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All posts by Matthew Buckland: Publisher

Matthew Buckland: Publisher
Matthew Buckland is a web guy who has over the years worked in a programming, editorial and business capacity within the online media environment. He now dedicates his life and soul to Creative Spark and Memeburn.com. He was previously General Manager of Publishing at news24.com, and then went on to found and head up award-winning innovation startup called 20FourLabs.com. He is the former General Manager of Mail & Guardian Online and co-founder of political think-tank site Thought Leader -- a Webby Award Honoree. One of his proudest moments was when some of the world's biggest blogs, Techcrunch and Mashable, his favourite site Wired.com and technology site Techmeme tried to break his servers by linking to his personal blog matthewbuckland.com in the space of a few days. He was named one of "SA’s top 100 most influential media and advertising people" by the The Annual in 2009 and one of "300 Young South Africans you should take out to lunch" by his former employer, Mail & Guardian. His favourite colour is red.
  • 4 reasons why The Watch won’t be Apple’s next big hit

    There will be those who flock to buy the new Apple Watch. Like zombies under a spell they will rush for the latest Apple trinket. I have heard media commentator after commentator get all hot under the collar about this new device. Are they under “the spell”? This particular Apple trinket will not succeed and hit the mainstream like the wildly successful iPhone, the iPod and the iPad. In fact, one site went as far as calling it “A flop. A failure. A fiasco.” I agree, and here are four reasons why: 1. Dismal battery life, by watch standards The battery lasts...

  • The great podcast resurgence and the rebirth of radio

    Like one of those birds that are attracted to shiny jewellery, I love new gadgets and new technology. As someone with the expensive Early Adopter Disease, I embraced podcasting in its nascence. About 10 years ago, I launched a commercial podcast with experienced broadcaster Tony Lankester at the Mail & Guardian Online called “Between the Pages. It was a relative success for its time. We secured sponsorship from BMW and it ran for about a year. The then-editor of the newspaper, Ferial Haffajee, embraced this journey into the unknown enthusiastically and we did regular weekly news wraps, interviews and...

  • Critics of Native Advertising miss the point: here is why

    The hilarious TV satirist  John Oliver  took a break from lampooning geo-political issues of life-and-death importance on Sunday to instead take on a media and marketing topic, namely  Native Advertising. This new form of advertising is the hot topic getting everyone hot under the collar. Media owners welcome the new revenue stream it brings to their publications, but it worries editors because, to the purists, it feels like advertising content dressed up as independent editorial. And then of course, there are the companies, the advertisers, which love Native Advertising, because it is a highly effective form of online marketing that...

  • Print actually trumps digital in the attention economy: here’s how

    There are few good things to say about printed media these days. It’s wasteful, inefficient, static, expensive to create and distribute. That’s why it’s all going digital. But apart from a nostalgic affinity (“I like the feel of a newspaper, it’s what I have always done”), there is a huge advantage that print has over its digital rivals that perhaps no one could have foreseen. But before I get into that, I’d like to tell you how I got here: I’ve always been somewhat of a digital evangelist, but I’m not a zealot. My drive is to find truth, which leads...

  • The unwavering persistence of entrepreneurs

    The following is a transcription of a keynote speech made by Memeburn publisher and Creative Spark founder Matthew Buckland at the Youth Entrepreneurs Connect Conference at the Cape Town ICC on 28 September. In the speech, Buckland explores how the internet has helped bring entrepreneurship to the fore, and the impact it has had on South Africa. Drawing on his own experiences, he also describes how vital it is that universities support entrepreneurship and allow students, who are so inclined, to follow their own destinies. Moreover he dissects the qualities that make up a successful entrepreneur. Few apply to...

  • Apple TV review: for those with money to burn

    I’m lucky enough to own a Samsung Smart TV. I bought it because I believe in converged devices: I want to watch TV and hop in and out of the web, and my apps seamlessly. That is our TV experience of the future. Samsung got that right with its Android-based TV OS and is streaks ahead of the competition. Unfortunately Samsung got it right in concept only: the execution of that vision leaves much to be desired, meaning I never used the TV’s so-called Smart OS. Read more on Gearburn.

