Ugandan Firm to Put Face to Virtual Networking
For most people, on-line social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in or Beebo remain virtual networks. That is now changing, thanks to a new networking initiative called the 360° network, launched recently. Alex Balimwikungu spoke to David Tumwesigye, the brain behind it.
Q: What is the 360° network all about and what is its main objective?
The basic idea of the network is "to transform existing virtual social networks into a real people-to-people, life-changing network for enhancement of members' knowledge and skills, opportunities and lifestyles".
The objectives of the 360° network are to translate existing virtual social networks like Facebook, into real networking opportunities for the benefit of their membership and business entities.
The network will provide a life-changing opportunity for members to enhance their lifestyle, knowledge, skills and business opportunities by offering a rich recreation and entertainment experience
Q: How does it work?
Members of existing social networks currently join the 360° Network group on Facebook. Members will then be invited to attend monthly and quarterly 360° forums to network, learn and have fun in one place! They will also have continuous access to moderated online posts and interactive forums about life changing subjects on the Facebook group and at our website on www.the360network.com Already, the network has over 400 members in just one month.
Q: What is so unique about the concept that should make anyone join?
A: By joining the group and attending the 360° forums, members have an opportunity to meet, create or enhance their existing businesses and social networks; and mutually share information and opportunities.
They can also learn from peers and experts on thematic issues in personal finance, personal branding, professional development,lifestyle and spiritual issues. Personally, I have been positively inspired by listening to great people and reading life changing books like Richard Branson's Autobiography "Breaking my Virginity." Young people need to listen to home-grown experiences by people like Andrew Rugasira of Good African Coffee, Patrick Bitature of Simba Telecom, and several others for inspiration.
They certainly wouldn't mind sharing their experiences because this wisdom can be acquired! One may not become Patrick Bitature himself, but who would have thought that a dyslexic boy (Richard Branson) would now be a global brand? It is all about their soft skills: attitude, vision, networks and real hard work.
Q: Who are you primarily targeting for membership?
We are targeting the technologically-savvy trendsetters, employed or actively seeking employment, or mid-career professionals. Those that are keen on developing their careers and financial literacy, those that want to develop their business networks, those that are setting up businesses and those keen on learning and developing personally. The youth, especially those between 20 and 35, who besides being cool and fun loving are equally ambitious are also encouraged.
Q: Why should an individual or organisation support the network?
As a virtual and real-time forum, it offers an opportunity to create a unique niche that can be targeted with specific marketing strategies. The Virtual forum also creates endless possibilities for effective organisation of people, communication and marketing, while the real-time forum puts a face to the message.