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  • Will there be a direct marketing exodus from Facebook to Google+?

    It’s safe to say that news channels are now in the calm-after-the-storm phase concerning the initial Google+ stab at Facebook. The social giant’s speedy defense in expressing their views that they simply regard it as a “validation” and a “recreation” of the social infrastructure that Facebook has already laid down has also been well documented. Given Facebook’s views on where future innovations will come from, the company seems to be confident that it has already won the social search war. As the yammer about the upstart social platform goes on, the social and search kingdoms seem to have had their...

  • Thoughts on Google+ by the world’s social media gurus

    Google+ is still new to the field, but it’s already shaping up to be Google’s most successful social media effort to date. While some have relegated Google+ to suffer the same fate as the company’s other recent failed social media efforts Buzz and Wave, the consensus among the tech industry’s top pundits, critics and journalists has been positive. We thought it would be interesting to take it a step further and see what the founders of some of the world’s top Social Media sites are saying about Google+. Mark Zuckerberg - CEO and founder Facebook Referring to Hangouts, the Google+ video conferencing...

  • Branding your business to be digitally relevant

    Sticking Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn logos on your website, offline adverts and email signatures does not make your business any more digitally relevant than us sticking an image of Batman riding an elephant on this article, for example. Digital relevance is an aspect of digital or web marketing that many businesses are missing. There is a dramatic difference between plastering up generic social media profiles with generic low interest content and engaging actively in an effective web strategy. Today’s consumer is much more informed about general marketing trends than in the past, and they are exacting in their requirements on...

  • App of the week: Pocket Hipster

    This week I take a break from the seriousness and formalities of personal finance apps, business expense recorders and news feed readers to take a look at a music discovery and recommendation app that I have stumbled upon recently. An app that amuses, entertains and pokes fun at pretty much the entire youth demographic of today, in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. Pocket Hipster is simply what it says, an annoying, totally non-conformist, unique, creative ‘individual’ on your phone that thinks he (or she) is better and cooler than you because he listens to music that you haven’t even heard...

  • Chinese websites fall victim to strict controls

    The number of Chinese websites available to users fell dramatically last year after the government tightened controls on the internet, according to a new study by a leading state-run research institute. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said there were 1.91 million websites operating in China at the end of 2010, 41 percent fewer than a year earlier, attributing the change to stronger regulation. "Although the internet is posing some problems for new media, our regulation is becoming stronger, we have taken a very big step in this area," CASS media expert Liu Ruisheng was quoted as saying on the...

  • The story behind Google’s search algorithms

    The SEO industry has been thriving for a number of years, thanks to the fact that search ranking algorithms are constantly evolving and Google’s results ranking system is probably one of the internet's most closely guarded secrets. Any insight into what Google considers to be an innovative approach to search ranking, and the direction that Google is taking with regard to how it indexes pages, is a gem in the rubble of obscure guesswork that most of us are forced to undertake. That's why a recent publication titled 'Indexing the World Wide Web: The Journey So Far' makes for...

  • Ubisoft buys into free online gaming

    Ubisoft, the French developer of several smash-hit games including Ghost Recon and Rabbid, is making a play for the online gaming world by buying Owlient, a startup that has built a business creating free-to-play Internet games. The long game for Ubisoft is to crack open the potentially massively lucrative (or massively convertible to paid-for console gaming) world of tablet, social media and mobile phone gaming. Some of this strategy was already on the wind when it announced a free, online version of its successful “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” military game last month, along with other titles such as “CSI Crime...

  • 170,000 Facebook users petition Malaysia PM to quit

    A Facebook petition has resulted in more than 170,000 people backing a call for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to quit, days after an electoral reform rally was broken up by police firing tear gas. The page titled "100,000 People Request Najib Tun Razak Resignation" was set up on Saturday, the same day police arrested more than 1,600 people during a mass protest in the capital Kuala Lumpur. Backed by opposition parties, electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 mobilised thousands of people to hit the streets in the biggest rally in four years, piling the pressure on Najib with elections widely expected...

  • Can Google pop the champagne as Google+ hits 10 million users?

    When Google's latest attempt at social networking, Google+, launched Memeburn wrote, "Google’s quest for social importance seems to be never ending". Some may now be tempted to find this quest as completed. In fact Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com (not Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder) has calculated what he thinks Google+'s numbers are. He boldly writes in a post on his Google+ stream, first picked up by social media blog Mashable, that Google+ will reach ten million users by July 12. He also claims that by this weekend that could be 20 million. Allen, who has been tracking the new social-network's...

  • 3rd party comments: Which system is best for your website?

    Putting the functionality in place for users to comment on your content is key to building relationships with your readers. Getting them to engage with your website means that they will be more likely to return for more in the future, if their experience is good. Commenting is fast becoming a science, now rich in functionality to manage volumes of users and to keep the quality of the interactions higher (in most cases). This is why many sites outsource commenting features to third party applications that expertly know how to manage communities. Third party commenting systems which are both...

  • Create your own mobile application for your company

    It's self-evident that most organisations have already rolled out their own email and personal information software (PIM) to their workforces. Are internal apps, however, the next step in productivity and mobility? One Johannesburg startup believes this trend is already underway, paving an opening for mobile to step into the next phase. Device Magic’s product Mobile Forms follows in the wake of the company’s launch at the beginning of the year. The product works by allowing a business or organisation of any kind to create its own data-gathering application for a mobile device. In explaining what it is, the...

  • South Africa’s broadband price war

    One of the contributing factors for South Africa receiving a lower than expected rating in Freedom House’s “Freedom on the net 2011″ report was -- as the report noted -- that “prices remain a significant barrier to internet access, especially for users of prepaid services," in the country. Recently, however, South African consumers have seen a dramatic shift when it comes to the price of broadband offerings. The opening salvo 8ta, Telkom’s new mobile operator, slashed mobile broadband prices, firing the opening salvo in a local price war which is likely to rock the entire industry. The offer -- a cut...

  • The internet is a human right

    Recognition of the internet’s part in the Arab Spring -- the uprisings for democracy in the Middle East this year -- has cemented the role of the internet as a tool for freedom and protest. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), comprised of 56 nations from across the developed and developing world, has now formally recognised this fact. In a report published last week, the transnational body recognised that "access to the internet should be seen as a fundamental human right and respected as much as freedom of expression". The OSCE's analysis was the first ever of state regulations...

  • Digital marketing: Next steps for startups

    Promoting your startup effectively is a critical step towards ensuring that your business makes it from being a big idea to a well known and self-sustaining concern. In a previous article, on Digital Marketing and what startups need to get right from the start, I mentioned that building a new business is like caring for a baby. Now it’s time to teach your baby to walk! Once you have completed the initial steps in marketing your business online, it is time to get serious about the next two steps and make sure that your business has legs. The initial steps...

  • Third party Twitter apps now top one million

    Twitter announced on Monday that the number of applications registered at the popular microblogging service has topped a million. Word of the milestone was released as the San Francisco-based startup launched a new website at dev.twitter.com for software developers interested in tailoring fun, hip or functional programs for Twitter. The aim of the new developer portal, built using the open-source Drupal CMS, is to create a more centralised platform for third-party developers. Twitter hopes that the new systems will provide "more flexibility, better tools… and a large developer network with whom can work more closely". "Application developers play a fundamental role...