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All posts by Mich Atagana

  • What Twitter analytics means for the murky world of social media influence

    In the first 30 minutes of waking up, among wrestling the last grips of the sandman, most people reach for their mobile devices and check Twitter. We want to see what happened while we were sleeping and we want to know who responded to our last tweets. Aside from the counts of retweets, the occasional favourites and perhaps the number of replies a tweet gets, it's hard to figure out how well your Twitter account is performing. But do you really care how your tweet is doing? If you are anything like anyone that works at Burn Media HQ, you...

  • Calling all young designers: Facebook wants you for its first Africa hackathon

    Facebook is really gearing up its activities in Africa. The social network will host its first Creative Shop Hackathon in Africa as part of Loeries Creative Week Cape Town. The hackathon is designed specifically for young creative designers with under two years of experience. The idea is to offers the designers an opportunity to work on a real creative brief for the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship. The Hackathon will be overseen by Rob Newlan, Head of Facebook Creative Shop Europe, Middle East and Africa. The winners will not only receive free credit to bring their idea to life,...

  • Wikiwand is the Wikipedia you’ve always dreamed of

    We can all agree that Wikipedia's interface works on simplicity because Jimmy Wales and his buddies want to deliver the same experience across different machines. Yes, we understand but if we are being honest, we do wish we could get a kickass stylist upgrade to the simple text based UX. Well, the folks at WikiWand have heard our pleas and decided to deliver. The Chrome plugin has taken Wikipedia and twisted its head to give you a slick new interface offering a significantly better reading experience. Installing the plugin quickly transforms all articles on Wikipedia into a responsive page....

  • Facebook making ads easier for emerging markets with bandwidth targeting

    Facebook is kicking things up a gear with its ad targeting capabilities. The social network announced today that is rolling out bandwidth targeting globally. This means advertisers will be able to reach people based on the type of network connection they usually use when accessing the internet: 2G, 3G or 4G. According to the social network this is particularly useful for developing countries, where network speeds vary and infrastructure is constantly changing. "This fragmented environment makes it difficult for businesses to reach people with valuable experiences on their mobile devices. People want fast, seamless experiences on their phones. This...

  • Creating a more curious generation through memes: Q&A with Reddit GM

    It's a slightly gloomy Seattle day but the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) is packed with students and members of the public. I am sitting at the museum's cafe with the General Manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, (who, like me, had a slightly rough night out with Microsoft's Imagine Cup group). The cafe is a bit noisy as the staff get ready to feed the hoard outside. "I hope you don't mind if I record this, I am rubbish at taking notes" I ask him. "Not all," he responds kindly. Martin has been at the helm of Reddit, arguably one of the...

  • SAP is pouring $500m into Africa to foster innovation

    Software giant SAP is getting serious about Africa and is putting its money where its mouth is by investing US$500-million through 2020 in the continent. The announcement came at a press briefing hosted by Robert Enslin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and president of Global Customer Operations. The NYSE-listed company says that it intends to enable innovation and development in Africa, hence the large investment. Through this investment SAP hopes to accelerate growth across five key regions: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Angola and Morocco. Keeping in the company's tech ways, it hopes that the investment will...

  • [Exclusive] Fresh off the Dragons’ Den set: Ventureburn chats to Vinny Lingham

    The announcement of the judges for the South African version of Dragons' Den was pretty much the headline news of the week in the country's entrepreneurial space. The show is set to air in South Africa in the coming months with 13 episodes of startups pitching to the Dragons for investment. One said Dragon, Vinny Lingham, of Yola and Gyft fame, popped round Ventureburn’s Woodstock offices in the Silicon Cape for an interview. Lingham was very hush-hush about any of the show's secrets or the amount of money that was invested. No matter how much I prompted, he refused...

