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Blogs

  • Viral marketing with the creator of ‘The Oatmeal’ (SXSW2011)

    Meeting Matthew Inman, you'd never guess that this shy, slightly built 27-year-old is the caustic genius behind The Oatmeal, one of the web's most phenomenally successful humour sites. You'd expect someone brash, angry, and overweight (like his characters). But then he opens his mouth, and the audience quickly goes from chuckling to screaming with laughter. Speaking at the interactive portion of the South by South West (SXSW) conference, Inman shared a few of his experiences in starting The Oatmeal, which in less than two years has generated a quarter of a billion views. Inman opens with a confession: "Disappointingly I don't...

  • Tehran Post: ‘Cautiously speaking from inside Iran’

    Being the third largest blogging nation in the world after US and China, bloggers in Iran have in so many ways aroused curiosity. They have also commanded admiration for their drive for freedom of expression in an environment that is regarded as hostile to bloggers. Iranian bloggers have been thrown in jail for years and some unfortunately never return. Iranian bloggers still persist - in spite of the threats and hostility - in airing their views, passion and love for their country, culture and language. According to Wikipedia "with more than 700 000 Persian blogs, mostly based in Iran,...

  • HuffPo backlash: Money changes everything

    As is to be expected, there are a number of things that change when you are suddenly US$315-million richer. One of the first things you may notice is that your status as media-darling, underdog, lefty champion goes out the window. So it is following the acquisition of the progressive news site and content aggregator Huffington Post by AOL that multiple voices are being raised in objection. The attacks have come on multiple fronts, but most are focussed around the business model employed by the site, and Arianna Huffington's impeccable liberal credentials. In a column called Huffington's Plunder, Truthout columnist...

  • Are bloggers the new celebrities?

    Bryanboy, The Clothes Whisperer, Tavi. These are the names that are big in fashion blogging. So big that they are snapped up for major advertising campaigns and they snag the best seats at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, which is currently taking place. They also have access to backstage and interviews that many journalists don’t even have. It’s a world, it seems, other bloggers want to be a part of. A kind of new celebrity status to aspire to. At least it certainly appeared that way for many of those who attended the Independent Fashion Blogging (IFB) conference...

  • Is Gawker Media’s hydra-like content network ‘death of the blog’??

    Gawker Media launched a redesigned version of its hydra-like content network this week, bringing with it talk of the "death of the blog". Its most controversial move has been to de-emphasise "what’s new" in favour of "what’s hot". Gawker sites no longer punt their most recent articles at the top of each page, but instead feature the most viewed or exclusive stories more prominently. Content is navigated on the right side of a new two-panel layout, leaving acres of space for a single article (with large visuals) on the left. The reaction (so far) has been overwhelmingly negative, but it's unlikely...

  • Q & A: Vanessa Raphaely on blogging, fashion and 21st century media

    Vanessa Raphaely, aka Hurricane Vanessa, is a force of nature in the local fashion and publishing worlds. Firing off humorous anecdotes, intelligent opinions and withering critiques at a rate of knots, she manages to hold a day job as editor of South African Cosmopolitan and editorial director of Associated Magazines, not to mention as publisher of Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine and House and Leisure, while also blogging as Hurricane Vanessa...

  • The WordPress evolution: 10 major media players that use it

    Over the past three years WordPress has evolved from being predominantly blog-centric into a full, hands-on content management system (CMS) with more than 15-million blogs being hosted on WordPress.com. While it’s impossible to count the number of standalone sites that are powered by WordPress.org, the self-installed version of Wordpress, we can expect that the number is growing exponentially as the open source software has distinguished itself as the world’s most popular CMS and blogging engine. With thousands of widgets, plugins and themes -- all of which are fully customisable -- the unique system has given managing web content a...

