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What’s Wrong With Techzim? A Reader’s Perspective #techzim10

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On the occasion of Techzim turning 10, I asked Van Lee Chigwada one of our readers to share where we are getting things wrong. I asked Van Lee specifically because he is one of our chief critics but I have always noticed that he criticises from the position of having a high expectation of us and love for our brand which we appreciate quite much. I have learnt so much from what he has wrote below. Enjoy

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Tinashe T. Nyahasha

By Van Lee Chigwada

Techzim has been a part of my daily life for 6 years now and I open their newsfeed several times a day. I have been an open critic of some of the articles published on the platform in recent years. In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Techzim reached out to me to pen an article on the “disappointing aspects of Techzim.” I fully understand that they cater for not just the tech savvy populace but try to have a bit of everything for everyone and kept this in mind while putting together this article.

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Give us technology news

This is in their name, we come to Techzim for the tech news but we seem to get less and less of that and more of everything else. Being a journalist means you follow the news, hunt it down and bring it to your readers. A recent missed opportunity is the just completed Youth Connect Zimbabwe tour. Youth Connect had a bus going around Zimbabwe with techpreneurs presenting their innovations and 10 people from each Zimbabwean province won US$5,000. Three finalists were then chosen and will be heading to Kigali to represent Zimbabwe. There were some great innovations like the head-motion-controlled wheelchair and roofing tiles made from plastic and glass waste.

We got to see none of this on Techzim, but instead we get to read about how Kirsty Coventry found out she was going to be a minister on Television, republishes of articles that we have seen 3 hours ago on other websites and how Jeff Bezos’ Wikipedia page has the word thief in it. Still on the Kirsty Coventry article, it was just 3 paragraphs long (short) and something I think was a Twitter quote. Let us not forget that she has been a minister for nearly a year now, how are these three paragraphs tech news?

We want jobs

This is perhaps one of the biggest let-downs about Techzim. There is nothing about tech related jobs. There are a lot of job offers that get little coverage in Zimbabwe. Techzim should partner up with other tech companies and when a company wants to recruit, Techzim should get to be one of the first to put up these jobs on their platform. The jobs should be its own section, not come in as articles that end up being harder to find later on.

I also see a lot of Visa sponsored jobs from Europe and Asia, please also round these up and maybe publish them once a week? This would help a lot of young graduates coming out of Zimbabwe’s universities. We can even have this as a subscription service and even though I am broke and looking for a job, I will definitely pay a few bucks a month to stay in the loop. Everybody wins.

Where are Zimbabwe’s Apps and Websites

I use several Zimbo made mobile apps and regularly visit local websites. Most of them I have never seen on Techzim but discovered accidentally online or heard about from a friend. Please do a round-up of home-brewed websites and apps and give us the pros and cons of each not just a plain list with names and links. We can have a regular round-up of each of these every week ranging from news, to banking, utilities and more.

Marketplace

The marketplace is where Techzim can really shine and become the who-is-who for all things tech in Zimbabwe. Instead of just selling us a few gadgets and having a list of developers elsewhere, this should be a major feature of the platform. At some point we expected a fully-fledged tech-hub center where one can go to find a gadget they want without the fear of getting scammed or fleeced. We’d love to be able to find a tech-shop to repair our expensive gadgets without having to worry about parts getting swapped out. The hub can even have an affiliate programme with coupon codes that also keep Techzim in on the deal and everyone wins.

Teach me How-To

One of the burdens Techzim needs to bear is promote the responsible use of technology. Sometime this year I saw a “how to create fake messages using WhatsApp” guide. There is an upside in that we are being told fake WhatsApp messages can be created, that could have gone in the news section. The how-tos should be useful tips and tricks on how we can best leverage our gadgets to make our lives easier. For example, virtually no one knows that they can type their 80-page college dissertation using Google’s Voice Typing, or track their stolen phones using their IMEI with help from Econet, Telecel and Netone even after the gadgets are stolen and without the IMEI pre-saved anywhere.

These are the useful tech tips and tricks that we need, not how to create a fake chat between Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma.

Happy 10th birthday Techzim and we love you 3,650.


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  • Please update the design of the website. It's starting to look old. otherwise, techzim is very good.

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    • Thanks. I can't promise a time frame for this one but yes this issue has come up a few times

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  • Also, fix bugs around posting comments where comments don't show and readers end up reposting.

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    • Highlighted this above. Hope you will see a fix soon

      Thanks again

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  • Feedback from just another reader:

    1. Please use tools like Grammarly(https://app.grammarly.com/) and try to proofread articles. I have been attacked by other readers when I point this, they say English is not the first language for most people in Zimbabwe and therefore mistakes are acceptable. How are mistakes acceptable when there are free tools to correct us?

    2. Try to improve on the visual appeal of the website. Simple things like the Name and Email text boxes below the comment box are not aligned. This makes the site look like it was done by rookies.

    3. Give us the readers a section on the site where we can upload our articles.

    4. On the jobs issue raised by the writer, also post remote jobs and do a few articles on tips for securing remote jobs.

    Happy anniversary guys.

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    • Thanks a lot Phidza

      Will try to respond to all the points you raised:

      1. There is no excuses for poor grammar when it's our job to create content. We do use Grammarly but have come to realise that it doesn't catch all faulty lingo. We will have to be more rigorous about this
      2. Don't know if you noticed we changed back to an old presentation of comments. Encountered some problems with the changes we had done. Hoping to fix this in the coming days. We should take better care of our look and feel all round I agree
      3. We will have to figure out if it's something we can do without affecting the brand itself i.e our experience with pindula.co.zw (which crowdsources content) has been high levels of self promotion and vandalism of the digital property such that we have restricted how we crowdsource content. The problem will be worse on Techzim because Techzim as a brand writes with an opinion and we should try to portray our genuine opinion as much as possible. We do have answers.techzim.co.zw where users help each other in a forum set up
      4. We will be looking at the jobs suggestion and hopefully you will be seeing this soon. We introduced it once in 2017 but it didn't seem to have much traction. Perhaps we had implemented wrong

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  • Nice commentary there. I like the fact that you guys appreciate constructive criticism. Thumbs up ☺

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    • Thank you. Oh yea, it may not seem that way because we enjoy debating with the community but we appreciate all the feedback we get

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Staff Writer @techzim

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