By Darren Gilbert
Who is Vibescout?
The idea of Vibescout was first conceived while I was on a trip to Vietnam in January 2014. A friend and I were in Saigon, we had our fill of the usual tourist sites and we began wondering: What are the locals getting up to on any normal day like this? How can we find events beyond the fliers on a hostel notice board? It was pretty much then that I realised there wasn't really anything out there that could help us.
Facebook, of course, lists events, but if you're not friends with the people invited to the events you will rarely see them (this being especially apparent when you're in a foreign country). I was an English teacher in South Korea at the time with plenty of free time, so once I got back from the vacation I started making preparations, refreshing my programming knowledge and researching ways I could bring this idea to reality. It was about a year after that, once I finished my job teaching abroad and returned to South Africa, I began to work on the first versions of Vibescout.
It was a pet project of mine until about August when my brother and father (Jonathan and Marc Myburgh) and I decided to start a small business together focusing on building similar such projects and Vibescout was absorbed into that. Since then, I have still remained the sole developer on the project, and with the backing of the start-up have been able to focus a lot more of my time on it to get it to the releasable state it is in today.
What does Vibescout do?
Basically, Vibescout is for finding cool things to do. Are you bored? Check out Vibescout and see what's going on around you. Don't have active Facebook friends who attend every other event? Check out Vibescout and be able to see everything that's going on anyway. For me, the hope is that it's just a cool platform that makes it easy for people to find something interesting to do that they might not have found otherwise.
What makes you different from your competition?
We haven't really found much out there that can be considered competition to us. Besides sites like capetownmagazine.co.za, who monitor and list events themselves (which is really nice for a more kind of "peer-reviewed" approach to finding things to do), Vibescout is a system that automatically crawls and categorises events and allows the user to easily find exactly what kind of thing they're looking for and wherever they might be. I feel it's a lot more encompassing, but at the same time very targeted to the end user.
Where do you want to take Vibescout?
My goals are to take Vibescout to exactly what the name says: A place to scout for vibes. Any kind of vibes. Events are just the start, and I think it's a great base on which to build a much more versatile kind of “portal” for curing boredom and broadening people's perspective about how much is actually going on around them.
We'd like to look into things that are more constant too, such as food specials, happy hours and partnering more with venues on other kinds of deals and specials. But still, our focus will largely be on events, and in the future we hope to get into integrating ticketing and other kinds of value-add services for venues and event hosts.
Where can we find out more about Vibescout?
We have a Facebook
page and a Twitter
feed that is updated regularly. We are also in the process of implementing a blog on the main site to add more of a personal touch to our interaction with users, providing our own kind of “peer-reviewed” content to them. If you're a company or blog who would like to help out in some way, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're always looking for partnerships with locals and are excited about opportunities to expand the platform in different ways. If you're a blog, please blog away. As a new start-up, we're super appreciative of any exposure we receive and, of course, we'd happily share your blog post on all our social platforms too.