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  • The importance of listening to expert users

    It has always been the case that customers can end up knowing more about a business than its owners. In the world of modern web based businesses with vast user bases however, it is so much more prevalent and significant that it should form an integral part of business strategy. Smart web businesses do this, as do smart 'offline' businesses with the help of their web presences. This user expertise can take many forms, and can be leveraged in many ways, three of which I will explore in this article — APIs, product expertise and crowdsourcing. APIs If your web business...

  • Ra.ise a to.ast with some Bre.ad

    URL shorteners have become ubiquitous to social networking, especially with the sharing of links across Twitter. Bit.ly, Cli.gs, Goo.gl and many others offer an easy and painless way for you to shorten your URL within the 140 character constraint of Twitter. Most of these URL shortening services offer a simple analytics dashboard which is useful for tracking and analysing the number of times people shared your links or clicked on them. But a little known service called Bre.ad is gaining in popularity. What is Bre.ad? from Bre.ad on Vimeo. Bre.ad, which has only five employees and backers that include Lady Gaga's manager, has decided...

  • Rupert Murdoch strikes again: No more free Post for iPad users

    Perhaps it was his doomed adventure with Myspace, or maybe he was too set in his old media ways. Whatever it was, Rupert Murdoch, head of global media group, News Corporation, has not been the most ardent fan of media developments in the 21st century. Top 10 US newspaper, the New York Post, owned by News Corp. has blocked access to its website for iPad users. iPad users report that when attempting to reach the Post’s website from the native browser, they are met with a page saying "NYPost.com editorial content is now only accessible on the iPad through the...

  • Game, set, match — Seven Twitter tennis aces

    The commencement of Tennis' most prestigious championship, Wimbledon, has set Twitter abuzz with news of players' chances and possible match results. As with any major sporting event you can be certain that for the next two weeks, the duration of The Championship, Twitter’s trending topics will be bombarded with the names of players wowing Twitter users on the court. Memeburn has put together a little list of tennis pros that will keep their Twitter fanbase entertained on and off the court with their updates. Serena Williams Though the current rankings don’t show it, arguably the best female tennis player at the...

  • Google brings the British Library to the world

    The British Library, in partnership with Google, is set to digitise more than 40-million pages of books from its vast collection. The pages, which comprise some 250 000 texts dating from 1700-1870, will be freely available to everyone. According to the library’s spokespeople, "both organisations will work in partnership over the coming years to deliver this content free through Google Books and the British Library’s website. Google will cover all digitisation costs." The ultimate goal of the project is for researchers, students and other users of the Library to be able to view historical items from anywhere in the world...

  • Six questions that rejected Venture Capital seekers could not answer

    Raising funding for an early-stage venture is always difficult. There is no bottled recipe for success, but even if you have a great concept that is scalable combined with a passionate team that can execute the growth strategy, you still need to communicate this in a multifaceted investor’s pitch. Most entrepreneurs can give a fair account of the top line business strategic growth path, dive into the complexities of the product or service offering, put together a good industry analysis, name a handful of possible clients and present enticing year three to five financial projections, but this will not necessarily...

  • Browser Ubuntu: Chrome is the new Firefox

    Recently, African IT billionaire Mark Shuttleworth announced that Google Chrome or its open-source cousin, Chromium, is likely to replace Firefox as the default browser in Ubuntu Linux. While this is unlikely to happen for the next major release of the Linux distribution, it is already scheduled to take place in version 12.04. Shuttleworth believes that since Google is developing Chrome on top of its own Linux-based operating system, Google Chrome has much better Linux compatibility and performance outstrips any of the other available web browsers. Furthermore, he feels that Google's intention to make the Web the only platform for...

  • Research shows 62% of South Africans shop using their mobile devices

    A recent study by InMobi, an independent mobile ad network, reveals that African mobile web users prefer the mobile channel (46%) to their Desktop (10%) and even In-store (44%) when shopping for Apparel, Consumer Electronics and Entertainment Tickets. This clearly highlights the shift to ‘shopping on the move’ across Africa. The study, entitled "A Global Consumer Perspective on Mobile Shopping", was conducted among 15 000 consumers in 14 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia during February and March 2011. Consumers participated in the study directly through their mobile devices offering the mobile ecosystem a point of view...

