Thanks to our PR company (SimonSays Communications) I’m the Johannesburg Town Crier.

It’s been a fun and interesting role to get into. One day you’re a consultant around future trends and people and the next day you’re getting your head around what it means to be a Town Crier? Feels like a large responsibility. Especially in a ‘town’ as big and diverse as our ‘little Jozi’. What to post, where to find it, how to go about it, what to write, not write. how to be fun and interesting?

I even get rated by those that follow the feed on Twitter, and imagine if I don’t do a good job I get ‘voted’ right outta there. I’m certainly getting a feeling for public office in this new role : )

The people behind it are and describe the service as ‘Twitter with a local focus’. In South Africa there’s currently a Town Crier for Jozi and the Mother City. And then there’s a scattering of Town Criers around the world.

Some stats around gives Twitter a local focus. For each city, there is:

There are approximately 283,492 people following in 110 cities around the world.

There is also a general Twitter user, @happn_in, from which updates on the project will be sent.

And some background: began in early 2009 in response to the rapid growth of Twitter. We saw that Twitter was becoming a valuable source of information, but the interesting content was getting buried. We started to pull some of this useful information out of the noise, specifically, the answer to the question ‘What’s going on near me?’ was built with the long-term idea that localized communities can benefit from Twitter if they can find and talk to each other. We will continue to update the site with features that aid this goal.

Of course anyone can post info about Jozi by simply adding the hashtag (#hi_johan) and you can get the Twitter feed and follow here.

It’s been good for me to work at getting my head around a broader Jozi community in order to put as diverse a spread of stuff I possibly can. I’m only a few days in, and hopefully improving all the time? Time will tell and so will the votes : )

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