• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Rob Dickens

Rob maintains unique skills in that he straddles both the print and digital worlds, bringing together the best practices of old media and merging with the dynamic world of Web 2.0. Id est, he has comprehensive insight into content production (editor, writer, copywriter, proofreader, sub-editor), as well as broad experience in digital marketing and management for brands in the online space (content manager, webmaster, digital editor, community manager, social media manager). He has a 360 degree view of brand management, both online and IRL.
  • List of Google’s autocomplete guesses with one letter

    Google is cocky enough to initiate the autocomplete search function after you type in just one letter. This is how Google explains the autocomplete function and how it works: As you type, Google's algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users' search activities. These searches are algorithmically determined based on a number of purely objective factors (including popularity of search terms) without human intervention. All of the predicted queries shown have...

  • Facebook forced to ‘Like’ picture of ‘gay kiss’

    A picture of two men kissing has caused a ruckus on Facebook after it was originally banned and then quickly re-instated. The picture first appeared for an event planned as a protest against two gay men, Jonathan Williams and James Bull, being evicted from the John Snow pub in Soho, London, for being too affectionate. Protesters planned a “mass kiss in” outside the pub and posted the event on Facebook. The image was removed, as well as from several other profiles that posted the picture. The picture apparently originates from a promotional still from the soap opera “Eastenders”, which...

  • FSMS.co.za: Q&A with the new mobile messaging startup

    There's no such thing as a free lunch right? There's got to be a catch somewhere within a so-called free service? Think of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. These are all based on “freeconomics”. They are free tools. These services are subsidised by advertising and that model has, obviously, proved extremely successful. Why not apply the same model to mobile messaging? Launched last year, FSMS.co.za is doing just that. Memeburn had a chat...

  • GoDaddy CEO kills elephant and shoots company reputation in the foot

    There have been calls to boycott domain registrar GoDaddy.com after CEO Bob Parsons proudly posted a video blog late last week of himself killing an African elephant. The note under the video states: “Each year I go to Zimbabwe and hunt problem elephant. It's one of the most beneficial and rewarding things I do.” The video (WARNING! Graphic Content: CLICK HERE) quickly went viral with around 600 000 views in two days and soon had animal welfare activists releasing the fury of caps lock in the comments section of the video, as well as spreading the video on social networking...

  • Casey Heynes: Anti-bully champion and viral sensation

    Casey Heynes has just become an overnight internet hero. Heynes is seen in a YouTube clip body-slamming a bully. In a scene reminiscent of David and Goliath, where David is the aggressor and Goliath is a rather meek and mild pacifist, the much smaller David taunts Goliath relentlessly. Goliath, at first, does nothing and takes the punishment, but then suddenly something deep inside Goliath snaps and he unleashes the fury on a now, we're sure, terrified David. David's frail form is tossed into the concrete floor like a sack of potatoes and those who have ever been bullied gain...

  • iFrames on Facebook: What you need to know

    Facebook recently rolled out some major changes for Facebook Pages. If you're managing any Facebook Pages you should already be aware of the changes, which were forcibly implemented on March 9 across the board. One of the biggest announcements concerning the upgrade is that Facebook is deprecating FBML (Facebook Markup Language) and FBJS (Facebook Java Script) as a primary technology for building apps on Facebook. The Static FBML tab has been the industry standard for creating apps for Facebook for a while now and is extremely popular (112 829 378 Monthly Active Users). Before you get your knickers in...

  • Mobile web exploding, but mobile sales lagging… for now

    It's no secret that the world has suddenly woken up to the mobile web explosion. Exponential statistics abound and atmospheric graphs shoot up and away from the X and Y axes as the growth is unprecedented in technological history. The internet will very soon be in the hands of practically every single person on this planet. Recently research firm World Wide Worx exposed some of the findings of its Mobility 2011 report, which reveals that 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users are now using the internet on their cellphones, which equals about 6 million South Africans....

