06
Aug
12

Happy 21st Birthday Interwebs!

220px-Nyan_cat_250px_frame Exactly 21 years ago today, a man by the name of Sir Tim Berners-Lee launched a pretty ambitious undertaking which he called the “WWW Project”.

His aim was to allow all links to be made to any information anywhere in the world and to give access to those links to people at no cost.

Fast forward to 2012 and the thought of life without the internet is pretty unbearable. What the hell would we do at work all day if it weren’t for Facebook, Twitter, funny pictures of cats and videos of people failing at life in hilariously painful ways?

Today is also significant though because it marks the beginning of a local start-up which is making its debut as a publicly available service. It’s called “moneysmart” (www.moneysmart.co.za) and it’s a free, online personal finance management platform that helps you budget and tracks your expenses.

moneysmart decided to launch on this momentous day because like the interwebs, moneysmart developed their product to make life easier, built it with everyone in mind and made it free to use.

 

 

Weirdly enough, I actually used moneysmart during its beta phase because I can budget about as well as I can play an accordion whilst riding a unicycle.

I found the whole process to be pretty pain-free – you download your bank statements from your online banking platform, upload them into moneysmart (don’t worry, it’s totally legit and uses bank-level security verified by VeriSign, McAfee and TRUSTe) and start allocating what transactions captured on your statements relate to which monthly expenses.

Once you’ve done that, you can see plain as day exactly how much money you’re spending every month and more importantly, what you’re spending that money on.

 

 

From there you can set budgeting goals and actually start to manage your money in order to achieve those goals.

I haven’t tried the system since it’s come out of beta phase, but you bet your ass I’ll give it another whirl today and let you guys know how it works out.

In the meantime though, moneysmart is inviting South Africans to pay tribute to the interwebs and its founder Sir Tim by either tweeting personal anecdotes about their experiences with the web using the hashtag #web21 or by posting messages on Facebook (www.facebook.com/moneysmartsa).

The best ones will be used as part of a personalised video birthday card that features tributes from some of SA’s greatest techies; Matthew Buckland, Arthur Goldstuck, Alan Knot-Craig Jnr, Adriaan Pienaar, Eric Edelstein, Eran Eyal and Tobie Van Zyl.

This card will then be presented to the man himself, Sir Tim, at 16h00 our time (which should be at right about the time Sir Tim is enjoying his morning eggs and baky).

 

 

So get involved party people! If your story cuts the mustard, the very man who invented the interwebs will see it.

Worth playing for? I’ll give you a minute to strategise and then let’s get started 😉

-ST


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