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  • CNN.com gets social

    CNN.com has launched site-wide integrations of Facebook Connect and new social plugins that allow the news site's users to recommend, share or comment on content with their friends on Facebook. The social enhancements also allow users to see when their friends have recommended, shared or commented on CNN.com content. “It's possible that people may be more connected with their friends on Facebook than they are to the people they see every day, and sharing what interests you most with your friends online has become a form of cultural currency," said KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com....

  • World Cup iPhone apps: The hot and not

    With the FIFA 2010 World Cup around the corner, I decided to take a look at a couple of the iPhone apps on offer for our international visitors. Browsing through the iTunes app store I came across a few really fantastic apps on the one hand and a few, um... shall we say, interesting apps on the other hand. 
 
When judging the apps, I looked mostly at functionality, how they promote our beautiful country, and how they assist visitors with World Cup information and tourist information such as local restaurants, "must sees" and various travel tips. 
 
 Here are the must-have apps: 
ESPN...

  • Could this be the dumbest company in the world?

    Constantin Film, the company responsible for making the acclaimed movie Downfall (2004), is stepping up a crusade to have thousands of humorous parody excerpts of the film removed from You Tube, say reports. The spoof clips have been one of the more successful internet memes, watched by millions of users over and over again. The clips centre around an excerpt from the film, known in Germany as Der Untergang, which sees an enranged Adolf Hitler during his last days, having a rant at his generals in his besieged Berlin bunker. In what must be one of the more massive failures of...

  • Google SA boss quits for new ‘Africa-wide’ venture

    South Africa's Google boss, Stephen Newton, has quit to "pursue other entrepreneurial activities", reports the company. The news that the well-liked Newton is leaving comes as a surprise because he had been in the sought-after position for less than a year. Previous Google boss, Stafford Maisie, had been at the helm for just 18 months, reportedly resigning to spend more time with his family. There have been only two Google country managers in South Africa since the international search behemoth established a local office here about three years ago. Newton told Memeburn that his new role could be described as "Africa-wide"...

  • Facebook just changed the game

    I find it quite crazy that yesterday I was asking Facebook for some small changes to their Fan Page and then they go and drop something which will make the entire internet a Fan Page. Imagine being able to ‘walk’ into any online store and ask your friend what they thought of a certain product on the fly? Well now it is possible with Facebook’s new social buttons and tool bars. The power of sale through referral may have just gone through the roof. The power of social may have just gone through the roof! Last night Facebook had...

  • Swiss company develops innovative VOIP app based on local platform

    A Swiss-based telecommunications company, TelFree, has made ripples recently with the launch of an innovative Skype-like VOIP service developed right here in our very own back yard. The company has now released a new iPhone application of its offering, available for download in the iTunes App Store. The application's biggest innovation is that it features "push-call technology", making it possible for users to receive calls and messages even though the application isn't actively running on the device, or has even been signed into. This is beneficial for those mobile operating systems that do not support multi-tasking, or the ability to run multiple...

  • SA politician releases ‘secret’ Eskom dossier on Facebook

    According to business newspaper Business Report, a Democratic Alliance (DA) politician has released a "secret" document about the country's main electricity utility via Facebook. The newspaper is reporting that Pieter van Dalen released the Eskom dossier on his Facebook profile which allegedly contains information around the country's move to supply below-cost power to its neighbouring states. The move has not been without controversy because South Africa itself is facing electricity supply issues. Upon closer inspection it appears van Dalen actually released the report on a DA website, but used his Facebook status update to link to it, saying: "What a...

  • Coming to a phone near you: Six examples of how social media took the starring role in the news

    Until Twitter came along and blew the lid off news coverage of the Iranian elections last year, many of us were scratching our heads wondering just how social media could help journalism be more interesting. Sure, Facebook helped you market a story to your buddies and you could pick up a story or two on Twitter, but what else was there? Then the Iranians, armed with cellphones, beat the pants off the international news organisations covering the June protests in Tehran and we all sat up and took notice. In South Africa, social media also steals the spotlight from...

  • Establishing your international startup anywhere

    There’s been a growing trend for startups to base themselves anywhere and have their employees scattered across the world, and in the process erase the concept of the old-school HQ. This trend seems to be even more prevalent for startups that operate online, with the WordPress/Automattic team being a great example. Over at WooThemes, our team is scattered across five different countries and we have a central office (which houses half of the team) in Cape Town, South Africa. Our whole business is online and we’re able to manage all of our daily activities from the comfort of our chosen...

  • Internet Solutions rolls out its 700th hotspot

    Internet Solutions (IS) says it has rolled out its 700th Wi-Fi hotspot in South Africa, just in time for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. In a country where Wi-Fi is about as common as the odd unicorn, that's good news. The IS hotspots are made up of key locations through South Africa with a specific focus on the hospitality industry. "Our focus is very much around providing a great internet experience for all the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup supporters and the media that are expected to attend this key event later this year,” says Justin Spratt, General Manager...

  • The battle for budget in the digital space

    2010, another year, another marketing budget, another significant year-on-year increase in the amount corporates intend on investing in digital. As an eMarketer, this is great news for me and the agency I work for as each and every year the "battle for budget" between digital and the more traditional above-the-line mediums (predictably) sees the lion share being portioned to the ad agencies, while the virtual scraps are thrown to the budget line item that is digital/interactive/eMarketing. The purpose of this post though is not to rant, neither is it to dwell on budgets and where they should or shouldn't be going...

  • iPhone 4.0 revealed by US tech blog – Pics

    US technology blog Gizmodo has got its hands on what it believes to be the next iPhone. According to the blog, the iPhone prototype was apparently found "lost in a bar" near Apple's headquarters, camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS. The authors of Gizmodo report they were initially sceptical, but after "playing with it for about a week—the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone". Disassembling the phone provided further evidence of its authenticity. The site's sources say that Apple is indeed reporting that it has "lost" a prototype and that "they want it back". However there...

  • Hands on with the iPad: The Memeburn review

    The lingering stares you get while walking around with an iPad tucked under your arm is confirmation that this is no ordinary gadget. In fact, it gives you a small inkling of what it must be like to be a rockstar. Complete strangers stopped me in my tracks to get a closer look or start a conversation about it. Heads would turn. One guy came up to me, shook my hand and just said “well done”. While in a meeting at Cape Town-based digital agency Gloo, parts of the company came to a standstill when word got out there was...

  • Vodacom launches multiplayer social mobile game

    The Grid, Vodacom's location-based mobile social network, has launched Legends of Echo, a multi-player social game for mobile phones that allows players to battle each other across South Africa in real time and based on their actual physical location. In the game, the Echo is a parallel virtual universe based on the South African map, but instead of cities and skyscrapers, players will find rolling green fields, rocky outcrops and valleys to explore and establish their virtual base from their mobile phones. The uniqueness of the game is that it mirrors real-life locations in a multiplayer environment and that interactions are...

  • Are we surrendering our privacy too easily?

    Google Buzz is really messing with my brain. All my other social media activities fit nicely along the private-public continuum we all have to juggle. But Buzz feels like an invasion of my personal space. By infiltrating the most private of online communications (email), it's also daring me to move that privacy line a little bit, and let people in on conversations that they really have no business in being a part of. As Danah Boyd pointed out in her SXSW keynote this year: Google got themselves into trouble by launching a public-facing service inside a service that...