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  • ‘Buffy’ stabs at the heart of Facebook phones

    Users have been bombarded with "Facebook" phones this year. Most of them, with the Vodafone 555 blue as a prime example, were pretty standard devices barring a couple of tweaks which gave users a direct path to the social network. AllThingsDigital now claims that Facebook itself is looking to make a mobile phone. Codenamed "Buffy" (after the vampire slayer played by Sarah Michelle Geller), the project is reportedly a collaboration between the social networking giant and Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC. According to AllThingsD, the phone is planned to run on a version of Android heavily tweaked by Facebook for better integration...

  • Nando’s unleashes anti-secrecy bill #BlackTuesday campaign

    South African fast food chicken outlet, Nando's, has come out yet again with a viral ad attempting to cash in on the latest big news topic. This latest one, cottoning onto the Black Tuesday campaign against the Protection of State Information Bill (referred to as the "secrecy bill"), may leave a bad taste in some people's mouths -- or at least the metallic hint of mercenary opportunism. This ad, like the many others preceding it -- the last one Memeburn reported on was published just after the the sentencing of Julius Malema -- is nothing more than a quick quip...

  • UCT, media houses turn sites black in protest against ‘secrecy bill’

    South Africans took to social media en-masse as they looked to express their anger at the Protection of State Information Bill, commonly referred to as the "secrecy bill". Facebook and Twitter were not, however, the only online avenues used to protest the bill. A number of public institutions, news organisations and bloggers adapted their websites to include some variation on the "Black Tuesday" motif. The University of Cape Town (UCT), blacked out its entire front page, splashing the word "Censored" across it in bold, white letters. The action is a reminder that the new bill, if passed, has the potential...

  • South Africans take to social media on Black Tuesday in ‘secrecy bill’ protest

    In the face of the imminent passing of the Protection of State Information Bill in parliament this afternoon, South Africans took to social networks to voice their frustration at the potential law, which opponents have promised will be the start of the end of a free media in South Africa. The bill, commonly referred to as the “Secrecy Bill,” is sponsored by the ANC majority parliament and thus expected to easily be passed, the first step to it becoming law. Should this happen, the leaking and publishing of classified information will be a criminal offence that may lead to a...

  • What is the half-life of good online content?

    Everyone enjoys writing and reading good content but in the world of online, it carries extra benefits. After all, every SEO specialist worth their salt insists that copy is king and that every site needs great copy and fresh content. The almighty Google itself has proclaimed that fresh, relevant copy is like catnip for the king of the search jungle. But how long does copy remain fresh? In scientific circles, there is a concept known as a "half-life". The half-life of a substance according to Wikipedia is: The period of time it takes for the amount of a substance undergoing...

  • Five tips for optimising your mobile emails

    The world of mobile has come a long way. Mobile devices are constantly evolving and delivering refined operating systems (OS), better apps, user-friendly features and faster connectivity. What this means is that websites have had to up the ante too; by optimising their sites for mobile (or developing mobile) apps. In the midst of this, (mobile) email marketing has also had to keep up with the global smartphone explosion. Although it has established its place as the original workhorse of digital marketing, every year email marketing "dies", only to come back bigger and better the following year. When you...

  • App of the week: TouchBase Calendar

    This week I take a look at Touchbase, the calendar app for people who are constantly out on the road in meetings with clients and new prospects. Calendar app? Seriously? How awesome could that be? Actually, pretty amazing. Stay with me. In my position at the company I work for, I am constantly on the scout for new business. You’ve probably picked up from my app reviews that I am away from the office often, spending a lot of time in planes, hotels and rental cars. I try to be as punctual as possible, but you know how it is...

  • 10 words and phrases that can help or harm your Twitter click through rate

    After compiling a dataset of more than 200 000 link-containing tweets to generate a Click Through Rate (CTR) heatmap, I decided to dig into what words, phrases and characters correlate with higher (or lower) CTR. Below are my findings. And yes, I know correlation isn’t causation, but to quote Edward Tufte: "It sure is a hint." The first "word" I analysed was the hashtag. I found that there is very little difference in the CTR of a link whether it is accompanied by a hashtag or not. They don’t seem to hurt or help. Perhaps the most surprising thing...

