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  • Four ways to become an SMS copywriting stud

    SMS promotions work because they provide a one-on-one dialogue with customers. It is the most targeted and personalised means of communicating, yet also the most challenging, since it forces you to squeeze the core message of your campaign into a mere 160 characters. With SMS marketing campaigns you don’t have the luxury of leading up to anything; writing for mobile in this format means distilling down web copy even further than before. SMS demands that you get straight to the point (unless, of course, you incur additional campaign costs and send multipart SMSs). So, how does one pack an...

  • Taking on a continent: Android’s African invasion

    Mobile phone manufacturers, operators and of course Google started a big push on Android into Africa this year. Samsung, HTC and Huawei are moving Android phones into the market. Some operators are seeing the signals and starting to subsidise Android handsets to get them to a price point that is palatable by a larger number of buyers. Google continues to push for local content, works with developers, does g- events and puts on contests. While the primary phones in Africa are still feature phones, Android has made a beachhead on the continent and will continue to roll forward. I believe...

  • Twitter buys real time search startup Julpan

    Twitter has bought Julpan, a startup specialising in sifting relevant or important data from blogs, tweets, rss feeds and other online social content. Julpan, just a year old, is the brain-child of Israeli-born computer scientist Ori Allon, best known for his work on the widely praised "Orion" search engine. The rights to Orion were bought by Google in 2006 and incorporated into the internet titan's own technology. As part of the deal, Allon worked at Google until leaving to start Julpan in 2010. His latest venture, based in New York City, was devoted to insightfully determining in real-time what people are...

  • Facebook music feature leaked in accidental tweet

    A feature of Facebook's much-anticipated music-based service has been revealed thanks to a tweet from a high level employee. The social network has been tight-lipped about the product since it was announced and is due to officially launch it at its F8 conference, which kicks off on Thursday. It has been known for some time that the service is on its way, but exactly what it will do remains a mystery. This now deleted tweet is one the first insights to the service. Techcrunch reports that Ji Lee, creative director at Facebook tweeted: "The 'Listen with your friend' feature in...

  • Julian Assange fails in attempt to keep memoirs secret

    Despite months of Julian Assange trying to keep it off bookstore shelves, the Wikileaks founder's autobiography will hit stores on Thursday. Assange -- known for his passion for transparency and letting all be aired to the public -- decided he no longer wanted the book published. This despite already having taken an advance said to be worth hundreds of thousands pounds from Canongate publishers. Assange had worked with a ghost writer to pen the book. According to Canongate, it would have simply been a matter of Assange returning the advance for them not to publish the book. Assange however, failed to...

  • User backlash over Facebook’s new features

    Facebook's latest updates have caused some backlash from its users. Users of the social network have taken to the web to complain about its brand new updates, with users across the world expressing their feelings towards the "radical" new changes. The hastag "#newfacebook" is now being used by those on Twitter who wish to complain about the revamped user interface. In response to the theory that Facebook is changing too frequently, a user wrote: Others believe that the new "Ticker" too closely resembles Twitter with users saying that: People expressed their ire through an array of online avenues including a "Petition against...

  • Google aggressively pushing revenues amid Senate scrutiny

    Google has adopted an aggressive program of stuffing its search pages with paid listings as the financial quarter draws to a close -- a risky strategy as the US Senate holds hearings on its industry dominance. Google's search pages are being flooded with paid search listings from its AdWords advertising network in the final weeks of the Q3 financial quarter, possibly to boost revenues to meet, or exceed Wall Street analyst estimates. Aaron Wall, in a post on the web site SEOBook: "Endless AdWords Profits" notes that a search for "7 for all mankind" shows a massive AdWords box with ten...

