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  • Washington Post launches social media enabled news aggregation site

    Curation and aggregation of news on the web is one of the most contentious topics in online media today. On Wednesday, the Washington Post Co. launched a news aggregation website called “Trove” that allows readers to customise the news around their interests. “Trove creates a customised news experience that factors in a reader’s likes and dislikes, combining state-of-the-art technology with expertise from the newsroom,” the Post Co. said in a statement. Trove.com, which claims over 10 000 news sources including leading media outlets, also incorporates social media with a “Comments” feature that lets users connect with others with similar interests. Users can...

  • Young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and their unethical ways

    The film “The Social Network” has helped to make startups popular among young people the world over. It’s just one factor inspiring new generations of entrepreneurs hoping to succeed through innovation and hard work. But are they learning ethical ways of doing business? The more we find out about Mark Zuckerberg and his behaviour during the early days of Facebook, the more he reveals a cavalier attitude to ethics. And other founders of successful startups also have shown questionable ethics. Take Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, the social gaming company behind Farmville. His behaviour was documented by Mike Arrington in Techcrunch: Scamville:...

  • Who is making money in online music?

    There has been much talk about the turmoil facing the music industry, and its fragmented online state. If you keep your ear to the ground, you can get an idea of the online music services that are popular. It’s fairly easy to find rough estimates of user base and internet traffic for this shifting landscape. But popularity alone cannot keep a company afloat, only income can. What is less available online are indications of where money is actually being made. In an industry that is infamous for it’s failed start-ups, and even the quick fall of its old guard, who...

  • Should games be dealing with real-life tragedies?

    When the Columbine school shootings happened in April 1999 Jerald Block, a US psychiatrist, made the suggestion that the two assailants, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were influenced by there love of the videogame Doom. It was a popular sentiment at that time and connecting violent videogames to shooting sprees and other crimes has sort of become par for the course. As gamers we just expect to hear it. A few years later the Columbine massacre had another game-related controversy attached to it that also garnered some media attention. In 2005, Danny Ledonne released Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, a role-playing...

  • Vodacom launches faster internet

    South Africans, always suffering from chronic insufficiency when it comes to internet connectivity have increasingly come to rely upon mobile operators when accessing the internet. Last year’s launch of mobile network operator Cell C’s 4G network brought about much disappointment when it claims of 4G proved to not be entirely accurate. But now South Africa’s largest cellphone network, Vodacom, has launched the upgrade of its network to a faster network which it has dubbed “SuperMobile”. This upgrade will allow users to connect using 43.2MBps instead of the 21Mbps currently available. This is still shy of the accepted standard of 100MBps for...

  • ‘Royal Wedding’ goes viral on YouTube

    There’s no need to worry or rejoice, depending on your perspective on the Royal Wedding, the big day is still to come. But you would be forgiven for thinking that you had missed it, seeing as the first royal wedding of the social media era, has already gone viral on YouTube. With an array of royal look-a-likes, European and American mobile phone service provider, T-Mobile has yet-again had another hit in it’s long-time YouTube viral-video series, “Life Is For Sharing.” Created by the London office of global advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, the first in T-Mobile’s ‘Life Is For Sharing’ series...

  • Vodacom and Mxit to host the Mobile Media Mindblast conference with Google

    The three biggest players in South African mobile marketing are hosting the first ever Mobile Media Mindblast on 3 June 2011 in Cape Town. The conference, hosted by Vodacom Mobile Media and MXit, in association with Google will discuss how brands can effectively use mobile media to engage with consumers. Mobile usage in South Africa is amongst the highest in the world, with almost 90% usage. This presents advertisers with a great opportunity to start conversations with their consumers in a space and time that they are most receptive. Jason Probert, Executive Head of Vodacom Mobile Media says: “South Africa is the...

