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  • Running a competition on Twitter or Facebook? How to get the basics right

    Running a competition that compliments your social media strategy can really help you increase the size and reach of the audience you are targeting. You can increase your network size on the social web by getting new followers on Twitter, likes on Facebook, and by engaging with your audience by running a competition. Even though it sounds easy to run a competition on social media to build your network size, it's important that you also focus on how to keep your network engaged even after the competition has ended so that people don't unfollow you or lose interest as...

  • The best FREE holiday apps for your smartphone

    We have become dependent on our smartphones and tablets, and even the holidays seem boring without them. There will be a time when you will miss, or need, your cannot-live-without device. When that happens, you need some apps that could satisfy, help or simply just improve your holiday. Here is a list of some the best (and importantly) FREE apps you can get to change the way you experience your holiday. With these apps you will be able to organise your activities and be able to have a memorable time. TripAdvisor TripAdvisor makes holidaying easier with on-the-spot user reviews and information,...

  • Looking into the future: 2013 is all Google, Facebook and more big data

    It’s that time of year again to go through Evernote and really see what’s on the horizon and beyond. Here are my 10 predictions for 2013. 1. Smartphones will break 75% penetration in the UK by June. Currently at 50 - 60% and with manufacturers actively forcing consumers this way, it’s not a question of if but how quickly. Wearable technology, self-quantification, connected devices and social networking will be the driving forces for time spent on devices. 2. 2013 will be the year of the tablet wars -- 2012 was just the launch. It’s almost certain everyone (but Apple) will...

  • iPhone 5 review: A class act

    Before we begin, I would like to make two things very clear: one, I am not an iDevice fan. Two, I love my Android phone. When the iPhone 5 arrived at Burn HQ, something interesting happened. I was asked to review it, the biggest iDevice critic in town. I should have and would have said no, but the device was placed in my palm and everything changed... This phone has been anticipated for so long that some doubted its existence. It was becoming the stuff of legend, the sought after “holy grail” of Apple’s kingdom -- but here it is at...

  • Chat app giant WeChat set to surpass 300 million users next month

    Already the world’s biggest messaging app, WeChat seems to be accelerating its growth even further in the past few months. That’s because Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma said at a recent conference in southern China that the messaging app – known in Chinese as Weixin – is set to surpass 300-million users in January 2013. The last major milestone for WeChat – an app like Whatsapp, Line, or KakaoTalk – was back in September, when it sailed past 200 million registered users. Ma mentioned at the time that the app was generating 700 million location-based activities each day. We have four confirmed data...

  • Instagram’s advertising plans and how it will share your data with Facebook

    It seems the day we were waiting for has arrived: Facebook is figuring out how to monetize Instagram. When the social network dropped the better part of US$1-billion for the retro photography service, the skeptics muttered that Instagram wasn't exactly a money-making machine: it's ad-free, after all. Well, not for much longer. If you take a look through the updated terms of use Instagram published late yesterday, you may have noticed a few lines of legalese which paint a not-so-obscure picture about what the service is planning to do next. It states: Some or all of the Service may be supported...

  • Twitter and Nielsen launch a new social TV rating metric

    Social TV just got more interesting with a new partnership between Twitter and Nielsen. The "Nielsen Twitter TV Rating" for the US market will allow Nielsen and Twitter to deliver a metric for gauging TV conversation reach on the social network. The more popular Twitter gets the more entrenched into everyday life it becomes. Audiences are making the social network a key part of their viewing habits, discussing shows, characters and plot lines as they air. Reality television is growing more popular on social networks, creating an online community around such programs. It seems Twitter and Nielsen want to measure...

  • Innovating through disruption: a chat with digital’s Willy Wonka

    In 2009, Nike and the Livestrong Foundation made a big splash during the Tour de France with the Nike Chalkbot: a robot that sprayed inspirational messages from people across the globe on the road as cyclists rode along the famous bicycle route. In order to make this possible, the relatively new innovation studio Deeplocal was brought on board. The company created the software that powered the message machine, a project that propelled the company onto the world stage. According to its CEO, Nathan Martin, Deeplocal was founded by "accident" following the development of mapping software by five university...

  • The truth about SEO and biased machines: top stories you have to read

    Machines are objective. SEO is the only way to hit the first page of Google. Stores can't creep your personal browsing habits. Perhaps it's not so clear cut, as the article's included in this week's top tech stories round up point out. The inconvenient truth about SEO Whether or not you agree with the main sentiment of the author, this post makes for interesting reading. Basically, the argument is that SEO is essentially gaming the system -- and, eventually, all that work is going to be undone as Google (and the other search engines) continues to introduce more changes to punish...

  • Music startups: your entire product is probably just a feature

    If startups have a one in 10 chance of surviving, music startups’ odds must be one in 10 000. The industry’s most famous success story, Napster, is also its most famous failure. And aside from Last.fm, which sold to CBS in 2007 for US$280-million, few have successfully exited since. It’s a prickly, difficult industry that’s as attractive as it is impossible. Peter Kafka noted as much last week when he questioned the logic of anyone launching a music startup in 2012, citing the incredibly high burn rate it takes to get to any sort of scale. This is true — the...

  • The 20 most popular ads on YouTube in 2012

    A good ad does more than make us remember the name of the company and product being sold. It draws us in, makes us feel an emotional connection. With a bit of luck (and a lot of hard work and strategy), people will see it on YouTube, share it and it'll go wild. With some seriously good strategy and hard work (and a little more) luck, that beautiful slice of commercialism you've put your heart and soul into could land on YouTube's list of the 20 most viewed ads. Given its propensity for viral success it's hardly surprising that...

  • Which industries will see the heaviest VC interest in 2013?

    If you're staring 2013 in the eyes, trying to figure out whether or not your new venture is likely to attract VC investment in the new year, you might be interested in the findings presented in the 2012 Global Venture Capital Confidence Survey. The survey, conducted earlier this year by Deloitte & Touche LLP and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), shows which industries have attracted the most VC attention in 2012. Deloitte says that general partners with assets under management ranging from less than US$50 million to greater than US$10 billion were polled in the following regions: the...

  • Google+ user? Your Christmas present is 18 new features

    Google is giving the people who use its social effort Google+ -- yes they do exist -- a nifty little Christmas present in the shape of 18 new features. The new features include on-the-go profile editing, an easier way to author content, and a subtle notice when there's new stuff to read. You can also subscribe to mobile notifications from your favorite circles and interact with Google+ Communities on your phone or tablet. On Android meanwhile, the Mountain View giant says it is now offering full-size backups of your photos (up to 5GB free), in addition to the standard-size option...

  • WCIT-12 stumbles… we couldn’t be happier

    In two separate reports no more than a month ago, we reported on the WCIT-12 that took place in Dubai from 3 November 2012. This conference was to re-negotiate an old treaty drawn up before the internet even existed, but some will tell you it was to garner support for certain countries to have full control over what its people can see, or not see, online. The negotiations have now ended, with the result that the US, UK, Canada and some key African nations have refused to sign the treaty and are "not able to sign the agreement in...

  • Seed Engine: a lifeline for idea-stage ventures

    While the US is seeing a downturn in Series A tech startup funding, 2012 has been a bumper year for seed/angel deals. In more risk averse arenas like South Africa, the feeling is that investors have traditionally been reluctant to throw money at idea-stage startups without active revenue streams. That’s what makes Seed Engine, a new early-stage startup accelerator and incubator, so intriguing. In exchange for equity, 10 startups will receive R100 000 startup capital to turn their ideas into business plans, with the wind of three 13-week accelerator bootcamps at their backs. At the end of the programme, the...