  • Scan Me: QR Codes make it to billboards

    Mobile is all the rage right now and QR codes, two-dimensional code readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones, are coming into their own. A Chicago-based company has just launched an innovative idea that utilises QR codes to make massive outdoor billboard advertising affordable to small and medium businesses. Outdoor advertising costs can run into the tens and even hundreds of thousands rands, putting them way beyond the marketing budgets...

  • The robot armageddon is nigh!

    Science fiction has long forewarned the rise of the machine and the ultimate end of humanity. It's usually the realm of late night geek discussions, or perhaps lunatics wrapped snugly in straitjackets. In the popular movie “Terminator” an artificial intelligence network called Skynet becomes self-aware and initiates a nuclear holocaust on mankind. “The Matrix” depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated virtual reality created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while body heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. We have become nothing more...

  • Influence: The new currency of Web 3.0

    We recently dipped our toes into Influence and the Social Web and it's very interesting to see how deep this rabbit hole goes. The emergence of the social graph and online influence has spurred an entirely new commercial model: Influence Measurement and Marketing. As an example, let's take that original article on Memeburn and measure its influence. By dropping the URL into Backtype, we find that the article has a reach of 14,228 impressions on Twitter from just 12 Tweets. That's just one article. Now consider your personal influence in the social web. You have a Facebook profile, a Twitter...

  • Under the influence of the social web

    Social networking is the Web 2.0 darling. It's hard to imagine that Facebook didn't exist just six years ago and Twitter only four. Not to mention that Facebook founder, 26-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, recently surpassed Apple's Steve Jobs as well as media mogul Rupert Murdoch on the Forbes US rich list. Worth an approximate US$6.9bn (£4.4bn) Zuckerberg is estimated to be the 35th richest person in the US. Eight members of the list of 400 are under 40. Three, including Zuckerberg, are co-founders of Facebook. Another two of that list are the co-founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both aged...

  • Justin Bieber, Prince of Twitter, arrives in South Africa

    Justin Bieber has arrived in South Africa on holiday. He tweeted just before his flight from New York's John F Kennedy Airport: “Wow. I am so tired. Good thing this flight is going on a 30 hours. That's right I'm going to be the youngest person to go to the moon.” While we baulk at this sort of celeb-spotting fluff, we are however interested in the fact that Bieber is a Twitter phenomenon. The 16-year-old, oft-parodied, boy-singer is currently the Princess of Twitter, but it's only a matter of days before he becomes the new King. Earlier this month Dustin Curtis,...

  • Six technologies that could murder the mouse

    On the eve of its 50th Golden Anniversary, the humble computer mouse is staring extinction in the face. Steve Prentice, an analyst at consulting firm, Gartner, predicts the death of the computer mouse within the next 3-5 years. Douglas Engelbart, at the Stanford Research Institute, invented the first mouse prototype in 1963, with the assistance of his colleague Bill English (who went on to invent the trackball mouse). The first prototype was made out of a wooden shell, a circuit board and two metal wheels. Since then, the humble mouse has been the primary interactive input device for computers, but...

  • New Tippex “Hunter shoots a bear” campaign goes viral

    Tippex has barreled into the viral media fray with an impeccably executed YouTube campaign, titled “NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear!”, created by Parisian agency Buzzman. The video creates an interactive choice at the end where you decide what the hunter should do to the bear. Your choice then redirects you to their campaign microsite, and you can interact even further. The campaign message is "Help me rewrite this story” and you can type in how you want the hunter to interact with the bear. Timed to coincide with the back to school rush in the USA, these sorts of...

  • Twitter client not working? You need to take the OAuth

    It seems some people are not aware that Twitter flicked the switch yesterday and moved over fully to OAuth. “Tweetdeck isn't working!”, “Hootsuite #FAIL!”, “My UberTwitter is down. OMG how will I survive?” are the cries rippling through the Twitterverse. Fear not, fellow twaddicts, because help is at hand. Twitter recently announced the changeover in their blog. What is Oauth? Twitter explains: “In order for Twitter applications to access your account, developers have been able to choose one of two authentication methods: Basic Authentication or OAuth. Both require your permission, but there is an important difference. With Basic Auth, you...