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  • Should digital strategists say goodbye to their jobs?

    Okay, so maybe we’re not there yet. But what will all these “Social media”, “Digital”, “Mobile” and “Online” strategists do when online and conventional marketing truly become integrated. Can we still justify the hyper specialisation and fragmentation surrounding digital strategy? Are these titles still relevant in an integrated 360 degree advertising world? What is digital strategy anyway? Is it a real title or just a fancy name we give ourselves to make us feel special? It feels impressive, calling yourself a digital strategist hanging around with other like-minded “strategists”. Frequently it is nothing more than back slapping with little actual...

  • Samsung SMART TV D8000: How awesome is this TV?

    I always enjoy paying tribute to the most influential piece of technology in my life, the TV. It’s always been there for me, the TV. The fuzzy, nostalgic feeling when I think back to my childhood, the memories of grainy images and needing to adjust the bunny ears just so. It is with a little sadness that I say that those days are long gone — obliterated by a new era of crystal clear imagery and absolute TV awesomeness. Yes! TVs are now just too brilliant to describe. And the height of all-round viewing technology is front and centre...

  • App of the week: Photovine

    This week I take a look at Photovine, a photo sharing social network that is fast becoming a favourite app amongst iPhonography enthusiasts and casual snappers all around the world. I’m sure most of you reading this will remember the internet before the digital camera became as readily available as it is today. Back to the days when hardly anyone used a photo of themselves as a profile picture or avatar, not for fear of being recognized or anything like that, but simply because of the cost of technology and the sheer complexity of getting a decent photo of yourself...

  • HubPages CEO on Google’s Panda: Nothing seems to work!

    I met with Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages, and Jason Menayan, Director of Marketing, to talk about how the publishing site is dealing with the aftermath of Google’s major update to its algorithm, Panda, released earlier this year. Panda has caused huge problems for publishers because it cut off massive amounts of traffic in a bid to force publishers to produce higher quality content. There have been four versions of Panda released since late February. Each new version of Panda has impacted traffic to large content sites. You can see the damage here: Pandalised: Websites Negatively Impacted by Google’s Panda Algorithm...

  • Facebook beefs up sharing and privacy options

    Facebook is beefing up its security and sharing options by allowing users to be more selective regarding who they show their posts to. The social networking giant has recently launched services which are similar to those of rival Google+. Google+, Google’s latest attempt at social networking, managed to secure millions of subscribers in part thanks to its selective sharing feature”Circles”, which allows users to neatly order their friends into customised groups. The official post from Chris Cox, Facebook VP of products said, “Today we’re announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and...

  • Facebook targets emerging markets with Vodafone 555 Blue

    The recent launch of the Vodafone 555 Blue in South Africa is an indication that social networks are more eager than ever to put their products into the hands of every day users. The phone, built in partnership with social networking giant Facebook, is particularly aimed at emerging markets. Jonathan Labin, Client Partner, Central Eastern Europe Middle East & Africa of Facebook confirmed this saying, “Facebook wants to make every phone social and Vodafone has taken the integration of Facebook to the next stage for an affordable mobile device with the Vodafone 555 Blue”. “We’re really happy that...

  • Gone in 30 seconds: How Venture Capitalists screen your business plan

    “The average time that a Venture Capitalist spends analysing a business plan is 22 seconds” – Speaker at the 26th Venture Capital Institute, Atlanta, 2000. Since this realisation more than 10 years ago I’ve often wondered whether it was entirely fair towards entrepreneurs who spend significant time and resources to develop a comprehensive business plan. But top tier venture capitalists (VC’s) deal with hundreds of business plans a year, and a decision on whether to take the proposal to the next level or to reject it is often made in less than 30 seconds. This is how: Consider the ‘Flight-Path’ of...

