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  • Five ways to leverage Twitter without tweeting

    As everyone’s favorite micro-blogging platform, Twitter’s high rate of adoption by businesses isn’t surprising. Among other reasons, Twitter’s large user base, especially in countries like the US, means it is an effective way to extend your brand’s reach to large groups of people at a low cost, as well as to interact with your past, present and future customers. Besides Twitter’s core functionality of sharing short updates of text, video, pictures or files with a group of followers, you can also use it in several other strategic ways to build your business – and none of them involve writing even...

  • Mig33 riding the emerging market mobile wave

    The Singapore-based mobile social network and chat service mig33 claims to have grown to about 40-million registered users almost exclusively by virtue of its Java (J2ME) application. The J2me application is available on about 2 000 different mobile handsets since the service was founded in 2006. mig33 is riding a wave of rapid adoption of mobile devices across the world, and particularly in emerging markets, which is underpinning the growth of vast new...

  • iPhone apps capitalise on iOS4 update

    With the release of Apple's latest iPhone and iPod operating system iOS4 last week, the quality control team at the iTunes App Store has been hard-at-work approving updates to iPhone applications in the past week. Not only does this mean loads of updates for users, but it also means a couple of new apps showing up on the app store which have taken advantage of the new operating system's capabilities such as an improved battery life, the ability to create folders, and of course, multi-tasking. Here are three notable apps which caught my eye and are worthy of a...

  • Interview: Helen Zille on Twitter, Facebook and why Julius Malema isn’t interesting enough to follow

    Western Cape Premier and Democratic Alliance Leader Helen Zille has taken charge of all the web has to offer; including a Facebook Page, Twitter Account and even a Flickr Pro Account for her photos. The busy politician recently made time to answer a few questions about social media as a tool for engagement, how she uses Twitter, and why she wouldn't follow ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. Memeburn: You’re one of the few politicians in South Africa that has embraced the internet and social media. What has having a Facebook and Twitter on-line presence meant for you, and has it...

  • Waytag: A startup changing the way we use location services

    A new South African start-up, Waytag, is setting out with the ambitious goal of revolutionising the way we think about and use addresses. Location-based services are clearly a strong feature in most fast-growing web services and applications, such as FourSquare, GoWalla and Twitter. It can however sometimes seem like these types of applications exist in a world of their own, catering to just a small niche of web-savvy people. Waytag may just change all this by improving the usability of physical location addresses from the bottom up. The concept is simple, as most clever concepts are. Take the domain name...

  • FNB announce host of PayPal features, plan to implement Rand

    South African bank First National Bank (FNB) rolled into a crisp and windy Cape Town last night with a challenge to entrepreneurs to embrace the opportunities presented by its new partnership with international e-commerce giant, PayPal. It was The Silicon Cape's, a local body formed to support and promote the web community, third networking event was hosted by FNB and included an introduction by the bank’s CEO Michael Jordaan, who painted a picture of entrepreneurs as people who are “intellectually curious and unhappy with the way things are”. Paypal was invented by South African Elon Musk so it's...

  • Twenty useful tips for dissecting mobile web design

    With the current surge in popularity of smartphones and web-capable phones, increased focus has been put on designing for mobile. There are however some marked differences between designing for the web and designing for mobile. Here are some must-have tips which cut through the mystery of designing for mobile phones. Before You Start. The mobile screen is small, and instead of planning around this, many designers use that fact as an excuse to take shortcuts. You wouldn’t want a website that only takes up a third of your screen, so why do this for mobile? It is a shocking brand experience....

  • Google throws weight behind new media in Africa

    Google this year will bring four speakers and trainers to the influential pan-African journalism gathering, Highway Africa, to be held in Grahamstown at the start of July. Andrew Bangs, Community Marketing representative at YouTube will speak about the rise of citizen journalism across the globe, and the significance of the internet in enabling free expression and ground-breaking reporting. Participants will be able to attend training workshops on Google Search and other useful applications to aid their information-gathering, including Google Scholar, Translate, Books, News, Trends and more. The workshops are being run in collaboration with Izak Minnaar of the SABC,...

  • Why are Google’s new services failing?

    Google has had a long string of failures. It encourages its engineers to spend 20% of their time developing side projects but when those projects reach launch stage, their take-off is nearly always very disappointing. Take a look at some of Google's failures. Colin Gibbs reporting on GigaOM: Google Lively was a web-based virtual environment that allowed as many as 20 people to sit in a virtual room and chat with each other. The offering debuted in July 2008 only to have Google pull the plug a mere four months later. Google Print Ads was dropped earlier this year after the company's vision of...

  • Desmond Tutu, former Ghana president at major new media event

    A major Africa-focused new media conference, Highway Africa, is to focus on "African Voices in the Global Media Space" from the 4th-7th of July in the small university-town of Grahamstown. The conference, which is expected to be attended by about 500 delegates drawn from over 40 countries, claims to be the largest annual gathering of technology-focused African journalists. This year's speakers include former Ghanaian President John Kufuor, Advocate Pansy Tlakula, MTN executive Nozipho January-Bardill,...

  • Could social networking actually be a threat to democracy?

    Most analysis about social networking tends to focus on the phenomenon's utopian qualities, but rarely take the dystopian view which focuses on its negative side effects on society. A more critical view holds that social media in fact works more against democracy rather than for it. The idealists tell us that social media is “democracy in action”, giving voice to millions and breaking down traditional information distribution channels and power structures. At the Fortune-Time-CNN...

  • Impressions of Apple’s iOS4: Is it worth the upgrade?

    What makes a great phone is a combination of good hardware and software design. Apple certainly knows what how to do both well and has recently released iOS 4, available on their new iPhone 4, 3Gs, 3G and iPod Touches. The upgrade is available by updating your phone via iTunes. What you will notice The first notable change is the home screen wallpaper. This seems to add a fresh look to the operating system and definitely makes the phone feel more vibrant and alive again. Some application icons have also been updated which adds to the new look. The most important addition...

  • It’s all going wrong for the iPhone 4

    The new iPhone 4, Apple's latest installment of their acclaimed smartphone, seems to be having a less than ideal launch, with consumers around the world reporting bugs and issues with the new device and its operating system. Most prominent among these seem to be that the iPhone 4 has some serious antenna issues, in some cases it loses signal completely if held in a specific way. This is particularly acute for left-handed people. Various videos have popped up all over the web showing the phone's signal bars dropping as the antenna area is touched. Mashable reports that it appears to...

  • The Meme: A powerful form of advertising

    Although the term "meme" dates back to Richard Dawkins and his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene”, the more commonplace use of the term refers to internet memes. This term, itself a good example of a meme, has come to refer to concepts, ideas and catchphrases that are spread around the web, gaining recognition and popularity as they spread through email, forums, imageboards and however else, becoming a sort of "personal joke". One common example to illustrate some key traits of an internet meme is lolcats. The term lolcat (otherwise known as a "cat macro") refers to an image of...

  • iPhone 4 in SA early September, now also includes MTN

    MTN subscribers will not have to fork out large boodles of cash to get their hands on the new Apple iPhone 4 because the operator’s South African network will launch it. That’s the word from an industry insider who spoke exclusively to Memeburn, but did not wish to be named. Both Vodacom and MTN should begin selling the iPhone 4 in early September, although an exact date cannot be confirmed at this stage because of brisk sales of the device in both the USA and across Europe. South Africa has traditionally been on a "third tier" level...