  • BlackBerry delivers touch screen phone (just add phone)

    BlackBerry users are a special lot. They even have their own religious rite. The BlackBerry Prayer Pose: standing in solemn and lonesome splendour, head bowed, elbows clamped to sides, hands raised palm-upwards to heart-centre and joined with fingertips touching lightly. Thumbs opposed, picking and pressing again and again to play the holy BlackBerry requiem. Puckity pick pick puck. Puck. Puck. Puck. It’s a universe that you join, no less than the Apple universe. If you’re on the inside, it’s all convenience and connectivity. From the outside it’s bafflingly buggy and unequivocally restricting... Read more on Gearburn.comvar vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Rehabillitation clinic aims to help South Korea’s internet addicts

    An internet rehabilitation clinic has opened in South Korea in the hopes of making a dent in the millions considered to be internet addicts in the country. The clinic, which opened in early May, styles itself as the country's first specialist clinic for such addicts. The institution which bills itself as the "Save Brain Clinic" clinic offers a five-week treatment programme including group sessions, art therapy, medicine and processes known as neurofeedback and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Neurofeedback uses real-time displays to illustrate brain activity, measured through scalp sensors, with the aim of controlling central nervous system activity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation uses magnetic...

  • Mobile commerce on the rise [Infographic]

    The mobile revolution is happening. It's been happening for a while. eCommerce changed how we behaved as consumers and mCommerce is set to change that again. The increasing usage of smartphones is creating smarter shoppers because information is only a few button taps away. Mobile phone users use their phones to purchase products online and retailers have beginning to build mobile site to enable this. Mobile purchases is predicted to increase by US$119-billion globally by 2015. Below is an infographic created by the Microsoft tag team on the mobile revolution. Microsoft Tag is a high capacity colour barcode application...

  • Global internet regulatory body ushers in new era

    Voting in Singapore on Monday, ICANN’s board -- lauding the decision as a "historic change" -- decided to increase the number of generic top-level domains names (.com, .org, .net etc) from the current 22. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is global body responsible for managing the internet’s domain name system. The decision now allows private companies to have their own domain names. Therefore, a major firm such as General Motors could choose to have its own domain name such as ".gm". Sebastien Bachollet, an ICANN board member who was in favour of the proposal...

  • Lulz hackers: Self-confessed malicious vandals

    Computer hackers who have hit the websites of the CIA, US Senate, Sony and others during a month-long rampage said Friday that they were staging the attacks for their own entertainment. (Update: Sega got hit in Europe, the personal data of some 1.29 million customers stolen, but no credit card info in the heist, culprits unknown). "You find it funny to watch havoc unfold, and we find it funny to cause it," the hacker group known as Lulz Security said in a 750-word online "manifesto."... Read more on Gearburn.comvar vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Four tips for pitching your mobile app

    The Pivot25 mobile conference kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, earlier this week to much fanfare and excitement. Pivot25 is a mobile apps and developer conference and competition for the East Africa region. Earlier this year m:lab East Africa, the organisation behind Pivot 25 (and sister organisation to mLab Southern Africa), put out a call for entrepreneurs in mobile apps and content services to pitch their ventures at the event. The winner gets to present its venture at DEMO in Silicon Valley, all expenses paid. Afrinnovator did full coverage of the event -- it's worth taking a look at the apps...

  • Klouted judgement: Do you make the Social Capital cut?

    Social Capital is becoming the new currency of online marketing and a hot new web-tool is putting a number on us all. Do these scores have any legitimacy and professional worth or do high-school politics still reign as the ruler, and standard, of social capital? Each day I start off with a hot cup of Eastern Cape coffee and my iPhone as I weed through about 40 emails. The subject lines range from general enquiries to specific questions, to Social Media campaign ideas and now more frequently to moments of sheer panic from clients that lie awake each night stressed...