Friday, 31 August 2007

WE news!!

WE continue to have battery problems on the game drive vehicle and as a result WE have to cancel this afternoons drive. Again we apologise for having to do this, but promise that we are working as hard as we can to get this situation sorted out.

Also from tommorow the afternoon game drive will be going out at 15h30 (CAT) rather than 15h00 (CAT). The reason for this is that it is getting hotter and hotter everyday and WE are slowly moving towards our summer schedule. Because its getting hotter each day the animals need to drink more, but there is less and less water available. That is why we are seeing larger numbers of animals like herds of buffalo and elephant coming down to the waterhole. Over the next weeks the waterholes will become more and more active as everyone waits anxiously for the rain. This is the most difficult time for animals and people in the bush ... waiting for rain.

Reckson has gone on leave for a week. He is visiting his family in nearby Dixie. He is very happy at WildEarth and WE are very excited to have him.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

No drive this afternoon!!

As I am sure all of you have noticed, WE have been having serious problems with our power on the game drive vehicle over the past few weeks. The problem has to do with the fact that WE have not been able to charge the batteries sufficiently between drives and this has started to damage them.

Currently we are working on a variety of short term solutions to this problem, but hopefully we will be beginning construction on two brand new vehicles in the not to distant future. The short term solutions will probably involve getting 10 new batteries in from Johannesburg as well as installing an uprated alternator in the vehicle. The broadcast system is very power hungry, which is also why WE have not been doing nearly as much IR filming as we would like recently. The IR lights consume a lot of the available power.

We understand your frustration with shortened drives and the sometimes regular stopping and restarting of the vehicle. We are also frustrated. Eventually all of these problems will be behind us and at least you will be able to say: "I was there at the beginning when WE was still figuring it all out."

Unfortunately WE will not have a drive this afternoon in order that we can fully charge all batteries as well as replace the inverter on the vehicle. Hopefully from tomorrow morning's drive things will begin to get a little better and from next week WE aim to be back up to full speed ... its in our nature.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Some news and a request.

Quite a few people have been wanting to know what the latest developments are with respect to allowing a much larger number of people to access the WildEarth live stream. WE have been working on getting this sorted out, but it is not entirely in the hands of WildEarth, so I thought I would take the time to explain how it all works and what WE are trying to achieve.

Since the concept of broadcasting LIVE wildlife began, 9 years ago, it has been difficult to find a sustainable business model that will satisfy all. Over the years it has become clear that a pure Internet advertising model is highly unlikely to be the answer for a number of key reasons. However, what has become clear is that there are thousands of content creators that have sustainably delivered entertaining experiences to viewers on other mediums and in particular on TV. WE are therefore very much of the opinion that in order for the concept of broadcasting LIVE wildlife to reach its full potential it must make its way onto television.

Therefore when we launched WildEarth we decided to license (rent) the global rights to broadcast our 24 hour per day LIVE stream on the Internet to a South African company called Telkom Media. WE did this so that we can focus our energies on developing WildEarth into our dream ... a LIVE global 24 hour TV channel. WE are well on our way to achieving this, but there is still a long road ahead, with much more equipment and crew required.

In the meantime Telkom Media, who have applied for a pay TV license in South Africa, are working on an overall plan for their Internet products, one of which is WildEarth. There is no doubt that a CDN (Content Distribution Network) will form part of this plan, but there are many other elements that have to be developed and integrated. How long will it take? Well I am not sure, but i have no doubt that it is in very capable hands and will be worth the wait.

On a different note, some of you may have noticed that WE had to delete a Blog post earlier in the week. The reason for this was that somebody had posted a very malicious and hurtful comment about another viewer and it had to be deleted. Now unfortunately it is not possible to delete just one nasty comment on Blogger, WE have to delete the whole post and all comments. WE had to do it again today.

I write this really to ask that the person responsible for this childish and very hurtful behaviour stops. WildEarth is not a community website we do not have any forums, chat rooms or message boards and we have done this specifically because we plan to focus on bringing you the best LIVE wildlife possible. Please see the beauty and serenity of what we do and try to respect it by not using this Blog as a platform to hurt.

Be nice ... its in your nature.

Lions and Buffalos.

WE have been lucky enough to have several large herds of buffalo coming down to drink at the dams. There is not much water around now as it is late in winter and they have few options. The pressure is mounting on all the animals now. Everyone is starting to hope for the rains, which are still months away. This is the hardest time of the year for everyone ... not much water and not much grazing, but plenty of predators. However, the lions seem to be back in force. This photograph, by Pieter, is of one of the two female lion cubs that WE have seen a few times and part of the pride that made an attempt to kill a buffalo. Hayley, the WildEarth final control director, followed two lionesses while they tried to kill a buffalo at Gowrie on the waterhole camera. They missed their quarry, but very exciting all the same. Rexon is starting to get used to his new job at WildEarth and is fast becoming an integral part of the team. It is quite a different thing to present a LIVE game drive on camera from the type of drives he has done in the past, but he is rising to the occasion and WE have every faith that he will become exceptional at this new style of wildlife broadcasting. WE are pioneering and WE are proud that Rex is right there on the front line.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

He is joining WE in 5 days!!

You guessed it ... Rexon is the next WE presenter. His first drive will be on the 7th August 2007. WE and Rex are super excited that he is joining us.
Rex was born at Djuma and his grandfather is buried here. Djuma is in his blood, he knows the land backwards. Each bump in the road or scar on a tree has a history that Rex remembers. Not only is he a highly accomplished guide but also a very respected leader of the community. Rex is also just as good behind the camera as in front and in fact has wielded a LIVE camera for us many times in the past ... from time to time he will give Rob a break and 'drive' the camera for Pieter.
WE are immensely grateful to Jurie and Pippa, as well as all the management at Djuma, for encouraging Rexon to join WildEarth ... WE know that he will be sorely missed. He is a man of great wisdom and empathy and WE are honoured that he is one of us. Rex, you are ... in our nature. Good luck.