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  • Google makes Adwords more mobile friendly with ‘Enhanced Campaigns’

    Google's advertising arm is beefing up its Adwords service to optimise for all screens. The company has announced that it will be rolling out "enhanced campaigns". According to the internet advertising heavyweight, this is the "first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your ad campaigns in today’s multi-device world." Google spokesperson Guillaume Bacuvier says that the company understands the importance of multiple devices and how they have proliferated our world. This new AdWords update, he says, will help advertisers track and measure their campaigns better. Bacuvier explains that smartphones and tablet devices present something of a challenge...

  • GoDaddy’s Super Bowl ads may have raised eyebrows but they raked in cash

    Controversial domain company GoDaddy is at it again. Its recent Super Bowl commercial with super model Bar Rafaeli kissing "nerd" Jesse Heiman seems to have banked the company some serious change. The ad, which raised some eyebrows over its stereotypical depictions of nerddom, turned out to be the right strategy as GoDaddy managed to break its current sales record. According Mashable, the company experienced its biggest ever sales day after the ad flighted. GoDaddy reports that: Hosting sales jumped 45%. Dot-com domain sales rose 40%. New mobile customers increased by 35%. The company added 10 000 customers in total. GoDaddy’s campaign slogan is “smart...

  • US lawmakers want to promote a ‘global internet free from government control’

    A recent UN conference held in Dubai has ratified efforts by certain players against an open and free internet. According to Bloomberg, a joint hearing by three US House committees discussed the conference and accompanying treaty yesterday. There Robert McDowell, member of the US Federal Communications, stated that “the internet is quite simply under assault”. He is quite right. Eighty-nine countries have signed the pact, according to a House Energy and Commerce Committee memorandum, led by none other than Russia and China. The treaty’s regulations were updated by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in a hope to get...

  • About.me is branching out, buys itself back from AOL

    It's so nice to see once-bought companies branch out on their own. Personal online identity hosting service about.me has announced its independence from parent company AOL. About.me, which was launched in 2009, allows users to a simple platform from which to link multiple online identities by connecting webpages and social profiles such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus in a single page. The company sold to the internet and media juggernaut for US$1.3-million in 2010 four days after going public. It seems things are changing for the company. In an email to users, the service announced that it has...

  • Top Gear gives its SA fans something to cheer about with hashtag rewards

    A couple of episodes of Top Gear season 19 have already aired in the UK. But when the season's first episode airs in South Africa tonight, the BBC will be rewarding its fans for using Twitter during the show. More precisely, the "Beeb" -- in consultation with digital agency Retroviral -- will try to increase engagement by leveraging off the trend of IPP (in-programme pointers) hashtags. During each episode of the new series, a new question will appear and viewers will have the opportunity to answer using the hashtag #TopGearSA, on Twitter. After the series has concluded,...

  • You don’t have a social media problem, you have a reputation problem

    I’m really not a fan of the phrase: “you have a problem in social media”. It’s a phrase the online industry uses to describe companies who are having a rough time in the social space and, while it’s superficially accurate, it’s entirely misleading in its simplicity. The phrase is misleading because it speaks to the social media outcome and not the business issue that caused the problem. This ascribes the blame to the wrong party and the ensuing remedies are then applied in the wrong areas. It’s not a new phenomenon, treating the symptom instead of the cause, yet...

  • Martyring Aaron Swartz: where were the activists when he needed them?

    PandoDaily's Hamish McKenzie recently attended a memorial for Aaron Swartz, the young activist who committed suicide while being prosecuted for downloading millions of academic papers. He writes: Berin Szoka, the president of the group TechFreedom, offered some words that were uncomfortable for some. Speaking of the Internet activist’s alleged crime of downloading millions of academic articles, Szoka stepped out of the night’s orthodoxy of holding Swartz up as a hero. “I cannot condone what Aaron did,” Szoka started, about to launch into an argument about how Internet freedom should not be a partisan issue. He was cut off before he could go...

