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  • Don’t let a tweet bring you down: 3 top tips for managing a social media crisis

    While it's crucial that you communicate with your audience if you experience a social media crisis, it's just as important that you communicate in a way that isn't insulting or negatively impacting your brand. One negative comment, tweet, Facebook status update or a YouTube video can spread like a plague online and turn into a full-on social media disaster. A social media crisis can happen at any moment. Everyone that has access to the web could potentially update their own network on their favourite social media channel when they have a nasty experience with a brand. A few years ago...

  • How many pageviews make an insult insulting?

    The global protests against the anti-Muslim Innocence of Muslims YouTube clip raises the issue that anyone could post a video insulting to a religion or nation. A small number of extremists on both sides could continuously derail a country's foreign diplomacy. Insults are easily published on the internet, and easy to find, if that's what you're looking for. Are we facing years of instability in global hotspots because of extremists hurling insults online? Robert C. Post, in Foreign Policy magazine, Free Speech in the Age of YouTube writes that "Barack Obama couldn't censor that anti-Islam film - even if he wanted...

  • SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drive: a great impulse-buy

    Right off the bat, SandDisk's 16Gb Extreme USB 3.0 impressed me. It's not the stupidly long name that did it, but the build quality and above-average speed of the device that won me over. Slowly buy surely Despite USB 3.0 going strong since 2008, we haven't really warmed to its use. The reason's simple enough. We still hang on to our older devices with US 2.0, therefore anything faster seems like a waste. It's 2012 now, and every laptop comes with USB 3.0 so enough with the history lesson. 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");

  • SA’s eCommerce Awards: the real story

    I write often for tech publications and online media, and try my best (and fail hopelessly) to keep up with the billion daily changes in the digital field. That said, I've picked up on a number of conversations with people in the ecommerce arena that ask about the SA eCommerce Awards. So here's the low down, including all the details. First there was Jump Shopping (now uAfrica.com), an online shop itself, which pivoted into the online price comparison space in 2006. Read more on Ventureburn. 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");

  • Facebook expands ‘pay to promote’ test, lets more users highlight posts

    If you feel like your Facebook posts aren't getting enough attention, a solution may be at hand. The biggest blue social network is expanding a programme that gives people the chance to pay to have their posts highlighted. The service has been available to some New Zealand users since May. Now users from around the world are reporting that they've also been given the option. Speaking to The Next Web, a Facebook spokesperson said the tests were primarily designed to see how interested people are in the service: We are expanding a test that started last May that enables...

  • German gov’t warns against IE: Microsoft promises fix

    The German government has issued a warning, urging the country's people not to use Internet Explorer. No, it's not because it thinks Microsoft's stock browser is lame and that anyone using it is a complete technotard. It's because of a security vulnerability affecting anyone who uses IE 6 to 9. The government issued the warning after a researcher said he'd found evidence that hackers exploiting the flaw planned to use it to attack defense contractors. Microsoft says the impact of the flaw has been extremely limited and is reportedly working on a patch to fix it: There have...

  • Twitter profiles get a makeover – and Facebook-ish cover photos

    Did you spend ages deciding on the perfect Facebook cover photo so you could visually "express yourself"? Well, get ready for another careful decision: Twitter just announced a serious profile update that allows users to pick a header image for their profiles. It also released new Android, iPhone and iPad apps that let you upload the image on the go, among other things. In a spot on the US's Today Show and three separate blog posts, the Twitter team announced the profile reshuffle which sees the user's avatar move to a front-and-centre position over the header image on...

  • Where do all the pirates live? The world’s top torrent downloaders

    Which countries are the world's most frequent bit-torrent downloaders? According to a report by music analytics company Musicmetric, top honours go to the United States, with the United Kingdom and Italy holding second and third place. Round of applause, please. Musicmetric's recently released Digital Music Index is a study of the digital music landscape globally, that considers legal services (like iTunes, 7Digital and Spotify) and music sites (like Last.fm and SoundCloud) as well as the unauthorised bit-torrent downloads that pirates everywhere know and love. The company also tracked 750 000 artists to produce the report which spans from 2011...

