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  • Confidence in Nokia rattled, but CEO bullish on Windows Phone 7

    It's not getting any better for Nokia. The Finnish handset giant saw its share price continue to plummet after the company's announcement that its second-quarter sales would be far worse than previously expected. Following the announcement, the mobile phone giant's share price dropped more than 10 percent around midday to 4.27 euros a share, but regained most of that loss by closing. The price regain came mostly amidst rumours that software giant Microsoft is planning to buy out Nokia’s mobile business for US$19-billion. Nokia's beleaguered CEO, Stephen Elop, has denied the rumours calling them "baseless". Over the past few years Nokia,...

  • Q&A with Joseph Jaffe: ‘Mobile is the one device to rule them all’

    In the world of marketing Joseph Jaffe is a well-known name. Jaffe is the founder of Crayon, a strategic consultancy firm that was acquired in 2010. He has authored three books on marketing, branding and consumers, and his knowledge ranges from traditional marketing, mobile to social media. Before this talk at the Mobile Media Mindblast on Friday, Jaffe chatted to Memeburn about marketing, mobile, social media and the future. Memeburn: Why is the mobile device such an important aspect of marketing? Joseph Jaffe: Mobile is the one device to rule them all (with apologies to "The Lord of the Rings"). It...

  • App options outside the mainstream

    With Nokia announcing the death of its unique Ovi services recently, the smartphone app world seems to be getting a little smaller. The Finnish communications giant has instead chosen to ally itself with Microsoft and its new Mango Operating System (OS) (along with Windows Marketplace) in the war against Apple’s App Store, Blackberry manufacturer RIM’s App World, and Google’s Android Market. With so few synonyms left for a shop in which one can purchase applications, you have to wonder what remains for the smaller players in the mobile app world. At first glance things do not look good for apps outside...

  • Social-media marketing: Old is the new new [Social Media World Forum]

    If you’re a reader of Memeburn, chances are you’re "keyed in". You get it, you are a digital native and in sync with the digital revolution. You get a gold star. At the Social Media World Forum Africa, held in Cape Town on Wednesday, a panel explored the often-asked question: "How can social media be integrated into traditional marketing strategies?" The panel, moderated by our own Memeburn reporter Michelle Atagana, included Siphelele Sixaso, Head of Marketing at national news radio station SAfm, Bellinder Carreira, Senior Manager of Digital and Direct Marketing at one of South Africa’s largest banks, Standard Bank, and...

  • Hackers goad Sony, claim theft of internal data

    It appears that the Sony’s numerous hacker problems are far from over. According to @LulzSec, the Twitter feed of the Lulz Boat (just go with it, haxxors do this kind of thing), Sony’s servers are being hacked as we speak, with the hackers having announced the ongoing attack via their Twitter feed yesterday. The Tweet reads: “Hey @Sony, you know we’re making off with a bunch of your internal stuff right now and you haven’t even noticed? Slow and steady, guys.” They are making it very clear that they are attacking Sony’s music properties, rather than the Playstation Network which...

  • Groupon a ‘tech startup’? I don’t think so

    Tech companies can scale their business largely through adding servers and software, which is why VCs love to invest in them. That's why they shun services companies (like agencies), where hiring lots of people is required to scale a business. Groupon, the very well-known two-year-old Chicago-based group-shopping coupon service, now has more than 8 000 staff, at least half working in sales, says CEO Andrew Mason, speaking at the AllThingsD D9 conference. That's up from 1 500 staff a year ago! That sounds like a services company to me. So why is Groupon lumped in with other tech high flyers, such as...

  • Uconomy: The business of customer loyalty

    Customer loyalty is a problem for new businesses and one startup believes it may have found the solution through a mobile application service. Uconomy, a Cape Town-based company, claims it offers an integrated m-marketing and mobile loyalty option to the SMME and consumer market. Considering the importance of loyalty amongst the world’s large companies, the claim is worth considering. Henry Land and Florian Lucke, the founders of Uconomy, are targeting companies ranging from township entrepreneurs right through to established medium-sized businesses in the formal sector with their service. It’s part of the company’s effort to capitalise on the success of traditional...