  • iPad mini review: why Apple thinks you are an idiot

    I have quite a bit of Apple product fatigue. I’ve owned seven iPhones, three iPads and two mac minis in my time. They are quite pricey, and when the newest gadget comes out, the current one becomes pretty much worthless. When the iPad mini was announced, I felt that fatigue. I thought to myself — if I am going to complicate my life with yet another device, it better be good. And chances are, if it’s an Apple gadget, it will be good. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Logitech Touch Mouse review: beautiful, but not Bluetooth

    I guess I’m one of the stranger users of technology. I’m not an Apple zombie, insisting everything has to be Apple “just because” or an unwavering, die-hard Microsoft zealot based on Apple hatred. I like to use best-of-breed and what suits me, irrelevant of silly branding and ideology. So for a long while I have been using a mighty mouse (Apple) and Vaio PC laptop combination. And it worked well for about three years. Then Windows 8 came along and my wonderful little hack inexplicably just stopped working. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Asus Zenbook: The world’s most beautiful ultrabook?

    For some time now it’s been pretty obvious who’s been leading the laptop stakes. I don’t want to say it, but let’s just say it’s a company that begins with “A”. Again its caught computer manufacturers around the world with its pants down, consistently innovating with products like the MacBook Air and user interface innovations like multi-touch and Retina Display. The only premium laptop around has been the Sony Vaio, but even now there is a sense that this brand is falling behind (as a long-term Vaio user, I’m just not excited by the latest releases). Read more on Gearburn....

  • The great internet radio swindle

    All media, online or offline, survive and trade on credibility. Trust is everything and it’s possibly more of a factor in a media business than any other type of business. You lose this trust, you close your media business down. Rupert Murdoch closed down one of the largest newspapers in the world when trust was broken. It gets that bad. You lie about your numbers, and it’s over. Media companies sell audience to advertisers, and if they are paying money for a phantom audience, it’s fraud. That’s why I guess there has been such a fuss (because some have been wondering:...

  • Facebook fundamentals: Why its share collapse simply does not matter

    Facebook’s share collapse has the social network’s strongest critics buzzing, some even going as far as questioning the future of the platform. Are we really betting that this is going to be one of the most valuable companies in the world or is this just business as usual in the technology sector: dot.com crash all over again? By far the most vehement of criticisms comes from Vanity Fair contributing editor and Newser founder Michael Wolff. In an article on MIT site Technology Review, Wolff melodramatically predicts that the social network “…is not only on course to go bust, but will...

  • Could paid connections be the future of social networking? [Net Prophet]

    Social networking hasn’t quite lived up to its promise. It was supposed to flatten hierarchies and democratise networking. Theoretically, I’m just a few clicks and an email away from Richard Branson, so I should be able to have a conversation with him and do business. How hopelessly naive. The reality is that social networks mirror life and it’s difficult to get the attention of busy, important people. Why? Because well-known and successful people have limited time and can’t possibly give attention to everyone and everything — and in fact the internet has made this even worse, not better. It’s why...

  • A geek at the helm: Memeburn’s interview with Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys

    It’s not often that a geek rises to the top of a multi-billion dollar company. These are spots frequently filled by accountants or lawyers. But times are changing. In a technology-driven world, the geeks are rising to the top. We know Microsoft was run by a geek (possibly the geekiest CEO of all time?) and Steve Jobs was somewhat of a geek (more a design-obsessed geek than anything else). In the startup world, technology investors frequently refuse to put their money behind startups unless at least one of the founders has strong geek credentials (they quite like programmers). Enter Pieter Uys....

  • On the comeback trail: Is Microsoft regaining its ‘cool’?

    During a cold December in Paris at a conference called Le Web, I was struck by an insight. It was a combination of what I had been feeling for a while and what a brilliant analyst was saying — and that is, Microsoft is on the comeback trail. It really is. In recent times, Microsoft has struggled to exude that “cool factor” of companies like Apple, a coolness that is reflected in the companies’ respective share prices too. It’s a zeitgeist also brilliantly reflected in these “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC ads“. Microsoft’s boss Steve Ballmer is uncool embodied...

  • Stephen Grootes and the company-employee Twitter dilemma

    Stephen Grootes is cool. He’s one of those passionate, enthusiastic journalists that you really enjoy listening to on the radio. And he’s a prolific writer, broadcaster and Tweeter with almost 15k followers. It’s not particularly large on a world scale, but good for the niche. And Grootes’ followers will just grow and grow and grow as time goes on. I often hear Stephen’s Twitter handle being punted on radio, and with every punt the followers rack up. And rightly so — tweeting journalists have added a new richness and dimension to the 100-year wireless. Grootes is not alone. It’s pretty...