Alistair Fairweather

Social media and online Strategist, Media24 Magazines

Alistair Fairweather is paid to be on Twitter and Facebook
every day. It's part of his job. A small part, as Fairweather
also helps the digital teams at Media24 Magazines to
maximise the benefi ts of and reduce the effort involved in
their social media channels. And then there are the editorial
strategies and measurements he has to put together
because, let's face it, online audiences don't grow themselves.
More often than not he spends his time convincing
business people that social media technology is not a
fad just because their kids spend much of their time on
Facebook. But if business is reluctant to move into the social
media age, it simply can't ignore the fact that Fairweather
knows how to grow a fan base � he grew Huisgenoot's from
4 000 to 15 000 on Facebook in a matter of weeks.
Not bad going for a 31-year-old who studied journalism at
Rhodes university and started his career as a web designer.
Somehow Fairweather, who discovered the internet when
South Africa was fi rst discovering democracy, found his way
to MWeb where he learnt some hard lessons about web
editorial and online product management. It's also where
he launched his fi rst-ever web application � MWeb's photo
� album system.
By 2007 Fairweather was a product management specialist,
with the good fortune to have strong teams capable of
launching new products such as Laaik.it, Play24 and Answerit
as part of 24.com's social networking and media division.
Part consultant, part evangelist, Fairweather believes
social media technology has the potential to become the
most powerful mass action medium ever, citing the Obama
campaign as a good example of this. All it needs is strong
leadership to take the like-minded into battle. That, and
accessible broadband, of course. Here's one man who can't
wait to see cheaper broadband arrive here. � Cat Pritchard

Lunch spot: The Roundhouse, The Glen, Camps Bay