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  • The sarcasm machine: Measuring sentiment in social media mentions

    At the end of last year, I wrote a few posts on measuring social media, at the time when Google Analytics had recently launched Social Engagement Reporting (SER) in order for site owners to measure the impact of social media mentions in and outside of the website, as well as “real-time” which allowed users to see what was happening on their site at that exact moment. The real glitch, however, was how we expected computers to accurately report on social media metrics like sentiment when there are complex semantic occurrences like sarcasm. Thankfully, we can park the Chinese room analogy I used, by casting...

  • Chicken? Santam hits back at Nando’s [Update]

    About a week ago Nando's, in its usual cheeky way, ripped off a Santam ad, the one that features famed thespian Ben Kingsley. The fast-food outlet's ad satirised the tone and setting of Santam's original ad. But Santam is not upset. Quite the contrary -- the group is flattered. So in the spirit of fun Santam decided two could play that game. The financial services provider released its own ad that challenges the fast-food outlet to donate to a charity chosen by Santam. In this new ad, Santam gives Nando's a date, time and place to deliver a large order...

  • Is BranchOut the new LinkedIn?

    To date, LinkedIn has been the social network of choice for business professionals. According to Socialbakers, there are 1 575 842 registered LinkedIn users in South Africa. If you compare this with the 4 745 920 registered Facebook users in South Africa, should LinkedIn take the new kid on the block, BranchOut, seriously? BranchOut is a Facebook app which enables users to present their résumé (current job, work history, summary, specialities and endorsements) and form connections with Facebook users, using name or company as search criteria. In addition, you may also request introductions through existing connections. Neal Schaffer of Windmill Networking wrote an article recently where he describes BranchOut as follows: For those of you not familiar with it, BranchOut, in essence, is a networking application that uses information from...

  • Google Drive: Official, launches with 5GB free storage

    Google Drive. After six years of rumours, it’s finally here. The details that recently leaked out are true. The first 5GB is free. If you want more, you can upgrade to 25GB for US$2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month -- your move Dropbox. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. Google Drive will permeate most of Google’s services and is "built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience". Attach a photo from Google Drive to posts in Google+ or attach files from Google Drive directly to emails...

  • Al Gore, Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee: Meet the internet hall of famers

    The internet finally has its own hall of fame, and it's about time too seeing as playing in the online industry is every bit as tough and competitive as sport. The new hall of fame introduced a number of inductees who have made significant contributions to the development of the internet. The awards program was established by the Internet Society to "publicly recognise a distinguished and select group of visionaries". The aim of the hall of fame is to celebrate the people who bring the internet to life. A total of 33 visionaries will be among the first to be...

  • Is the digital industry shooting itself in the foot?

    The titles that digital marketers are giving themselves these days are rather unbelievable. From “guru” to “specialist” to “strategist” and beyond (Buzz Light-Year would be proud). But are these titles that those who are using them, by and large, can actually live up to? In case you missed it; this is going to be more of an opinion piece about the digital industry as a whole, with a particular focus on how some individuals within it (both locally and internationally) are not necessarily doing it the biggest of favours. The scene Business executives are realizing more and more that the power of...

  • I am Alive – tactics over action

    With a turbulent history, I am Alive barely made it out at all. But with developer Ubisoft Shanghai using creative mechanics to overcome technical constraints, they’ve come out with an ambitious, gritty game that is well executed for the most part. Survive the Horror I am Alive was first announced way back in 2008 with a different publisher at the helm and the promise of a big title release. The survival horror game then lost its lead designer and disappeared off the map until mid last year. Fast forward to 2012, and the game has finally reached our digital shelves in the form of a downloadable...

  • Google’s having a little fun with a zip

    Possibly the coolest doodle this year, Google put a zip on its home page that allows users to unzip the front page. The impressive Doodle is in honour of Gideon Sundback, the Swedish-American electrical engineer who invented the zip, as today is his 132nd birthday. His name is trending worldwide on Twitter. The unzipped page is a collection of links with information and news reports on Sundback. Users are able to learn more about the invention of the zip. Originally, Sundback intended the zip to be a replacement for fasteners on women's boots but it soon became a regular feature on...

  • Umbono Alpha Beta: Beer, pizza and startups, the Google way

    Umbono Alpha Beta is a Google event at which you can have as much free beer and pizza as you want, as long as you love startups. Memeburn was invited to watch as six startups -- three teams at the end of their six month Umbono program (last year's winners) and three who are just beginning -- presented their products and businesses to a packed (and we do mean packed) room. Umbono launched last year as a trial startup incubation project exclusive to Cape Town, South Africa. The Umbono programme aims to transform visions into businesses by taking successful applicants with new...

  • Pinterest growth may be slowing (shock, horror)

    Pinterest has been on a roll recently, as pins and sign-ups grew faster than most could believe. It was the second fastest website to hit 10 million unique visits (ever) and then went on to drive more referral traffic than Twitter. But, according to some indicators, the social media site is no longer gaining users as quickly as it once did. Pinterest isn’t by any means flat lining, but the hype may be receding a bit. According to Compete, the site only gained 1.95 million unique visitors from February to March 2012.  Yes, ‘only’ 1.95 million. It still sounds pretty...

  • Google+ vs Pinterest: how to choose the right platform for your brand

    Giants like Facebook and Twitter no longer have complete monopoly of the social media realm. Although they are still dominant players, new kids on the block Google+ and Pinterest are giving them a run for their money. Generating some pretty heavy traffic, Google+ has more than 100 million users and Pinterest is now the third most-popular social network in the U.S. But how do you determine which one to use, or which one is better suited to your target market? Here are a few insights from the latest research on social to help you make the right call. The stats Pinterest 83% of Pinterest users...

  • 15 of the coolest creative Facebook Timeline hacks

    As the Facebook Timeline roll out continues, more and more users are being forced to decide which image is worthy of being set as their cover photo. While you may still be flicking through your albums to find a photo where you look as good as you do in your profile pic (even at a larger size), there are cool people out there who are using the space to make Facebook more awesome. Dusty Buell With some careful cropping and clever photo editing, Dusty Buell managed to become part of the game pictured in his cover image. Mike Qsys What do you get...

  • Exclusive: A peek at ex-Yola chief’s new startup, Gyft

    When well-known serial web entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham, recently resigned as CEO of his successful website builder and hosting service, Yola, he announced that he would be heading up a new venture called Gyft. At the time of the announcement all we knew about Gyft was what everyone else knew, simply that Gyft promised “to change the way you think about gift cards". Today we know a little more thanks to a sneak preview given exclusively to Memeburn. Gift cards are estimated to be a US$100 billion annual market in the USA alone. The trouble is, 20% to 30% of gift...

  • Fez: breaking the fourth wall [Review]

    Fez is a dreamy platformer, the purest distillation of gaming I’ve played in years. Press start, and sink into a pillow of 16-bit gaming nirvana from the word go. It’s not hard to quantify Fez. For roughly US$10, Fez delivers a 2D platformer which exists in a 3D world. Click the left or right triggers and Fez spins the world on a vertical axis, revelling each side of the chunky cube you get to play in. Read more on Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • Dropbox for teams is great for small businesses

    A few weeks ago one of the companies I work with had a file server dramatically crash after years of faithful service. It took two days of engineering time to set up a new server from scratch and restore files from backups. Even before the crash, it used to take engineering time to add new users and set permissions. The permissions were never really set properly and many folders were accessible simply by using a shared username & password that did the rounds. There were also occasional issues with files being overwritten with older versions and work needing to be...