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  • Guess who owns facebook.co.za? Not Facebook.

    It looks like Facebook doesn't own facebook.co.za, its South African domain? I'm surmising this from the fact that: 1. it appears from the co.za registration data that the owner of Facebook.co.za lives in Cape Town. 2. it may be that the domain was registered on behalf of Facebook by the local, but I have my doubts because when you go to Facebook.co.za you are presented with a stark page containing nothing but Google ads, and I doubt Facebook would do this. 3. if it was Facebook's domain, it would have been diverted to Facebook.com If this is what I think it is, not...

  • South Africa's web traffic not that bad if you consider…

    Here is a thought and it starts like this: So what if internet penetration is below or around the 10% mark in this country. Yes it could and should be higher and will soar higher as we see the proliferation of new broadband products take hold and get cheaper (the broadband-induced boom other nations experienced is only starting here now). But consider this: Even though internet penetration is less than 10% in South Africa, which we keep on emphasising in caution, our local internet population is probably now nearing 4-million. But that is small you cry! Yes, but consider this:...

  • HTC Touch "IPhone killer": Nice, but no big deal

    I say this, because this new phone isn't a particularly dramatic departure in mobile phone development. The HTC Touch phone is still built on Windows Mobile 6, so it's not a new operating system, but rather a kind of souped-up windows skin. In fact you can very clearly still see the Windows Mobile 6 header and footer on the HTC Touch interface. So, as beautiful as the new Touch phone looks, I wouldn't put it in the same league as the IPhone. It's certainly not an "IPhone Killer" as some have called it. I was invited to the local launch...

  • Google joins fray to fight global internet censorship

    Via an AP story on Wired.com Google, which hasn't in the past got too involved in government affairs and advocacy issues, is now joining the fight against the rise of web censorship worldwide. This is an interesting departure, because surely this will inevitably put Google on a collision course with the Chinese government? In the past Google has been careful not to pick a fight with strategic China which prevents users from accessing certain websites. The online search giant is taking a novel approach to the problem by asking U.S. trade officials to treat Internet restrictions as international trade barriers, similar...

  • OhMyNews: declining readership, losses

    It looks like the the LA Times is reporting on what appears to be tough times at Oh My News, the world famous South Korean Citizen journalism site. Oh My News is considered to be one of the flagship publications, after Wikipedia, of the world citizen media movement. The article says: Korea's OhMyNews was considered the world's most advanced example of the virtues of "citizen journalism". Its readership is down (1.5 mil pageviews vs 20 mil in 2002), it's losing money, expansion into Japan and into English didn't work. In some ways, OhmyNews is a victim of its own success. It...

  • South Africa’s Exploding Internet

    Received a press release from Nielsen//Netratings, who run the statistics and compiles readership of the major websites in the local Online Publisher's Association. Whichever way you look at it, this is good news for the South African online industry as a whole, and is no doubt spurred on by the arrival of so many broadband options and the cutting of broadband costs. It's about time. We have been lagging behind other countries, but now it appears we are starting to see the same online audience growth curves that other broadband countries have been experiencing recently. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, South African...

  • Bloggers on the payroll of big media

    Interesting to see that big media companies are recruiting some of the top bloggers to write for them. This is a clever move for two reasons: (1) Some bloggers write really well and can bring a more conversational style of writing to the sometimes-turgid world of newsprint, and (2) Bloggers are excellent at promoting their writings and bring their established and loyal reader-networks to their new columns. The second is key, because no-one knows how to promote their blogs better than a blogger. Some bloggers are good writers, but also excellent marketers... something many traditional journalists don't really dabble in. Bloggers have...

  • New launch: Easy web publishing via Synthasite

    Well, well, well. The boys and girls from Incubeta -- the PPC marketing company -- have been busy. They've launched Synthasite. I'm a bit late on this, but hey I was down in Cape Town for the World Association of Papyrus and it kept me busy. Synthasite has already got some good reviews from a couple of major sites around the world, including Mashable and Read/Write web. (The Vinny marketing machine has clicked into gear). It's great to see more innovation from this South African web company. They say that "Synthasite is about revolutionising Web Publishing" and that Synthasite is...

  • Google slammed, Google praised at newspaper conference

    Eamonn Byrne from the World Association of newspapers asked the panel at the last session of this congress: Is partnering with a search engine a good idea? The media industry have two main issues with Google. (1) They believe that Google is unfairly using and profiting off publisher's content. Hence the arrival of the Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP), which I personally think will eventually be a mechanism for publishers to extract revenue out of Google for spidering their content. (2) Publishers have issues with the fact that Google is becoming a powerful intermediary between the advertiser or agency and...

  • Online news will supplant TV as leading source

    According to a World Association of Newspapers poll online news will supplant television network news as the leading news source over the next five years. The Harris Poll also says but newspapers will remain a vital source on their own, and can become dominant if they successfully integrate online delivery as a part of what they offer the public. The poll results suggest that newspapers can significantly upgrade their traditional print product by providing greater objectivity, more in depth reporting and analysis, more information that is directly relevant to their readers’ lives, better and more visual design, and more compelling writing. The...

  • 20 ways to improve your news site

    At WAN, the speaker put up a slide of "20 ways to improve your newspaper's website". Some of them are pretty obvious, but here they are none-the-less (fill in the gaps). Focus on local content and news Stress immediacy User generated content User comments User rankings and networking on your site Embrace RSS (um, show me a website without RSS these days?) Use other web services to promote your site (eg: SecondLife, MySpace, Facebook) Facilitate blogging of content for readers (and try not to get your pants sued off) Homogenous branding Complement the print edition (I guess so) Increase the use of photography Design internal/article pages as landing pages (huge traffic...

  • WAN Links: User generated content, future of the newspaper & Zapiro on Zuma

    New Strategic Reports From Shaping the Future of the Newspaper. Five new strategy reports on some of the most important recent developments in the newspaper industry globally -- increasing digital revenue development, advertising best practices, innovative management systems, newspaper company reorganisation and the power of local focus -- have just been published by the World Association of Newspapers. User generated content session video - Is user generated content bringing anything new to news? What does the future look like in a world in which the consumer is increasingly taking over the printing press, the dark room and the television studio? How...

  • News24 launches MyNews24

    Our local News24.com has launched a new citizen journalism portal called MyNews24. Elan Lohmann who is sitting next to me at this conference tells me that it's doing exceedingly well attracting "100 000 unique users". He isn't happy with the design which is limited by the constraints of their site template and CMS, so they'll be launching another version some time in the future. I went over to the site and it looks busy -- there is quite a bit of reader interaction there. Nice to see a major online news site getting their readers involved.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");

  • BBC's Sambrook on Citizen media

    Richard Sambrook who is a new media head honcho at the BBC has long been somewhat of an expert in user generated content and citizien journalism in the media context. I often hear intelligent and succint quotes from him in the international media world. So I was happy to see him speak at the WAN conference. Sambrook identified, four different types of UGC content: 1. Eye witness contributions... where readers email photos or eye-witness accounts of what they have seen. 2. Integration of audience and public opinion with journalism... There is nothing new in this, it's been happening for decades with radio...

  • Integrating the online & print news operations

    I've never liked the word convergence. Integration is much better. Some great speakers spoke on this topic from the New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax) and The Telegraph (UK). This is about the PRODUCTION of news. And why are media companies restructuring the production of news? Well it's really about the audience -- the audience is accessing content on a variety of platforms, and they don't care how they get it. I guess it's also about efficiencies and preventing overlap of resources. Jonathan Landman, Deputy Managing Editor of the NY Times: Spoke about his experience involving combining two...