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  • Week’s top Twitter trends: Football, Twitter, memes and The Bieber

    What The Trend, which bills itself as the "Front page of the real-time web" (the company has also trademarked the phrase), tries to make sense of what is trending on Twitter. Every week the company compiles a list of what is trending and why. Last week, the world was buzzing about football and memes like "#ihaveafriend", "#icandowithout" and "#ireallythink". Of course, Twitter itself became news with the highly-publicised security flaw. The Bieber was also big news, not for his recent escapades around Cape Town, but for winning a Brazilian VMA for "Best International Video". The top ten, with...

  • What the Techcrunch deal means

    Congratulations to Michael Arrington and team on the TechCrunch acquisition by AOL. Techcrunch is a leading Silicon Valley technology blog ranked 302 on Alexa's worldwide rankings and near to being one of the top 100 largest sites in the US. The terms of the deal have not been made public, however AOL will be required to make an SEC filing in the next few days if the amount is "material". AFP says various reports put the purchase price at between US$25-million and US$40-million. Building a media company is hard work and Arrington has certainly put in the hours. The TechCrunch editorial...

  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee concerned over new laws governing internet

    Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, warned on Tuesday of the "blight" of new laws being introduced across the globe allowing people to be cut off from the internet. "There's been a rash of laws trying to give governments and internet service providers (ISPs) the right and the duty to disconnect people," he told a conference on web science at the Royal Society in London. The "current blight" includes a French law that comes into effect this year that threatens to cut people off if they illegally download from the internet, and a new British...

  • Tourism is now ‘the top selling online industry’

    With annual global sales skyrocketing to over US$150 billion, and robust growth that has shaken off the recession, tourism is the 'top selling commodity online', according to Damian Cook, Founder of E Tourism Frontiers. This is good news for South African Tourism, the organisation responsible for increasing tourism to South Africa, which is staging this year's 3rd annual E-Tourism Africa Summit. The two-day Online Tourism Conference and Travel Technology Exhibition will be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Center on the 25th and 26th of October 2010. The trend towards online travel booking is confirmed by South African...

  • AOL buys Silicon Valley tech blog TechCrunch

    AOL, the once high-flying Internet group which is seeking a revival as an online content company, announced Tuesday it had acquired TechCrunch, a leading Silicon Valley technology blog. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed but various reports put the purchase price at between US$25-million and US$40-million. AOL also announced two other acquisitions on Tuesday -- Web video syndication firm 5min Media and Thing Labs, the company behind the Brizzly family of Web-based social software for creating and sharing content. AOL said TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence. AOL chairman...

  • The 25 biggest Facebook Pages for SA musicians

    Facebook is a brilliant resource for musicians of all kinds. Not only can you connect with thousands of existing fans - essentially for free - but you can also make the most of tools which can help you promote your newest track, publicise your upcoming tour and win new fans, both local and international. And you don’t even need a record deal to do so. So how are our local singers, songwriters, bands, divas and DJs doing on the world’s biggest social networking platform? On the whole, extremely well. Take a look at the Facebook pages of the following...

  • Should you be using Seesmic Desktop 2?

    Seesmic Desktop 2 (SD2) is the new social media client on the block. It professes to be a desktop client from which "you can engage with various social media channels and accounts with power and ease". This article will look at three main areas of functionality to judge if it lives up to its promise. The Main Feeds Interface On first impressions the interface appears slick and minimal. Three tabs divide the functionality within the app into ‘All’, ‘Accounts’ and ‘Userlists’. Each of these tabs can be populated with the now expected social media feed columns, and there is a lot...

  • New social network for SA media, advertising industry

    A new online service for the media, marketing and advertising industries that combines news and analysis with social networking is just weeks away from being launched in South Africa. Squeezeback.com is the name of the new niche social/business network, and it comes to the party with big ambitions, setting its sights on becoming "the go-to site for any and all media, marketing and advertising news in South Africa". It's also promising a "fresh take on social networking". The new venture is being launched by well-known financial news and information publisher Fin24, and features veteran advertising and marketing guru Tony Koenderman, who...

  • Five of the worst international social media campaigns

    Yesterday, we looked at some of the best examples of viral marketing to come out in recent years. But for every success story, there are many other examples of campaigns that have gone horribly wrong, or simply gone nowhere at all. There is a famous saying which goes: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most epic viral marketing fails in recent years, and see what we can learn from them. 1. Dr Pepper and that porn video The Lean...

  • Android expected to dominate mobile app market by 2013

    According to a recent survey by mobile research firm, research2guidance, the smartphone app market is enjoying explosive growth and is currently worth $2.2-billion dollars, with 42.7-million smartphones operational in the United States alone. Apple started the trend towards mobile apps with their "great leap forward" -- the iPhone app store. But momentum has shifted and most app developers believe that by 2013 "Android will have become the mobile platform which offers the highest business potential for mobile app developers". When Apple opened the iPhone app store it started a snowball-effect that has completely changed the mobile market. Initially, the company...

  • How mobile phones develop economies and save lives: Study

    Only three years since the project started, new research conducted at the Millennium Villages by Swedish mobile communications company Ericsson, The Earth Institute and Millennium Promise shows that quality and availability of health and education services have improved as a result of access to mobile connectivity. The recently published report, The Impact of Mobile Connectivity on the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, also shows increased benefits for small businesses by reducing transportation costs and making price and market information more accessible. The results of the study -- conducted in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania -- show that the introduction of...

  • Viral marketing: Five of the best international campaigns

    In my previous post on Memeburn, I outlined some practical etiquette tips for businesses delving into the murky world of social media marketing. But theory can only take you so far. It is in the application of these ideas that real lessons can be learned. Here are some great examples of international brand campaigns (in no particular order of preference) that have got it right. Tomorrow, I'll be showcasing another five campaigns that have got it miserably wrong – take heed of the lessons to be learned. 1. Compare the Meerkat UK-based car insurance comparison website Comparethemarket.com launched its innovative "Compare...

  • Kalahari.net makes big eBooks play

    Kalahari.net, the country's largest online retailer, has introduced their own eBook reader, custom built in Adobe Air -- with a new eBook store to go with it. According to Bandwidth blog, the software is available for both Mac and PC. In the store, users can now search for, purchase and download from a collection of more than 180 000 titles already available on the site. To read eBooks from Kalahari, users need to download the ecommerce site's reader, a free software application for managing and reading eBooks in PDF or epub format on a PC, MAC or electronic reading...

  • Seven new features you can expect from WordPress 3.1

    There have been a number of recent developments at WordPress which have proven that the company is as dynamic and fluid as it has ever been. Firstly, Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, announced the formal handing over of the WordPress trademark from Automattic (a for-profit company) to the WordPress Foundation, a non-profit organisation "dedicated to promoting and ensuring access to WordPress and related open source projects in perpetuity". This is in line with the ethos behind the WordPress brand of being an open and expressive community. The official WordPress blog announced that, "moving forward, the Foundation will be...

  • Eric Schmidt and the art of tact

    Eric Schmidt has an interesting job at Google. His official position is co-CEO with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin but his job title should be CLR or Chief Lightning Rod because he is often entrusted with announcing unpopular policies or making comments that bring a lot of media attention, more than Page and Brin would welcome. Schmidt's lightening rod escapades extend to his off-the-cuff remarks. He's not known for his careful consideration of what he is about to say in public forums, probably because of his age, which confers a quality of stubbornness and a lack of tact often...