  • 3 key strategies for starting your own online business

    Ever wanted to start a business, but are simply not sure where to start to minimise risk or expand your network? If a lack of access to capital was the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs until now, history is being kind. With the lowest barriers to entry in the global online market, the time to launch an idea for profit on the net is ripe. Here are three considerations for launching an online business. Each is with a view to minimise risk, maximise your network and begin asking the right questions to determine your strategy. Invest minimally if...

  • 5 factors currently affecting web-design

    The world of web design has seen many changes in last decade. How we design is determined by the times, the current trends and the latest fads in the age of blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Below are five factors currently affecting design. The Facebook interface Facebook is very proud of their 500 million+ active users who cumulatively spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. To avoid frustrating these Facebook literate users, web-designers are going to have to start following the User Interface conventions that Facebook has created: Vertical page navigation on the left; User navigation top right; Content centre;...

  • Media piracy: You’re not as anonymous as you might think

    Enforcing statutory penalties on intellectual property infringements in the media industry is moving up a notch. In the US, a federal judge recently agreed to allow the US Copyright Group to force internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over the identities of at least 23 000 users who had sourced bootlegged copies of The Expendables via BitTorrent clients and file sharing. There’s of course no reason to target illicit downloads of The Expendables specifically, so the case seems more about making a statement against intellectual property theft than anything else. But film studios aren’t quite so noble as...

  • E3 gaming conference predictions: circus starting next week

    It’s almost time again for E3 2011 and like Christmas, millions of boys and girls (mostly boys) across the globe are preparing to have their expectations calmly blown out of the water as their beloved consoles prepare themselves for an onslaught of new titles. Microsoft, Sony, EA and Nintendo will be the dominating forces at the E3 event and each one will do battle for the hearts and minds of the videogame junkie. From the 7th to the 9th of June at the Los Angles Conference centre, every avid gamer’s thoughts will be focused on the events that occur inside...

  • Is there a ‘tech bubble’ forming? [Infographic]

    Depending on when you start counting, social media sites have been the world's favourite shiny new toy for almost a decade now. Today, valuations of these businesses are not serious until they have a billion or so pricetag attached to them. So what is driving these astronomical figures? Technology commentator Tom Foremski doesn't agree that a bubble is forming just yet, but he doesn't rule out the possibility. As Shakespeare wrote and Foremski quotes: "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble." Even the guru of the markets, Warren Buffett, has expressed his concerns about recent valuations in...

  • Omidyar-backed Africa entrepreneurship award launched

    The 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, open to entries from every country in Africa, is awarding up to $350,000 in prize money to successful entrepreneurs. Owners of profitable, growing enterprises (with annual revenues between US$1 - 15 million) can submit entries online until August 24, 2011. The Grand Prize Winner will receive US$ 100,000 and five other companies will receive awards of US$ 50,000 each. The awards are backed by the Omidyar Network and Legatum, a private investment group. The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people...

  • Six politicians who have epically failed on Twitter

    Thanks to Barack Obama's successful use of social media in the 2008 elections, all politicians seem to have discovered Twitter and Facebook. From Cory Booker, the US mayor who tweeted his way through his city's snow crisis, to South African political parties sometimes brilliant use of social media in the recent 2011 Local Government elections this message has clearly spread. It does not always hit the mark though. Just as brands have sometimes "failed" in their social media usage, so have politicians. We seem to be a society that is entertained by the fall of political figures. And what...

  • Nicholas Carr on how the internet is damaging our brains

    US technology writer Nicholas Carr is worried about what the internet is doing to our brains. "The seductions of technology are hard to resist," Carr says in his new Book 'The Shallows', which has sold an estimated 50 000 hardback copies in the United States alone. But he thinks it's time to start trying. In a speech at last week's Seoul Digital Forum, Carr restated his concerns that the web is affecting the way people think and feel -- and even changing the physical make-up of their brains. Every new technology in history -- like the map and the clock -- has...