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  • Tweets may get your potholes fixed

    The "suggestion tweets" for South African president Jacob Zuma's recent State on the Nation address seem to have been well received by the presidency. The South African government is set to spend US$3-million to fix potholes after complaints to the president made on social networks. This undertaking will create 70 000 jobs for the country's unemployed. Zuma urged South Africans to use Twitter and Facebook to suggest what his annual state-of-the-nation speech last week should focus on. Two major issues resonated in the tweets -- plugging potholes and the country's rising unemployment status. South Africans worked hard on Twitter...

  • Social media: Africa’s new musical frontier

    "When people hear about Africans and the internet, they immediately think of 419 scams," says Ngozi Odita, who runs societyhae.com, a collective of voices that is creating a global network of creativity. The Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based designer is out to prove there's so much more to the way the continent uses the internet - by highlighting how artists from Africa are using social media to get their music across the world. "There are 400-million cellphone subscribers in Africa. They're logging onto Facebook and Twitter through their phones, says Odita. "Musicians from Africa are engaging with their fans through this. You have...

  • Facebook drives social media advertising globally

    Social networks are steadily increasing the amount of share in online spending on advertising in the United States. The latest report from eMarketer, shows that of the US$69-billion marketers will spend on online advertising worldwide this year, 8.7% will be committed to online advertising. The figure is set 10.2% of US$79-billion to spent in 2012. The rise has been attributed to Facebook. By next year, half of spending will take place outside the United States, which until now has been where social media marketing has been concentrated. Facebook is expected to have US$4-billion in ad revenues worldwide, with Twitter...

  • Lil Wayne snatches world Facebook record from Oreo

    On Tuesday, the world-famous cookieOreo attempted to set a record with a post on its Facebook Wall. The post read, "'Like' this post to join Oreo fans around the world in setting a Guinness World Record for most 'Likes' to a post in 24 hours. Oreo is the world’s favorite cookie, and with your help, it will be the most 'Liked.'" Five hours after the record was awarded to Oreo, notorious rapper Lil' Wayne snatched it. Shortly after Oreo's post surfaced, Lil Wayne announced to his Facebook fan-base that he was also going after the Guinness World Record for most Facebook...

  • Smartphones drive move towards video communication

    The next mobile revolution is here and being driven by smartphones and tablet. Soon smartphones will allow video to take the lead in a business once dominated by voice calls, according to industry players and experts. Video already does or will soon account for the majority of mobile data traffic, according to companies that monitor traffic, and with the proliferation of tablet computers that is likely to increase. "If you want to put 2011 into a nutshell you can say that for the mobile phone companies their business is changing from an ears business -- people speaking and hearing -- into...

  • Google launches paywall offering for publishers

    Google has unveiled its much-awaited paid content offering for online publishers. Google will take a 10% share of revenue from subscriptions managed through "Google One Pass," less than the 30 percent charged by Apple. The launch comes one a day after Apple launched a subscription service of its own for newspapers, magazines, music and video. "By providing a system for user authentication, payment processing, and administration, Google One Pass lets publishers focus on creating high quality content for their readers. Publishers have flexibility over payment models and control over the digital content for which they charge and the content that is free...

  • Exclusive: Major int’l VC stealthily buying into SA eCommerce sites

    A major US$3.5-billion New York-based hedge fund headed by investor Lee Fixel has been quietly buying up some major eCommerce properties in South Africa over the past five years. The New York-based Tiger Global Management LLC, which recently invested US$20-million in business social network LinkedIn and US$80-million in Facebook, now holds a stake in the country’s largest online auctions site, Bid or Buy. Add to that a growing portfolio that includes key online properties such as Private Property, the largest online property portal, and Take2, an online shopping site and Kommetjie-based travel bookings site SafariNow. Tiger also enjoys...