  • Grindstone reports 61% increase in revenue for all its companies

    A little more than a year ago, I had breakfast with Keet Van Zyl, from Knife Capital. He told me he was about to launch an accelerator programme for "scale-up" companies. My response: "oh dear, not another one". Knife Capital is a Southern African growth equity fund manager and advisor that focuses on innovation-driven ventures with proven traction. What the company wanted to do was prove that growth could be engineered through its Grindstone accelerator programme -- an entrepreneurial leadership academy of some sort. Read more on Ventureburn.var 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");

  • Social media and strange bedfellows: #WomenAgainstFeminism, meet @NoToFeminism

    Social media -- the battle ground for all causes, all opinions and all debates that must be heard. In the last few weeks, a number of women have come out to take a stand against feminism and the hashtag WomenAgainstFeminism (WAF) was born. I first noticed the "movement", if we want to call it that, on Buzzfeed. The site featured posts from 14 women who publicly stated that they were against feminism for various reasons. One woman said she could think for herself, another said she respected all genders and one said she was an adult able to take...

  • Reddit needs you to help teachers and classrooms in need

    Reddit is more than just a place that users go to share articles and discuss politics and Kim Kardashian. The Reddit community can be very generous, not only with their time, but also their money. Last year the community gave more than US$325 000 to help teachers set up their classrooms. This year Reddit is once again calling on its community to help teachers in need through its Gift Exchange programme. According to the platform, the donations and care packages from the community "really do make a difference" so it's hoping to replicate the success it had last year....

  • O Captain! my Captain: bidding farewell to Robin Williams [Videos]

    Many years ago we met a man who woke us up every morning with a roaring good morning. He introduced us to host of interesting and deeply passionate cast of characters. They taught us to laugh, love, feel and fly. At 63 Robin Williams, the celebrated thespian, took his final bow on the world stage. Williams had been battling recurring depression, alongside relapses into drug and alcohol abuse with his most recent return to rehab taking place last month. But that's not the man we knew. The man we knew made life interesting and fun. He brought light, joy and charisma...

  • Focus splitting: Facebook, Foursquare and the great unbundling

    A few months ago, I opened up Foursquare and was told I couldn't check in through the app anymore. I had to get another app, Swarm, built by Foursquare to do so. A week earlier I had noticed that Google had split its drive app into three separate standalone apps: Sheets, Slides, and Docs. This weekend meanwhile, I couldn't read my Facebook messages on my mobile because all messages have now been moved to the social network's messenger app. It has happened, big tech companies have entered the age of internet unbundling. What this means is the of breaking...

  • Built in Africa: Cipher256 is solving Africa’s biggest problem with an app

    Built in Africa focuses on entrepreneurs, startups and technologies that hail from the continent and empower its citizens. The miracle of birth is still a miracle and the period leading up to birth is crucial, which is why modern medicine has done its best to monitor the progress of an unborn child. Unfortunately in rural parts of Africa, where under-trained midwives are the primary monitors of unborn children, modern medicine isn't always so affordable. How can we combat this? That's where mobile technology comes in. In this, our ninth installment of the Built in Africa series, we feature Joshua Okello, the...

  • UberPool: a kickass idea to reduce the number of cars on city roads?

    Uber is at it again with its world domination ploy. The company today announced UberPool, an offering that allows users to share a ride, not just split the fare. It is likely the company's response to competitors like Lyft that offers cheaper car share options. But maybe not. Before now, users of Uber could split their fare between up to three people, bringing down the cost of a ride considerably if you are going a long way. UberPool will cut that cost even more. "Since the early days of Uber, we’ve been excited about the idea of providing transportation so inexpensive...

  • Meet the four geeks who actually run the world of tech

    These days, the world of tech is no longer the murky, obscure thing that makes your computer or television work. Today we are all so immersed in tech that Silicon Valley and its key tech players are celebrities to us. Silicon Valley is the new Hollywood, and just like Tinsel Town it is not always the brightest or the most talked about stars that are the real movers and shakers of the space. Google, Facebook and "real life Tony Stark (Iron Man)" Elon Musk may be in constant orbit of our tech planet, but before their stars went supernova there...