-profile roles within the corporate internet industry, during which time he created several innovative applications including one which enabled inhabitants of rural communities to consult medical practitioners online via mobile phone.
Already the recipient of a string of awards and accolades, Buckland believes he still has much to achieve. “It’s passion for what you do that keeps you striving for more,” he tells techsmart.co.za. “I’m rarely completely satisfied with a project, so that motivates you to push higher and harder.
It’s a sum total of the team of people around you, equally motivated and passionate, and the community out there using the applications we make, that makes the magic happen. That’s what drives us.”
What advice would he give to aspiring entrepreneurs? “Be bold. Don’t join a corporate,” says Buckland. “Start your own business. Seek out mentors; don’t be afraid to hound them down. Keep your eye on the prize, and believe in yourself.”
Passion, boldness, focus, and determination – they’ve certainly created a winning combination for this high-energy entrepreneur.
By: Fiona Rom