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  • What everyone should know about premium WordPress plugins

    With virtually infinite scope for expandability, WordPress has become the platform of choice for many web developers and website owners. The development of sophisticated plugins has done wonders for enhancing bespoke functionality on the WordPress platform. Prior to WordPress version 1.2, users had to create "hacks" to extend WordPress, which involved modifying the core of WordPress itself. Since then, WordPress has introduced a plugin API that allows users to extend the system without directly editing core files. This addition has lead to the development of many third party plugins. Free plugins are hosted in the WordPress Extend Plugins Directory,...

  • 12+1 fake Twitter accounts you should be following

    These days Twitter is littered with fake accounts. Many of these accounts are simply mundane but some are really witty, with thousands of devoted followers. Here's a selection of 12 of our favourites: @Jesus_M_Christ Bio: You know who I am. If not, google me bitches. @FakeSarahPalin Bio: Snowmobilin' right to the Naval Observatory @DarthVader Bio: Evil Orphan Annie™ @BPGlobalPr Bio: This page exists to get BP's message and mission statement out into the twitterers! @DrunkHulk Bio: DRUNK HULK DRINK SO YOU NO HAS TO! WRITE DRUNK HULK! DRUNKHULKISTHEDRUNKEST@GMAIL.COM @DrSamuelJohnson Bio: Lexicographer of Dr Johnson's Dictionary of Modern Life, publish'd by Square Peg on 2nd September....

  • Smartphones to rule by 2014, predicts Gartner

    By the year 2014 the mobile environment will be dominated by smartphones. This is one of the many bold predictions by technology analyst Nick Jones, speaking on Tuesday at the Gartner Symposium on Innovation in the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Jones also predicts that smartphone penetration in South Africa is likely to reach 80% by 2014. Jones is a vice-president at Gartner and his work focuses primarily on mobile business and technology, mobile applications and emerging technologies. He foresees a royal battle for the top mobile operating system between the iPhone and Android platforms but a "bleak future" for Symbian...

  • The 10 biggest South African Facebook Pages

    For the past four years the Facebook wave has been breaking over South Africa, bringing a deluge of excitement, controversy and hype with it. During that time the user base has grown from less than 10 000 to well over three-million people. To put it in context, if our population had grown at the same rate as our Facebook users, there would now be 15-billion South Africans on the planet. That’s great for Mark Zuckerberg and his crew of teenage gazillionaires, but what does it mean for South African brands? In theory the platform gives marketers an unparallelled opportunity to...

  • Hitler not nominated for the blog awards (yes, another one)

    In this, the 999999nth version, of the Hitler Downfall meme, the Fuhrer finds out he didn't crack a nomination for the 2010 Blog Awards. Oh dear. Note to readers: The original clip we posted was removed from You Tube. Read "Could this be the dumbest company in the world?" for more background on this. In the meantime, here the clip is again from another video-sharing site, Zoopy: The clip was apparently created by Cape Town-based digital agency, Quirk eMarketing (Stacey Hutton and an oke called Shaun. 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");

  • The Media Tsunami: How much media is too much media?

    How much media content should I produce? As a professional journalist this has been a question that I've struggled with over the past five years since leaving the Financial Times.I can produce a lot of media content, and hopefully, it is all quality media content. But my concern is that if I produce too much it will cause my readers and subscribers to switch off because there is too much from one source.I know that if some of my sources are too noisy on Twitter, Facebook, even on their blog or web site, I will switch them off because...

  • The secret of creating effective Google ads

    Traditional forms of advertising like TV, radio and print have pushed often irrelevant and unwanted messages out to consumers of media for over five decades -- and been paid a fortune to do so. This ineffective "spray and pray" format of advertising assumes that one in a certain number of people will buy a product or service and that if the message is disseminated far and wide enough, it will eventually lead to sufficient procurement of that product or service. Before the advent of the internet, and Google in particular, the Yellow Pages was heralded as an information searching masterstroke and...

