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Social

  • Is it a tweet or is it a status update?

    After locking my BlackBerry away for the Christmas break and enjoying the consequent peace and quiet, I’ve decided that 2011 is the year we should start de-cluttering our digital lives, and filtering out the tons of useless information we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. One of the best ways to begin is to learn how and when to use specific social networks to get the best out of them, and still save some time for yourself away from your intrusive technologies. If you can manage to use your social networking accounts as they were intended and to your best...

  • Facebook Pages level the playing field for small business

    Few small business owners and entrepreneurs have the bandwidth or the budget to launch a full scale marketing campaign. Combine this with a lack of critical mass in terms of audience associated with the larger competing organisations/brands, and it almost seems hopeless to try and compete. However, with the dawn of the digital age and the rise of social media platforms and opportunities, the sky has quite literally become the limit. It is no longer just about having the traditional above-the-line campaigns spanning across radio, TV and print, but about creating an online brand presence, about having a conversation,...

  • Facebook: Emerging market countries surge into the top 10

    Only a year or two ago, developed countries were dominating Facebook, but in terms of growth it’s the developing economies that are taking giant leaps forward in Facebook numbers. While the United States seems to have hit a plateau, the emerging markets are going from strength to strength. India has moved up three spots in just two months, while Mexico and the Philippines feature strongly too. It seems fair to assume that as online access increases, so will the Facebook populations of these countries. Here are the top 10 countries on Facebook, as measured by number of users. 1. United States...

  • Facebook: The China challenge

    A few weeks back Mark Zuckerburg was spotted in Beijing, strutting through the headquarters of Baidu - China’s dominant search engine and resident Google killer. A couple of days later similar photos popped up after a visit to Sina.com, the Nasdaq-listed online content and social networking powerhouse. The tech press and the blogosphere went crazy, predicting Facebook’s imminent arrival in the Chinese market and just how this may work given the Chinese government's iron grip on social networking and communication technology. Facebook may have a massive war chest, recently topped up with a US$500 million investment round led by Goldman...

  • Mandela ‘death’ hoax exposes weakness of Twitter as news platform

    The retweet didn't kill the newsman, after all. As it turns out, the growth of Twitter simply reiterates the essential role of journalists in sifting through and filtering the rumour mill that hangs around the neck of the information economy. And a good thing it is, too. This past weekend, users on social network Twitter inadvertently spread a rumour that Nelson Mandela had died. Many contributed to its spread by asking in tweets whether the rumour of his death was correct, thus spreading news of the rumour, rather than the rumour itself, but the end result was pretty much the...

  • 9 top tips for navigating Facebook’s promotional guidelines

    Facebook has undoubtedly become the platform of choice when it comes to connecting the masses – and the statistics are mind blowing. Almost 600-million users worldwide , including 3.5-million in South Africa alone. It is further estimated that users spend more than 700-billion minutes per month on the site and have an average of 130 friends – a captive audience by any marketing standards. However, as much as Facebook is accessible and easy to navigate in terms of setting up Fan Pages, and starting interactions with end users, it doesn’t operate without a set of Promotional...

  • Social networks begin shifting to a post-Facebook world

    Nobody would argue that the mammoth social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Qzone – boasting almost a billion users between them – currently dominate the social networking world. But 2011 is likely to see a considerable change in the way that users approach their social interactions. 2010 saw the major social networks dealing with privacy scares, usability issues and growing boredom with their inflexibility. It's not inconceivable that users will begin to look for something refreshing and different. The key is diversity – after growing vertically for a decade, social networks are now starting to spread horizontally to capture...

  • Mobilitate: A social media platform that takes on government

    Social media has become the proverbial soap-box for causes, issues and many things that need a voice. Social media campaigns spear-headed by individuals often lose momentum because they fail to mobilise people. The power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs lie in the fact that they empower individuals to publish, influence and make a cause known. But that's the ideal world. The reality is that the impact most individuals can make on a regular basis is limited, fragmented and not coordinated. Enter Mobilitate -- a platform that allows an individual to coordinate a response using various social media tools to...

