• 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!
  • Ridley Scott’s Life in a Day movie receives 80 000 submissions

    Editing has begun on over 4 600 hours of footage for Life in a Day, the crowdsourced documentary that is the brainchild of Executive Producer Ridley Scott. Life in a Day is a historic global film experiment that enlisted the global community to capture a moment of their lives on Saturday, July 24 and to upload that footage to www.youtube.com/lifeinaday. Individuals whose footage makes it into the finished film will be credited as co-directors and 20 of these contributors will be flown to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for the film’s world premiere. Submissions for YouTube’s Life in...

  • Cape Town Facebook page hits 100 000 fans after World Cup success

    I ♥ Cape Town, the official Facebook fan page of Cape Town Tourism, is celebrating a milestone after hitting the 100 000 fans mark in just one year. The page proved to be a powerful tool to convert visitors here for the World Cup into "Cape Town Fans" during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Almost half of the fan page’s new followers signed on in the last three months; the page grew by 40 000 fans between May and July 2010. It was up by an impressive 28 000 fans during the month-long tournament and it added...

  • Content sites, not social networks the hot ticket for reaching women: study

    When it comes to connecting and communicating with women an old-fashioned, bog-standard website may be a better bet than the in-vogue world of social networking. These are the surprising findings of a new US study by authoritative brand development and marketing insight consultancy Added Value in partnership with Yahoo!. The newly-released research, called Connectonomics, details women's needs and how they relate to the online channels they use on a daily basis. The findings are both interesting and surprising. The independent research appears to support Yahoo!'s business model -- one that exists predominantly in the online publishing space as opposed to...

  • What makes a Twitter user influential?

    I'm a big fan of Bernardo Huberman, director of HP Labs' Social Computing Lab, and the work of his team. HP has been applying rigorous scientific practices to the study of social media and it has a gold mine of research open to the public. It is worth emphasising that HP's studies are designed to the highest scientific standards; they are not isolated case studies or the musings of a "social media expert". They typically involve the study of very large numbers of people and thus they reveal some fundamental aspects of our increasingly online culture, and our common humanity. The...

  • How the social web saved a life during the Haiti earthquakes

    On the day the earthquake hit, well-known Haitian radio personality Carel Pedre was driving his car along the streets of the capital when the ground started shaking violently. Houses were tossed into the air and walls came tumbling down. As a trained journalist, Pedre’s intuitive reaction was to jump out of his car, take photos with his iPhone and try to post them on the web. He took six photographs of houses that had collapsed and streets that had been ripped apart but, because the earthquake had knocked out cellphone towers, he couldn’t post any of the pictures. Pedre, along with...

  • Kenya’s mobile money innovation boom

    Kenya is quickly gaining a competitive advantage in the mobile payments space. Led by mobile operator giant Safaricom with their Mpesa product, the market locally sees huge value in mobile money transactions. Add to that a regulatory system that is relaxed enough for innovation to be encouraged, and you have a great space for interesting things to happen. Pay.Zunguka The team at Symbiotic always have more than one iron in the fire. I was surprised by their most recent release of a new product called Pay.Zunguka recently. Simply put, it’s a payment gateway and aggregator, allowing merchants, developers and content providers a...

  • What WikiLeaks means for a government’s assault on media freedom

    What happens when a government moves to clamp down on media freedom? It might simply force journalists in that country to adopt the WikiLeaks model when it comes to publishing sensitive information.  Here's an example: The South African government recently announced a triple play to clamp down on media freedom in that country, a move which may force journalists to a model akin to WikiLeaks. Concern is mounting over the country's proposed apartheid-inspired Protection of Information Bill, which will give government sweeping powers to declare virtually any information "in the national interest" (and classify it), making it illegal for journalists...

  • Google Wave ends before it really began

    Google announced yesterday that it was suspending all further development on Google Wave, the web app for real time communication and collaboration that everyone had heard about but very few actually tried. While Wave debuted to wild acclaim a year ago, it failed to gain much traction amongst ordinary users, and was probably best known for people's inability to describe what it was actually for. The app will remain available for use until the end of the year, but will receive no further investment from Google. But far from lamenting the failure and coming up with numerous excuses, Google...

