• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Craig Raw

Craig is the founding CTO of Quirk, the digital agency. A programmer since the age of six, Craig believes strongly in using technology to educate, create jobs and improve lives. As such, he's created numerous pieces of software over the years, including the online reputation management tool BrandsEye and SEO browser extension SearchStatus. Craig lives and works in Cape Town.
  • How efficiently is your business using its tech resources?

    For most of us, it's impossible to consider doing our work without the internal systems that communicate, organise and report on our efforts. Impossible to consider a world without emails, wikis and financial software that are invisible to the outside world, but fundamental pillars supporting the business. And, for the most part, these systems are just that -- critical. But are they efficient? Efficiency can only be determined by looking at the sum of its parts. To use a simple example, manually copying information from an email into a wiki can be made more efficient by integrating the two technologies...

  • How Javascript is creating a web development renaissance

    It's a good time to be a web developer. As someone who's been building web applications since the 90s, I can happily say that I don't think the future of the web has ever looked rosier. There are a number of reasons for that, but chief among them I believe is the recent renaissance in the JavaScript language. JavaScript is the often maligned, ubiquitous language that all browsers run to perform dynamic, 'client-side' behaviour on web pages. It is often maligned because it is lacking in some areas, unusual in others and downright confusing in a few more. It was...

  • Why you should be considering hybrid mobile apps

    If you've ever had any need to develop mobile apps, you'll probably be aware of the choice between going native or web app. For those not aware, native apps are developed using the language and platform of the phone in question (Objective C for iPhone, Java for Android etc.). Web apps, on the other hand, run in the mobile browser of the device. Like all great techie debates, the reasons for choosing one or the other relate to performance, design and even philosophy. Not everyone, however, is aware of the existence of a third option -- a hybrid of...

  • We are on the verge of an eCommerce revolution

    If you have recently spent any time in the United Kingdom or United States, you will no doubt be aware of the vast difference in eCommerce between South Africa and those countries. In statistics, the difference is made clear: In 2010, UK shoppers spent GBP£58.8bn (US$92bn) online, while South Africans did a paltry ZAR2bn (US$254-million). Even accounting for population differences that's a significant differential. So, why is South Africa so far behind? It's certainly not that eCommerce itself is without benefits. In fact, it's often chosen over traditional retail for three main factors: range, price and convenience. No need for...

  • Ignore the URL at your peril

    In the online world, the URL is ever-present. It is the digital home of businesses large and small, the currency of social exchange, the thread on which the hyperlinked web exists. There can be few more important building blocks to the internet as we know it, but all too often the humble URL has been abused or even downright ignored as technologies have pushed their way to the limelight. The URL has a long history. As with most the building blocks of the internet, the specification for a URL can be found online in form of RFC 1738, a technical...

  • The Amazon, Walmart & FT app rebellion: What it means for you

    If you take the time to read some of the many articles on mobile app strategy, you'll find that they focus on trying to answer the crux argument of whether to build a native app for each mobile platform or a web app that tries to cover them all. After all, there are significant costs involved, both in development and time to market, and focussing on one strategy appears wiser than trying to be the best in all. In most cases however, the authors fail to choose between native and web and (somewhat wishfully) recommend a mobile strategy that...

  • Four tips to choosing your digital partner

    There is no doubt that digital continues to be a growing part of every marketing budget. Choosing the right partner to assist your digital efforts is a critical decision. As critical, I'd argue, as the choice of agency in any marketing discipline to date. The reason for this lies in the nature of digital itself -- uncontrovertibly, digital has technology at its heart. For a marketer, what does this mean? When I talk technology, I mean hardware and software -- always behind the scenes, but as essential as the engine in your car. Like your car's engine, you leave the...

  • How HTML5 follows in the footsteps of Java’s proven WORA

    Java was released by Sun Microsystems back in 1996. As a new programming language, it entered a space long dominated by the likes of C; C++; Perl and many others. Java needed to bring something new to the table. At the time, every compiled programming language needed to be recompiled on every platform you wanted to run it on, often with particular fixes to handle the idiosyncrasies of different operating systems. Java was different in that it had the benefits of a compiled language, but thanks to the cross-platform 'virtual machine' it ran on, it could run anywhere without...