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  • The importance of social proofing your brand

    The hubris of trends, tweets, status updates, blogs and social media has definitely dominated online user activity over the past few years. Along with the substantial revenue brought in by eCommerce and online advertising into this sector, the majority of online marketers and internet startups have undoubtedly overlooked one very important aspect of user involvement. And that is: their online behavioural psychology. Briefly put, in a process known as Social Proof, our behavioural patterns are highly influenced by the actions of other people or communities which is indicative of the herd mentality/bandwagon models whereby users tend to follow a crowd without first evaluating the...

  • Google’s US$900-million patent binge — Will it share the protection?

    Larry Dignan at ZDNet reports: "Nortel said that it plans to sell all of its remaining patents and applications for US$900-million to Google unless a better bid emerges. With the move, Google would get about 6 000 patents covering wired, wireless and digital communications technologies." Google's top lawyer, Kent Walker wrote: "Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories." The PC industry had a problem when it was starting out in that PC technologies represented a basket of technologies that had lots of IP belonging to...

  • Exploring Africa’s open data

    I recently discovered Afrographique, a site that does data visualisations on African data. It’s done by Ivan Colic, a South African designer, as a “small contribution to assist the changing perception of Africa…” What Ivan does is brilliantly delve into the data that’s freely open on the internet to show patterns and information in ways that we might not have noticed if looking at the data in its raw format. The problem that Ivan has, is there’s not always that much information about Africa to use – in fact, some of his maps show big blank spots for countries on...

  • Advertising Apple: From the Mac to the iPad 2

    Since the first Apple products hit the market in late 1976, the company has been creating memorable ads that began by educating the public about the many uses of a personal computer, but increasingly became more and more entertaining and abstract. Let's take a look at some of the iconic Apple television commercials which have come to define Apple in the public's mind over the years, from the iconic 1984 commercial for Apple Mac up to the brand new iPad 2 ad. 1. A collection of Macintosh ads. 2. The 1984 Apple Mac ad 3. The great Mac vs PC...

  • Condé Nast publications surface from an US$8-million phishing scam

    It's 9 in the morning. You've survived the AM traffic and all you want to do is spend the next few minutes browsing the pictures of cute kittens your cousin Ronnie, twice removed, just emailed you. However, like every morning, you must first wade through a trove of emails from European super-lotteries, soldiers in Iraq who have found Saddam's hidden millions, and Nigerian bankers desperate for your help in relocating their funds internationally. Well now we know who is to blame: multi-million dollar publishing house, Condé Nast. As Forbes reports, referencing the names of a number of Condé Nast...

  • Obama announces 2012 campaign via Twitter

    On Monday US President Barack Obama launched his reelection campaign via social media. The new campaign sees Obama turning once again to the online tools that helped propel him to the White House in 2008. Obama, 49, announced his 2012 candidacy with a message on Twitter, a status update on his Facebook page and an email blast to his millions of supporters, all of which provided a link to his BarackObama.com campaign website. "Today, we're filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign," the Democrat told the 7.28-million followers of the @barackobama account on Twitter. The Twitter message, Barack Obama page on Facebook...

  • Indian village uses Skype for schooling

    In the poor village of Chamanpura in the struggling state of Bihar,  having internet access for school usage is never really an option and is a luxury awarded to few. Electricity is never readily available and keeps getting cut and once an internet connection is established, the output is crackly, transmitted through faulty hardware resulting in a poor transmission. But, for the underprivileged Indian students of Chamanpura, this is the only way to receive tuition. Some 970 kilometers away, in a two story-house in the New Delhi suburbs, Santosh Kumar uses the Skype software application to teach maths to the children...

