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  • Why Silicon Valley can be bad for emerging market startups

    Launching a startup anywhere in the world is challenging, but launching one in an emerging market territory where there is often limited access to funding and a fragmented entrepreneurial ecosystem it is so much harder. One sure way to fail is to try and duplicate first world solutions for emerging market problems without tweaking them for the unique local conditions. The Silicon Valley story is inspirational. Its ability to launch globally competitive, world-changing internet startups is unsurpassed. It continues to be the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development and accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment...

  • Google +1 over Facebook Like and is it worth it?

    Google’s +1 service is akin to Facebook’s “Like” system, but, unlike, well, Likes, it’s applicable to the whole of the web – think of it as ‘do-it-yourself SEO’, and useful to any inbound marketing agency. Admittedly, Facebook’s influence is rapidly growing, with many sites now offering to ‘connect using Facebook’, but +1 is developed with the whole web in mind, rather than an added functionality. It’s a simple, lightweight idea, that could be completely overlooked, but at the same time, could be a massively useful tool if integrated into your digital marketing strategy. +1 is essentially a public bookmarking feature, similar...

  • China’s Baidu launches web music service in deal with music giants

    Ending a prolonged legal battle over copyright infringements, Chinese search engine Baidu has announced it will distribute music from three major firms online. One-Stop China, a joint venture of Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music, has agreed to license catalogues and tracks to be streamed or downloaded from Baidu’s servers, China’s most popular search engine said in statement. Baidu will pay the content owners on a per-play and per-download basis for all tracks delivered through its MP3 search service and its newly-launched social music platform ting!, it said, without providing any financial details. The deal ends all outstanding litigation in the...

  • Viral Math: The mathematics behind social media engagement and reach

    Over the past few years I’ve developed two models of contagious content: R0 (pronounced: R Naught) and Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness. Because of the way these two systems work, I put a lot of emphasis on reach building activities (getting lots of followers, likes and views) and metrics (number of followers and likes). Based on the reaction I’ve seen to some of my recent work challenging the hegemony of “engaging in the conversation,” I’ve come to understand that I may not have fully explained why number of followers is such a key metric. Before an individual can share a piece of...

  • Winners and losers in cloud computing and what your business gains

    The buzz around cloud computing has been around for a while now, and it doesn’t seem like the frenzy around this new phenomenon will wane out any time soon. This might be due to the realisation that the entire IT industry is on the verge of a major revolution, and we all know that in the midst of a revolution, there will always be winners and losers. The promise Cloud computing promises a paradigm shift in the way that we have been using computational resources; an environment where business applications are hosted by a service provider and accessed by...

  • The reason Nairobi’s iHub works

    The iHub is Nairobi’s nerve centre for technology; a place where people can grab coffee, create apps, find funders and build businesses. It’s where the community of web and mobile programmers connect with each other, businesses, the government and academia. A brief history There was a discussion at Barcamp Nairobi 2008 about how valuable it would be for the Kenyan tech community to have a static space of its own. No one would fund that idea. My organisation, Ushahidi, decided that it liked the idea enough that it would fund the project. It fit with our overall philosophy of being...

  • Anonymous launches social network after Google snub

    Infamous hacker group Anonymous has launched its own social network after being rejected by Google’s freshly-launched online community. “Today we welcome you to begin anew,” the hacker alliance said at the website anonplus.com, which it described as a platform to distribute information. “Welcome to the Revolution – a new social network where there is no fear…of censorship…of blackout … nor of holding back.” The drive to build a social network came after the Anonymous account was suspended at the Google+ online community, which was launched last month by the Internet giant as a challenge to Facebook. Currently, the site is little more than...