  • RIM takes on the iPhone with the new Blackberry Torch

    Research In Motion's (RIM) unveiled their latest creation, the Blackberry Torch 9800, to an expectant consumer market on Tuesday at a private launch event in New York City. Available exclusively on the AT&T network, RIM's new flagship device will compete head on with Apple's iPhone. The Torch combines touch-based features similar to the iPhone with a physical Blackberry keyboard and rounds it off with a few unique touches. The refreshed Blackberry OS 6 makes its first official appearance on a Blackberry device and, with a renewed focus on user interface design and social features, all the signs are there that...

  • Cell C is ‘astroturfing.’ What a joke!

    Astroturf is stuff that looks like grass but isn’t. Cell C has been astroturfing. In case you missed it, here's how it happened. Cell C staged a stunt. They uploaded a video onto YouTube of a Trevor Noah performance ripping all the mobile service providers to pieces. Then they wrote a letter of apology to him, which was published in the Sunday Times last weekend. This was followed by a press conference, where Cell C announced that it was all just a stunt and that actually Trevor Noah was their new customer experience officer. I suppose that it’s fitting, appointing...

  • Project war rooms: making the design process visible

    You’ve seen a war room in the movies – frowning generals sticking coloured pins onto a map. That stuff really happened, and for a good reason: when you’re invading another country, everyone has to know exactly what’s going on. Losing bits of important paper under your desk could cost lives. London's Churchill War Rooms , from where the British cabinet ran its WWII operations. A Flow project war room. Software projects are never quite that serious. But there are good reasons why you should have a war room for your project: Project stakeholders can see that something is happening. If it’s visible, people...

  • Tweet breaks news of journo’s arrest in Sunday Times newsroom

    Journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika was arrested on Wednesday morning in the Johannesburg offices of the Sunday Times, the weekly paper he writes for, three days after he published a story entitled "Bheki Cele's R500m police rental deal". Bheki Cele is South Africa's police chief. Wa Afrika was on his way to hand himself over to the police before the SAPS decided to step in and make a dramatic arrest in full view of the newsroom. The news broke on Wednesday morning on Twitter via Bienne Huisman, who describes herself as a "Sunday Times journalist, music lover and unspectacular cook". Huisman tweeted: "DUDES!! Colleague...

  • 20 Kenyan web and tech innovations worth watching

    Kenya is abuzz right now. The outlook for technology and innovation in Africa has never been brighter, and Kenya is positioning itself strategically in anticipation of a wave of groundbreaking web and mobile emerging market products and services. The resources being put into the Kenyan IT sector currently demonstrate how seriously the country is taking the challenge to become Africa’s Innovation hub. The Kenyan Government, through its ICT Board,  recently closed the window for proposals for its $4-million grant towards local content and software applications using mobile and/or the web. This was a concerted effort by the government to meet its mandate to make...

  • How to use Flickr to grow your brand

    Besides the usual social media suspects like Facebook and Twitter, there are many other tools worth considering when it comes to promoting your business online. One of these is Flickr, the Yahoo!-owned photography sharing site. When used correctly, Flickr is an extremely effective way of engaging with your target market -- provided they use the site, and provided your business lends itself to having photographs uploaded and shared with the Flickr community. Before starting with Flickr, it's a good idea to know a bit more about the tool and how it's best used, so that you can see whether there's...

  • 5 tips for getting the most out of your Facebook ad campaign

    Facebook have made their advertising platform exceptionally easy to use. All you need is 135 characters of text (around 35 words), an image and a good idea of what kind of person you want to target (categories like age and gender). But, though the basics may be easy, getting truly excellent yields from your ads (ie more clicks for less money) requires a mixture of art and science and presupposes both careful planning and sustained attention. Here are five battle-proven tips for squeezing more value out of your Facebook campaigns. 1. Make the most of social context Facebook adverts are far more effective...