  • Leading current affairs TV show goes social

    Carte Blanche, South Africa's version of the actuality and documentary show 60-Minutes, is turning 22 this year and to celebrate they’re throwing a party and inviting everyone. The TV show's "It’s all about you” campaign will make use of its Facebook and Twitter presences to vote on which stories will be seen on Carte Blanche on Sunday, 12 September 2010. At the start of the broadcast, veteran anchor Derek Watts, who believes Carte Blanche doesn’t “look a day over 20,” will announce that viewers need to visit Carte Blanche’s Facebook page to choose which story goes out next, and in...

  • Is Google a blessing or a curse for learners?

    Tara Brabazon colonised the stage at the Gartner Symposium's Innovation ITXpo at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre on Monday with a passionate plea for us all to go on a "digital diet". The eccentric, flamboyant Australian academic is the Professor of Media at the University of Brighton in England, and spoke eloquently on “information obesity”, Google, and the problems of web searches in an educational environment. Brabazon began with a food analogy, citing a study that discovered how everybody makes more than 200 food choices per day. Apparently we eat what we see, and we spend an enormous amount...

  • Interview: Herman Heunis, the mind that made MXit

    It’s been seven years since a little known games company in Stellenbosch, South Africa, was looking for a cheap alternative to SMS and invented the country's first mobile instant messenger service. MXit is now a legend with more than 20-million users in 120 countries which send an average of some 250-million messages a day. According to CEO Herman Heunis, what started out as a small team of eight people has mushroomed into well over a hundred staff after global expansion to new territories like Mexico. “We want to conquer the world -- at least the mobile world -- and...

  • Google buys Angstro and inches closer to launching social network

    Memeburn has been reporting for some weeks now on the imminent unveiling of a new social network from Google, reportedly to be called Google Me. The probability of that event took a giant leap forward over the weekend with the news that Google had acquired Angstro, a 2008 startup that "scours the web and the blogosphere for news about your friends from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and delivers it to you." The founder of Angstro is a man called Rohit Khare, an IT visionary who was persuaded to close his company and join Google because he was convinced that,...

  • Twitter and its impact on journalism

    Nic Dawes is the editor of the Mail & Guardian, one of South Africa's most respected newspapers. Memeburn sat down with him to discuss whether tweets are on-the-record, the effect that Twitter is having on the reporting of news, and whether or not he thinks it's a good thing. MB: Can the news be reported in 140 Characters? ND: Yes. Of course. It has been since the days of the telegraph. But ultimately the short bursts need to be supplemented with context and detail. Twitter posts on a topic, when viewed in aggregate, can provide a surprising amount of detail,...

  • Cred and the art of micropayments

    The topic of micropayments has struck a heated note amongst online paywall experts and content providers. There are many who denounce the system, marking it as a tried-and-failed experiment, while others proclaim it as the future of online transactions. A micropayment can be defined as a financial transaction of a small sum of money, usually in an online context. PayPal defines this sum at US$12.00 or less, in terms of its own micropayment system. For the average end-user, micropayments are extremely useful. For a minor fee, the user can gain access to their desired content, albeit only in bite-sized...

  • New SA comic series uses social media to find audience

    As frustration with South Africa’s national broadcaster continues to grow, many young film-makers find themselves giving up on their dreams of ever finding an audience for their work. FireStorm Productions, a new local production house, has taken matters into its own hands and used the power of social media to broadcast and publicise their new series entitled “(Almost) Legends”. It tells the story of seven different South Africans and how they hope that the 2010 Soccer World Cup will change their lives forever. As they are followed around by a camera crew we are exposed to their interesting and...

  • One million Gmail voice calls in first 24 hours

    At first glance, it would seem that Google has a smash hit on its hands. According to a tweet from @Google, the new Google Voice service which allows you to make calls from inside Gmail has already been used over 1 million times during the first 24 hours. That's an impressive start, even by Google's high standards, and confirms the suspicion that Skype executives must be wringing their hands nervously and praying that this is just a passing fad and everyone will come back to the familiarity of Skype. Internet news blog Mashable reports that Gmail had over 176...