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  • ‘The blog is dead, long live the blog’ — Chris Anderson on the future of media

    We may need new words for journalists, editors and the "news", because their definitions are constraining and changing. Maybe the editors of the future will be known as "community managers"? Everyone's publishing, everyone's writing these days -- and perhaps these community managers will be the new curators? In this interview, Wired editor and international technology commentator Chris Anderson (Read Part 1: "The Closing Web" here) suspects that "the ranks of people creating news is going to grow hugely, including many people who are doing it for non-commercial reasons". Non-journalists are broadcasting relevant news on the web like never before via...

  • 9 examples of crowdsourcing, before ‘crowdsourcing’ existed

    Crowdsourcing is the new black. Everyone's doing it. Iceland is crowdsourcing its new constitution. Microsoft is crowdsourcing aspects of Windows 8. All this hype must mean it's a new thing right? Surely it has to be a product of the web 2.0 or social media era? This is a popular view. The term itself only goes as far back as 2006 when it was coined by Jeff Howe in a Wired Magazine article entitled "The Rise of Crowdsourcing". However, if you think about the most basic definition of the term, this web-centric view starts to make a little less sense....

  • AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! partner to fight Google

    In the wake of the firing of its colourful CEO, Carol Bartz, Yahoo! has dominated headlines with stories of boardroom politics and rumours of acquisitions. The latest rumour, from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), points to AOL, Yahoo!, and, Microsoft forming a partnership to battle Google's web dominance. According to the Journal, ad executives who were pitched a new ad-buying system say that the three internet companies have devised a plan wherein they will sell advertising on each other's sites. The plan is seen as a move by the three to recover market share lost to Google in the lucrative...

  • mLab Southern Africa officially open

    Southern Africa has immense potential for growth in the mobile business sector. The region has one of the world's highest mobile phone infiltration rates, after all. It also faces a number of challeneges though. In a bid to help guide mobile entrepreneurs through these challenges, mLab Southern Africa, a hub for technology entrepreneurs, application developers, and innovators has officially opened its doors in Pretoria. In an official press release, the mobile innovation hub stated that its "activities are aimed at making the region a global hub for mobile innovations that will boost job-led growth and tackle economic and...

  • Facebook is missing a trick on apps (and copying from Twitter to boot!)

    Facebook is all about mobile. Its number of active users -- 750 million -- is impressive. Even with engagement slowing in more mature markets, it is on track to be the first platform in history to crack the 1-billion user mark. A full third of those active users (250-million) access the site via mobile devices. Facebook itself admits that people who use Facebook on mobile devices are "twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users". So where's the innovation? That said, not much innovation can really happen on the mobile site itself. Facebook has taken the standard tick-box approach of making...

  • Ballmer bets big on the cloud

    In a surprise speech at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference, CEO Steve Ballmer laid out what he believes to be the company's seven main product areas. Some of them are obvious but there are a couple the average user may not have even heard of. According to Yahoo! Finance, the key product areas outlined by Ballmer are: Smartphones (via Windows Phone) PCs and tablets (Windows) Living room entertainment (Xbox) Cloud computing (Windows Azure platform) Productivity (Office and Office 365) Search (Bing) ERP and CRM (Dynamics) Azure is probably the most surprising inclusion in the list given that it supplants proven money spinners like Windows...

  • Facebook now lets you ‘follow’ strangers, Twitter and Google+ style

    Facebook has added a subscribe button that lets you follow people's public updates regardless whether or not you're friends with them. This new button follows in the style Twitter and Google+. Facebook claims the subscribe button will give users more control over their News Feed in terms of what and how much of their friends content they see. "Until now, it hasn't been easy to choose exactly what you see in your News Feed. Maybe you don't want to see every time your brother plays a game on Facebook, for example. Or maybe you'd like to see more stories from...

