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  • 5 reasons to use Facebook adverts instead of Google Adwords

    For well over a decade Google’s iconic self-service advertising system has been connecting businesses to potential customers cheaply and efficiently (while generating billions of dollars for Google in the process). Adwords is so brutally effective that it has become the reflex choice for many brands online. A whole ecosystem of businesses has sprung up around the optimisation and administration of Adwords campaigns. The problem, though, is that when you have a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Many companies continue to pour money into Adwords without even considering their options. When Adwords was the only pay-per-click, targeted advertising platform...

  • Kalahari.net expecting big things from its new and used goods platform

    South African online retailer kalahari.net is forecasting impressive growth by the end of the year from Marketplace, its new and used trading platform which was launched in February this year. Kalahari.net believes that the trading platform, which lists both used and new products for sale, will provide South Africans with a way to earn extra money, which is especially important in the current economic climate, and speaks to South Africa’s natural entrepreneurial spirit. “The launch of our marketplace allows online users to sell their new or used products on a platform that has an enormous database of existing customers and that is...

  • Why does being in Africa make you untrustworthy?

    I haven’t been able to use PayPal for two months. I just got profiled for extra security measures on Facebook. I can’t make certain purchases from Africa. Few organisations ship goods to me here in Kenya. Let’s be honest; living in Africa, or being African, gives you a certain unwelcome aroma in the eyes of global corporations. Frankly, we’re just not trustworthy. This isn’t new to any of us who live, or spend a great deal of time, in Africa. You’re blacklisted, given extra screening, and generally treated like a second-rate human. You’re not trusted, and you’re not worth the time...

  • Interview: Obami founder Barbara Mallinson on startups and e-learning

    With her own savings, support from friends, and the backing of a UK Government Grant, South African entrepreneur Barbara Mallinson founded Obami, a social networking site that’s been developed specifically for schools and to facilitate e-learning. Mallinson has since brought Obami back to South Africa to try and make a difference in the country she’s always called home. Memeburn.com caught up with her to talk online education and where it is all going. Memeburn: What are the major trends you are seeing in your industry? BM: With Mxit and Facebook making up a huge percentage of South Africa’s online audience, I think...

  • Thesis vs WordPress resolved: A new era of collaboration beckons

    The heated debate that has swirled around the WordPress community over the last few days appears to have been settled amicably with the news that the famous Wordpress theme or "search engine optimised framework" Thesis has agreed to a "split licence". By licensing their PHP code under the General Public License (GPL), Thesis can now more directly contribute to the growth of the WordPress code-base as a whole. It can also directly benefit from the many developers working with the framework (and WordPress), who are now able to fork or contribute to the project. The debate was sparked between WordPress...

  • CNN launches iPhone news app for international audiences

    Following the launch of CNN’s app for the iPhone and iPod Touch in the United States last year, the news giant has announced the availability of the international version on the App Store.  Available free of charge to users outside of the USA, the international version of the CNN App is purpose-built and designed to provide a visually-driven news experience for iPhone and iPod touch users. “CNN’s new app will offer our international audience a fantastic mobile experience for iPhone and iPod touch, delivering unique features and a user-friendly design,” said Louis Gump, vice president of Mobile at CNN. Maximising the revolutionary features...

  • Is Flipboard the killer iPad app we’ve all been waiting for?

    It's only been 24 hours, but Flipboard -- a brand new iPad app -- is already living up to the hype of revolutionising the way we consume and interact with social media. By creating an interactive magazine format populated by content from your Facebook and Twitter accounts, Flipboard  has taken a solid step forward from what social media and aggregator tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite have been doing for some time -- de-cluttering the social media space. The company calls Flipboard the "world's first social magazine" and says its mission is to "fundamentally improve how people discover, view...