  • I can haz photoshop ur Pepperspray Cop

    When does copycatting become a meme? A new craze has kicked up in the US in the wake of an "occupy" protest at the University of California in Davis where police lieutenant John Pike strolled down a line of students sitting with arms linked, and casually pepper sprayed the lot of them. And then the photoshopping started. This picture has now become the germ of a new meme: Inserting Lt Pike into the Christ with Little Children, Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence and Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. More rapidly followed, and whole pages...

  • China’s weibos pass 300-million user mark

    Months after revealing that its online adult population had gone past the 500-million mark, Chinese state authorities announced that more than 300-million people in the country have microblogging accounts. The microblogs, known as weibos (pronounced wei-bohr), emerged and went from strength to strength after Chinese censors blocked Twitter in 2009. Two of the country’s internet powers, Tencent Holdings and Sina Corporation are the largest weibo providers in the country. Their products integrate a number of the services from their chat and blogging portals and should not, therefore, be mistaken for mere Twitter clones. On Sina Weibo, for instance, users...

  • FXI Cotton Candy. PC. Onna stick

    File this under, “Oh my word that’s cool.” A previously unknown Norwegian company called FXI Technologies has demonstrated a working prototype of it’s "computer on a stick". It looks like a standard flash drive with an extra HDMI port opposite the USB plug. Stick it into a TV via HDMI, or into the USB port of a Linux box, PC or Mac, and it takes over the environment and lets you get on with your cloud computing via its own built-in Wi-Fi radio. It can also take up to 64GB of additional storage through a microSD slot. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var...

  • 40 000 apps and counting for the Windows Phone Marketplace

    The Windows App store is inching ever closer to relevance with the landmark availability of over 40 000 applications for its line of smartphones. Earlier this year, the Windows App store celebrated its first anniversary and surpassed 35 000 apps. According to Microsoft, 165 items per day are being added to the store. Almost 85% of the apps are non-gaming, with the remaining 15% of them games. Paid apps make up 23% of the store, while 68% are free. The exact number of Windows apps currently sits at 40 200. Based on the continuous rate of growth, the Windows App Marketplace will reach 50 000...

  • Ben Parr fired from Mashable

    Mashable's prolific editor-at-large, Ben Parr, has parted ways with the leading tech site under circumstances that apparently were less than amicable, reports technology news site AllThingsD. "Ben Parr is a technology journalist, web entrepreneur and aspiring world changer. He is best-known as the former editor-at-large of Mashable where he focused on technology trends, the companies behind them, and the intersection of technology, media and society. Ben's 3+ year career with Mashable began when he joined as a writer in August 2008," reads his Mashable bio. Parr was rumoured to have been paid US$250 000 cash bonus to stay until...

  • Local search firm Incubeta in R100m buyout of online media player Interface

    Incubeta Holdings, a holding company for global search specialists Clicks2Customers has purchased Interface Holdings, a South African online media company in a deal worth R100-million. The company believes the acquisition will give it a foothold in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector. According to Incubeta Holdings, the move is part of the company’s bid to increase its global footprint. This global footprint, it says, includes “clients and offices in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Brazil”. Interface Holdings (also known as "iFace") bills itself as an "integrated online media company", which houses a number of "well known...

  • What Facebook Timeline means for your brand

    Ruth Sawyer, author of The Way of the Story Teller once said: "I believe it is the easiest thing in the world to tell a story -- and the hardest to find a fine story teller." The art of storytelling has, over millennia, been a pivotal part of the human experience. It ensured the survival of cultural practices all over the globe and of course slight embellishment of said stories also allowed some societies to totally rewrite history, however that’s another story for another day. At its very heart, the new Facebook Timeline is about building a story about...