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  • First picture of local blogosphere emerges

    The country's leading internet analyst, Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx, has published some interesting statistics on the local blogosphere. If you haven't seen it already, he published this on his Thought Leader blog. He collated the data from a variety of blog aggregators and blog hosting platforms, including 24.com, Mweb, Amagama, and iblog. Arthur also looked at the two blog aggregators Amatomu and Afrigator to get an indication of local bloggers on independent blogs or who are part of overseas blog platforms such as Blogger.com and Wordpress.com Here are some of his conclusions: Number of blogs at end of August:...

  • Facebook, the Web 2.0 killer

    Also on Thought Leader The existence of Facebook, the smash-hit social-networking site, may unwittingly kill off a host of other Web 2.0 start-ups. This is mainly because of Facebook's inclusive and all-encompassing nature. The site appears to be blogging (lite), Twittering (short blogging), multiplayer gaming (simple games), dating, social networking, online photo management and even emailing all in one. In fact thanks to its open application system, Facebook can be almost anything you want it to be. This Wired piece describes how Facebook has effectively killed off the once-pioneering Friendster.com, with the gloomy headline: "Friendster CEO confesses his company has...

  • Google have stars in their eyes

    So Google is not satisfied with world domination, but wants to rule the universe too. Hey, even space shuttles need search engines. Ok, at a stretch. So it transpires that the new version of Google Earth now comes with sky imagery or a “virtual telescope”, as Google calls it. As the official Google Earth blog says: Today, I'm excited to announce we are launching Sky in Google Earth. You can now explore the universe from the comfort of your chair. Zoom in to distant galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away, explore the constellations, see the planets in motion, witness...

  • South African journalists take to blogs

    Chaos broke out on the South African blogosphere recently, and it was all caused by a journalist. Columnist David Bullard devoted not one, but two Sunday Times columns to hurling insults at bloggers, calling them “scrofulous nerds”, “narcissists”, and “wackos” whose blog sites are the “air guitars” of journalism. The affair was rather melodramatically dubbed “Bullardgate” by the blogosphere which reacted terribly seriously to Bullard’s baiting words by calling for his head. The ironic result was that Bullard then, himself, started a new blog which rapidly shot up the blog rankings as he continued to spew provocative invective against bloggers, in...

  • The Search Wars: Can the Wikipedia boss take on Google?

    Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia boss, has now detailed how he plans to take on Google, the search behemoth. Google is so good and so powerful, you get the feeling that competitors are at a bit of a loss on how exactly to take the search giant on. Even Microsoft, which has never run away from a fight, appears to be at a loss. During the Browser Wars of the 90s, Microsoft famously destroyed Netscape from complete market dominance to utter ruin in a period of about six years, making Internet Explorer the dominant browser of today. This is confirmation of what...

  • Wikipedia: It's impossible, but works

    Did this interview with Intelligence Magazine on Wikipedia... If you want to see the full interview buy the magazine... Intelligence Mag: How valuable do you consider Wikipedia as a reference source? Me: I think Wikipedia is a valuable reference source, but that readers should be on guard when they use Wikipedia material. I would use Wikipedia as a starting point for gathering information on topics, and then move on to other reference sources. I would always use wikipedia in tandem with more traditional encyclopedias such as Britannica. - Do you use Wikipedia? Yes, I use Wikipedia as an occasional...

  • SA aggregator cracks CNN mention

    This is killer. CNN.com mentioned Afrigator as a hot web 2.0 startup. Afrigator is the Africa-focused blog aggregator by Justin Hartman and Mike Stopforth. Nice. Very nice guys. Just noticed that my evil twin, who called me about it on the way back from work, also blogged about it here. This is the second time an SA Web 2.0 project has cracked a mention. Neville Newey's muti, a local Digg, was also recognised by CNN some time ago. Nice to see these cool, local projects on the world map.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");

  • Amatomu.com: 1,000,000 clickthroughs (and counting)

    South African blog aggregator Amatomu.com as of today clocked over one-million clickthroughs back to the local blogosphere. We started tracking the clickthroughs around about the beginning of April, so the million clickthroughs have been generated in a period of about four months. Amatomu has been running for about five months since March 2007. Amatomu is now tracking around 120 000 daily combined blog page impressions, which is about the equivalent of a mid-sized traditional online publisher in local terms. It will be interesting to hear from bloggers where Amatomu features in their blog traffic referrer lists. There is a "nofollow"...