  • Facebook to hold off on IPO until late 2012: FT

    Facebook intends delaying its long-awaited IPO until late 2012, according to the Financial Times. The newspaper, citing people "familiar with the company" says the public debut will be later than the April 2012 date many are expecting. Facebook's IPO is expected to be one of the world's biggest, following recent private share sales which saw the company valued at more than US$66.5-billion. The newspaper's sources believe that Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is deliberately holding the company from going public so that employees will be remain focused on product development instead of a payout. A number of...

  • Google to offer Wi-Fi opt-out tool

    Internet giant Google will allow the owners of Wi-Fi hotspots to opt out of sharing data that helps pinpoint the locations of smartphones. The move is widely seen as an attempt to appease European officials who have expressed concerns around privacy. Google uses publicly broadcast data from Wi-Fi access points to quickly figure out where smartphones are located. The process is designed to provide information such as the mapping of routes and finding out what kind of retailers and attractions may be nearby. "Even though the wireless access point signals we use in our location services don't identify people,...

  • The ‘closing’ web: The Memeburn interview with Chris Anderson Pt I

    With additional reporting by Michelle Atagana and Steven Norris. If you don't know who Chris Anderson is, you don't really understand the internet. He's one of the great technology thinkers of our time who has given us new ways of understanding how the medium has influenced business and society, and where it is all going. Anderson is the editor of Wired Magazine, an authority on tech culture, trends and innovation. Time Magazine called Anderson one of the world's 100 most influential thinkers. The Wired editor is best known for popularising two key ideas that have helped shape internet thinking today: The Long...

  • Breaking news: Vodacom SA backs out of Blackberry speed capping

    When Vodacom SA announced that it would be throttling the speeds of Blackberry users in South Africa, the company experienced a phenomenal backlash of complaints. In the face of the backlash Vodacom has backed off from its initial plans. The retreat was led by CEO Pieter Uys who tweeted: There is also an official release from Uys on Vodacom's Facebook page: I'm very concerned that the steps we were planning to put in place were interpreted as punishing normal users. This is not at all our intention and no changes have been implemented to slow down any customer's BlackBerry service. We...

  • Perceptions of women online are stuck in the Dark Ages

    We have a real obsession with labels in our society. We like to put people into nice little boxes and categories, so we can package them, pop them on a mental shelf, and not worry about them. And we tend to do this far more with women than with men. The ancient literary trope of "maiden, mother, crone" seems to be alive and kicking online. And I, for one, am sick of it. A literary metaphor for representations of the female online may seem a little academic, but I believe this has serious ramifications in the real world. The internet...

  • Is Brazil the next ‘startup nation’?

    Startup Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle is a must read for entrepreneurs and policy markers alike. This incredible book details how the country's 5 000 startups have driven the once emerging market to a leading position in a number of fields. In the emerging markets context, though, Brazil is rising as a growing market where startups and SMEs are making their mark. As one of the top ten countries globally for entrepreneurship, Brazil is growing its share of startups in the technology space. According to data gathered by Endeavor Brazil, groups working to promote high-growth entrepreneurship, young enterprises play...

  • Microsoft gives most detailed preview of Windows 8 so far

    Microsoft has given audiences the most detailed view yet of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The preview came in the form of a two and a half hour presentation at the Washington based software giant's BUILD developers' conference, which runs through to Friday. Leading the presentation team was Windows division president Steven Sinofsky. In his presentation, Sinofsky stressed, as he has on the Windows 8 development blog, that the new OS is about reimagining Windows. "From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise," he said. Sinofsky was also boasted about...

  • SaaS industry now worth US$12.1-billion — Gartner

    Software as a service (SaaS) has changed the way we're using computers, with the applications and services we use increasingly moving online. People are checking their email online, doing their word processing online, and even running their entire businesses online. This service is worth billions and by the end of 2011, will be worth even more according to a report from research house Gartner. In fact, the research firm's statistics suggest SaaS is now worth US$12.1-billion. By 2015, North American shares of SaaS will have dropped from 63.6 percent to 60.8 percent. This is as a result of the...