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  • 12 predictions for the web

    IBM Chairman Thomas Watson famously predicted in 1943: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." In the same decade the magazine Popular Mechanics also weighed in, predicting that "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." Even Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicted in 1981 that for computer memory,"640K ought to be enough for anybody." Computers now come standard with more than 3000 times that. And even that’s not enough. Such is the pace of the digital revolution that looking into the future is a daunting task. But daunting as it may...

  • Redesigning & rebuilding the Mail & Guardian Online

    Redesigning the M&G Online, the country's oldest news website. Pics below of the first meeting with myself, Vincent Maher (Strategist), Riaan Wolmarans (Editor) and Matthew Burbidge (news editor). Absent at this particular meeting is Bryan Khumalo (Online Sales Manager). We're essentially rebuilding the site and bringing the dev inhouse (previously outsourced) and we're also changing over from .NET to PHP. We've decided to host the site at Internet Solutions. After quite a bit of research we've also decided that we are building our own CMS from scratch. We didn't feel that the open source options we investigated such as Drupal,...

  • Vodacom set to shake up media scene

    Vodacom, best known as a cellphone service provider, is set to become one of the country’s most influential media players, trumping many big, traditional media players. The numbers are certainly impressive. Some would say Vodacom is already an influential media player, with a claimed monthly audience of 1,4-million unique users and 16-million page impressions that consume its content on the small screen. These numbers put the company in the same league as some of the country’s biggest, established newspapers and radio stations. It’s also not particularly bad going for a company where media is still a very small part of its...

  • Rise and rise of mobile media

    Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun provides a glimpse of mobile media in the future.... Japanese media are the undisputed world leaders in mobile media. When many places on the planet weren’t even using their cellphones for SMS, the Japanese had mastered delivering content on the mobile platform, and making a solid business from it. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun is a big media player in world terms. The newspaper has a massive circulation of around 12-million (8-million for morning edition, 4-million for evening edition). Despite these outrageous figures, Asahi is only the second biggest newspaper in Japan. I’d just hate to see how big...

  • Move over iPhone: This is the ultimate converged phone

    Now this is the true iPhone killer we have all been waiting for. Sorry for all you guys that spent your $$$ buying the iPhone. This is the baby you: 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");

  • The local web: The year that was 2007

    It's been a cool year for the Web in South Africa. Year of the blog? We saw the arrival of two blog aggregators Afrigator and amatomu.com, and there was talk of a third. The former was recognised by CNN as a major web startup outside the US and also received mentions on the famous Read/Write Web. Amatomu got covered locally in FinWeek, Maverick, Intelligence and Financial Mail. Arthur Goldstuck did an anecdotal study that gave us the first rough picture of the local blogosphere. His study showed it was smaller than many of us thought. We also saw the truly brilliant Bolton...

  • Vinny Lingham: The man to watch in 2008

    Web entrepreneur Vinny Lingham will be my local web 2.0 story to watch for 2008. Despite his early critics, Vinny has put his money where his mouth is and secured some useful venture capital for his new baby, Synthasite. Earlier this year, Synthasite raised US$5-million in investment from a Richemont subsidiary, Swiss-based Columbus Venture Capital. It's not a huge amount by world standards, but certainly useful and easily enough to take the project, a typically inexpensive web 2.0 creation, to the next level. When I first blogged about Synthasite a while back, I hadn't used it much and admittedly was...

  • Cool Larry and Sergey Google presentation

    Spotted this interesting Google video on Stafford Masie's blog (the new local Google head). It's a relaxed, informal talk at TED on Google's philosophies around running their business and their various labs projects, with some mention of Orkut, Google News and other projects. (South Africa also gets a mention in it). It's worth a watch... 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");

  • After 10 Years of Blogs, the Future's Brighter Than Ever

    From Wired: In the 10 years since the first site known as a "weblog" went online, the blog has matured from a geek niche to the internet's dominant publishing paradigm. Blogs have come a long way since Dec. 17, 1997, when Jorn Barger coined the term "weblog" to describe the list of links on his Robot Wisdom website that "logged" his internet wanderings. In the decade hence, blogs have come to dominate the net, from 100 million personal diaries to the breaking news sections of the august The New York Times.... read onvar 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");

  • Blogger covers another side of ANC Polokwane conference

    Of all the news reports I've read on the African National Congress (ANC) Polokwane conference so far, the live coverage from our blogger Ndumiso Ngcobo, who is at the event, has honestly been the most interesting. The ANC conference is a major event for South Africa, set to determine the next leader of the country's ruling party and perhaps the political future of the country. Ndumiso was a natural choice to be our blogger at the conference. His brilliant writing on our Thought Leader platform has had us in stitches constantly for the past three months. We were keen to...

  • Jimmy Wales 'Facebook plans': Now watch the video

    Local blogger Dave Duarte has edited the original iCommons video of Jimmy Wales' presentation where the Wikipedia boss discusses and shows slides that have led to speculation he is planning a Facebook competitor. The initial story first broken on this blog about Wales' revelations and Nic Haralambolous's subsequent screenshots caused a major international blogging fest, with Techcrunch, Mashable, Wired and Techmeme all picking up on the story. In the video, Wales says he will be releasing his Facebook version as open source software, hoping to attract a "large amount of developers" to the project. In the video, Wales also elaborates more...

  • SA sites caught up in Google PageRank 'carnage'

    About a month ago, Google's latest pagerank updates saw a number of major international news sites, A-list bloggers and local sites have their rankings slashed. There was speculation in the international blogosphere that Google's move had to do with the legitimate practice of sites selling paid links, however this is unconfirmed as Google has yet to comment on the move. Pagerank is the formula Google uses to determine the order in which search results appear. The move has created an international outcry amongst many site owners as pagerank is often regarded (incorrectly) as an indication of the quality of the...

  • Is Facebook overrated?

    In amongst the hype and the frenzy, comes this from Time magazine: "You want to buy low expectations," says David Trainer, president of the business-valuation firm New Constructs. Google went public amid widespread skepticism, but Facebook has been anointed by its boosters as the next Google, despite MySpace's bigger audience and deeper pockets. As is always the case with the Web, some investors are going to make epic amounts of money. Others won't.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");

  • Future web trends

    Here's the presentation I did at a recent iCommons Innovations Series talk with Mr Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, a while back. Honoured to be in such company. I did an adapted version of it again at the recent "Publish Online" conference in Cape Town. The presentation now has a slightly less pretentious title: changed it from "Future of the web" to "Future web trends". It's got some crazy, out there predictions ("Decline of nation states") and some obvious predictions (Fast, ubiquitous, always-on internet) -- some of my own and some I've got from other sites, including Read Write Web and...

  • Why you may need to change your email password, now

    Now for something completely different: The web 2.0 world requires people to register accounts with logins and passwords these days. I am registered with so many of these services, some I use and some I don't use, that I've lost track. Apparently, the typical internet user these days has upwards of 21 different accounts that require passwords, says a British online-security consultant NTA Monitor in Wikipedia. Now I'm guessing that most people, like me, don't come up with a range of different passwords for each and every one of the many accounts they sign up for -- but tend to...