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  • 5 easy steps to optimise your site for social media

    An entire industry has grown up around Search Engine Optimsation (SEO), but increasingly Facebook and Twitter are sending as much and sometimes more traffic to our sites than good old Google. This shift has spawned a whole new discipline – social media optimisation (SMO). Here are a few simple steps to help ensure your site is well-positioned to reap that link love. Step 1: Get SEO right No, that’s not a spelling mistake. The heart of SEO is about making it as easy as possible for machines – ie search engines – to understand your site. The same principle applies to...

  • Clever intern turns to Hitler

    An enterprising would-be intern has created (yet another) hilarious parody of the popular Adolf Hitler video clip to boost his chances of securing an internship at a well-known local Cape Town-based web agency. Impressed with his ingenuity and creativity, the local agency, Quirk eMarketing, has apparently called the intern back for another interview. The spoof clip centres around an excerpt from the film Der Untergang, and in the Quirk eMarketing parody a disgusted and furious Hitler thumbs his nose at the company after finding out he hasn’t been accepted for an intern position, even after making his CV “perfect”. It is a...

  • Integrity and gumption are key to success, says Dave Sifry

    When it comes to Silicon Valley start-ups, Dave Sifry has been there, done that, and gotten quite a few T-shirts. He founded Technorati as a little science project in his basement, is the creator of Offbeat Guides, and was the brains behind Linuxcare. A software entrepreneur who has spent over twenty years starting up Open Source and Web businesses, Sifry has built, managed, got funding and enjoyed huge success. He’s also experienced the lessons failure can bring. He spoke to Memeburn.com from San Francisco. What's the secret to raising VC funding? Step 1: Build something fantastically great. Step 2: Know how...

  • Local duo profit from ‘don’t touch me’ craze

    Two local technology enthusiasts have cleverly seized on the "Don’t Touch Me On My Studio" internet meme by opportunistically registering the domain "donttouchmeonmystudio.co.za" and creating a website highlighting satirical videos and content about the craze. The site has even diversified into selling thongs and briefs branded with the phrase. The new site, inspired by the now immortalised on-air showdown between eNews presenter Chris Maroleng and AWB secretary-general André Visage, pulls together the plethora of online content generated since the 7 April incident –- providing the user with a sort of highlights reel of all the best “hits”. The site, which was created...

  • New study reveals all about SA’s Twitter users

    A new report claims there are 1,5-million tweets every month in South Africa and 55 000 active Twitter users in the country, with the majority of users being designers, students, writers and engineers. The report, produced by Cape Town-based social media agency Fuseware, says that that SA tweets more on Tuesday than any other day of the week, while the least popular day to tweet is Sunday. It reveals that the average number of tweets per user is 346 and the average amount of Twitter followers per user is 115. About 23% of tweets are Retweets and about 47%...

  • Minorities find a home on the Internet

    Back in those heady early days of the web, before big media houses deigned to spend money online, the uncool kids, the freaks and geeks, were the netizens of this somewhat anarchic medium. With chatrooms dedicated to obscure role-playing games and forum flame wars over who shot first, they reigned supreme, finding like-minded allies in the ether. But 15 years on, the rest of your matric class is on the net, even the ten-thumbed Neanderthal who couldn’t spell email. The time of the geek it seems is past, and the Internet is for everyone. Having access is a...

  • How to get more followers on Twitter

    When I first joined Twitter I felt really lost. It looked like I’d been invited to a really great party, except that it was great for everyone else but me. Everyone looked cool, they were talking about the same things, laughing at the same jokes, and I was the new fat kid in the school that was chilling, no, not chilling, but nervously hugging the corner and sipping juice. And so I decided to leave the party early and went back to what I was familiar with, Facebook. I often refer to Time magazine’s opening line in their cover story...

  • The media is dying, long live the media

    Did you know that the first printed books in England would leave a blank rectangle at the beginning of a chapter so that an illuminated capital letter could be written in? It's a great example of a hybrid publishing system, and we can see the same, although in different forms, as publishers transition to an online model. This example, and other aspects of publishing's evolution over millennia, can be found in an excellent article based on a presentation by Guardian.co.uk Information Architect Martin Beam: Journalism in the digital age: trends, tools and technologies: "But really it has been the development of the World...

  • Cultural trends in the use of Facebook

    Business anthropologists like myself observe people’s habits and behaviours, and translate these observations into useful insights about their lives, and how they interact with products and brands. Knowing and understanding how people use products at present can enrich the understanding of future trends. Lately, I have been asked all sorts of questions regarding future trends in the use of social networks. A common question that has been posed is: What is the future of Facebook? I won’t attempt to give an answer to it in this post because I don’t think this can be predicted without exhaustive observation...

  • How to get the most out of Twitter

    In a recent update on Twitter, influential tech blogger Robert Scoble said the following: "The problem with Twitter as news source: repetition. Robert Novak's death has crossed my screen dozens of times already." My response to Mr. Scoble is that I don't think Twitter is the problem. Instead, his network might be the problem. If we get repetitive information from Twitter, we only have ourselves to blame. The problem is that if we don't follow enough people from different types of networks, we're always going to see the same information over and over. Within this fundamental...

  • Social media lessons from a Russian meerkat

    Social media this and that still seems to bombard us everyday, and South African marketers are quickly coming to grips with it – we have to, we have no choice. According to a recent survey, we now know that about 74% of the SA Internet population use social networks of which Facebook enjoys about 82% of that usage - it is the top social network in South Africa. In fact, Facebook have recently set up an office in South Africa, seeing the opportunity to work with this audience. A typical social media campaign sees a Facebook fan page created and...

  • The digital revolution and the fight for journalism

    One of the great joys of my annual trip to London as a judge of the CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the year awards, is to catch up on journalism in a capital where it is practiced in its finest form, and to be privileged enough to read the cream of the work from our entire continent. London is the ground zero of newspapers -- emphasised by the acres of space given to the coverage of the broadband revolution and what it means for the press, and therefore democracy. I realised this one night while eating at a Thai...

  • 7 tips for starting up small

    There's no formula for guaranteeing the success of a startup and each new venture comes with its own story and own personal ideas of how to make it work. Still, there are some commonalities that you can learn from and prepare to encounter before heading into the great unknown. Here are seven simple and easy things to watch out for before and during the first few months of your startup's life, particularly if you're starting up without an investment or strategy partner. 1. The younger you are, the better If you have an idea for a startup but are not inclined...

  • Small SA web design company announce deal with Posterous

    A small South African web design and development company, Obox Design have announced a deal with well-known international blogging platform Posterous to supply custom design themes to their users. Posterous is a simplified blog site, funded by American seed-stage startup funding company Y Combinator, that boasts integrated and automatic posting to other social media tools such as Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook, a built-in Google Analytics package, and custom themes. The Silicon Valley start-up took the tech scene by storm when it launched in 2009. According to Wikipedia, many social media pundits consider Posterous to be the leading free application for lifestreaming....

  • The Fall of the 1000-year Copy Reich

    Is unintentional self parody an art form? Constantin Films, production company of an otherwise obscure movie entitled the 'Der Untergang' ('Downfall'), which spawned an internet meme, has certainly taken self parody to new heights (or is that depths?). The clip from the film which shows Hitler, exasperated by the inability of his generals to stem the advance of the Allied Forces throwing a spectacular tantrum, has been remixed so that subtitles have Hitler raving about anything from the difficulties of migrating from XP to Windows Vista, to having trouble getting tickets to Billy Elliot the musical. The clip isn't bad...