  • Obama visits Facebook headquarters

    President Barack Obama will head to Facebook’s headquarters on Wednesday to tout his budget cuts to followers of the social media powerhouse, which he also hopes to use to help get reelected. Obama, whose audacious 2008 White House bid leaned heavily on social networking sites, will hype his “Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity” plan at Facebook’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters. With his 2012 reelection campaign just getting into gear, Obama is moving to bring some love to the more than 19-million Facebook followers he has, up close and in person. The US president is to take part at 2045 GMT in a...

  • Facebook forced to ‘Like’ picture of ‘gay kiss’

    A picture of two men kissing has caused a ruckus on Facebook after it was originally banned and then quickly re-instated. The picture first appeared for an event planned as a protest against two gay men, Jonathan Williams and James Bull, being evicted from the John Snow pub in Soho, London, for being too affectionate. Protesters planned a “mass kiss in” outside the pub and posted the event on Facebook. The image was removed, as well as from several other profiles that posted the picture. The picture apparently originates from a promotional still from the soap opera “Eastenders”, which...

  • Google’s search for quality — Analysing the recent Panda update

    Google regularly changes its algorithm and it’s a smart move because all the companies that were trying to game Google — and were succeeding in taking advantage of the some 200 rules that make up the algorithm — get shaken out of the results. It’s a quick way of finding the most egregious gamers of the system. And Google’s recent release of its “Panda” algorithm update was designed to find quality sites and raise them in the search rankings. But Panda is causing a lot of pandaemonium for all types of businesses, those that played by Google’s “white hat” SEO rules, and...

  • ‘The more you disclose, the more you are rewarded,’ says Boing Boing co-editor

    Privacy and social media are two of the central concerns for Cory Doctorow, the 40-year old Canadian blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing and is incredibly concerned about the forces that are lining up against privacy. He calls himself a “cyber-optimist” and spoke to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper following his TedX talk, where he served up some timely and thought-provoking ideas. Future generations Doctorow wants parents to acknowledge that “your kids will have lots of unsupervised internet use.” There is no way around that with the plethora of connected devices that...

  • Twitter and Ubermedia to fight it out over TweetDeck?

    Recent news on the business front of Twitter has been focused on monetisation. Twitter’s monetisation seems synonymous with Ubermedia. In a Wall Street Journal report, which further inflames “low-level war” between UberMedia and Twitter, sources say that the microblogging site has been engaged in “advanced talks” to buy the popular TweetDeck platform for US$50-million. These rumours of “low-level war” between Twitter and Ubermedia — the owner of three of the biggest third party applications, UberSocial for BlackBerry, Echofon for iPhone and Twidroyd for mobiles running the Android operating system, are not without basis. As was most famously seen...

  • Nigeria unseats South Africa as Africa’s biggest Opera Mini user

    Software company Opera, announced yesterday that Nigeria has taken the place of South Africa as the country in Africa with the highest number of users on the Opera Mini mobile browser. Africa’s most populous country swept aside China and South Africa to finish March as the number five country globally for unique monthly users of Opera Mini, rising from its February position as number seven. Now only Russia, Indonesia, India and Ukraine are ahead of Nigeria in terms of unique monthly users. Until now, South Africa has maintained the top spot in Africa and consistently held sixth place globally for...

  • Watch out internet it’s the ‘Iran-ternet’!

    Though the protests failed to overthrow the regime, it was in Iran that the true might of the internet as a tool for freedom was unleashed. In Iran the powers that be, led by controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has had a somewhat less than warm view towards the internet. In light of the recent uprisings fueled, in some respect, by the internet Iran has decided to take the lead and create it’s own internet. In 2006 Iranians were the second most tech-savvy population in the Middle-East region behind Israel. Conversely, as early as then, Reporters Without Borders had recognised the...

  • ProPublica wins Pulitzer with digital-only series

    For the first time ever, a Pulitzer Prize was awarded for a ‘digital-only’ story. ProPublica, a non-profit news startup, scooped up a Pulitzer Prize on Monday, its second in two years and the first ever for a series of stories that were not also published in print. ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. The organisation claims that their work “focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with ‘moral force’.” Other winners of the 95th annual Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious US journalism awards, were The New York Times, which won two awards, and...