  • LulzSec brings the “lulz” to Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp

    Barely a month after announcing its retirement, LulzSec has made a return to the limelight placing the beleaguered News Corporation (NewsCorp) and what it refers to as NewsCorp’s “clowning around” “walnut-faced” CEO Rupert Murdoch firmly in the “Lulz” targets. Following a typically mysterious promise to “engage in a mystery operation that will cause mayhem” in the previous week, the mystery operation has begun. Using what has come to be seen as its official Twitter account, the hacktivist group announced the beginning of a sustained attack against NewsCorp, and its UK tabloid newspaper’s website — The Sun. As has come...

  • Images of new iPhone leaked

    With Apple watchers convinced that the newest iPhone will be released in September of this year, a leak from Asia has what some are saying could prove to be the very first images of the new iPhone. Though much of the speculation in the run-up to the release of the next generation iPhone has pointed to there being an entirely new and totally redesigned iPhone, if these pictures are to be trusted it would seem that latest release will be a 4G iPhone with not too drastic cosmetic changes. Judging by these images coming from Taiwan’s most popular microblogging website...

  • Flashplayer 11 brings native 64-bit support to Linux… and more

    Adobe has announced that it was making available its first beta of Flash Player 11, and whereas with new updates being released almost as an afterthought, Linux users were amazed to discover that for this release, Adobe has provided a Linux binary at the same time that it has released the Windows and Mac OS X installers. This release shows that Adobe is taking a different tack. New features include native 64-bit support for Linux 64-bit operating systems using 64-bit web browsers; Linux Vector Printing, a feature that has already been available to Windows and Mac users, but that...

  • Infamous 2: do good guys come first?

    Review: The first inFamous for PS3 was a great showcase for the power of the PS3 that showed off the machines capabilities brilliantly. Beyond that, it was also a good game in its own right, with tight gameplay and a reasonably good story. The inevitable follow-up could easily have been a cut and paste job and still be considered a good game. Thankfully the development house, Sucker Punch, doesn’t roll that way. When they make a sequel they make sure it’s better, as can be seen with their wholly under-appreciated Sly Cooper series. Taking all the originals goodness and...

  • Non-profits: The seriously simple Twitter strategy (Part 2)

    We covered the core principles in Part 1 of how to have a rock-solid, easy to manage, and Seriously Simple Twitter strategy. It’s all about identifying the right users to engage with and being as lightning fast as your feed. Building on the principles we covered already, here is the play-by-play of how to do it and to easily plan your days, weeks, and months to keep your Twitter time allocation to a manageable amount. Each Day Step 1: Check your Direct Message’s (DM’s) and @Mentions, respond to those you can and delegate the rest. Step 2: Copy/Paste all your correspondence in...

  • New cellphone-cancer link study says “nej”

    After the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that it was officially rating cellphones as a possible carcinogen category 2B (along with certain types of pickles, coffee and carpentry) the mediasphere lit up, with a mixture of luddites saying “See! Ban them!”, and a mixture of gadgetophiles saying, “They’re just hedging their bets, it proves nothing”. Now a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has examined incidence of tumours of the brain in 2.9 million adult Danes that have been using mobiles for 11 to 15 years. The study found no evidence that shows...

  • A quick look at TEDGlobal 2011

    This last week I was in Edinburgh, Scotland at the TEDGlobal conference. As always, it was filled with inspiring talks, great conversations and I went away with a brain full of new ideas. I’m one of the TED Senior Fellows, and I should add that there is one more week open for applications to this program. Every class of new TED Fellows seems to get better, where their talent, ability to speak and communicate their ideas grows stronger. In fact, I think this year’s TED Fellows talks were at a higher quality on average than TED U talks. Not all of...

  • Nevermind information overload, we live in an age of conversation overload

    I can deal with information overload — if I didn’t get to read that special article everyone is sharing then no big deal. But conversation overload is an entirely different thing. As a journalist I have trouble keeping up with the conversations in my email, yet today I have conversations everywhere and in new places. There’s email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my two blogs, then there are SMS messages, voicemail (which I never check) and the latest is: Google+. The problem with conversations is that they are more important than not reading that great article… Conversations are with people that I work...