  • Analysts predict ‘no iPhone 5′ in October

    Until October, news regarding the release of updated or new iPhone models is going to fly thick and fast. Memeburn reported yesterday that 4 October would be the launch date for the iPhone 5. Today, Brian Blair, an analyst from Wedge Partners has said that when Apple holds its special event between 28 September and 5 October it will reveal new iDevices. Apparently, only one iPhone will be released and will be an upgraded model of the iPhone 4, rumoured to be the iPhone 4S. Blair said: "We expect the focus of the new iPhone will be iOS 5, a...

  • Bozza: A mobile startup aimed at township mobihoods

    Bozza plans to add the phrase "mobihood" to our lexicon. The new startup, funded by Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa (HP Ventures) is a mobile social networking service aimed at township users. Its primary focus is to give a voice to the Pan-African market. HP Ventures is a €29-million (about US$40-million) venture capital fund based in South Africa. The intention of the fund, it claims, is to "invest in promising innovative technology companies, allowing local players to broaden their perspectives by entering a global arena". Bozza is a mobile application which enables communities to tell their stories "from the inside out"....

  • iPhone 5 revealed on 4 October

    Apple fans, mark down 4 October on your calendars as this is the day that Apple will most likely reveal the iPhone 5. Sources close to Apple have said that 4 October is the date that the company has picked to present the iPhone 5 to the public, further adding that the anticipated smartphone will be available for purchase a few weeks after the announcement. The iPhone 5 is not the only hot item on show at the company showcase. This will be new CEO Tim Cook's initial introduction where he will be giving a presentation to the Apple-hungry...

  • Down and out in Silicon Valley: The dark side of easy VC access

    The Valley is the tech centre of the Universe and you're unlucky if you're not based there. That's what popular culture will have you believe. The image of Mark Zuckerberg waltzing into Case Equity in his night gown and slippers and telling Mitchell Manningham that Sean Parker says F You is what pop culture will have you believe a tech founder on his way to business success must look like. There are many businesses like oil drilling and bio-tech that need a large initial investment or they simply aren't feasible. Software businesses are not one of them. A small group...

  • South Africa’s 30 biggest Tweeters

    Though it’s said time and again that the number followers one has on Twitter really means nothing, be it ours or another's, it's a number no one can resist checking on. With more than 13-million followers worldwide, Lady Gaga, without a doubt is the worldwide Queen of Twitter. It's interesting, however, to know what’s happening in your own backyard. Which South African tweeters are the most followed? To check this out, one could easily look to sites like Twitaholic, which list the most followed users in a given area. Not all South Africans tag their locations as being in South...

  • Opportunities in growing mobile entertainment market

    Anyone who still believes that mobile gaming is the domain of the spotty teenage boy urgently needs to update their thinking. All age groups are now engaging in regular and immersive mobile entertainment activity on their mobile phones, and the proportion of women playing mobile games is rising fast. Those agencies and brands that understand the new dynamics of mobile entertainment can take advantage of this powerful channel to reach mainstream consumers with “byte size” commercial or branded messages. Mobile entertainment has certainly come of age. Whereas consumers previously indulged in "casual snacking," the mobile lifestyle has become more structured...

  • App of the week: Turntable.fm

    This week I take a look at Turntable.fm, a cleverly designed app version of an awesome idea that puts a really innovative spin on streaming radio and music sharing. Let me start off by saying that I am an absolute music addict. I spend the majority of my waking hours (and a lot of those I spend sleeping) with earphones firmly in place listening to an extensive and highly varied music collection that has taken years to accumulate and that I value more than anything I own. Occasionally though, after listening to everything so much, I grow tired of something...

  • Online furniture sales on the rise says bidorbuy

    We all know that online auction sites are a great place to find a deal on a whole host of products. With a bit of luck, Electronics, games and DVDs can all be found for a fraction of their original price. According to the latest figures from South African online auction site bidorbuy, furniture is playing an increasingly important role in the world of online buying. The site’s figures state that shoppers spent over ZAR1.1-million (US$140 000) on new and antique furniture for their homes and gardens in August. Of this, R 700 000 (US$ 89 000) went to...