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  • Facebook and Twitter for X-Box LIVE comes to SA

    Social media integration is all the rage. Only a few months ago Microsoft launched Xbox LIVE, an online multiplayer gaming network, in South Africa now it has announced the integration of Facebook and Twitter into the product. "A 'My Community' channel will also be added to the LIVE Dash and will launch on both the Standard and Family Dashboards. This is part of our ongoing commitment to providing quality gaming and entertainment in the living room," says Microsoft South Africa. The new channel will only be available to X-Box Live Gold members. The addition of Facebook and Twitter creates a...

  • Banksy and social media: The perfect match?

    Banksy, the world-famous street artist who is considered the scarlet pimpernel of the art world almost had his identity sold in an auction on ebay last week. Bidding reached a dollar short of US$1-million before the attempt to unmask the art crusader was thwarted. But many have been left wondering if this was yet another of Banksy’s elaborate pranks, or whether Web 2.0 came within a hair's breadth of revealing his identity? The saga began when a seller called 'jaybuysthings' made the offer, with a 100% guarantee that the identity was real, after claiming that he had used tax...

  • 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 of many small to medium business. ScanForDeals.com has placed QR codes on billboards around Chicago. In effect, creating a "time-sharing" capacity for the billboard site. The fist...

  • Online news startup launches with heavyweight backing

    Ongo, a subscription-based service backed by The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today, launched on Tuesday promising a "new way to read, discover and share" news online. The big dailies are among the content contributors to Ongo.com along with Britain's Financial Times and Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, Slate and the US news agency the Associated Press. The Post, Times and USA Today publisher Gannett announced in September they had each invested US$4 million in the Cupertino, California-based venture, whose website is advertising-free to provide a less-cluttered reading experience. The news aggregator startup is making its debut...

  • Egypt blocks Twitter [and possibly Facebook] after day of rising protests

    Twitter was inaccessible in Egypt on Tuesday in what was believed to be a move by the government to thwart protesters using the social network in a campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak. After days of rising tension and public anger inspired by the Tunisian "Facebook Revolution", events finally began to spill over on the streets of Cairo. The US-based microblogging service was out of service in Egypt on Tuesday, according to the herdict.org tracking website recommended by Twitter. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on what was causing the service outage in Egypt. The news came as tens of thousands of demonstrators...

  • Real change at Google, or just shuffling the cards?

    The departure of Eric Schmidt as CEO of Google has led to speculation about changes at the company as Larry Page moves back into that job in April. But there will be no changes because there is essentially no change in the management of Google. People forget that Eric Schmidt held the title of CEO in name only. The decision making was shared between the founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Schmidt in what they termed a "triumvirate". Here it is explained in extracts from Larry Page's 2004 Founders' IPO Letter: "Eric has the legal responsibilities of the CEO... We run Google...

  • Social media, before Facebook and Twitter [Infographic]

    Though it might seem like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace invented social networking, they in fact did not. That old antique device of the internet, known as email, is arguably considered by many to be a form of "social networking". Online communication occurred long before we were able to 'write' on each other's virtual walls. Did you know that the very first email was sent in 1971? Did you know that the concept of "trolling" was established in Usenet bulletin boards not Twitter? Social media has a long (40 years or so) and revealing history. The origins of social media...

  • 7 social media lessons learned from hypnosis

    For over a hundred years, all sorts of people, from charlatans to respected academics, have been studying the power and uses of hypnosis. Two forms have emerged recently as the most well-researched and effective: Clinical hypno-therapy and stage hypnosis. In fact there are many therapists who dabble in entertaining stage hypnosis. As social media marketers, there are many lessons we can learn from the field of trance and suggestion. Below are 7 of my favourite. 1. Suggestibility Suggestibility is a measure of how inclined a person is to act on the suggestions of other people. Research has shown that there is...

  • Anticipation builds around the impressive, upcoming WordPress 3.1

    With three release candidates available at the time of writing, and a bleeding edge build of the software released nightly, WordPress version 3.1 is steadily gaining hype within the WordPress community. With the WordPress brand having shown a considerable increase in popularity during 2010, version 3.1 of the software is fast becoming one of the most anticipated software releases of early 2011. Several months ago, Memeburn explored the features users could expect from WordPress version 3.1. Today, we'll look back on this list, observe how each feature has developed and discuss some new features that made it into this release. Internal...

  • Social media policy in the military

    Last week, the United States Army announced the release of its 2011 Social Media Handbook on its blog, Army Live. The handbook warns troops to think twice before divulging information on Facebook or Twitter that could be exploited by adversaries. Last year the US Army released the 2010 Social Media Book, which the blog post refers to as "an excellent product". However the post further explains that "it only scratched the surface of Army social media use. We decided it was time to produce a document that provided more guidance, additional case studies and more advanced tips and best practices."...

  • Self-publishing in the digital world

    One of the biggest factors that demotivates would-be novelists is the harsh reality that only a tiny fraction of all manuscripts submitted to publishers are ever picked up and professionally published. For those who don’t just want to write for the sake of it, but who actually want to share their works with the world, this thought is often enough to stop them writing altogether. However, an exciting and accessible alternative is opening up for these writers – digital self-publishing. Traditional self-publishing has always been considered an exclusive, vanity-driven niche since the associated costs are so high and willing...

  • World Health Organisation using MXit, JamiiX in disaster zones

    The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) has teamed up with popular mobile social network MXit and JamiiX to bring emergency preparedness information to chat users in disaster-prone Indonesia. This new approach is part of WHO’s wider effort to strengthen disaster preparedness in the region and build public awareness of the urgent need for safe hospitals in disaster zones. Indonesians using MXit chat will be able to access personal preparedness information, including what to do in the case of natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and cyclones; how to prepare an emergency...

  • Twitter forecasting 2011 ad revenue of $150 million

    Microblogging sensation Twitter is expected to rake in US$150-million in advertising revenue this year, according to a study published Monday. This is largely due to the "Promoted Tweets" advertising program which was launched last April, and has pulled in major ad campaigns from global powerhouses such as Mercedes-Benz, Pepsi, Starbucks and Disney. The study, by digital research firm eMarketer, said ad spending on Twitter in 2010 was an estimated US$45-million, and would rise to US$150-million this year and could reach US$250-million by 2012. "One reason for the dramatic growth forecast this year is the upcoming launch of a self-serve ad platform,"...

  • Google’s Schmidt to get $100-million, possible TV talk show

    Google's outgoing chief executive Eric Schmidt, who is set to step down in April for co-founder Larry Page, is set to receive US$100-million in stock and stock options, as well as a possible talk show on CNN. Google announced the compensation for Schmidt, who has served as chief executive of the Internet search and advertising giant for a decade, in a filing on Monday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Mountain View, California-based company said the equity awards approved by Google's board of directors will be granted to Schmidt, who has been earning a token salary of $1,...

  • Google in search of its mojo

    Google, the internet darling of what could be termed the "web 2.0" era is searching for its mojo in the era of the social web, now largely defined by companies like Facebook, Twitter and Ning. Although the search giant is recording massive profits, it now seems somewhat of a bumbling giant in the guise of an old technology company like Microsoft rather than the sexy new game-changer of its early years. Microsoft didn't "get the internet", key to Google's DNA. Now it seems that Google doesn't "get social". Although the company runs one of the most successful social sites on...