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  • Online chess play scoops $1.25m in funding

    ChessCube has concluded a US$1.25m funding agreement with Venture Capital fund, InVenFin (Pty) Ltd. InVenFin, the VC-focused subsidiary of VenFin Limited, invests in intellectual property-based start-ups with global potential. This transaction brings ChessCube’s total funding to date to US$1.8m. ChessCube is an online chess site, which allows players of all skill levels to compete and learn chess, while socializing with others. With a potential market of over fifty million active chess players in the world, ChessCube.com has already attracted over 650,000 registered users across 207 countries -- making it one of the leaders in the growing online chess market. Mark Levitt,...

  • 10 questions for new Google SA head: Stephen Newton

    New Google SA Head Stephen Newton (Credit: FM Tech). Stephen Newton is the country's new Google head. He's an American who has been living in the UK. He's now based in Johannesburg, heading up the local Google office. He studied as a lawyer, has previously been the GM of Hitwise UK, a Vice President at Double Click, and then Google EMEA Head of Analytics & Commerce. Newton describes South Africa as "Africa’s entrepreneurial heart" and is looking at ways of broadening the country's internet access. He's a rugby fan, and a nice, down-to-earth guy to have lunch with. I asked him...

  • HTC confirms August Android Market launch in SA

    As predicted by Ron Bach on the 20FourLabs blog, the Android market will soon be launched here. Leaf International Communications, the distributor of HTC in South Africa has confirmed the Android Market, Google’s mobile application directory, will be available to South African users from August 2009. “HTC was the first to launch Android-based handsets in South Africa during May 2009,” says Stephen Strachan, marketing director at Leaf. “At the time, the Android Market was unavailable to local users and, while we have developed a local application portal, it is great that consumer demand has resulted in Google allowing local users to...

  • You can't wrap fish & chips in pixels

    This is the second Prezi presentation I've done, first introduced to me by Phil Barrett of Flow Interactive via a post on Life Hacker. This one was for Th!nkFest at the National Arts Festival. I owe the title (or is it that I owe him one?) to Tony Lankester, the Festival CEO. It's a look at the future of media, with an Eastern Cape twist. It also delves into the world of augmented reality: the internet as a data layer over reality. (There are quite a few...

  • Web development: The great convergence myth

    I've always learnt that converged systems are the best way to go. In theory they are: An integrated site should ultimately allow you to do more with your site's content and resources. It should save you time because you are not going backwards and forwards trying to get one Content Management System (CMS)* to speak to another or one paradigm to work within another. There should be a cost saving, because you're now working with one system, not eight. Well that's the theory. The reality is that it doesn't work like that. Not even close. The ideal vision of a converged...

  • A collection of quality articles on the future of journalism and media

    Some good reads on the future of journalism and media: News Flash From the Future: What Will Journalism Look Like? Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism? The State of the Media: Not Good Don't Let Yellow Press Standards Define the Future of Journalism The way we'll work How to save your newspaper How Social Media is Radically Changing the Newsroom Journalism 2.0 Get Off the Bus The Future of Journalismvar 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");

  • Nandos strikes with Confed Cup viral campaign

    It's so rare that Bafana Bafana win, so when they do we revel in it. For some inexplicable reason, we also particularly revel in beating Australia and New Zealand (at pretty much everything or anything). Enter Nandos with this clever viral marketing campaign: 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");

  • Twitter, journalism and Iran

    Some questions I answered for a newspaper article on journalism and social media, specifically with regard to the Iran uprisings and the use of twitter: 1. Twitter is being used quite extensively at the moment in Iran. Could this be regarded as some kind of turning point for social media? I wouldn't call it a turning point. It's part of an ongoing trend that sees technology and the internet making media and broadcasting more accessible to people on the ground. The internet allows ordinary people to tell their stories through their own media via their blog, their Twitter or Facebook accounts,...

  • The future of media and other questions

    Answered some questions for an article recently. Thought I'd publish them here too: What do you think the future of news organizations will look like? For mid-sized to large news organisations, I doubt there will be any specialist text or broadcast media companies left. Most media companies will be full, quality, multimedia operations. This will intensify as the cost and knowledge barriers fall even further. News organisations will be publishing on multiple devices. In most countries, mobile news sites will overtake their sister "traditional" desktop websites in terms of traffic, although not necessarily revenue. In the future, most digital devices will be...

  • Promoting your site

    Just did this interview for the Kulula inflight mag on online advertising and promoting your website. Thought I'd publish it here too: 1. Why does online advertising account for so little of the advertising pie in SA? For various reasons -- and it's not only a story about low internet penetration. Many South African products and services play in local markets that have high penetration, upwards of 80%. I think online advertising is slow as there are institutional biases in traditional media companies and the industry that push revenue through the tried-and-tested channels they know. I also...

  • Survey claims 80% of SA users shop online

    A survey by Master Card claims that 80% of South African users are shopping online. CDs, DVDs and VCDs” emerged as the most sought after item category, with 58% of online shoppers saying that they frequently shopped for these items online. “Airline tickets” and “books and arts” emerged as the next most sought after items, with 45% of online shoppers saying that they had frequently shopped for these items in the three months prior to when the survey was conducted. These are some of the primary findings of a survey commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide on online shopping behaviour, the results of which...

  • The trouble with Twitter

    For those of you, like me, who simultaneously loathe and love Twitter, you'll love this clip. It was sent to me by friend of mine and fellow Capetonian Rob Broster who is of the former camp, without much of the latter. Oh and feel free to follow me on www.twitter.com/matthewbuckland ;-) (PS: Apologies for the double post on Twitter, but I've only just resuscitated my blog which flatlined yesterday).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");

  • A vision of 2019: Interface eye candy

    It's a vision of the future from Microsoft Office Labs. If you're into interfaces and devices -- and how they may look in the future, you'll love the video below: (You can watch a crisper version too)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 future of mobile computing

    I love these images.* It's a tale of what our future may look like. In many respects it's happening now, albeit in a crude form, via apps available for the JesusPhone like Locly, AroundMe and Snaptel. Locly and Aroundme instantly provides your phone with relevant information pertaining to your immediate location, aggregated from sources like flickr, twitter, blogs and wikipedia. Snaptel processes photos taken by your phone of real-world objects such as books, CDs, DVDs (etc) -- and then returns information gleaned from the net, right then and there, allowing you to purchase or do price comparisons based on shops in...

  • Where users are getting their information and who they trust?

    Here's a nice graph from the authoritative eMarketer. It's a study from the US showing where users are getting their information. Interesting to see that 26% and 24% of users respectively are using social network and blog sites. Local newspapers feature highly at 63%, a slight increase from 2007, but down from 2006. Mobile media is bottom of the pile, but you'd expect that to shoot up -- and perhaps be much higher in other countries (than compared to, say, the US). Also interesting in these figures below (For US and Europe) is confirmation that users appear to trust information...