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  • 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...

  • Foursquare predicts we’ll soon be searching for where, not what

    The next few months could see Foursquare going into partnership with either Google, Yahoo or Microsoft as they seek to assert their dominance over the emerging trend of location-based social networking. In an interview with The Telegraph, CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley revealed his vision of a "search partnership which could let people look up the most popular bar or restaurant in their area in real time." The deal would be reminiscent of Twitter's move into the mainstream when it made deals with all of the major search players that permitted them to add tweets to their search results, giving them...

  • Why Silicon Valley is only part of California’s innovative success

    California seems to be on a constant roller-coaster of events – technological, economic and social. Strangely enough, the state keeps moving on as the American epicentre of high-tech industry. To technological entrepreneurs, California is synonymous with Silicon Valley, a place where brain-rich can become money-rich. To movie lovers, California is synonymous with Hollywood, where real life can become fantasy. In the 1980s, Silicon Valley defined California’s economy in particular and America in general. It was the first time in the history of capitalism when the best brains made the most money. Inheritance was frowned upon as wealth based on sexual...

  • Interview: UX guru Andy Budd on why most websites are ‘leaking buckets’

    User Experience (UX) guru, Andy Budd, says most of today's websites remind him of "leaking buckets". UX, he says, can plug these leaks to "catch people and keep them there". So using a UX designer is a small investment which could result in profit of millions. It's what supermarkets do so well and why they have an almost 100% conversion rate with customers. Budd says it’s because designers guide users through the experience of a supermarket. Memeburn.com stole a few moments with the British-based UX designer to find out more about why UX is important and to find out...

  • The importance of familiarity and search engine marketing

    Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a mysterious mix of art and science, but for the purposes of this article, we can conceive of it as comprised of two parts. The skill of getting as high up as possible on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and the skill of getting searchers to click through. Of course it is not quite as simple as just getting someone to click through. It is also about getting clicked by the right person, at the right time, and for the right investment of time and money. What we are...