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  • SA music legend Miriam Makeba gets her own Google doodle

    Google today marked what would have been songstress Miriam Makeba's 81st birthday in the way it does best: with a doodle. Nicknamed Mama Africa, Makeba was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist. She was born in Johannesburg in 1932 and rose to prominence in the late 1950s with the single "Pata Pata". After she had a short guest appearance in Come Back, Africa, an anti-apartheid documentary produced and directed by American independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin, Makeba had her South African passport revoked. In 1963, after testifying against apartheid before the United Nations, her South African...

  • Harlem Shake gets bizarrely political in the Middle East

    This is bizarre. Apparently the antagonism between Egyptian protesters and the Islamist regime has been taken to a new level with Harlem Shaking. Yup, that's right, an unfathomably odd meme which involves people doing crazy, nonsensical dance moves has become a political statement. Welcome to the internet folks. According to The AFP, around 70 protesters pitched up outside the ruling Islamist Party's headquarters and performed the dance after chanting anti-Islamist slogans. Youths in Egypt and Tunisia, says the news agency, have taken up the dance as a form of protest against Islamists, two years after uprisings in both...

  • So you think you need a social strategy? Sure, but that’s just part of it

    In 2012 there was a mad rush from companies to understand the value of social in all its complexities. What could social media do? What value could it provide? How could the company engage with its users? As a result there have been numerous traditional agencies suddenly becoming digital marketing specialists and providing their clients with complete social strategies. There have been promises of guaranteed followers, likes and shares which may or may not have been achieved. There was (and still is) so much jargon that many businesses were sucked into the social media marketing black hole. Please note...

  • Netflix’s bet on data and the death of Friendster: top stories you should read

    Ah, technology. As popstars and Netflix have discovered, advances in computing can mean big business -- be it a smoother sound in your next number one hit or the potential to gather reams of data about your audience so you can predict the next sure-fire success. But it also has a dark side: the complicated world of computer crime is growing steadily and trends pass rapidly -- even the biggest success story can quickly become old news. These pros and cons just are some of the issues mentioned in this week's round up of some of the top tech...

  • What shutting down my business taught me about running one

    This article is for you. So you can learn from my mistakes and go on to make some of your very own. My sense is that if we can start to share our business mistakes without fear, we can learn faster, fail with more flair, and generally get better at running businesses, managing people and making a difference. I shut down my PR agency in November last year. It’s taken some time to get my ego out of way so that I could unravel exactly where I went wrong. So here, just for you, at the six-months-after-shutdown mark are...

  • HP Envy X2 review: a laptop, a tablet, and no good as either

    The HP Envy X2 is marketing type's dream. It’s small, sleek and portable. It has a shiny silver exterior done up in brushed aluminium with trendy tapered edges. In terms of simple aesthetics, it oozes appeal. And then there’s the X2’s trump card. It’s both a laptop and a tablet. By holding a switch in place the screen detaches from the keyboard. It’s the sort of gimmick to make an impressionable geek swoon. On first inspection alone, the Envy X2 really will be the envy of your friends. Read more on Gearburn.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");

  • Can advertising enrich content? Trends publishers should be paying attention to

    Publishers exist to deliver quality content to their audience. The content, first and foremost, should deliver a rewarding experience. Good content is current, trustworthy, and accessible. Can advertising enhance content? In a word, "No". A strong viewpoint for me, as a leader of an advertising driven business. However, content has to live happily alongside advertising as, for most publishers, advertising foots the bills. The good news is that good content enriches advertising. Content drives so much of our world: nearly half of all social media posts refer to external content, a tweet is four times more likely to be re-tweeted...

  • Groupon: why we need to stop viewing it as a tech company

    Groupon CEO Andrew Mason was fired after more than four and a half years during which he managed to cash out US$30-million and holding more than 46-million shares of the public company, valued at nearly US$1.4-billion at its peak. In January, CelebrityNetWorth estimated his net worth had crashed to about US$230-million. Groupon's share price has continued to fall since January. Groupon's woes are not good news for the tech sector because it's broadly perceived as a tech company yet it's not. Groupon's fall from grace has already affected many other tech IPOs even though it should never have been treated as a...

  • Google+ Hangouts get sign language app, new shortcuts for disabled users

    Google has introduced a couple of new features aimed at making Google+ hangouts more easily accessible to the disabled. Its sign language app allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing to include their own interpreter in a Hangout. They'll always see their interpreter at the top right of the window, and they'll become the focus of the Hangout whenever their interpreter speaks for them. That's pretty nifty and gives Hangouts an edge over the vast majority of the competing video chat services. You can see how the implications would be particularly useful in business or the media. Adding...

  • Facebook to unveil ‘new look for News Feed’ on 7 March

    Facebook has sent out an invitation to the collected press, promising to unveil a new look for its News Feed on 7 March. As is the way with these things details are scant, but if TechCrunch's Josh Constantine is to be believed then the redesign will see the social giant revealing a news feed designed to work much better on mobile and including features such as full-screen photo tiles and text overlaid on images. The Next Web also reckons that a more image-heavy version of News Feed, with shades of Flipboard will be the order of the day....

  • A return to dominance? This data gives IE 55% of browser market share

    Internet Explorer. It's a joke right? No one in their right minds would even consider using it right? Wrong, apparently. If research from NetMarketShare is to be believed Microsoft's oft-reviled browser actually accounts for around 55% of current global browser usage. Chrome meanwhile is supposedly used by just 16.27% of people browsing the web from their desktops, while Firefox now accounts for 20.12% of the global browser market. In fact, NetMarketShare actually has Chrome taking a bit of a dip in February, falling 1.21 percentage points from 17.48% in January. By its reckoning, that's a 17 month low for...

  • Facebook confirms it’s buying digital advertising service Atlas from Microsoft

    Yep, Facebook is buying something else. While it's not as sexy as the Instagram acquisition, this move may be of interest to brands looking to ensure their Facebook campaigns are really having an impact. After weeks of rumours, the social network announced late yesterday that it would be buying advertising service Atlas from Microsoft. Atlas is a campaign management and measurement used by marketers and agencies to gauge the effectiveness of their digital campaigns -- and Facebook says it will be ramping up that functionality in the months to come. In an official blog post, director of product marketing for Facebook...

  • Andrew Mason fired as Groupon CEO

    It finally happened. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason has been ousted according to a press release. The company's Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will step in to take his place in the interim while the search for a new CEO begins. "On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history," said Lefkofsky. This news, though shocking (it is his company after all),...

  • As part of its emerging markets push, Evernote Business heads to South Africa

    The to-do list app that has become the backbone of entire businesses is expanding its global roll out to offer its business products to more than 35 countries worldwide. The latest on the list? South Africa. Announced at LeWeb Paris last year, Evernote Business targets the enterprise market, capitalising on the fact that two thirds of its 50-million users were already using Evernote on their computers and mobile devices for work purposes. Initially only available in France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the USA, the service hit 24 additional countries in Europe, New Zealand and Australia...

  • CitiDoc: an exciting platform for doctors, now they just need to use it

    Choosing a healthcare provider can be a tough call. It is always advised to learn about a doctor first before jumping into this, the most delicate of relationships. The main port of call for many a would-be-patient is going on the recommendation of an already trusted doctor or a friend (of a friend) - after all, everyone always has the best doctor or specialist that you "just have to see, no really, he's excellent". Subsequently, the last route people generally seek out is medical directories or ratings sites, especially in less internet-prevalent places such as South Africa, where I would argue that traditional directories...