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  • Patricia De Lille wants govt to regulate her very own words

    The Independent Democrats' (ID) Patricia De Lille has called on government to regulate blogs in South Africa. I did a second take at the ID's statement, it seemed so bizarre and naive. I know Patricia. I met her some years back during an informal discussion just as the ID was being launched, and she came across as an intelligent person which makes this statement surprising. I'd strongly urge her to reconsider as it is making her party look silly. I could also point out the irony that De Lille in fact herself blogged during the local government elections via the...

  • Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a blog?

    What is this? Can someone tell me.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");

  • Bullard has a challenge on his hands (to stay interesting)

    Must not blog about Bullard... must... resist... oh well. So the blog bully has started a blog. He's funny. I laugh with him, I laugh at him. I think he needs to get some new punch lines though. ("To busy to blog because I'm driving my X5, Can't blog cos popping off to the Riviera or Tuscany, To busy smoking my cuban cigar blah blah blah"). So far David Bullard is a great addition to the blogosphere even though he says he hates it. Contrary to his disparaging attitude to the very medium he has chosen to embrace, I suspect his...

  • Surviving an online brand attack

    I'm becoming a regular reader of the Quirk blog (and not just because of their recent SEO article). Here is a piece on ten practical steps a company can follow to survive an "online brand attack". It reminds me of a time at a conference when a guy from Absa asked me -- "What's the point of trying to respond to bloggers, because people like to complain and they complain before they compliment." Yes, there is some truth to that. It's a human condition: You rarely praise when things work and the wheels turn, but when something breaks down...

  • Guardian Unlimited launches new site

    One of the world's biggest news websites, The Guardian Unlimited, has just relaunched with a new look and feel. The new design seems to be limited mostly to the homepage and not to the articles which continue to look pretty much the way they did before. I find that strange. Maybe they are planning to roll out the new design across the site in a gradual process? The new frontpage design is in wide-format, roomier and has more multimedia features. There is also a prominent spot for blogs from their closed blogging platform, "Comment is Free". It looks slick. (Thanks Derek...

  • 15 Startup Commandments

    Found this a good read, especially in the context of creating Amatomu.com. Got it off a Facebook group. The commandments 1. Your idea isn't new. Pick an idea; at least 50 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more. 2. Stealth startups suck. You're not working on the Manhattan Project, Einstein. Get something out as quickly as possible and promote the hell out of it. 3. If you don't have scaling problems, you're not growing fast enough. 4. If you're successful, people will try to take advantage of you. Hope that you're in that position,...

  • IT Web to pay bloggers for content

    Jovan Regaseck the founder of IT Web and a man who I very much admire and respect, is quoted by Tectonic as saying: "In a state of madness (perhaps), I decided that we needed a world first. Something never done before." It Web says it is going to pay bloggers a generous 10c per page impression for their articles, pictures or video clips for a new site they have launched called My Digital Life. The base, discounted rate for online advertising is around 15c (sometimes 10c per page impression) so the margin must be quite tight for them, unless other...

  • Upwardly mobile: Content on cellphones is the killer app

    Since the ugly days of wap, phones have got a lot smarter and more efficient at accessing the web. Cellphone screens are getting bigger and more colourful. Screen resolutions are edging higher and internet connections becoming faster. It’s become easier to connect to the internet than ever before via your cellphone. Most cellphones now come with internet settings preset by the networks, so a user doesn’t have to go through the often complicated process of setting it up. And I’m not talking about the high-end, fancy phones here - most mid-range phones come with internet and good screens these days. What...

  • The Bullard cacophony

    It is interesting to note that I first got wind of David Bullard's column via the blogosphere as opposed to the Sunday Times website or the newspaper itself. The irony. Yes I know I am probably the last person in the blogosphere to blog about this, but I actually have a job! And I have to work during the day! But I'd thought I'd join the Bullard cacophony just for good measure. Obviously bloggers have to respond. But what some fail to see (or grasp) is that there is a strong baiting element to Bullard's excellent columns. In fact...

  • Digital age challenging the establishment

    Read Duncan McLeod's piece on his FM blog, "What the heck is going on?". He sums up something I have been mulling for sometime but have been unable to articulate satisfactorily. The rise of digital communications and the information age (computers, cellphones, internet) is revolutionising society and putting more power into the hands of the individual. Says Duncan: How do information-based companies (media companies; music companies; Hollywood) compete in a world where millions of people create their their own content — words, music, video and software — and share it with others, free of charge? Why do people do this? What’s...

  • Reality check: Web 2.0 & blogging just 'digital narcissism'?

    Here is a bit of a reality check on the web 2.0 frenzy. I've always thought the hype around web 2.0 reminded me a bit of the hype around the early dot.com days -- which I, by the way, was very much a part of. It's the reason why I am so revenue-driven when it comes to creating web projects these days. At the back of my mind, it has been worrying me, though: There is an almost unchecked, uncritical enthusiasm for web 2.0 and citizen media. In fact, try be a critic: Critics are often shutdown as not "getting...

  • Rise of the bloggers

    Duncan McLeod has written an article, entitled "Rise of the bloggers", on his new blog FM Tech -- where he looks at local blog aggregators Amatomu and Afrigator. He also refers to Ray Hartley's new insider blog on the new daily newspaper that Johncom is about to launch. I first picked up the article via Amatomu. He quotes myself and Vincent. The article will also appear in the Financial Mail print edition. While chatting to Duncan we also became aware of some issues with Amatomu which we'll be addressing (thanks Duncan). Duncan also quotes Rupert Murdoch on the need...

  • One-on-one with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

    UPDATED: Here are some excerpts of an interview I did with Jimmy on Thursday afternoon. I posed questions from myself and relayed some questions asked via this blog. The full interview is now on the M&G Online. Video and audio of the interview are now also available on the M&G Online article. There will also be a version in the paper later in the week, which a different audience will access. I've published it here also given that this is an open community subject and I thought a blog would be appropriate in this context. (Pic by Jayne Morgan) Interview...

  • SA journalists embrace blogs

    I've been pretty impressed by the way South African media professionals have embraced blogging in recent times. There is of course all this claptrap of big media vs the blogosphere, which I've always thought was nonsense. My two cents? Blogging is many things: in its most simple guise it's just a publishing format. But it's also a culture and a type/style of content. You can write on a blog and not be a blogger, or you can blog and not be a journalist. You can however be both, at different times. And roles often blur. Am I making any...

  • The 'new' dot.com rush

    Am I alone or does it feel like the rush of the dot.com era is back? In terms of innovation on the world wide web with web 2.0 (yuk), social networking, blogging and the rise of user-generated content, google and search -- it feels like a different world to the web of about 3-4 years ago. It's like the early days of the dot.com boom all over again -- that same excitement, enthusiasm and culture of innovation and creativity of those halcyon days. The original boom was almost ten years back. If I remember correctly both Vince and I...