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  • 4 reasons why I’m glad Madiba never used Twitter

    Nelson Mandela -- father of the nation, freedom fighter, an example to all of humanity. But sadly, like other equally historically important iconic heroes such as Lil Wayne and Kim Kardashian, sometimes following someone as important as Madiba on Twitter can be a little bit of a disappointment. The struggle could never be reduced to 140 characters or less, so maybe it's just as well Madiba had already retired from politics by the time Twitter became popular. We can only guess as to what he would have tweeted about. I sincerely hope it wouldn't have gone a little something...

  • The Olympic Games: losing money on social, but not for the reason you think

    The Olympic Games, to be held in London from 27 July, are being heralded as the first social media games, where the ubiquity of platforms like Twitter and Facebook will enable competitors, attendees and viewers around the world to share their experience in ways never dreamed of even a decade ago. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reacted to this by putting together a set of draconian rules governing what entrants and attendees can and cannot do when sharing this once in a lifetime experience. Rules for athletes, for example, prohibit reporting of results, or saying anything about the competition, or...

  • 10 African news innovations with serious potential

    If you’ve been following the Knight News Challenge, the US headquartered Knight Foundation’s multi-million dollar initiative that rewards innovation in the news media industry, you’ll find the African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC) equally compelling. With ANIC’s maiden voyage this year, it became Africa’s largest fund for supporting digital news startups and encouraging new media experimentation. The challenge will award prizes totalling US$1 million to startups that create innovative solutions in fields such as “data driven journalism, investigative reporting, newsroom management, audience engagement, digital convergence, and media business models." Read more on Ventureburn. 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");

  • Don’t count social media followers, measure engagement rate

    Look, social media is important for business, we all know that. But being on the right platforms is just the tip of the iceberg. It's becoming increasingly important to be able to analyse and understand how your brand is performing on social media. Socialbakers, a global social media and digital analytics company, recently released a timely infographic, that addresses the issue of engagement with social media. According to the company: “Because social media involves a great deal of human interaction in its entire complexity, aggregating results to just one digit would be grossly inaccurate and frankly impossible.” As social...

  • Marissa Mayer’s sweet $71 million pay package from Yahoo!

    Marissa Mayer is up for a seriously big pay-day. Yahoo! has just filed its regulatory documents with the SEC, disclosing how much it will pay its newly appointed CEO. Mayer, who joined the company after leaving Google only a few days ago, will earn an annual salary of US$1-million. According to the documentation however, she will earn a considerable amount of equity on top of her US$1-million annual salary. This is how the money gurus at CNN broke it down: Mayer's pay package is by far the most lavish that the company has offered to its recent string of CEOs....

  • Twitter shocked at Batman premiere shooting

    At least 14 people have been shot dead during a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in the US state of Colorado. According to UK newspaper The Independent, there may have been two gunmen, wearing body armour and was wearing a gas mask started shooting people in the theatre about 30 minutes into the film. One has reportedly been arrested while a hunt is on for the other. According to Sky News reporter Brenda Stuart, the scene is still chaotic, and "police officers are taking people to hospital themselves, not waiting for ambulances." CBSS news reports that explosives have...

  • London Eye hosts the first Twitter based, positivity-powered light show

    Think measuring sentiment in social media is difficult? Try using it to power a light show on one of London's most iconic landmarks. But that's exactly what EDF Energy has decided to do for this year's Olympic Games: it's measuring the sentiment in tweets about the games and representing the score using lights on the London Eye. The project, called "Energy of the Nation", launched last night in London. It uses a sentiment algorithm, the geo-location tag, IP addresses and the places mentioned in tweets to gauge how Twitter users in the country really feel about the Games. The...

  • Geeking out with Firefox’s 3D view option

    I love geeking out with the geeks! The geeks at Burn HQ found this nifty little feature today while playing around in FireFox: a 3D view of our site, because viewing a site in 2D is so last year. What it is, is actually a developer tool released by Mozilla a few months ago. "Nicknamed Tilt, it is a brand new WebGL-based website visualization tool that highlights the structure of a page better than a flat view, so anyone can immediately understand the relationship of the code to the page output." It seems the guys at Mozilla felt that developers needed to...