  • 400 million people are now on Google+

    Think no one is using Google+? Think again. It seems the social network is reporting record growth. Apparently 400-million people have signed up to Google's social play. According to a post by Google's senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra, 100-million people are now using Google+ each month counting its mobile apps. "It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn't have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months. While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it's also a destination," said Gundotra. Following Gundotra's post, users...

  • Tech4Africa 2012: ‘Unlocking the next billion consumers’

    Prominent technology and innovation conference Tech4Africa has announced its theme for 2012: "Unlocking the next billion consumers". If that sounds familiar, it's because the term "next billion" been popping up all over the tech world in the last year or so. When Nokia launched its Asha range of low-end phones last year, it targeted them at "the next billion internet users". Payments giant MasterCard meanwhile is betting big on mobile in a bid to capture as much of that next billion as it can. Given that seven of the world's ten fastest growing economies are in Africa, it's likely...

  • Newsweek’s #muslimrage: giant mistake or publicity genius?

    Popular US news magazine Newsweek received an online lambasting on Monday when tweeters took to the social network to poke fun at its hashtag #muslimrage. Newsweek featured a front cover photograph of the recent Middle Eastern unrest regarding an online video casting Islam in a negative light. The accompanying article was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali who herself was involved with previous anti-American and pro-Islamic marches but who seems to have had a change of heart after the terrorist attacks in 2001. Newsweek encouraged its followers and readers to discuss the article with the accompanying hashtag #muslimrage, which is when the...

  • To boldly go where no one has gone before: Google Glass’ pressing issues

    Google Glass debuted to enormous fanfare with that product demo, it also recently appeared on the catwalk as Google goes about showing how the technology can be applied. For example, as a surfer who wants to broadcast what it's like out there, a waterproof version of Glass will allow me to go into the water, take photos and videos, as well as tweet about the experience. Companies like GoPro had better watch out as we've seen that wearable tech is already a massive market. What we haven't thought about yet, though, is how this technology is going to challenge notions of...

  • 6 of the best games that no one played

    It’s easy to get into a conversation with a gamer regarding Fifa, or Call of Duty, or Halo. If they’re male and under thirty, chances are they’ve played them all. Canny marketing and extensive advertising ensures these games are omnipresent, and the fact they’re released annually ensures they’re always relevant. But what of the myriad great games that never enter the general gaming consciousness? What of the games no one bothers to play? (Alright, it’s a touch hyperbolic: these games do enjoy small hardcore followings) This list highlights several under-appreciated gems that deserved to sell well, but didn't. Read more on...

  • The story behind Renren: China’s biggest Facebook-ish social network

    Renren, China’s largest Facebook-ish social network (as opposed to the Twitter-ish weibos), has a long and complex history which probably not more than a handful of people have heard about in detail. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet Zany Zeng, the co-founder of NYSE-listed Renren.com and current co-founder of Youlu, to dig deep and document the story behind Renren. To understand the full journey, you have to go way back to May 1999 when Chinaren.com was founded – arguably the first college-focused online social network in China, way before even Facebook and Friendster started. Chinaren was founded...

  • Baidu plants a flag for Chinese nationalism

    This is interesting. In a show of nationalism, Chinese search giant Baidu today put up a doodle depicting a Chinese flag planted on the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. China and Taiwan both lay claim to the uninhabited East China Sea islands, currently controlled by Japan. According to Baidu, the purpose of the doodle is to "encourage people to be rational in their expressions of patriotism.” Speaking to The Next Web, Baidu's director of international communications Kaiser Kuo said the intention was to foster peaceful protests: The overwhelming majority of Baidu’s employees and users clearly feel very strongly on this topic, but our...