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  • Freeconomics: The art of making money by giving things away for free

    At the same time that Chris Anderson was penning a Wired article that would become the seed concept for a controversial best-seller, Vinny Lingham was launching yet another internet business. It was 2008 and both Anderson and Lingham were obsessed with the same concept – making money by giving away things for free. Anderson’s article - Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business – would prove to be the precursor for his book Free. The Future of a Radical Price, while Lingham would launch Yola , a business based on giving away websites for free, and would raise $25m...

  • 5 Nokia apps to make your toes curl!

    I'm sick of all the iPhone fan boys/gals telling me how cool their little Apples are. I mean, like, really - they launched without copy and paste. It takes a special kind of talent to forget that. Chumps. The iPhone is genius because it showed the world that applications are the future, and that the device is merely a platform for innovation. But it was not Steve Jobs and his unironed shirt-wearing cronies who made the iPhone what it is today. The thousands of  application developers who forgot to bath while writing apps for the phone can claim that honour. They...

  • Are we becoming Firefox icons?

    A few weeks ago in a very bizarre dream, I was a beautifully customised icon on my Firefox browser, adorned in bright colors with HC on the bottom right. HC didn't stand for HealthCrunch, nor was it an alternative to creative commons. What it stood for was Human Connector. The difference between this multi-colored creative HC icon and all the others was that it could jump from one Firefox browser to another. It could also pop in and out of people’s IE and Safari worlds, hang out, and observe their behavior. HC didn’t have a face, but had a magical wand...

  • Roodepoort’s answer to SXSW

    Brendan Jack, of MTV's Footskating 101 fame, has created what he thinks will be a new conference to rival the well-known Austin-based SXSW. He's going hyperlocal and hyperactive and just plain hyper for his conference, called "South By South West Rand". The lawyers are going to be all over this one. The lucky place that will get to host the new event, guaranteed to attract the country's social media elite of about three people, will be Roodepoort. Good luck Brendan, Memeburn will certainly be on board as a media sponsor. Not. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Google’s new China approach

    Google has taken the bold step of ceasing to censor their search services — Google Search, Google News, and Google Images — on their China presence, Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where the search giant is now offering "uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong". "We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services," says the search leader. Google says it will be "carefully...

  • Google rolls out real-time search in South Africa

    Google on Friday announced that the real-time search features it rolled out internationally last year will now be available on its South African search results. In December last year, the search giant introduced a string of new search innovations on Google.com, bringing their results to life with a dynamic stream of real-time content. After conducting a search, users can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter, MySpace and FriendFeed, including headlines from news reports and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, Google ranks these latest results to show the freshest information...

  • Bloggers now a regular PR target, shows survey

    A world-wide survey conducted by global public relations (PR) company, Text 100, indicates a "mainstreaming" of blogging in most markets, with many bloggers reporting increased contact from PR professionals or corporate communicators. The survey looked at 465 bloggers from 22 countries, which included questions put to South African bloggers. The survey also noted that some of the worst practices of PR have been exported to the blogosphere too. Importantly for companies wanting to engage with bloggers, the survey indicated that there is significant opportunity for deeper relationships with this increasingly influential community. Contact with PR people More than 90 percent of...

  • ISP shakes up market with major broadband offer

    South Africa appears to be a step closer to having an internet experience like the rest of the developed world after local internet service provider MWEB on Thursday announced a new range of competitive, uncapped broadband packages. Despite being the continent's leading economy, the country has fallen behind country's like Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria in terms of internet numbers and penetration. MWEB says it is offering "super-fast" uncapped ADSL from just R219 per month. It says this is "40% cheaper than other offerings and that MWEB is the first major player in South Africa to offer uncapped ADSL on a significant...

  • Crowdsourced marketing site delivers Allan Gray mobile strategy

    Idea Bounty is a website created by South African and London-based web agency, Quirk eMarketing, that looks for “Big Creative Ideas” for their clients from the general public in SA and globally -- a concept known as crowdsourcing. On the Idea Bounty site you can read the current client brief and submit your own strategies. After analysis, the client and Idea Bounty settle on the best strategy to meet the client’s objectives. The best idea gets the prize, a bounty of around US$3 000 or more. Of the 18 ideas submitted for the latest campaign, the winning idea came from Lindy...

  • Augmented reality for everyone?

    Metaio has released a completely new version of its open augmented reality browser junaio, taking further steps in enabling everyone to create and experience mobile augmented reality. Version 2.0, which is now available in Apple’s App Store, offers new unique features such as indoor usage, web- and user-based information channels, and an open API for developers. With junaio, users can flip through channels like entertainment, nightlife, travel and many others, and see information digitally displayed around by simply pointing their phone. Indoor Usage One very notable feature of junaio 2.0 is the possibility to use it indoors, with Metaio explaining that by combining...

  • Google releases new Chrome beta

    Google on Tuesday launched a new beta version of its Chrome browser, which includes a number of new innovations including additional privacy controls for users and seamless integration of translation functionality. Google says the beta release gives users even greater choice and control over their privacy as they browse the web. In addition to Chrome's existing incognito mode -- a handy way to browse the web without leaving traces of website visits or a download history on your computer -- users now have even more in-depth control over their privacy settings in the new "Content Settings" section of Chrome's...

  • SA self-published author makes it onto Kindle

    Self-publishing your book successfully in South Africa is one thing, self-publishing your book as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle is what some would call nearly impossible. But this is just what Dr Bertie du Plessis, author of Don’t lose your pension, did. Du Plessis is the founder of MindPilot (Pty) Ltd, a strategic communication consultancy to some of South Africa’s leading business leaders and corporations. His blog, Read This! on Fin24, South Africa’s largest business portal, is regularly the most read and most commented. Du Plessis is the first South African author and publisher who broke through...

  • ‘First ever’ crowdsourced ad competition to showcase SA

    South Africa's International Marketing Council (IMC), custodian of Brand South Africa, is sponsoring a first of its kind online ad competition to crowdsource creativity and insight from around the world to showcase South Africa as a vibrant and competitive nation brand. Launched in conjunction with the Chief Marketing Officers Council, a global organisation of senior marketing executives, the Get Wildly Creative About South Africa ad contest is being hosted on Zooppa.com, a revolutionary social media site which brands like Microsoft are using to generate people-inspired viral advertising. The IMC, the CMO Council and its new GeoBranding Centre will use viral communications,...

  • SA’s soccer zeitgeist

    With just more than 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup and as soccer fever takes over South Africa, Google Zeitgeist has released some interesting figures on the popularity of the country's stadiums. So, then, which stadium is the people's favourite? In terms of international search popularity over the past 12 months, Google Zeitgeist looked at which stadium is the people’s favourite... and are the rankings: Ranking 1. Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg 2. Green Point Stadium, Cape Town 3. Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban 4. Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg 5. Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane Google says that in terms of the geographical origins...

  • Smartphone the surprise newcomer in mobile race

    Smartphones have made a dramatic entry into corporate South Africa, far surpassing general consumer use or small business use. This is a surprise finding from a new research study released today by World Wide Worx. The Mobile Corporation in SA 2010 report reveals that three quarters of South African companies have deployed smartphones within their organisations, compared to almost none two years ago. The study, backed by First National Bank (FNB), leaders in cellphone banking in Africa, and Research In Motion (RIM), the developer of the BlackBerry solution, shows that saturation point has almost been reached by large South African companies...