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Sam likes anything she can take apart and put back together again. This makes her a big fan of Linux and rusty old cars. She is a Digital Planner at Quirk, which is her dream job because it allows her to obsess about the internet, work with some fabulous clients on creative marketing strategies and do a lot of public speaking. She also writes, lectures and appears as a regular guest on the ZA Tech Show. Sam’s addicted to words, specifically those in 140-character combinations, loves Dr Seuss and spends more time listening to The Goon Show than is healthy.
There’s an episode of South Park where the boys go looking for the underpants gnomes, magical little creatures who sneak into your drawers at night and steal your underwear (I myself suffer from a sock gnome infestation). When the boys come across the gnomes in their underwear-stacked subterranean hideout, they ask them for an explanation. The gnomes proudly show them their business plan:
Phase 1: Collect underpants
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Profit!
I often can’t help thinking about the underpants gnomes when I’m ...
We all jokingly confess our own internet-addiction sins: how we always find ourselves lost in a black hole of Lolcats the night before a big deadline, how we send off 20 emails before we get out of bed, how we only know what’s going on in our partner’s life by following their Twitter feed. But more and more research is mounting up to suggest that it isn’t a joke at all, and that our internet dependences actually might be making ...
No one will argue that the basic literacy situation in South Africa is dire. With access to books being so low (only 7% of South Africa’s schools have afunctioning library), several people have proposed utilising the mobile phone -- one device that is certainly not rare in South Africa -- as a platform for accessing books.
This is an idea that’s been thrown around in South Africa since around 2007, and multiple projects have been started in the past few ...
When the press discovered that Amazon’s US$200 Android tablet (the Kindle Fire) is sold for US$3 less than it costs to manufacture, many people were confused. Why would a technology company sell a gadget at a loss? It all makes sense when you realise that, increasingly, the playing field is no longer about hardware; it’s about content.
Tablets and smartphones are the key devices in this new ecosystem of content (although they’re certainly not the only ones), and we all know ...
The best brands are built on stories. No-one huddles around the proverbial water cooler and talks about Product XYZ's incredible new feature. But they will talk about Nando's "The Last Dictator" ad, or Coca-Cola's "Reasons to Believe" campaign.
For decades, there's been an assumption in advertising that if you want to tell a grand story for a brand, then you do it in a TV commercial. But all indications are that this could be changing, and the web might be ...
There’s no doubt that online video is becoming more and more of an important medium for brands. Here are some of the best campaigns we saw in 2011.
1. The Inside Experience (Intel and Toshiba)
You know that experience when you’re watching a horror film and the heroine starts doing something obviously stupid (like running up the stairs) and you yell at the screen trying to tell her what to do? Well, Intel and Toshiba created an experience where your interactions could ...
In many ways, 2011 was the year when previously overhyped technologies suddenly became mainstream (you may not have noticed because you were too busy checking BBM). Gadgets that had been at the top of everyone's "Trends" lists for the past two or three years finally started making it onto people's Christmas lists, too. The social changes promised by the rise of "SoLoMo" (social-local-mobile) became felt when they supported enormous social upheaval during the Arab Spring. Here are five of the ...
Dear everyone. Please stop using QR codes. Stop putting them on your billboards. Your posters. Your magazines. Your flyers. Your websites. Just stop. Until you sit down and think about it a lot more carefully. Thank you.
It’s a funny thing when people get hold of a new technology. As people prone to hyperbole, we start shouting from the rooftops how this new thing is going to "revolutionise" (our favourite word) the way people communicate. With QR codes, we’re nattering on ...
Being the top result of a Google search results page is a big deal: It's been estimated that the top result gets over a third of all clicks, plummeting to almost nothing (six percent) by position five. Because this top spot is so valuable, brands spend a lot of time and money trying to make sure that their website can claim it. But sometimes, just sometimes, this race to the top can yield some rather amusing -- or terrifying -- ...