  • 10 of SA’s favourite women bloggers

    These 10 remarkable women have all captured our online imaginations with their style, wit and wisdom. As the South African blogosphere matures and deepens, we thought you should know and appreciate the established, the new, and the ones to watch. No doubt there are others out there, toiling away, looking for an audience. Let us know who they are and where we can find them. 1. The Magazine Queen Hurricane Vanessa – “Is there more to life than sex and shopping?” The editor of Cosmopolitan SA and editorial director of Associated Magazines, Vanessa Raphaely makes witty observations on popular culture,...

  • NASA announces arsenic-eating bacterium, ending ‘alien life’ speculation

    So what were you expecting? A real-life alien to waltz out onto stage? Pictures of life lived happily on another planet? Intense speculation and wild theorising came to an end after NASA's press conference to announce the discovery of an arsenic-eating bacterium. The space agency had created monumental online buzz with its mysterious announcement of a news conference on Thursday to discuss a scientific finding that relates to the hunt for life beyond the planet Earth. Alien speculators went into overdrive. The truth is far less dramatic, but could eventually be equally as profound. The news that a...

  • Don’t feed the trolls: A guide to who they are and why they do it

    They hide under the bridges of online anonymity, ready to pounce on unsuspecting forums, chat rooms, news sites and blogs. They can ruin a lively debate with one well-placed comment. They do not care about contributing. Often they don’t even believe what they type. Their only desire is to provoke you – they are the internet trolls. What is a troll? The term originated from “trolling”, a method of fishing where bait or a lure is dragged behind a boat. This was reappropriated into the online world as "trolling for newbies", where experienced chat room users would "catch" and reveal...

  • 22 black SA bloggers you should be reading

    The South African blogosphere has in the past copped its share of criticism for being rather male, and rather pale. In recent years, there has been a surge of black South African bloggers writing on matters ranging from fashion to music, politics and the economy. Here is a list of black bloggers who are carving out mini-publishing empires -- and who provide a compelling snapshot of life, culture and business in South Africa right now. Khaya Dlanga - Thought Leader, YouTube, Personal blog, Memeburn, News24 Dlanga is arguably the most popular and successful black blogger in South Africa whose work spans...

  • What the Techcrunch deal means

    Congratulations to Michael Arrington and team on the TechCrunch acquisition by AOL. Techcrunch is a leading Silicon Valley technology blog ranked 302 on Alexa's worldwide rankings and near to being one of the top 100 largest sites in the US. The terms of the deal have not been made public, however AOL will be required to make an SEC filing in the next few days if the amount is "material". AFP says various reports put the purchase price at between US$25-million and US$40-million. Building a media company is hard work and Arrington has certainly put in the hours. The TechCrunch editorial...

  • ‘Simple blogging’ with Posterous takes off globally

    In June, blogging platform Posterous launched an all-out assault on other services, hoping to convince bloggers from WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr to switch over. At the time, the move was considered by some to be overly aggressive, even “preposterous,” but the move appears to be paying off. Rich Pearson, VP of Marketing at Posterous, said the service has seen a 50 percent jump in new signups since launching the campaign. Although defecting bloggers account for a large piece of the growth, emerging markets like Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and India are helping the company take off on a global...

  • SA Blog awards set to come of age in 2010

    Many South African blogs in 2010 have moved from a fun sideline project to a lucrative form of business. Keeping in line with this trend, the SA Blog Awards have also matured and bloggers will see statistics from their site forming part of the evaluation criteria for the judges in each of this year's categories. Now in its fifth year, the awards will take place on 25 September, and will feature more judges per category than in the past. The judges will be experts in their respective fields with a keen interest in social networking. Given the past success of the...

  • Five easy ways to cross promote your social media content

    If you’re using multiple social media platforms to promote your business, it makes sense to cross promote the media you generate through the various channels available, and try to play to the inherent strengths of each of the platforms. Doing this increases your content's exposure to a larger audience, which means you have more people engaging with your brand. For example, if you’ve already built up a healthy fan base on Facebook, but have only just started  to engage on Twitter or YouTube, you can promote this new content to your Facebook audience that is already established and more open to...