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  • China to spend 350bn online by 2015

    Half a billion internet users and an economy which, although not immune to international economic pressures, is still on the up means that China is poised to experience a massive ecommerce boost. Add in an anticipated 200-million more users and the Asian superpower could become the world’s biggest ecommerce market by 2015. According to the Boston Consulting Group(BCG), the country’s online market could be worth as much as US$350-billion by then. China already has more online shoppers than any other country -- around 193-million -- but overall spend remains higher in the US. BCG warns, however, that although China...

  • WineConnected brings wine-making online

    It’s not easy to get excited about wine if you have been living under the notion that US$2 box wine is the best of the best. It takes a smartly designed website, and an online wine-ordering system to bring wooded cabernet sauvignons to the masses. That website is WineConnected. WineConnected wants you to become a member of its family. It’s not simply a matter of logging on, ordering a case of bubbly and drinking till dawn. No sir, WineConnected gets you invested in the concept of wine creation. From grape to glass, it’s your show baby. The concept comes from...

  • Indonesian earthquake leaves Twitter shaken, tsunami fears subside

    An 8.7 magnitude earthquake has hit the off the coast of the Indonesian island Sumatera in the Indian Ocean. At first details were scant and there was fear that there may be a repeat of the tsunami which devastated the region in 2004. Those fears have, for now, been allayed to some extent. Twitter has, nonetheless gone into overdrive. At one stage, #PrayforSumatera, US Geological Survey, #Sumatera, Indian Ocean, and Earthquake in Indonesia were all globally trending topics. As soon as news of the earthquake went out, Tsunami warnings were issued: #PrayforSumatera "@jakpost: Indonesia issues tsunami warning after...

  • 10 Awesome texts from Hillary Clinton

    By now you've probably heard of "Texts from Hillary Clinton" -- the tumblr blog that has the former first lady and current secretary of state sending and replying to texts while sitting in a G6 or a space shuttle, you decide. The spoof site has various well known figures sending Clinton texts messages and her replying with witty and funny remarks. In less than a week the blog has become an online sensation, boosting Clinton's public image in the process from politician to that of an ass-kicking. witty powerhouse -- who runs "the world". The blog's creators Stacy Lambe and...

  • What should we make of a model that strips for Facebook likes?

    Using Facebook likes to make a billboard’s beard is one thing, but using them to make a model strip? Well that’s a whole new kettle of social media fish. The Dutch division of clothing brand Stüssy is trying to get Facebook users to like its photos with the promise of an incentive. That incentive comes in the form of an item of clothing coming off the model as the likes for it increase. It’s not yet clear how far Stüssy is willing to take the campaign (I wonder how many of you just can’t wait to find out). If...

  • How to get more pins and repins on Pinterest [Infographic]

    Data about Pinterest is sparse because it's been slow to release its API, but I was able to utilise search engine APIs to pull some data about the trendy new social site. I gathered information on over 11 000 pinned images and did some analysis to create the infographic below. This data should be useful for Pinterest users who’d like to get more repins on the images they’ve pinned, as well as content producers who want their content pinned and repinned more. I hope to be able to do more research into Pinterest, especially as it releases its API. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var...

  • Social media is a virtual cocktail party

    Social media is here to stay and whilst most companies understand the benefits social media has to offer, many are still faced with the challenge of getting their employees on board. Social media isn't something you can force on employees. It is something they WANT to do. According to Wikipedia, “social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue”. On the face of it, social media is a collection of tools and technologies that enable you to host a cocktail party with unlimited guests, spanning borders and continents. This may be a good way...

  • What ‘viral’ lessons can we take from Kony 2012?

    Viral, and more specifically the phrase 'I want you to make me a viral video' is something that we have covered before with our 3Rs post: Remarkable content, seeded to the Right people, leads to Results. The Kony phenomenon comprises certain elements of the 3Rs, but also provides insight into additional mechanics of successful online video, which brands can take value from. These include: Influence the influencers Celebrities have been the greatest influencers to jump aboard the Kony express, disseminating links via their Twitter accounts, blogs and other personal media vehicles. The film's director, Jason Russell, detailed how a list of...

