||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)|
Vincent John Maher (born 28 January 1975) is the Chief Product Officer at Mxit, the mobile social network. Maher joined Mxit in October 2012 when the company acquired mobile community startup Motribe Mobile Networks, of which Maher was the CTO and co-founder. Previously he was the portfolio manager for social media at Vodacom, a South African mobile telecommunications operator. Previously he was the strategist at the Mail & Guardian Online, in Johannesburg, South Africa and the co-founder of the political blog Thought Leader and blog aggregator Amatomu.com.
After obtaining a B. Journ degree from Rhodes University, Maher started his career in 1997 at VWV Interactive, the then leading South African web development company. He pioneered use of several technologies on the South African web, including early versions of Macromedia Flash (then FutureSplash).
During his tenure at VWV, Maher was a co-founder of Slime.co.za, a local take on "The Onion", which won Cool Site of the Day, and made several press and television appearances including a regular slot on a local breakfast TV show.
After leaving VWV in 1999, Maher went on to found Digital Commerce, a dedicated Macromedia ColdFusion development house, which landed several large contracts in its four years, and was a primary driver for the use of ColdFusion in South Africa.
During this period, Maher also contributed articles to the Lifestyle supplement of the Sunday Times newspaper, and several other Websites and print publications. For six weeks he was the host of a TV insert on The Breakfast Club on SABC3 covering new web sites and digital culture.
In early 2004, Maher returned to Grahamstown as the director of the New Media Lab, part of the Journalism School at Rhodes University. He has recently been instrumental in the debate and growth of citizen journalism and blogging, has been a contributor at various local conferences and international, and has been recognised as a leading figure in the new journalism in South Africa.
Among Maher's achievements are the pioneering "99% live" coverage sites meshing blogging and multimedia. These include the coverage for the local launch of Creative Commons and the 2005 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
In December 2006 Maher was appointed as a strategist at the Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa's largest independent newspaper and wrote columns for Enjin Magazine and GEAR Magazine. His work at the Mail & Guardian Online was fruitful, with the launch of the News in Photos web site and Amatomu.com, South Africa's popular blog aggregator, Amagama.com and ThoughtLeader.co.za. Along with Matthew Buckland he managed a complete rebuild of the newspaper's web site and management system before leaving the newspaper to join Vodacom.
During this time Maher won the Highway Africa Award for Innovative Use of New Media in September 2007 and is was shortlisted for the IT Personality of the Year Award. In June 2008 Maher joined Vodacom to manage their social networking portfolio. Under his management The Grid grew its user-base by 1.5 million users and launched in Nigeria and Tanzania. In April 2010 Maher and Nic Haralambous, who would later become his business partner in Motribe, launched Legends of Echo, a massively-multiplayer mobile location-based role-playing game that re-mapped the South African landscape into a mythical game-world called The Echo.
In August 2011 Maher and Haralambous launched Motribe, a mobile community-building platform and relocated to Cape Town, South Africa. Motribe was acquired by Mxit in October 2012 and, since then, Maher has been managing product strategy and marketing at the South African mobile social network.
Maher is married and lives with his wife Daniella and son Michael Liam, also known affectionately by the blogging community as Nugget. Maher is an avid Go player and produces a techno music podcast called beat and Order.
- Rhodes University, 2011
- De Waal, 2008
- Rhodes University, http://www.ru.ac.za/alumni/news/oldrhodiannews/1990to1999, Last updated: 20 October 2011
- De Waal, M, "Being Vincent Maher" in Brainstorm Magazine, September 2008, http://www.brainstormmag.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=218:being-vincent-maher