• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • More questions than answers surround The Times’ great paywall experiment

    News International, the publisher of British newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times, has released figures showing that around 105 000 people have paid to read their respective online editions after erecting a paywall. Around half of these figure are monthly subscribers, the paper's owners said in a statement. The experiment is being closely watched around the world as newspapers battle falling sales and advertising increasingly moves online. But the gain in paid readers comes at a huge cost in general readership with the BBC reporting that the sites have hemorrhaged readers to the tune of about 87% since the paywall...

  • 25 South African politicians to follow on Facebook and Twitter

    We all know about the celebrated political social media campaign that played a part in putting US President Barack Obama in the White House. It was unprecedented, using advanced social networking functionality and integration with social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Politicians today realise that Facebook, in particular, is a platform they cannot ignore. It's where many of society's influencers and do-ers hang out. If you consider that there are now nearly three-million South Africans on Facebook, that's quite a few votes to influence. Politicians are supposed to be elected to public office to speak for the people and...

  • Blekko: A genuine challenger to Google?

    In August Memeburn reported that a new search engine called Blekko, backed by millions in venture capital, was coming to a browser near you. It has been open to a limited amount of beta-testers, but on Monday officially went live. Challengers to Google have come and gone (anyone remember Cuil?) but this new startup is stepping up to try to make its mark in Internet search. "When we started this company our goal was to build a search engine that not only let you do your usual searches but also lets you do searches that you just can't do anywhere else,"...

  • Vietnam govt turns on bloggers

    A Vietnamese blogger has been detained for "infringing on the interests of the state" after she criticised a security official and his family, reports said Tuesday. News of the arrest of Le Nguyen Huong Tra, 35, who blogged as Co Gai Do Long, came days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern about Vietnam's rights record. The blogger "had written several entries criticising a state official and his family for their patronage of some showbiz beauties," the state Vietnam News said. Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted General Le Hong Anh, Minister of Public Security, as saying the incorrect entries were posted...

  • Gaga set to dominate MTV awards, at least by download

    Ahead of Europe’s most anticipated music award ceremony, the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards, which take place this weekend, Nokia’s Ovi Music reveals Lady Gaga is set to scoop all five award nominations – if music downloads are anything to go by. Lady Gaga, the self-styled Princess of Pop, is the world’s most popular female artist, according to music downloads from Ovi Music across 38 countries*. She is going head-to-head with pop rival Katy Perry who is also up for five awards, and the two will lock horns in Best Pop, Best Female, Best Song and Best Video categories. According to the...

  • Chavez notches up one million Twitter followers

    President Hugo Chavez, who has embraced new media in his quest to dominate Venezuela's airwaves, celebrated his millionth follower on Monday on Twitter. The firebrand leader, known for his fiercely anti-US rhetoric, opened his account in April in response to the growing use of social networking sites by opposition parties that fear restrictions in the mainstream press. "Hello beautiful world. I would like to thank all my followers. We have passed the million mark! Wow! We're going to keep on winning," Chavez declared in his celebratory @chavezcandanga tweet. In just seven months, Chavez has become the most popular tweeter in Venezuela, amassing...

  • Kenya’s Maasai vets and the Android connection

    There is much excitement in the developed world over the strides that have been made in the mobile market during the last couple of years. But it is in the developing world where the changes are having the most significant impact on the lives of ordinary people. It all began with Apple and its groundbreaking iPhone OS and app store. Blackberry and Nokia swiftly followed with their new mobile technologies, which had the effect of unleashing the huge potential of mobile applications and connecting users to their social networks and the web easily and quickly. The latest big...

  • Facebook blocks your exes from appearing in ‘Photo Memories’

    Since May this year Facebook has been dishing out nostalgia via the aptly-named "Photo Memories". The next time you're randomly stalking surfing around Facebook - and especially when viewing photos - you'll notice in the top right corner of the page that Facebook will be serving, of its own volition, your "Photo Memories" from days past. It uses an algorithm to pull bygone photos from the person whose profile you're viewing, or mutual friends which are loaded to reflect volume of comments and "Likes", and then throws in a dash of randomness for good measure. As always, with both...

