What has Bizcommunity.com meant to you over the years? For some, it has inspired new thinking in how to approach business; for others, it's been a priceless source of industry information; and for many, it has been a click away from a new career.
This month, Bizcommunity turns 11 and, to celebrate in Johannesburg, we're doing something a little different. We're asking you - our community of readers, contributors and clients - to share what Bizcommunity means to you, and including your words in an unusual birthday gift, a unique painting designed to capture the essence of what Bizcommunity is all about.
Selections from these responses will be included in a unique work painted by Johannesburg-based communication strategist and Bizcommunity reader and contributor Sarah Britten, who is fresh from a successful debut solo exhibition of her cityscapes.
"I work in an unusual medium, lipstick," she explains. "Bizcommunity is the perfect subject for two reasons: firstly, I've used the site since it launched and secondly, in a fantastic stroke of luck, the brand colour is red. I usually paint the Joburg skyline, but because Bizcommunity is national and its footprint extends into Africa, I'll be including elements of the continent's other major cities in one of my works for the first time."
"I donate a portion of my sales to Home of Hope, an NGO which looks after vulnerable girls in Hillbrow [Johannesburg] and makes sure they get a good education, so the opportunity to raise funds for them during Women's Month makes perfect sense," Britten explains.
"Hopefully, some of those girls will become contributors to Bizcommunity in the decades ahead."
To give you a little inspiration, we asked some of Bizcommunity's contributors to share their thoughts:
Chris Moerdyk: "It is not what Bizcommunity wants to say but what its 300 000 [newsletter] subscribers want to hear. The fact that there are so many of them is proof positive that Biz is providing useful information by way of news, its deep reservoir of contributors and corporate releases."
Banele Rewo, "Bizcommunity is a game-changing kingmaker."
Mbali Nndandani: "Bizcommunity is the cool kids' table that everyone is allowed to sit at. Seasoned industry veterans side by side with the newest kids on the block - the vets sharing what they have and the newbies taking in all they can."
Saint-Francis Tohlang: "Biz is a hub connecting industry professionals with news, offerings, conversation and networking. In essence, it's an online community."
Tiffany Markman: "A platform, in the truest sense of the word; a stage, a rostrum, a base. A place where thought leaders can speak, colleagues and competitors can do battle, concepts can stand, ideas can be exposed. It's a support structure: the noisy, bustling, jostling, thriving, living, inviting, intriguing marketplace."
Terry Levin: "Bizcommunity is the showcase for the dynamic entrepreneurial energy that radiates out of Africa's businesses and individuals."
How to contribute
If you'd like your words to be part of the painting, write your answer to the question "What is the essence of Bizcommunity?" in the comments section here or on Twitter tagged with "#happybiz11". Deadline: close of business Friday 3 August.
As editor-at-large Simone Puterman reflects, "Bizcommunity is about connecting, informing, learning, sharing, networking and having fun - as a B2B publication, our business is building your business!"
So go on, have some fun and help Biz celebrate.
Help Sarah paint for Home of Hope (it's easy)
Joburg agencies, do you still print out layouts and mount them on board to show to clients? That thick, shiny cardboard is perfect for painting with lipstick. If you have piles of used cardboard taking up space at the office, contact Sarah Britten and she will give it a good home. You'll be recycling, helping to create art and indirectly raising funds for Home of Hope. What's not to love?
And if you have spare lipstick lying around, such as testers, old stock or colours that really didn't suit you, she will turn them into art too. Contact her at or @Anatinus on Twitter to arrange to pick them up.