  • The emerging market social-networking superpowers

    There is something going on in China, Russia and South Africa. Via various internet investments and creations, these three countries combined have built up major stakes in some of the world's biggest sites and social networks. Russian investment company, Digital Sky Technologies (DST), now owns about 7-10% of Facebook by various estimates, putting the company among Facebook's biggest owners. Via its sister company Mail.ru, another 2.4% of Facebook is held. Recently, according to the New York Times, DST ploughed a further $50-million into Facebook. DST also owns about five percent of the popular social gaming company Zynga and another five percent...

  • Top 10 South American brands on Facebook

    When we think of Facebook most of us think of it as the domain of the English-speaking world. But the reality is that over 375-million of Facebook’s 585-million users are non-English speakers, which is more than half of all users. One of Facebook's fastest growing regions is South America. The region already has six countries that number in Facebook’s 25 biggest markets - Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Peru -- and it contributes more than 56-million users. What’s scary is that Brazil, with its 76 million internet users, has only just begun to take to Facebook. In November...

  • Africa’s mobile numbers, and where to find them

    It’s not a big surprise to see Nokia’s Symbian operating system is the most popular in Africa. We all knew that, but it’s by how much that draws your attention. Royal Pingdom has an excellent post on the web usage (which is what they can measure) of the top OS use around the world. It’s amazing to see the difference between Africa, Asia and South America as opposed to Europe and North America. While, as a developer, it’s more sexy to work on the cutting-edge operating systems like iPhone and iPad's iOS and Android you’d be making a mistake to...

  • Social media futurism – the perfect government?

    It's widely acknowledged that the advent of social media has completely changed our lives. Friends around the world are closer and always in touch, news spreads like wildfire, and communication is instant. With Twitter being used by more than 175-million people, Facebook approaching 600-million and even LinkedIn with over 70-million, it seems that social networking is an unstoppable force. The question begs to be asked: Where will all of this lead us? The impact that these services have had on society is unquantifiable, and is exponential. Is it conceivable that, very soon, every adult on earth could have internet connectivity...

  • Facebook now worth more than Boeing

    Social-networking behemoth Facebook could now be worth more than US aerospace giant Boeing and media company Time Warner. This new valuation is as a result of raising $500-million dollars from Goldman Sachs and a Russian firm in a deal valuing the site at $50-billion dollars With the fresh investment, Facebook has a bigger capitalisation than Boeing, at 48.7 billion dollars, or Time Warner, about 36 billion. But the site's annual revenue, primarily based on advertising, is estimated at two billion dollars, compared with Boeing's 64.62 billion and Time Warner's 26.5 billion. The New York Times, citing sources familiar with the deal,...

  • Memorable tweets of 2010: BP, Aussies, WikiLeaks, Palin, Vuvuzela, Pigspotter

    The World Cup, the BP Gulf oil spill, Wikileaks, the launch of the iPad, Chilean miners... 2010 was a year with plenty of opportunities for online witticisms and criticisms. The 140-character-enforced brevity of Twitter means that it often distilled a current topic down to its essence. The phrase, “Did you see that tweet about…” became as common as the sound of vuvuzelas during this year. Selecting the best tweets was no easy task: There were more than two-billion tweets posted on a monthly basis in 2010. Here's ten of Memeburn's favourites: 1. “Breaking News: Paris Hilton to be charged with ambush...

  • You did what!? Six social media rules for the holidays

    We’ve all had a few embarrassing or incriminating mishaps on Facebook. After all, even if you untag yourself, you can’t remove other people’s photos. Relationships end over moments like this: “Uh, honey? Who’s this guy you’re hugging in the picture Alice took?” – and jobs can be placed on the line – “Guess what Mike? Apparently the hottie you met at the beach yesterday has posted that you offered her a contract.” This time of year is called the silly season for a reason. Things tend to get out of hand and onto the web far more easily. So be...