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  • Has Chinese law crippled Sina Weibo’s chance at world domination?

    This week, Twitter received some very high (and much deserved) praise for standing up for one of its users against the New York state court. The state of NY wanted information on an Occupy Wall Street protester, Malcolm Harris. Harris' efforts to fight against the court were struck down and so now Twitter has stepped in to the fight. Compare that to another post which also came out this week about Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo. According to Sina Weibo's new policy: Users have the right to publish information, but may not publish any information that: 1. Opposes the basic principles...

  • SA entrepreneur grabs top job at Visa

    Fundamo co-founder and CEO Hannes van Rensburg is set to head up the Sub-Saharan division of Visa -- the world’s largest debit and credit card network. The South African-based mobile money platform has been a part of Visa since mid-2011 when it was bought out for US$110-million. Elizabeth Buse, Group President of Visa Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, Middle-East and Africa reckons that Van Rensburg intuitively understands “the social, political and business environment in Sub-Saharan Africa”. She thinks that this understanding comes largely from his experiences with Fundamo, which expanded from its South African base into Africa and South and Southeast Asia....

  • Can anonymous lists help Active Gifts win at Social Gifting?

    Some people think that social gifting is the next big thing in tech. Hell some even think it’s the future of ecommerce. One of the latest guests to the part is a site called Active Gifts. According to the Ukranian-based company’s CEO Artem Sukhoroslov, the site’s aim is to make sure that 100% of people receiving gifts are satisfied with them. He claims to have to stats that show 75% of people only pretend to be satisfied with the gifts they receive, leading to a perpetual cycle of re-gifting or store returns. Active Gifts’ solution? Lists. The company claims...

  • Would you pay $2 to promote your Facebook status?

    Are you afraid all your friends on Facebook will miss out on your latest status update? You know, because it's super-important? Well fret no more. The social networking giant is reportedly testing out a system that lets people pay US$2 to promote their status updates above everyone else's. At the moment, the feature is only available to a select group of ordinary users. What it's effectively doing is monetising is popularity -- sort of like one of those really shitty American high-schools from bad 90s movies. Facebook hasn't given any indication of how long it plans to run the...

  • Even Apple loved Ghostbusters in 1984 [Video]

    Ghostbusters has always been awesome but back in 1984 it was even cooler than Apple. That’s why the Cupertino-based tech giant parodied the movie’s theme song in a video for it's international sales conference that year. The concept for the video is pretty simple: Apple employees rid store shelves of IBM products. They’re ‘Blue busters’ you see, ridding the world of the dark-suited drudgery of Big Blue. Look, if you know the history of Apple, you’ll know how much of a grudge match this was for the company. Oh, the Woz and Steve Jobs both make cameos in the video,...

  • Bing redesign makes search super social

    Microsoft Bing recently announced a huge overhaul to its user interface, which will see social media feeds from sites like Facebook and Twitter incorporated into a new social side bar on search results pages. The bar includes relevant posts from people you're following using your social accounts (assuming you're signed in at the time), as well as suggestions from experts that Bing thinks could answer your question. All of this may seem a bit similar to the way dear old Google includes links shared by people you're following on Google+ in its results -- but Bing is incorporating...

  • 100m newly ‘banked’ people: What mobile money has done in a decade

    It’s pretty much accepted wisdom that Africa has been at the forefront of mobile payment tech for a while now. But how many of you knew that the first mobile financial service in an emerging market went live 10 years ago in Africa? Celpay, which is powered by South African-based company Fundamo, launched in Zambia way back in 2002. That’s a full five years before Kenya’s mobile darling MPesa went live. It was the first in a series of services aimed at banking the unbanked on the continent. In those 10 years, 100-million people have been newly ‘banked’ using mobile...

  • Got a great news idea? Google has $1m for you

    Google's investing in Africa in a big way. Its startup incubators -- Umbono in South Africa and Edba2 in Egypt -- are great examples of this investment. Now it wants to give journalism on the continent a boost. The internet giant today announced the US$1-million African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC) which it says is aimed at helping African journalism "flourish in the digital age". The project will provide grants from US$12 500 to US$100 000 for projects aimed at strengthening and transforming African news media. Google’s Head of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa Julie Taylor says the company is "committed...

  • Why mobile technology is changing world travel [Infographic]

    It pretty much goes without saying that people on the move would use a device that they can carry along with them on their travels. Unless the whole point of travelling was to get away from their inbox or they enjoyed the simple pleasure of carting a desktop computer around. So it's not surprising to learn that three out of four active travellers take their mobile device along when they hop on a plane and jet off to some fantastic location. According to this infographic, the internet and social media have changed the travel industry quite a bit. More and...

  • Providing a platform for South Korean startups: BeLaunch

    South Korea is a leading player in the global tech industry with Korean brands leaving their mark in various sectors. While we hear a lot about South Korean firms innovating and pushing the envelope, there is hardly any platform to showcase the thriving software and tech startup scene in South Korea. BeLaunch hopes to do just that by giving a platform for Korean startups and at the same time enable people and organizations outside Korea to tap into the exciting world of Korean entrepreneurship. BeLaunch is an initiative of BeSuccess which is one of South Korea’s leading media platforms...

  • Rumours of Google’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

    Recently, Eric Jackson at Forbes, wrote an article that suggests that Google and Facebook will struggle to maintain their market dominance as technology increasingly shifts toward mobile computing. Jackson makes the point that many of the companies that started at the birth of the Web (Web 1.0) struggled to survive as social networking (Web 2.0) began to emerge. Now, he thinks that we are entering a new technical phase, where the Web is no longer relevant and mobile is king. While Jackson does make some interesting points, I think he's completely wrong. Not because I think Google and Facebook...

  • How has social media changed education and recruitment?

    As you may have picked up from my previous posts, I am quite a fan of using social media in the recruiting space. Pinterest being the new kid on the block is one that really interests me -- you can read my thoughts on how to use Pinterest as part of your recruitment strategy in an earlier post. But what comes before recruitment? Well before you can get a job, generally, you need to know a thing or two. So the simple answer is education. How has social media influenced education? When I was at school we were taught on...

  • Chinese online dating: It’s all about narrowing choice

    In contrast to online dating in the United States and Europe -- where people turn to the internet to increase choice -- Evan Osnos writes in The New Yorker this week about how Chinese netizens use dating sites to narrow their choices. “I once watched a twenty-three-year-old woman search for dates in Beijing, where there are four hundred thousand male users,” the chief engineer from Chinese dating site Jiayuan told Osnos. “She narrowed it down by blood type and height and zodiac sign and everything else until, at last, she had a pool of eighty-three men.” Jiayuan asks people to define...

  • Nokia Asha 201 — the opposite of excellence [Review]

    First impressions last the longest and if the Nokia Asha 201 was a person, I'd have slapped the taste out of its mouth the second it started speaking. Straight off the bat I can see that the Asha wasn't made for me. It's for the teens/tweens you know? The young at heart, the carefree who don't give a damn about responsive touchscreens, a decent camera, a fast display, a modern look or anything of that ilk. Onto the review. 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 n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • This conference wants to give you R3k for a slogan

    Think you’re the next big thing in copywriting? Well then you could win yourself a tidy bit of cash. The upcoming Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Conference is offering R3 000 for anyone who comes up with a slogan for the next iteration of the conference. The winner will also get a ticket to IMC 2013. According to Jaco van Zyl of conference organiser Living Your Brand: The slogan needs to incorporate the idea of integrated marketing communication, synergising various communications disciplines that will deliver the desired message to the right audience as effectively as possible. The slogan...