Posts

GHfind About to Transition Wholly Into a News Aggregator

A couple of days ago I wrote a post explaining how I had recently decided to dedicate more time to a news-related GHfind sub-site as opposed to the online database itself.  I've always felt that the database was "the true heart of" this project.  But now it's more like I'm about to pull the plug on that side of the endeavor altogether, rather focusing exclusively on news aggregation.
If a person has a million-dollar idea but doesn't have the necessary support system in place to bring that vision into physical reality, that does not alter the commercial viability of the idea itself.  In other words I still think the online database is a sound concept, one that someone may pickup on in the future.  But for me to sit here like this with that particular component stagnating in limbo is breaking my heart.
However, as mentioned before, GHfind News is a lot easier to maintain than the database itself.  So the plan for the immediate future is to build it up to the p…

Introducing... GHfind News

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The truth of the matter is that I don't have as much time to dedicate to GHfind as I would like.  Nor are the resources currently available to hire a truly committed, competent employee.  As such the project is suffering as a whole, especially in terms of expeditious completion of the database.
As such I decided to start a new sub-site called GHfind News, which can be found at the URL news.ghfind.net.  It is basically a collection of links to news articles.  Most of them are directly related to Ghana, but it also includes those pertaining to West Africa or other parts of the world in some cases.

When visiting the site you may notice that it is basically all text.  This is intentional.  First of all, as premised above, this method allows me to work on it while not having to spend time doing any kind of serious programming or design.  But moreover it was intentionally designed after Drudge Report, a popular news site that is like 90% text.
I did some research on Drudge Report a whi…

MTN Charges Me to Renew a Service I Never Subscribed To

I extolled the virtues of MTN before and for the most part appreciate the Ghana telecoms.  But sometimes they do some grimey sh*t, which I also talked about in the past.  And I had such an incident with MTN just yesterday.
For yesterday I was automatically charged 65p to renew a service called MTN Phone Book Backup which in all honesty I don't remember ever subscribing to in the first place.  Then I had to send an SMS to unsubscribe from the service (Stop to 5122), which cost me another few pesewas.
FYI - MTN Phone Book Backup is apparently, as its name suggests, a process by which your phone contacts are backed up to, I would presume, MTN's servers.  And even people who have willingly subscribed to it seem to have a hard time using the service, as accessing it apparently requires logging in to MTN's website or downloading their app.  In other words there appears to be no way to actually access the backups directly via your phone, i.e. a short code, and you have to be onl…

Ghana Hotel Directory Being Added to GHfind Database

This project has not been progressing as idealized.  For instance I always envisioned GHfind as a street-based initiative, whereas agents would be on the roadside actively gathering contact information on various businesses.  But implementing this ideology in an expeditious fashion has proven to be a hindrance.  So now, in the name of not letting the site stagnate, I'm once again resorting to gathering information via the internet.
And what I will be working over the next couple of weeks is adding the information from a directory of hotels in Ghana posted by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), meaning that it is official.
This list was created back in 2017.  So adding it isn't just a matter of cutting and pasting.  Instead some research has to be conducted, as much as reasonably possible, to find out if said institutions are still in existence.  As such those that cannot be verified will not be added to the database itself.
But as aforementioned the GTA is a reliable source of…