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  • Yahoo! confirms Thompson departure

    Yahoo! Has confirmed that CEO Scott Thompson has stepped down, to be replaced by former media head Ross Levinsohn. The announcement caps a chaotic period in which Thompson was found to have faked a Computer Science degree on his CV. The company also announced that Fred Amoroso would be the new chairman of its board. As was expected, the man who first pointed a finger at Thompson, Daniel Loeb has come up trumps. His company Third Point, now has three board seats to be taken up by Loeb himself, Harry J. Wilson, and Michael J. Wolf. Yahoo!...

  • Yahoo’s Thompson quits in wake of CV scandal

    Yahoo's CEO Scott Thompson is set to step down from his job at the embattled internet giant just months after taking over from Carol Bartz. According to AllThingsD, the company will say that Thompson's is leaving for "personal reasons". Revelations that Thompson faked parts of his CV, however, are likely at the centre of his decision to exit Yahoo! The company's global media head Ross Levinsohn, who also ran its Americas unit, is reportedly next in line for Yahoo!'s revolving throne. When Thompson's indiscretions were first revealed, the company issued a statement saying: “In connection with...

  • How social media supports business events in emerging markets

    My first thoughts when sitting down to write about emerging markets and social media was 'where to start?' Social media is a huge topic and emerging markets are vast, so I’ll narrow this down to using popular social media tools to support Business to Business (B2B) events in emerging markets, virtual and physical. One huge event “The Egyptian Revolution” Now this deserves a post of its own, and I promise I’ll write one. This was certainly not a B2B event, but I just wanted to mention that, based in Cairo, I experienced how social media supported this huge event. Some people...

  • What gaps need to be plugged in the African startup ecosystem?

    Africa's startup ecosystem is in a state of flux. These are the formative days, the few million years post big-bang, if you would. So there are many questions and many gaps that need to be filled as we seek to learn from other innovation centers around the world, while at the same time setting the rules that will work best for our context all while actually building this thing. In a sense, it’s like setting about building a structure while figuring out what the actual structure should look like in the end and not just that but also how...

  • Has Chinese law crippled Sina Weibo’s chance at world domination?

    This week, Twitter received some very high (and much deserved) praise for standing up for one of its users against the New York state court. The state of NY wanted information on an Occupy Wall Street protester, Malcolm Harris. Harris' efforts to fight against the court were struck down and so now Twitter has stepped in to the fight. Compare that to another post which also came out this week about Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo. According to Sina Weibo's new policy: Users have the right to publish information, but may not publish any information that: 1. Opposes the basic principles...

  • SA entrepreneur grabs top job at Visa

    Fundamo co-founder and CEO Hannes van Rensburg is set to head up the Sub-Saharan division of Visa -- the world’s largest debit and credit card network. The South African-based mobile money platform has been a part of Visa since mid-2011 when it was bought out for US$110-million. Elizabeth Buse, Group President of Visa Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, Middle-East and Africa reckons that Van Rensburg intuitively understands “the social, political and business environment in Sub-Saharan Africa”. She thinks that this understanding comes largely from his experiences with Fundamo, which expanded from its South African base into Africa and South and Southeast Asia....

  • Can anonymous lists help Active Gifts win at Social Gifting?

    Some people think that social gifting is the next big thing in tech. Hell some even think it’s the future of ecommerce. One of the latest guests to the part is a site called Active Gifts. According to the Ukranian-based company’s CEO Artem Sukhoroslov, the site’s aim is to make sure that 100% of people receiving gifts are satisfied with them. He claims to have to stats that show 75% of people only pretend to be satisfied with the gifts they receive, leading to a perpetual cycle of re-gifting or store returns. Active Gifts’ solution? Lists. The company claims...

  • Would you pay $2 to promote your Facebook status?

