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  • Why is email so very complicated?

    People have always asked me questions about the work I’ve done on email technology, but the most commonly asked questions have changed radically over the last thirty years. ”What’s email?” used to be the most common by far, but I haven’t heard it in a remarkably long time. For a few painful months in 1985, the most common question I heard was “why is email so unreliable?” Later there was an idyllic period when what I heard most was, “how can I get all my friends and family to use email?” — for a brief period, it felt...

  • 5 tips from Google for the Royal Wedding

    Millions of people around the world are waiting in anticipation for the big royal event in London on Friday 29 April, 2011. For those who can not be present live at the ceremony, Google provides five interesting tools that will allow fans to watch the wedding and get more information about the big day. Royal wedding live on YouTube: The entire ceremony on Friday will be live streamed in real time on http://www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel. The live stream starts at 11 clock SA time. Internet users can watch the wedding procession, the ceremony in Westminster Abbey and the newlyweds sharing a kiss on...

  • TechCrunch founder admits conflict of interest with investments

    Mike Arrington, editor and founder of TechCrunch, an AOL company, today disclosed his investments in some high profile startups. He said he had refrained from making investments in startups since 2009 because of distracting accusations of conflicts of interest but that he had recently changed that policy (following the sale of Techcrunch to AOL). Over the last several months I have begun investing actively again. We've noted these investments in Shawn Fanning's new startup and in Kevin Rose's new startup. I have also become a limited partner in two venture funds, Benchmark Capital and SoftTech VC. I am considering investments in a...

  • Facebook carefully: Protecting your personal brand online

    I have little doubt that when Christine Rubino, a seasoned junior-school teacher in Brooklyn, New York City, made public her acute frustrations with her fifth-grade class, she had no conception just how far reaching a single Facebook update could be. The Brooklyn community had only recently faced the death of a 12-year-old Harlem schoolgirl who, caught in an ocean rip current, had drowned on a class outing to the beach. A day later, Rubino, clearly referencing the event, posted, "After today, I’m thinking the beach is a good trip for my class. I hate their guts". A colleague and...

  • Q&A: Jon Gosier on crowdsourcing and the ‘Silicon Valley of Africa’

    Jon Gosier is one of the most impressive figures from the African technology scene to make it internationally. He is a TedX senior fellow, and works as the Director of Product for SwiftRiver at Ushahidi, which is a "platform for making sense of streams of realtime data." Gosier is also the founder of Appfrica, a business incubator for East African technologists. Gosier spoke to Memeburn about the future of crowdsourcing and why East Africa is such a thriving technology hub. Memeburn: What is it that has turned Kenya into the "Silicon valley of africa"? Jon Gosier: Hunger. It's natural progression....

  • Apple responds: ‘We are not tracking your location’

    There has been plenty of buzz about the iPhone and its operating system, iOS 4, and how it has been secretly tracking the locations of its users. After more than a week of silence, Apple finally responded. The first response was allegedly from CEO Steve Jobs—who is still on medical leave from Apple—when he replied to an email received from a customer. The customer was unnerved at the realisation that their “location is being recorded at all times” and they asked Jobs why they should remain with Apple over, say, Android, as “they don’t track me”. Jobs shot back...

  • Social Media justification by numbers

    With so much unicorns and rainbow nonsense floating around the web, it’s easy for your boss to think of social media as little more than wasting time on Facebook. When the thought leaders are saying it’s impossible to measure the ROI of social media, it’s no surprise executives are wary of investing in it. If your boss asks you to justify the time you’re spending on Twitter, asking him what the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning isn’t going to get you far. Is it? The antidote to the puffery rampant in social media circles is science. Hard...

  • Yahoo breathes sigh of relief: Delicious bought

    After trying to unload the ailing social bookmarking service, Del.icio.us, Yahoo must have breathed a sigh of relief when on Wednesday it was able to announce its successful sale to web entrepreneurs and YouTube co-founders, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. In describing itself on its site, Delicious states: Delicious is the leading social bookmarking service for saving, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. Started in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005, Delicious has built a passionate, worldwide community of millions of users None of this is false, but it certainly downplays Delicious's recent tumultuous past. After having acquired Delicious in 2005 for an...

  • Become a BlackBerry App Master and win a trip to San Francisco!

    Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution and the highly anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet is offering an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to BlackBerry® DEVCON 2011 as well as a 16GB BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet to the software developer who is chosen as South Africa’s first BlackBerry® PlayBook™ App Master. To be in with a shot to take your awesome app development skills to the global stage, simply develop a compelling wireframe for the BlackBerry PlayBook and submit your wireframe before May 31. It will be important to use BlackBerry PlayBook compatible tools such as Web, Flash, Adobe...

  • Google builds its energy business with $100M wind farm investment

    For a long time now, the company that built its business on search and advertising has been rooting around in the electricity and energy arena. In February 2010, Google was granted an order by the US government allowing it to buy and sell energy at market rates. At the time, the line from Google was that it was not interested in becoming an energy supplier, but rather in buying clean, green energy and using the green credits it would get to help offset other carbon emissions. Now the story is becoming more interesting. Google will invest US$100-million in what will be...

  • The Stream: Al-Jazeera’s brave new multi-media experiment

    On the 2nd of May, television broadcaster Al-Jazeera will make history with the broadcast of "The Stream", a 30-minute talk show like no other. With "no script, no tape and no satellite hookups", the Doha-based news broadcaster is "bringing the social media experience inside your TV". Most television shows follow the same model: They create their broadcast product and then build a website to complement the show as a secondary resource. But as the number of cord-cutters begins to reach a tipping point, the news network is trying something new: Business blog Fast Company defines The Stream as "a social...

  • Is Facebook still for small businesses?

    Once upon a time Facebook was the most effective, inexpensive marketing platform for small businesses. Due to its viral newsfeeds, share buttons and tagging features Facebook allowed for pretty much "free" marketing to niche consumers with the only foreseeable challenge being, finding the time to do it. As most entrepreneurs will tell you, with small businesses comes a mountain of work that brings to mind the saying “the son of a cobbler has no shoes” -- sadly most small businesses hardly have time to market themselves, let alone communicate with their fans every day. So if your small business...

  • 5 ways to tie in Twitter with your e-mail newsletter

    There’s no avoiding social media today, although to be honest (grandma aside) who really wants to? The additional platform that it provides as a means of spreading brand awareness and engaging with customers on both an intimate and mass level is hugely appealing and widely recognized. Nowadays, it’s a given that some form of social media is incorporated into a company’s overall marketing strategy, and the vast majority are reaping the benefits through increased direct sales, online sales, brand exposure and reputation management. Over the past few years, marketers have looked to integrate their email newsletters with social...

  • One year after the ‘Like’ button, Facebook launches ‘Send’ button

    Facebook on Monday began letting members of cozy cliques formed at the social networking service share website links or photo albums without all their friends knowing about it. A "Send" button that lets people share website links with selected cadres instead of all Facebook friends was among enhancements being rolled out to a "Groups" feature launched in October of last year. More than 50-million groups have been created at Facebook since the option became available. "A year ago, we launched the 'Like' button, which gives you a quick way to share the things you find on the Web with all your friends,"...

  • Sony’s Playstation Network still offline following security breach

    Almost three weeks after an attack by the hacktivist group, Anonymous, Sony's PlayStation Network remains offline as the Japanese electronics giant works to rebuild the service that connected PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles to games, films, and other digital offerings. PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were turned off April 20 in the wake of an "external intrusion," according to Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold. "I know you are waiting for additional information on when PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be online," Seybold said in a blog post. "Unfortunately, I don't have an update or timeframe to share at this point in...