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  • New digital agency goes Native

    A new digital player called Native has arrived on the South African scene, formed from a merger of three established digital agencies: Johannesburg-based Brandsh and Cambrient, and the largely Cape Town-focused Stonewall+. The new CEO of the entity is former 2.0 Media Chief Creative Officer and film-maker Jason Xenopoulos, who apparently put the deal together with a vision of creating a "full service digital agency". Memeburn understands that the merger was put together in a remarkably short amount of time over a matter of months. Xenopoulos is no stranger to the web, being CEO of the now-defunct online niche business-to-business...

  • Five ways traditional journalists use Facebook

    Many journalists working for traditional media are reticent about joining the digital revolution, but there is little doubt that social media has helped build a more cohesive and supportive traditional journo community. Here are five ways in which Facebook has bolstered the solidarity of those still working for ‘the old order’: Emotional support In the movies and in real life too, many newsrooms once came custom-fitted with a dingy whiskey-soaked bar across the road where journalists in scruffy old leather jackets would drown their sorrows. In more recent times, with newsrooms cut to the bone and time always in short supply...

  • How to create a marketing campaign using YouTube

    YouTube continues to grow at an astonishing pace, with 24 hours of video uploaded every single minute. As an acquisition and branding channel, placing ads on YouTube has become a simple, yet sophisticated way of reaching potential customers. With a global audience now exceeding 400 million people and a massive diversity of available content, it’s important for marketers to know how to place ads on videos which are relevant to your brand. Google recently released a Beta version of their Video Targeting Tool which makes integration with Google Adwords easier for analysis and reporting – much like how keyword campaigns...

  • Google puts scientific research tools in the hands of journalists

    Do you remember how to create a graph by hand out of a set of data, or how to design a survey? Probably not. Or what about that course you took on an introduction into statistics and methodology? Remember how it took a year to learn the basics, only to discover you couldn't really use them at all. Thankfully the times have changed and the toolbox of science is now wide open for everybody. The rise of cloud computing and the wealth of public data allows journalists and scholars to do some serious computer-assisted reporting, or as it is commonly...

  • Top social media sites of 2010, according to Time Magazine

    Time Magazine released its list of top 50 websites for 2010 yesterday, featuring what the magazine rates as the top online properties in a range of categories from news, health, education, games and social media. In the social media category, Time reckons the top five sites for 2010 are Gowalla, Foodspotting, LinkedIn, StockTwits, and Tumblr. Gowalla, says Time is a "more fun" Foursquare. Like Foursquare, Gowalla lets you "check in" to real-world places using your smart phone, and the site plots your location on a map for friends to discover. Few would disagree with Tumblr's inclusion on the list. Tumblr has...

  • Make cheap phone calls from your Gmail account

    Gmail users have just received a completely new weapon to add to their arsenal of total communication: The ability to make cheap voice calls from your Gmail account to mobile phones and landlines. Before this new development, the ability to communicate using voice required both Gmail users to be logged in and sitting in front of their computers. All that has changed and the folks over at Skype must be shifting nervously in their chairs. In a bid to encourage adoption of this technology, Google have made all calls to the US and Canada free "at least until the...

  • Second Life in desperate need of a second life

    The value of Linden Lab, which operates the virtual world Second Life, has plunged by more than 21%, according to SharesPost, which tracks the private secondary market. In late June, Linden Lab brought back founder Philip Rosedale as interim CEO, after CEO Mark Kingdon stepped down. The current value of Linden Lab is estimated by SharesPost to be about $271-million or about $100-million less than a year ago. The plunge in value appears related to recent news that the company is closing the five year old "Teen Second Life" virtual world at the end of this year. The company said: "...supporting and developing for...

  • 10 geek heroes worth following on Twitter

    Geeks have truly inherited the internet. Okay, let's face it, they invented the internet -- which means they're worth following on Twitter. While many of the people on this list weren't born into geekdom, others have been geek legend for generations. This isn't a Top 10, it's more like a Random 10, suggesting some cool people to follow that might not be on your twitter radar. Neil Patrick Harris @actuallynph He plays Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, successfully hosted the Oscars, and is currently directing his own production of Rent. A legend in the making. William Shatner @williamshatner This...