  • Baidu expands social effort into Vietnam

    Chinese internet giant Baidu confirmed that it has launched its PostBar (‘Baidu Tieba’) social network in Vietnam, where it is called ‘Tra Da Quan’. According to The Next Web, a source at Baidu confirmed that the company had launched the service earlier that this week. One thing the company refuses to comment on however is the possibility, raised by Tech in Asia, that it failed to properly notify Vietnamese officials before launching the site. In the South-East Asian country, anyone looking run a social network must obtain a license from the Ministry of Information and Communications. Tra Da Quan means...

  • Microsoft posts first ever loss, no cause for panic

    It was bound to happen. Microsoft has posted a quarterly loss for the first time in its history. A US$6.2-billion writedown isn't exactly great for profit-taking. The Redmond-based tech giant reported a US$192-million loss this quarter. While that might be a "far cry" from the US$5.9-billion it reported during the same period last year, it's worth looking at it with a little perspective. It's a little weird to be saying so with such big numbers, but US$192-million is a relatively small loss to suffer after that massive writedown. The fact that Microsoft can take that hit and keep going,...

  • Nokia results confirm that it is in big trouble

    It looks like Nokia isn't about to stop hemorrhaging any time soon. The release of its latest quarterly report highlights just how bad things are, for the once mighty mobile company. The bright point for investors is that this bad news was anticipated, and mostly factored into the share price. Overall net sales fell by 19% year on year but were a smidgen higher than the traditionally bad first quarter, up three percent. The overall loss was close to US$1-billion for the quarter but cash reserves did shoot up as a result of cost cutting and tighter controls by...

  • Apple ordered to say that Samsung didn’t copy the iPad

    Someone needs to give the judge in Apple and Samsung's UK patent case an award for all the entertainment he's given the tech press. First he said that there was no way the Galaxy Tab was infringing on the iPad's design, because (among other things) the Tab is just "not as cool" as Apple's tablet. Now he's ordered the Cupertino tech giant to publish a notice on the UK version of its website and local print media declaring that Samsung didn't copy the iPad design. According to Bloomberg, Judge Colin Birss said that Apple needed to put the notice on...

  • Google teams up with Tate Modern, lets you collaborate on animations

    Aspiring artists of the world rejoice. Google and renowned British art museum the Tate Modern have teamed for an HTML 5 and Javascript-based online art experiment that lets you collaborate with others to create animations and stories using a web-based drawing tool. Called This Exquisite Forest, the experiment features short “seed” animations from the likes of Bill Woodrow, Dryden Goodwin, Julian Opie, Mark Titchner, Miroslaw Balka, Olafur Eliasson and Raqib Shaw. From these seeds you can add new animations that extend the story or "branch it in a new direction". According to Google, as more sequences are added, the animations grow...

  • Use social media to join a band for one night at London’s 100 club

    The 100 Club in London attained legendary status in modern British music, having played host to some of the most influential artists on the planet since 24 October 1942. Now you have the power to get one of ten bands a gig there using a Facebook app. What's cooler is that by voting you and a friend stand a chance to join them in London for the gig. Renowned shoe brand Converse is looking for South Africa’s best unsigned talent to get out of the garage and be transported to London to play a gig at the 100 Club. The...

  • Mobile money in emerging markets: where to next?

    We recently identified some of the main challenges that have faced mobile network operator (MNO) mobile money (MM) products, and why the concept's overall impact in emerging markets remains a bit of a mixed bag. This week, we look at whether the shift to interoperability heralds a new deal between banks and operators that offers a sufficiently compelling model to make services practical and affordable for the vast majority of the poor and unbanked. The aid and donor community has always strongly supported financial inclusion as a way of bettering the lives of poor people in emerging markets. But...