  • Google gives Google+ a makeover

    There are those who think Google’s approach to its social effort Google+ was wrong from the start. It was rushed, they say, a desperate attempt response to the meteoric rise of Facebook. So can a fresh lick of paint convince the doubters that things have turned around? Google today unveiled a series of changes to Google+, which it says makes the social network “more functional and flexible”. The tweaks to the 170-million strong social network have been made in three key areas: navigation, conversations, and hangouts. Navigation Google claims it is giving users “a new way to get around...

  • What the hell is social business anyway?

    Is social business just another term competing with other faddy social trends (Social media, social networking, social media marketing, social CRM...the list goes on)? Or is there really some substance behind it? How do we start making this concept work and do we really understand it? The thing that business and business owners need to remember, regardless of their size and their market, is that times change and people change. So as baby boomers give way to millenials and the digital divide grows ever more slight, business needs to be there to open the door as they approach it. The first...

  • Crowdinvest, ‘worlds first crowd sourced investment platform’, launches

    Any new startup, scratch that, any business should be solving the universal issue of “what problem can my company solve?” Crowdinvest, a venture by three ambitious Cape Town locals aims to address the need of the burgeoning startup in a distinctly un-Kickstarter like way. How so? By crowdfunding projects through social networks, word of mouth and whatever else fits the bill. Anton Breytenbach, Jay Thomson and Jaco van der Bank are the trio founders behind Crowdinvest. Breytenbach is the CEO, Thomson the CTO and Van der Bank the SBA. According to Thomson, Crowdinvest cost R2-million “to iron out the various legal...

  • How to lockdown your Facebook profile in seconds

    Worried about Facebook security? Sick off all those annoying apps pestering you for things you really couldn’t give less of a damn about? Fear not, there is a solution. Storify marketing director Jeff Elder has put together a nifty chart explaining how easy it is to manage how much access your friends’ apps have to your personal information: If you’re one of those people who think that Facebook having all that information on you isn’t an issue then hey, completely ignore the chart. Just bear in mind that all those so-called privacy nuts are in some good company. Late...

  • Chinese web powers vow to clamp down on rumours

    Three of China’s biggest online players are vowing to clamp down even further on false rumours being spread online. Search giant Baidu, along with social titans Sina and Tencent promised to guard their platforms more carefully after people started speculating about a potential coup led by security chief Zhou Yongkang. The coup rumours themselves were fuelled by a rare public scandal in which rising political star Bo Xilai was dismissed as a Communist Party chief. Authorities responded by shutting down a number of sites, making a string of arrests and punishing Sina and Tencent’s microblogs (or weibos). In comments...

  • Lessons from Facebook’s Instagram deal: Screw accountants, trust social

    Accounting be damned! Valuations and the science of accounting can never justify the pricing decisions of the new internet gods. What’s a billion amongst friends, a billion US dollars that is? Plenty will be written about why Facebook bought Instagram for that sum. As a Chartered Accountant the right side of my brain is feeling a little battered. Where is the return on investment, ROI, where are the valuations that make sense? Stepping back for a moment, is the ring of a billion just too compelling? Why settle for anything less? I am not sure I would if I...

  • Why Facebook stumped up $1bn for Instagram

    To paraphrase the punk band Anti Flag, 1-billion dollars “could buy a lot of bling”. Or, if you’re Facebook, it could buy you Instagram. But why did the world’s largest social network splash out so much for the photo-sharing app? Is it because it’s so addictive? Has Facebook suddenly got penchant for vintage photo filters? Or is it more interested in digging its claws into the info Instagram has on its 30-million plus users. According to tech research company Ovum, it may well be because Facebook’s own mobile photo-sharing service leaves a hell of a lot to be desired....