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  • New Google doodle by 13-year old to celebrate world cup

    Google on Friday sported an interesting new "doodle" on its South African web presence to celebrate the kick-off of the Fifa World Cup. What made the doodle even more special is that it was created by a 13-year old. Nikisha Lalloo from Port Elizabeth was crowned the national winner of the Doodle 4 Google ‘Love Football’ competition. Nikisha is now one step closer to being a global winner, emerging as the top young South African artist to enter the competition. Nikisha's logo design was displayed on the Google South Africa homepage on Friday. In addition to her doodle...

  • CNN, Foursquare team up to connect World Cup fans

    Putting soccer fans at the heart of its 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage, CNN has checked in with location-based social network Foursquare to connect fans all over the world throughout the month-long tournament. This is the first time Foursquare has teamed up with a media company for a multi-country initiative, with this one stretching across all 32 countries represented in the World Cup. Starting Friday, World Cup fans who follow CNN at www.foursquare.com/cnn can check in at more than 100 venues to unlock special CNN badges. In order to unlock these badges, fans must check in at least three times...

  • Measuring success: Is your website a hotel or a homeless shelter?

    For many inexperienced webmasters, the hallmark of a successful website lies in its popularity or the amount of 'hits' it gets every month. The apparent reasoning behind this fallacy is that if people are visiting the site it must be fulfilling its purpose. People wouldn't be wasting their time on something that doesn't work, right? Think of a website like a 'hotel'. The hotelier (or webmaster) tells you "3000 people slept here last night," and whilst that's an impressive figure, what he has failed to mention is that his 'hotel' is actually a poorly-funded homeless shelter, and it actually costs...

  • Saving journalism by paying for impressions not words

    Every year hundreds of journalism graduates enter the market looking for work, and these are bad times to find a job in the newspaper business. Newspapers are seeing falls annually in advertising and subscriber revenues. With most of their content, or at least similar content, available on the web for free, why even bother buying or subscribing to a newspaper these days? It is clear: newspapers are going the way of the Rotary Phone, and they are in desperate need of a new business model. The consequences of the end of the traditional business model, based on 80% advertising...

  • Social media tips: In-house or outsource?

    Once you’ve decided to start a social media campaign, your next big decision is who is going to run it. You can either run it in-house using your own employees, or you can outsource it to an agency -- whether it’s a digital marketing, public relations (PR), advertising, or specialised social media agency. If you’re a business, getting an agency to run your social media campaign means you gain access to their social media expertise, where in comparison, your knowledge and experience may be limited. You’ll also save time, as a successful social media campaign involves constant listening and...

  • Local student wins prestigious Google scholarship

    A computer science student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown has won a prestigious Google scholarship and is set to fly to Zurich this month to take part in a networking retreat there. Sinini Ncube’s master's research programme involved “an investigation into the use of web-based user interfaces for the visualisation of zoonotic disease outbreaks.” The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship is awarded by Google in memory of Dr Anita Borg, who was a pioneer in shaping the relationship between women and technology. Ncube, who is “thrilled and amazed by this award”, has been working on ways of using the web...

  • Should we be designing for legacy browsers?

    Web designers have been on the frontlines of the browser-war battlefields for some time now, dodging the shells of legacy browsers exploding all over carefully-crafted pages. Even the design of a simple page would require the designer to have an arsenal of hacks and tricks to ensure cross-browser compatibility. But is it time for the designers and developers to stop fighting the good fight and move the industry forward by refusing to design for legacy browsers? Certainly with the advent of Internet Explorer (IE) 7, some great strides were taken towards a more compatible infrastructure in terms of how designs...

  • Vuvuzela Moment causes ‘first-ever’ World Cup Twitter trending topic

    At exactly noon today, people around the world blew their Vuvuzelas, whistled and honked their horns to celebrate the first Fifa World Cup in Africa, due to kick off in just two days. It was called the "Vuvuzela Moment" and it was celebrated in equal style online as it was offline. Tweeters in South Africa and across the world came to the party in fine style, causing the phrase "Vuvuzela" to trend on the world-famous social networking and microblogging service as fans across the world spoke about and blew their virtual Vuvuzelas in 140 characters. According to Fifa the Vuvuzela Moment...