  • Review: The Blackberry Bold 9700 is all it’s cracked up to be

    Hello, my name is Ryan and I have a problem. I have been struggling with this addiction for almost 2 weeks now and I can’t seem to shake it. The Blackberry Bold 9700 has taken over my life. It has seduced me into the BB universe and has quite literally hijacked my social circle. All who use it, swear by its convenience and ease of use, and I agree completely. The Blackberry is inching ever closer to that elusive smartphone crown in South Africa. With more than three Blackberries sold for every iPhone, it seems as though the momentum...

  • HD video: Big Brother will soon be in your pocket

    We live in a world of ubiquitous computing -- there are ever more computing devices everywhere. We will soon live in a world of ubiquitous video cameras. You probably have one staring at you right now just inches away from your face -- the camera in your laptop or desktop. There are video cameras on street corners, business premises, highways. The Brits have the most video cameras per head of population but other countries are catching up. The CCTV technology is cheap to install and operate. Consumer video cameras are cheap and getting cheaper and better quality. A Flip HD camera...

  • Old Spice: The Emmy your ad could smell like

    When we first covered the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, we closed off the article with these prophetic words: “Let the awards flow.” At the 2010 Emmy Awards, Wieden+Kennedy, the agency responsible for the campaign, took home the Emmy award for Outstanding Commercial. Earlier this year, the campaign also carried off a prestigious Film Lions Grand Prix at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Jury president, Mark Tutssel, had this to say about the campaign: “As a jury, we are always looking for the big idea. Crafted to perfection. The winning work was a perfect film...

  • Do banks block mobile money innovation in Africa?

    A recent blog posting by Dr. Bill Maurer on the CGAP website spoke about mobile money’s innovation crisis. The author claims that nothing new has happened in mobile money since Mpesa was launched in Kenya, with the possible exception of the launch of Mkesho this year in Kenya as well. Besides that development, he contends that everyone around the world is just trying to duplicate what Safaricom is doing in this space. Why is this the case? Dr Maurer argues that, “There may also be one partnership in particular that could be hampering innovation—that with the banks. Historically, these two players have taken very...

  • Tencent acquires major Chinese social network from Google

    China’s largest online company, Tencent, has bought Beijing-based social networking provider Comsenz from search giant Google and VC firm,Sequoia Capital for $60-million. Comsenz is the developer of Discuz, China’s most-used bulletin board system (BBS), with a reported 80% of Chinese sites running the BBS, and 70%of other BBS systems built on Discuz. The deal will further entrench Naspers, the South African media giant, in the Chinese market. Naspers has a 35% stake in Tencent, which is China's premier online game operator and its largest instant messaging provider. Naspers also controls a 28.7% stake in Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Russian...

  • Why you should be using Apple’s MobileMe

    MobileMe, a suite of internet-based services from Apple, has been been available for the last 10 years. But when Apple recently updated their online mail app to very little fanfare, it became clear that many people are missing out on the superb services available from MobileMe. At $99/R850 for single users or $149/R1350 for a family pack (5-user) the service is not cheap, but it's well worth the money for a world-class service that includes mail, address book, calendar, online storage and a web hosting service. What is now known as MobileMe was launched in 2000 in the form of "iTools"...

  • Find your privacy comfort zone before using location-based services

    Location-based services like Google Latitude, Foursquare, Gowalla and, more recently, Facebook Places (currently rolling out gradually to US users) are tremendously useful and fun to use. But they also highlight some pretty serious privacy issues you should be thinking about if you use these or similar location-based services. You need to think clearly about the kind of location information you want to release onto the web before you get started. Location-based services tend to work best when you use them on your mobile device. They typically get a sense of your location either using cell tower triangulation (not...