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      Because cars are gadgets
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  • Why Microsoft will eventually win on the web

    I'm no Microsoft fan boy. In fact I don't think there is anything like a "fan boy" when it comes to Microsoft products. I'm a recent iPhone convert and I curse the years I've had to put up with the clunky and often-buggy Windows for Mobile and PC. It's no secret that Microsoft is a poor internet company. Arguably it's a great software company, but finds itself stuck in the dark ages when it comes to the web. For years, it's been licking the dust of search behemoth Google, who has struck at the very heart of Microsoft by creating...

  • 'Imagine being able to read a newspaper on your computer'

    A report from the 80s. Really funny.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");

  • Have you Obamafied your website today?

    Nobody likes an antisocial site. Social sites are winning the traffic stakes, and even elections. A politician from Honolulu showed us how it's done. I never thought that one of the best examples of a social site would come from a politician, but it did. It's a lesson for all websites, including media players, on how to use the web to build sophisticated relationships and loyalty with your users. It's the model to follow on how a site can get its readers to create content, market and spread its brand across the web like a contagious virus. That's what the Barack...

  • How tagging enhances SEO: An example

    Here is a perfect example of how a comprehensive semantic tagging strategy can add to a site's SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Just did a search on Wikipedia and Mail & Guardian -- the site I used to run back in the 50s :-). The results were interesting. Instead of the Wikipedia entry showing up as the first result in the Google search, the Mail & Guardian "organisation" tag referring to Wikipedia cracked it as the first Google result. Wikipedia is known for its outrageous search engine rankings so it's pretty impressive it was pipped. There are thousands of these organisation...

  • ANC turns to social media

    It looks like a battle front for this year's elections will also be fought online. South Africa's biggest political party is attempting to raise the (rather low) bar by announcing a mobile site, enhanced presences on social media platforms, and an online initiative, myanc.org to invite debate, comment and networking around their election manifesto. The ANC announced it is "launching an initiative to encourage discussion of its 2009 Election Manifesto online, using the web, mobile phone and popular social media platforms to bring the ANC closer to the people, and people closer to each other." Weak attempt. No social network. Unfortunately, my...

  • Web predictions for the new year

    We may be in the throes of a global financial crisis, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see innovation on the web. In fact, leading trend analysis blog Read Write Web reminds us of the old cliché that “tech innovation thrives in times of recession”. Tight economic conditions incubate intense creative and lateral thought, because a person’s very survival is at stake. And the stakes are high. There just isn’t money to throw around and a cushion to fall back on. It perhaps explains why innovation in the online space often emanates from shoe-string garage operations, as opposed to many...

  • We blog the world: US bloggers hit RS of A

    The idea was to show some key US bloggers what our country is made of: the good, the bad and the complex. I decided to tag along for the Cape Town leg of the tour, which is an exhaustive/exhausting nine-day trek around the country by plane, bus, helicopter and boat. (See 360 degree pic of bloggers) Asoka blogger meetup The night before we organised a meetup of local bloggers and digerati with the US tour at Asoka bar. People seemed to enjoy themselves and I hope good contacts and ties were forged. As a recent emigre to Cape Town, I have...

  • Controversial new Nandos ad

    This one should get a few tongues wagging. Here's the new Nandos ad that is being released today on TV. Given the recent launch of the new breakaway Congress of the People (Cope) party from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) -- and imminent elections next year, this one is going to be hotter than extra hot peri peri! In true Nandos style, the ad is newsworthy, cheeky, funny and clever... a great piece of satire. The ad features internationally reknown political satirist Evita Bezuidenhout/Pieter Dirk-Uys. Will be interesting to see if any other political parties are lampooned in follow-up...

  • Mobile surpasses traditional web in South Africa

    It's what we predicted would happen. In fact it's what we thought had happened sometime ago, but here are some authoritative figures that confirm it. According to a piece in Bizcommunity, Rick Joubert of Vodafone estimates there are now at least 9,5-million mobile wap users (read: mobile web) in the country. These are combined user figures on all the local cellphone networks. In comparison, Online Publisher Association (OPA) statistics of traditional desktop web SA users, puts the local-only usership figure at around 5,7-million users. (Audited Nielsen//Netratings). Arthur Goldstuck's figures on general internet use are also near the OPA estimates, at...

  • DA's online presence disappoints

    I had high hopes for SA's political parties and their use of the web. In an interview with Sapa on IOL my colleagues didn't share my optimism. In an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) presentation in Pretoria this year, I urged political parties to take online seriously and demonstrated the Barack Obama website's innovative use of social media (that was before Obamamania had set in). The reason I had high hopes is that I guessed (1) many local political parties would draw inspiration from the Obama site and look to emulate at least a portion of what has been the world's...

  • Key blogs about innovation, media & biz online

    When it comes to news about internet startups, web trends and innovations, blogs are a way better source than traditional media. If you want to know what’s happening on the web, there are some key blogs that should form part of your daily reading. Most serious online fundis use at least 2 or 3 of the blogs below on a regular basis. They are a great indication of online trends and a good source for ideas: ReadWriteWeb: It’s an intellectual take on social media trends, exploring web technology, news, reviews and analysis, run by Richard MacManus and Marshall Kirkpatrick....

  • How to approach content in the digital age

    The phrase "User Generated Content" (UGC) has always been a troubled notion. At its heart it emphasises a divide between the user and the professional, with the implication that users have their place, and the professionals have theirs. Perhaps the aversion to this phrase stems from the fact that it is so simplistic. It doesn't really capture the diversity of a site's readership or community. The simple fact is: Not all readers are equal. Not all readers want to write or contribute, some are quite happy to lurk behind the scenes. There also may be expert contributors in your site's...

  • my.barackobama.com: Paradigm-shifting social networking

    The Barack Obama website is paradigm shifting for politics online. It's no doubt the most sophisticated political party website ever created. Apart from Obama's social media presence, the site's social network my.barackobama.com (or "myBo") is particularly ground-breaking. I recently signed up to it and found it so impressive that it puts some dedicated social network sites to shame. It's also no surprise then that the man behind the Obama social network site is none other than Chris Hughes, the 24-year-old co-founder of Facebook (Source: Wired). I'm of the school of thought that all serious web businesses should have social network layers....

  • Ten elements for your website's success

    Did this presentation a while back at the Highway Africa conference. (The big numbers were a bit chopped on Slideshare, but it's still readable.) It's essentially a talk I gave on the ten key elements for your website business' success. Comments welcome. The Numbers GameView SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: website strategy) 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");

  • Online advertising: What media sites are earning

    This is a slide from a recent Digital conference in Amsterdam. Looking mainly at newspapers, it shows growth in online advertising revenue in 2007, and demonstrates online ad revenue as a percentage of total gross revenue. 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");