  • ‘Experiential’ ad campaign a viral hit on YouTube

    The pressure is on for advertising agencies who have to work harder and harder to attract the attention of jaded, seen-it-all consumers. In response, forward thinking marketers are turning to "flash mobs" and the staging of co-ordinated events linked to social media as a way of spreading their message and breaking through the clutter. The logic is simple: a live, unexpected event has an immediacy and a surprise-factor that elicits strong reactions from the people present, which makes for great footage and a willingness to spread the message virally. T-Mobile, a British mobile phone operator created a campaign that...

  • Launch of API signals new era for MXit

    Ten billion messages sent to mobile phones during July of 2010; 53-million photos sent during the same month, and more than 710-million logins... these are the kind of numbers that developers from emerging markets look at with envy when studying the mature internet markets of the Western World. But these statistics belong to South African mobile phenomenon, MXit, which launched the beta version of its Application Programming Interface (API) on Friday in Stellenbosch, the town where it all began. MXit, predominantly a mobile application, remains the country's largest social network, trumping international social network leader Facebook. MXit has extended...

  • iPhone 4 bug ‘makes scores late for work’

    Scores of British iPhone 4 users said they were late for work on Monday after a software bug meant the alarm on the Apple device failed to adjust when the country's clocks changed. Hundreds of angry comments were posted on microblogging website Twitter about the apparent glitch, which happened even though the rest of the phone's features updated the time automatically. "Well done Apple -- you've made me decide I need to use a proper alarm clock rather than relying on my iPhone," one user tweeted. "Stupid iPhone alarm clock went off an hour late. What a great start to the week,"...

  • Media agency of the future

    I was skimming through a recent Advertising Age where an article on the "Future of the Media Agency" caught my eye. Various media agency heads were discussing their views on how their groups would have to adapt to a rapidly evolving and increasingly fragmented media space. Their answers surprised me though, and clearly showed the desperate scramble to redefine how the entire communications media industry defines how it delivers value to clients. The media agency heads discussed how -- in ten years time -- the majority of them would become full service marketing communications agencies, offering a range of services...

  • Yammer founder on PayPal: Understanding the power of virality…

    I spent an evening last week with the founders of the private social network Yammer, Box.net, and Zendesk, and I wanted to share a conversation I had with Yammer co-founder David Sacks and his pedigree at PayPal. I have a fascination with PayPal and its alumni because they have gone on to build and invest in some of Silicon Valley's top companies: YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zynga and many more. Here's a partial list of PayPal's founders and their achievements: - Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a very successful angel investor: Facebook, Ironport, Digg, Flickr, Ping.fm, Last.fm, Zynga. - Peter Thiel and his...

  • Wikipedia to open first office outside US in India

    Wikimedia, the owners of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, plans to open its first non-US office in India as it seeks to take advantage of the country's open Internet culture. "There is a lot of enthusiasm for Wikimedia in India, a strong community within India and a general commitment to free knowledge," Wikimedia chief global development officer Barry Newstead said in emailed comments. "We hope to support Indians to realise the vision of 'a world in which every single person can freely share in the sum of all knowledge'." The planned investment in India would be the first time the non-profit group, whose user-generated...

  • Study finds Malaysians most sociable online, Japanese least

    Malaysians are the most popular people on the internet, while Japanese are the least, according to a global survey by which shows how national cultures are reflected in online behaviour. Malaysians won the internet popularity contest with an average of 233 friends in their social network, compared to 68 in China and just 29 in Japan, according to the Digital Life study by global research firm TNS. The findings are no surprise in a gregarious, multicultural nation which has a tradition of "open house" parties where the doors are literally thrown open to all, and where new acquaintances are eagerly made. "The...