  • New Google head for South Africa

    South Africa has a new Google boss. Stafford Masie, the former head of Novell South Africa and a relative unknown outside IT circles, has been appointed the new South Africa Google head, reports ITWeb and Mail & Guardian Online. It's taken them a while to find the person. The job has been advertised for over two years via the Google website. I know quite a few people -- mainly in the online media sector -- who were interviewed for the job, and the option they went for, someone who works for a software company, is an interesting choice. At first glance...

  • Prediction: Newspapers face pricey future

    In a recent Associated Press article European editors were interviewed about where they see the future of the newspaper. In the face of declining circulations and the onslaught of new media, you’d expect that they’d want to slit their wrists. But no – the article reported the editors were “strikingly optimistic” about the future. In fact, it was reported that they saw the new media explosion more as an opportunity than a threat. The editors expressed confidence they could provide the content readers need – whether accessed on newsprint, a computer screen, a smart phone or a futuristic electronic scroll. I...

  • Facebook.co.za: From Google ads to gushy fan blog

    Recently I pointed out that the international hit social networking site Facebook didn't own its South African domain, facebook.co.za. I thought this was strange considering South Africa is purportedly the sixth biggest country on Facebook by registered user numbers. The owner of the facebook.co.za domain is a South African, from Cape Town. And I also noticed that the local site that was facebook.co.za was nothing but a solitary and illegal block of Google Adsense, cynically placed (See here) to make money out of unwitting users looking for the real Facebook. After my July 3 blog criticising this and discussing the...

  • Despite broadband growth, SA internet grows marginally – Goldstuck

    Arthur Goldstuck's new research at first glance appears to be at odds with the recent statement Nielsen//Netratings issued that internet growth in South Africa is "exploding", based on the local and international growth of the top 30 OPA sites in the country. The Nielsen figures are independent, audited statistics that show that the major sites in this country are experiencing increased usership, but they are a sample (albeit a very large one) of what is going on in South Africa's internet. It is also hard to believe that broadband use has not resulted in increased internet access, but Goldstuck's assertion...

  • Guess who owns facebook.co.za? Not Facebook.

    It looks like Facebook doesn't own facebook.co.za, its South African domain? I'm surmising this from the fact that: 1. it appears from the co.za registration data that the owner of Facebook.co.za lives in Cape Town. 2. it may be that the domain was registered on behalf of Facebook by the local, but I have my doubts because when you go to Facebook.co.za you are presented with a stark page containing nothing but Google ads, and I doubt Facebook would do this. 3. if it was Facebook's domain, it would have been diverted to Facebook.com If this is what I think it is, not...

  • South Africa's web traffic not that bad if you consider…

    Here is a thought and it starts like this: So what if internet penetration is below or around the 10% mark in this country. Yes it could and should be higher and will soar higher as we see the proliferation of new broadband products take hold and get cheaper (the broadband-induced boom other nations experienced is only starting here now). But consider this: Even though internet penetration is less than 10% in South Africa, which we keep on emphasising in caution, our local internet population is probably now nearing 4-million. But that is small you cry! Yes, but consider this:...

  • HTC Touch "IPhone killer": Nice, but no big deal

    I say this, because this new phone isn't a particularly dramatic departure in mobile phone development. The HTC Touch phone is still built on Windows Mobile 6, so it's not a new operating system, but rather a kind of souped-up windows skin. In fact you can very clearly still see the Windows Mobile 6 header and footer on the HTC Touch interface. So, as beautiful as the new Touch phone looks, I wouldn't put it in the same league as the IPhone. It's certainly not an "IPhone Killer" as some have called it. I was invited to the local launch...