  • The Big Data revolution: 5 startups mining the trend

    Big Data is, well, big. In the information age, companies are literally drowning in vast oceans of data. Petabytes of data are being gathered everywhere in the digital age at a furious rate, and by a variety of devices. Websites and devices that are collecting data on a large scale include ubiquitous information-sensing mobile devices, cameras, microphones, RFID readers, and wireless sensor networks. Most large corporates are sitting on mines of data by virtue of their everyday operations and vast networks. Social networks have also become information goldmines, generating massive amounts of user data. Harvard Business Review refers to the...

  • Blackberry unveils three new Curves

    BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has announced three new Curve smartphones integrated with the sleek Blackberry 7 OS. The Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 are fresh out of the oven and ready for action. The new models have been designed, in effect, for the portion of Blackberry’s user market looking for an affordable phone which suits their social needs. RIM president Mike Lazaridis in a press release is quoted as saying that “The new BlackBerry Curve smartphones are absolutely stunning and offer a significant performance upgrade with an unmatched mobile social experience for the millions of feature phone...

  • Marketing to different buyers: Is it practical?

    One of the first things that marketers are taught — once you have got through the four P’s is about market segmentation and the buying cycle which organisations go through. In this buying process there are different kinds of buyers that your marketing messages get exposed to. Having a standard marketing message means that you are not going to always be hitting the key points that your buyer is necessarily looking for; so we need to target marketing messages to each of these buyers, but is it practical? What is the business buying process? The buying process is how a business makes...

  • Silicon Cape launches startup academy

    Cape Town based IT movement, the Silicon Cape has launched a new initiative it is calling the Silicon Cape Academy. The initiative takes the shape of a monthly educational event which aims to assist entrepreneurs in developing successful startup ventures. According to a press release issued by the Silicon Cape, the organisation has partnered “with industry experts to provide start-ups with practical advice on how to run and grow their businesses”. Rob Stokes, chairman of the Silicon Cape, believes that the academy has a valuable role to play in advancing the region’s startup culture: Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our...

  • 7 insights from the future we live in

    Nick Bilton’s new book I live in the future & here’s how it works is well-written with lots of examples and scientific research. Bilton is the lead tech blogger for the New York Times. He doesn’t subscribe to the paper, though, because he gets his news filtered through his social feeds (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, his local Brooklyn neighbourhood blog). For those of you who already live in this new digital world, there won’t be much new here, except good examples to explain it to your friends. As with most books, by the time they’re published, the contents aren’t...

  • A short history of social media [infographic]

    How old is social media? If you guessed somewhere around the 2000 mark you’d be very wrong. The first instance of what we now call social media was the Computerised Bulletin Board System created in 1978. This informative infographic gives you a short, but thorough, history of social media right from its roots in 1978 through to today. Beyond telling you when a particular social media service was created, (Blogger in August of 1999, for instance), it also gives you other relevant pieces of historical information. For instance, it includes the 2009 hype surrounding Facebook’s decision...

  • Facebook to stream Miramax films

    Facebook users can now stream cult classics within their browser, following the launch of a free Miramax App. The launch follows in the wake of releases The Big Lebowski earlier this month and The Dark Knight earlier this year, signalling an intent on the part of Facebook and the film studios to extend their film services to a wider audience. In a blog post Miramax explained their decision to launch the app, saying: “We are big believers in Facebook and what it could mean for the future of the content business.” The current version of the software has 20 titles including...

  • Vietnam government accused of cyber-terrorism

    An activist group inside Vietnam and around the world has accused the Vietnam’s communist government of launching a cyber-attack which has crippled its website. The group, The Vietnam Reform Party also known as “Viet Tan”, following their site, www.viettan.org, going down (still down at time of writing) released a statement saying, “Beginning on August 13, hackers launched a sustained attack against www.viettan.org”. Viet Tan, which campaigns for peaceful political change in the authoritarian state, specifically blamed Hanoi saying the “Hanoi government’s firewall” was lifted to allow a “botnet”, or network of compromised computers, to take down the Viet Tan website “This is...