  • 6 ways to turn your WordPress blog into a web socialite

    A blog is usually a place where individuals or groups publish thoughts and ideas on niche topics, current affairs or daily occurrences. But how do you make a WordPress blog more social and attractive to people wanting to interact and bring it to life? Can you turn your shy, introverted blog into a bubbling, web socialite? WordPress, the popular blogging platform, has a number of solutions that you can use. Here are six ideas that really work: 1. Enhance user commenting Start off by allowing users to login and comment with their Facebook or Twitter accounts. The Janrain Engage (formerly RPX) plug-in aims to...

  • All hail the DMMA: SA’s new digital oversight body

    South Africa’s digital industry is a thriving world of creativity, innovation, engineering, design and media, and its importance in the world of marketing and media is growing daily. Inevitably, someone was going to ask the question: don’t we need a body that can represent and assist in growing the industry? This thought has occurred a few times over the past decade and a half. In the 90s, there was DIMA – the Digital Interactive Media Association – which gained some traction among the 90s digital agencies, but faltered when most of them did. In the early noughties, the Digital Forum (DF)...

  • Facebook celebrates half-a-billion with half-arsed campaign

    Facebook has just announced the mind-boggling achievement of 500-million active monthly users, placing it way out in front of all its rivals. It's not really a race, given that its next closest rival is China's Qzone (owned by Tencent, in which South Africa's Naspers has a 46% stake) with an estimated 200-million users. Social media darling Twitter has yet to sniff the 100-million mark with new memberships peaking last year July at 7.8-million per month. According to web monitoring site HitWise, Facebook leapfrogged into pole position for the first time in March this year when more Americans visited Facebook than...

  • Oriella Survey: Journalists are working harder, better, faster, longer

    The Oriella PR network, an alliance of 17 communications agencies in 20 countries around the world, has recently concluded its third annual survey of journalists. This year the survey was expanded beyond Western Europe to Eastern Europe, the US and Brazil. More than 770 journalists in 21 countries responded. Here are some key findings: Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) to this year’s study said they are expected to produce more content than before. One in three (30 percent) are working longer hours. Nearly half (46 percent) said their work has improved as a result of digital and social media – an increase...

  • Five ways to integrate social media into your overall marketing mix

    Although social media can give you good returns for a fraction of the monetary cost of a traditional marketing campaign, you should still think of it as just one element of your overall marketing mix. Social media marketing does occupy a useful place, but it is still best used in conjunction with other marketing, rather than as a single magical cure-all that exists in isolation. One important reason for this is that the audience engaging with you over social media channels is likely to be smaller than the one exposed to your brand through more traditional channels such as advertising, in-store...

  • Newspaper paywalls are freemium business models

    Newspaper paywalls have been criticised by many people in geek communities across the world and also by popular journalism bloggers such as Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen -- but they follow the best practices of "Freemium" business models used by thousands of tech startups. Freemium has been a successful strategy used by many tech companies. Please see: Emergence Capital: Profitable Lessons From Freemium Business Models - SVW. And: Case Studies in Freemium: Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic and MailChimp Freemium is based on a simple plan: Give away a great service for free and upsell some users to a paid...

  • Facebook goes for the LinkedIn crowd with new app, BranchOut

    Facebook has clearly grown weary of losing business-oriented members to social networking rival LinkedIn, and have decided to do something about it. That paradigm has existed almost since social networking began and has developed into something of a lore. Popular, social searches happen on Facebook, but when it's time to get serious and "grow up", you move over to LinkedIn. Branchout is a new Facebook application that seeks to add career networking to the Facebook universe. According to TechCrunch, "the application unlocks massive amounts of career data about my friends and friends of friends that was just impossible to get...

  • A few tips on understanding the relevance of ad keywords

    So you've spent a fortune on search engine marketing, but you're not getting the results that you had hoped for. You think you’ve covered all your bases and no search entries could possibly escape the broad net you’ve thrown out. Understanding how people search could be the first step to significantly improving your results. The real magic in search engine marketing lies in the user telling the search engine exactly what they are looking for: ‘pizza in Randburg’; ‘cheap flights to Paris’; ‘quality diamond rings’ – these are all things people search for on Google and they are called queries. By...