  • Branding at the movies: Apple leads the way… again

    If you’re ever in need of a hero, you could do a lot worse than Jack Bauer. Jack has busy days. When he’s not averting the many surfeits of disaster compressed into 24-hours (sure it’s contrived, but it’s entertaining), Jack apparently goes shopping. How else could you explain his clear brand preference for Apple Mac? Not a few plot cliffhangers have hinged upon Jack’s penchant for Mac-branded products. And is it by chance that those intrusive FBI agents always use Dell machines? In truth, strategic product placement saturates the film industry. Essentially, it’s the insertion of brands into contexts that...

  • Could Bitcoin be the global online currency?

    With the rapid growth of eCommerce over the last decade, online payment has become a hugely influential area. This niche has made fortunes for credit card companies, and services like Paypal, providing the ability for real currency to be used online with relative ease. With the estimated total value of eCommerce approaching a trillion US$, there is another solution that may be even more useful. Perhaps it is time for a global online currency? Bitcoin is such a currency, created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. It is an anonymous, open source and peer to peer fiat currency. There is no central...

  • Imogen Heap pioneers a crowd-sourced musical future

    Groundbreaking singer-songwriter Imogen Heap has just released the first single off her forthcoming album. But it's like nothing she's ever done before. In fact, one can't even credit her entirely with its creation. Heap is one-half of an intense collaboration between herself and her legion of devoted fans all around the world who, together, will be creating her new album over the next three years. The creation of the song, (which was called Heapsong#1 but is now Lifeline) began on the 14th of March when Heap asked her fans to upload sounds (a cat's meow, rustling leaves, banging on...

  • Twitter: A key player in the 2011 World Wide Web conference

    The 2011 World Wide Web conference took place in Hyderabad, India from March 28th through April 1st. More than 800 researchers from around the world gathered to learn about the latest research related to the Web. The most important part of the conference was the research papers, 90 of them were presented in the last three days. Twitter data played a major role in many of the research papers. To get an idea, four out of the 81 papers had the word Twitter in the title and 21 in the text. The main reason for such...

  • What’s next for group buying

    South African consumers, following the lead of Europe and North America, have recently discovered the international retail trend called “group buying”. Over the past year, ambitious entrepreneurs and even established media brands have launched websites offering daily deals that are only triggered once a minimum number of people express an interest in them. Group Buying 2.0 As industries in the early stages of their lifecycles, mobile and social media technologies need to be much more integrated into the offering before group buying becomes a mainstream activity. Fortunately, with relatively high cellphone use and Facebook penetration in South...

  • Facebook: Fifth most populous ‘nation’ in Asia [Infographic]

    Facebook has seen phenomenal growth in the last two years. With more than 500-million users the social network has half the population of Africa's just over a billion. The company's growth seems more evident in Asia with new active users emerging everyday. Asia has more than 139-million Facebook users making the social networking giant the fifth most populous "nation" in Asia. Asia is the third largest continent on Facebook according to Social Bakers and Indonesia dominates the number of Asian countries on Facebook with 35-million users. Followed by the Philippines and India with more than 22-million users. Though banned,...

  • Larry Page finally back at Google helm

    Google co-founder Larry Page on Monday takes back the reins of the internet powerhouse that he and Sergey Brin created as Stanford University students some 13 years ago. Page is expected to bring an entrepreneurial spirit and a computer engineer's intensity to the chief executive position being ceded by Eric Schmidt, who helped turn Google into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. "I get the impression that Larry Page is going to be more hands-on," technology analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies said. "Especially with mobile," he said. "Mobile is key to Google's future." Bajarin said he believes Page was behind recent moves to make it...

  • GoDaddy CEO kills elephant and shoots company reputation in the foot

    There have been calls to boycott domain registrar GoDaddy.com after CEO Bob Parsons proudly posted a video blog late last week of himself killing an African elephant. The note under the video states: “Each year I go to Zimbabwe and hunt problem elephant. It's one of the most beneficial and rewarding things I do.” The video (WARNING! Graphic Content: CLICK HERE) quickly went viral with around 600 000 views in two days and soon had animal welfare activists releasing the fury of caps lock in the comments section of the video, as well as spreading the video on social networking...