  • Bono: ‘The revolution will be tweeted’

    Speaking on Radio 702 in Johannesburg, U2 lead singer Bono spoke lyrically about the changes that are being wrought by 21st century social media, and exclaimed enthusiastically that "the revolution will not be televised, it'll be tweeted". Three days after massively successful concert in Johannesburg, Bono spoke of his excitement about the situation in Egypt and how it shows how the massive potential of the next generation to leverage the tools of mobile and social media to "get a lot of things right". He cited the example of truck drivers in Africa who are SMS'ing a website to find...

  • BlackBerry vs iPhone? A tale of two smartphones

    In November of last year, my phone contract was up for renewal and I got an... oh, to hell with it! Yes, I got an iPhone 4. I suppose that at times, my overwhelming fascination with BlackBerries could have been construed as evangelical, and so, news of my apparent defection spread as heresy. I own a BlackBerry Curve 8520 and a BlackBerry Bold 9000 and I have the type of affection for them that a (good) father has for his children. The decision was a hard one to make. I had sleepless nights and at times, engaged in existential...

  • Fears of match fixing prompt Twitter ban during World Cup games

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a ban on all players and officials from tweeting during games at the World Cup, in an attempt to ensure that the notorious sports betting industry on the sub-continent doesn't try and use Twitter to get inside information that may affect the outcome of games. The ban on Twitter is not comprehensive, but will be enforced during games. It was prompted after Cricket Australia encouraged team manager Steven Bernard and coach Tim Nielsen to tweet during games as a way of keeping the fans informed during the Ashes. The experiment was a big...

  • Toodu: Managing tasks while networking online

    Picture having your to do list completed for you, while networking at the same time with professionals who can help you sort it. It’s the dream behind Toodu, a site claiming no rival in its way of organizing task lists. Setting tasks is not new to the industry. Remember the Milk allows users to manage tasks, set dates, time, categories and geolocation, while popular app Google Tasks integrates with other Google services like Gmail, iGoogle and Google Calender. Toodu’s claims their difference lies in matching items on your to do list with people and businesses who can help you get...

  • Social branding: You can’t ignore it any more

    A company’s brand is a complex, social construction created around your products and business. The impression of a brand comes not just from what you put in your marketing messages, but it also includes all the broader feelings, connotations, interactions and emotional responses associated with it. All of these aspects are built socially, and online social media have created an unprecedented capability for customers to share and amplify these brand impressions. People enjoy talking – and complaining – about brands, so it’s vital that you are part of the conversation. Social branding is the process of marketing your brand in...

  • Judge asked to overturn court order in Twitter-Wikileaks probe

    Lawyers have appealed to a US judge to overturn a court order directing Twitter to hand over clients' data to US authorities for a probe into WikiLeaks. The order calling on Twitter to release data about the accounts of Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir, US computer researcher Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, a Dutch volunteer for WikiLeaks, was handed down in December by Judge Theresa Buchanan. Buchanan, who also heard Tuesday's challenge, ordered Twitter in December to hand over to the US government information on the three subscribers and any other clients linked to WikiLeaks, the organization led by Julian Assange that...

  • Subscription service for Apple’s App Store

    Apple unveiled a subscription service on Tuesday for digital newspapers and magazines purchased through its online App Store. A move long awaited by publishers seeking new sources of revenue. Subscriptions to music and video services such as Rhapsody or Netflix will also be available through the App Store and will be subject to the same terms as newspaper and magazine applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Owners of the popular Apple devices previously had to purchase each edition of a magazine individually. Apple said publishers will set the price and length of subscriptions -- weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly...

  • The definitive Twitter guide to the Cricket World Cup

    Slowly, the eyes of the sporting world are turning to the sub-continent, where India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be jointly hosting the 2011 Cricket World Cup. For those lucky enough to be there, all the action will unfold in front of their eyes. But for the rest of the world, watching from afar, the best way to get behind the scenes and find out what's really happening is via Twitter. Some of the teams at the World Cup have embraced micro-blogging wholeheartedly, while others have barely any presence at all on Twitter. Memeburn has put together a comprehensive...