    Are you afraid all your friends on Facebook will miss out on your latest status update? You know, because it's super-important? Well fret no more. The social networking giant is reportedly testing out a system that lets people pay US$2 to promote their status updates above everyone else's. At the moment, the feature is only available to a select group of ordinary users. What it's effectively doing is monetising is popularity -- sort of like one of those really shitty American high-schools from bad 90s movies. Facebook hasn't given any indication of how long it plans to run the...

  • Even Apple loved Ghostbusters in 1984 [Video]

    Ghostbusters has always been awesome but back in 1984 it was even cooler than Apple. That’s why the Cupertino-based tech giant parodied the movie’s theme song in a video for it's international sales conference that year. The concept for the video is pretty simple: Apple employees rid store shelves of IBM products. They’re ‘Blue busters’ you see, ridding the world of the dark-suited drudgery of Big Blue. Look, if you know the history of Apple, you’ll know how much of a grudge match this was for the company. Oh, the Woz and Steve Jobs both make cameos in the video,...

  • Bing redesign makes search super social

    Microsoft Bing recently announced a huge overhaul to its user interface, which will see social media feeds from sites like Facebook and Twitter incorporated into a new social side bar on search results pages. The bar includes relevant posts from people you're following using your social accounts (assuming you're signed in at the time), as well as suggestions from experts that Bing thinks could answer your question. All of this may seem a bit similar to the way dear old Google includes links shared by people you're following on Google+ in its results -- but Bing is incorporating...

  • 100m newly ‘banked’ people: What mobile money has done in a decade

    It’s pretty much accepted wisdom that Africa has been at the forefront of mobile payment tech for a while now. But how many of you knew that the first mobile financial service in an emerging market went live 10 years ago in Africa? Celpay, which is powered by South African-based company Fundamo, launched in Zambia way back in 2002. That’s a full five years before Kenya’s mobile darling MPesa went live. It was the first in a series of services aimed at banking the unbanked on the continent. In those 10 years, 100-million people have been newly ‘banked’ using mobile...

  • Got a great news idea? Google has $1m for you

    Google's investing in Africa in a big way. Its startup incubators -- Umbono in South Africa and Edba2 in Egypt -- are great examples of this investment. Now it wants to give journalism on the continent a boost. The internet giant today announced the US$1-million African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC) which it says is aimed at helping African journalism "flourish in the digital age". The project will provide grants from US$12 500 to US$100 000 for projects aimed at strengthening and transforming African news media. Google’s Head of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa Julie Taylor says the company is "committed...

  • Why mobile technology is changing world travel [Infographic]

    It pretty much goes without saying that people on the move would use a device that they can carry along with them on their travels. Unless the whole point of travelling was to get away from their inbox or they enjoyed the simple pleasure of carting a desktop computer around. So it's not surprising to learn that three out of four active travellers take their mobile device along when they hop on a plane and jet off to some fantastic location. According to this infographic, the internet and social media have changed the travel industry quite a bit. More and...

  • Providing a platform for South Korean startups: BeLaunch

    South Korea is a leading player in the global tech industry with Korean brands leaving their mark in various sectors. While we hear a lot about South Korean firms innovating and pushing the envelope, there is hardly any platform to showcase the thriving software and tech startup scene in South Korea. BeLaunch hopes to do just that by giving a platform for Korean startups and at the same time enable people and organizations outside Korea to tap into the exciting world of Korean entrepreneurship. BeLaunch is an initiative of BeSuccess which is one of South Korea’s leading media platforms...

  • Rumours of Google’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

    Recently, Eric Jackson at Forbes, wrote an article that suggests that Google and Facebook will struggle to maintain their market dominance as technology increasingly shifts toward mobile computing. Jackson makes the point that many of the companies that started at the birth of the Web (Web 1.0) struggled to survive as social networking (Web 2.0) began to emerge. Now, he thinks that we are entering a new technical phase, where the Web is no longer relevant and mobile is king. While Jackson does make some interesting points, I think he's completely wrong. Not because I think Google and Facebook...