  • 7 things about your pitch the dragons hated

    When you are pitching to a venture capitalist or angel investor, it's like venturing into a dragon's lair and attempting to convince the fire-breathing monster to give you one of its golden eggs. It's a no-nonsense matter and one bad move could end your entrepreneurial ambitions. Startups often think that once they have an idea, chances are it is rock star worthy and any self-respecting VC will be bonkers not to fork over piles of money to back their venture. Not so. Yes, some people get lucky, most need to work really hard at it. Read more on Ventureburn....

  • Follow the wizard in Google’s latest Oz-themed interactive Chrome experiment

    If you were one of the procrastinators Chrome users who enjoyed playing with virtual Lego pieces in your browser, you'll appreciate Google's latest experiment. Built in partnership with Disney and production company Unit 9 ahead of the release of Oz: The Great and Powerful, the Find your way to Oz site uses the browser's abilities to transport you into the world of green witches and munchkins. Stage by stage, you can use your mouse to navigate through a circus ground and carnival tent and ultimately steer a hot air balloon through a dark and twisty tornado. If you make...

  • 5 top apps every working stiff should download

    Part of being an employee means that you're expected to show up on time, dress neatly and use your skills and abilities to make a meaningful contribution to the company that pays your salary, which in turn, allows you to lead the life that you do everyday and not end up on the street. To increase the quality of that life (and your distance from the street), you need to constantly be learning, developing efficiencies that allow you to do more in less time, so that you can take on more responsibility and get paid more by your employer....

  • Vine introduces 17+ age-rating as it cracks down on adult content

    Twitter's recently released video-sharing app Vine now comes with a 17+ age restriction. It's a bit like the internet in microcosm really. You build an amazing tool that can be used for news-gathering and all sorts of other cool things and people use it for porn. The new setting forces you to confirm that you're older than 17 to install the app, and comes as part of an update which also included minor bug fixes and the ability to share to Facebook and Twitter after a video has been posted. Prior to the update, Vine was available to users older...

  • Pinterest could be valued at $2.5bn with new funding round

    You know a social network is really kicking ass when its valuation is in the region of billions. Pinterest, the online scrapbooking social network, seems to be ready to raise some more money after three years of service, that will raise its value significantly. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the company is getting serious about revenue and is looking for potential advertising systems. "A lot of last year was keeping up with growth the big change with touch-screen devices," said founder and CEO Ben Silbermann to the Journal. This year, "we're building foundations to monetize." Launched in 2010,...

  • Browse your Instagram feed on the web now

    Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram's been a mobile-only company. Now though, the photo-filter and sharing app just took a step toward the desktop by allowing you to view your feed on the web. In a blog post marking the announcement, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said that making people's feeds available on the web is meant to make the service "more accessible" to its growing community. He stressed however that Instagram would always be mobile first. "Our focus on building out a mobile-only experience is a unique path that we’ve chosen for many reasons, the most important of which...

  • 11 massive startup lessons Om Malik learned building an online news empire

    Six years ago, Om Malik decided to leave his position at a magazine to build an online news startup. The startup would become GigaOM, which today is one of the web's most frequented destinations for tech news and in-depth analysis. Before founding GigaOM, which has now grown to a staff of writers in 12 cities in four different countries, Malik faced inner turmoil -- as most entrepreneurs do -- about which direction to pursue in life. At the time, he was writing for Business 2.0, the monthly magazine co-founded by renowned entrepreneur Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired until 2012). Read...

  • Gartner: expect the $50 smartphone to hit emerging markets this year

    A few years ago, there was a lot of hype in emerging markets technology was around the US$100 laptop. Getting laptops down to that low cost-point proved tricky but a number of programmes providing people with affordable laptops in emerging markets did roll out. These days, the ambition is the US$50 smartphone and it's much more achievable. Vodafone, Samsung and Nokia all have devices that can justifiably be called smartphones available for significantly less than US$100 these days. Chinese brands like Huawei and ZTE, meanwhile have driven down the cost of smartphones even further. In fact, tech research company...