  • Q&A with Eve Gray: The Kindle, iPad, WWII and the future of publishing

    It is (too) easy to categorise reactionary attitudes like Nadine Gordimer opining that deadtree books are better than screens as a generation thing. It’s easy to assume that an appreciation of new technologies is a generation thing, that an entire generation gets it, but that previous ones don't. I don't think it’s a generation thing, I think it’s a generative thing. There are those who understand the generative potential of new tech and those who don't. Some of those who don't are 18, some of those who don't run tech companies, although perhaps not for much longer. To show...

  • BP Twitter meme sweeps the web

    The explosion on the BP Horizon Oil Rig might have cost BP millions and the environment even more, but the spill has also dented their public image. Less than a month after the spill, an anonymous tweeter created @BPGlobalPR, a fictitious BP public relations (PR) Twitter account that has swept across the web, securing more than 138 000 followers. According to retweetrank, the account is now sitting in the 99.98th percentile for retweets. One can see why with recent tweets such as this: “Try our cap operation at home! Hold a funnel over a firehose, sell what you catch and proclaim...

  • Google Street View makes house-hunting ‘easier’ in SA

    Following Tuesday’s launch of Google Street View in South Africa, RE/MAX of Southern Africa announced that it has become the first real estate franchise in the country to integrate the new technology into their website. Google Street View is a service linked to Google Maps and Google Earth that provides users with panoramic, photographic detail at street level, and users visiting www.remax.co.za can now see the ‘Street View’ of specific properties listed on the site. RE/MAX says that buyers are afforded an improved perspective on the properties in question, and sellers are better able to recoup the intrinsic value of appealing...

  • iPhone 4: The stats you need to know

    With some of the details of the new iPhone 4 leaked a few months ago by tech blog Gizmodo, the hype around last night’s launch of Apple’s latest version of the iPhone was always going to be more about the finer detail Apple CEO Steve Jobs would provide. With a vastly-improved camera-operating system, a richer display, video calls, and some real advancements in the hardware department, the new iPhone 4 demonstrates once again that Apple is the undisputed leader of the smartphone world. Here are the key new features. All New Design The iPhone 4 has a new design we've...

  • New iPhone 4 is Apple’s ‘biggest leap’

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed the new iPhone 4 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday evening, calling the redesigned gadget the "biggest leap" the company had taken since the launch of the first iPhone. After tech blog Gizmodo unceremoniously leaked pictures of the new iPhone prototype a few months ago, Jobs' was looking to turn up the hype. Jobs acknowledged the leak by saying: "Some of you have already seen this." Gizmodo failed to crack an invite to the sought-after announcement. Some of the key changes to the new phone include a higher resolution display Apple is...

  • Google: ‘Not every day you find an elephant in Street View’

    It’s not every day that you find an elephant in Street View, or for that matter get to visit most of the new soccer stadiums in one day. But from today people can do both with Google’s newly released Street View images and 3D models in Google Earth. Seven of South Africa’s new football stadiums, including Soccer City in Johannesburg, Peter Mokaba in Polokwane and Moses Mabhida in Durban are now available to explore from pitch-level in 360 degrees, both inside and out. These detailed images were collected over the last few months, using the Google Street View Trikes and...

  • Startup tips from Mark Shuttleworth

    South Africa is the best place to become successful says Mark Shuttleworth, who made it big when he skidded over twenty and then promptly became a billionaire by selling Thawte to Verisign for some R3.5-billion. “The fact that South Africa doesn’t have a Silicon Valley shouldn’t deter anyone from being an entrepreneur in South Africa,” he says. “The existence of Silicon Valley is held up as a reason for California’s success with technology. The simple fact is that there were a bunch of people there who had the confidence and the audaciousness to start stuff, so it has become a...