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  • Six random social media #FAILS

    Think before you click. Facebook and Twitter used to be a place where people came together to vent, rant, complain and post funny pictures. Now a simple status update could cost you your job, draw negative attention to your brand and label you a failure online - forever. Here are a few examples of stunning social media fails, point and laugh, but learn from their mistakes. Social Media Management Fail - Scott Bartosiewicz What he said: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive” Why he got fired: Digital agency New...

  • The demise of social media and the return of mass media

    There have been quite a few studies lately on what people tweet and post on Facebook, and the large number of links that people share. Invariably, the links that most people share belong to large media organisations -- what used to be called mass-media. For example, Nate Silver recently analysed links to news sources and found that of the top 30 news sources, nearly all were traditional large news sites such as AP or New York Times, only TMZ and Politico were new. A recent Yahoo! Research report found just 20 000 elite Twitter users produce 50% of tweets (Twitter has...

  • Twitter to introduce ‘Facebook-like pages’

    Reports have begun circulating that Twitter has plans to introduce “Facebook-like pages.” Techradar and Marketing Magazine report that this would be yet another revenue stream for the company. Followers of the business aspect of Twitter will not be surprised by such reports, especially following last year’s unveiling that the microblogging site would begin monetisation. At the moment, Twitter is driving profit through Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts and deals with specific partners giving full or partial access to its firehose. Beyond the revenue streams made available to its users, Twitter has had some others which have been less...

  • DealPulp offers daily bargains to online shoppers

    Dealpulp.com, a startup that offers you the freshest deals, is wooing American online shoppers who are all eager for a good bargain. Based on the premise that online shoppers have been somewhat neglected in a smartphone and coupon infused internet age, DealPulp plans on making that topic the focus of a first-ever Daily Deal Summit kicking off in New York City on Wednesday. As startups rush to offer smartphone users coupons for discounts at nearby shops, DealPulp offers members daily bargains available nationwide and redeemable only online. The San Jose, California-based service recently began letting people share deals with friends or...

  • Social media and smartphones: a hacker’s territory

    According to recent reports by industry's top security firms, malicious hackers are now following their unsuspecting prey onto smartphones and social networking hotspots. In the latest volume of its Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec, one of the largest corporations for internet security, further mentions that cyber criminals are now also gearing up attacks on business and government networks with an increase in sophistication and frequency. Symantec depicted a "massive" volume of more than 286 new computer threats on the Internet last year, continued growth in attacks at online social networks and "a notable shift in focus" by hackers to mobile devices. "The major mobile...

  • Google to possibly face federal anti-trust investigation

    Hot on the heels of Microsoft adding its own complaint to the existing four month European Commission anti-trust complaint against Google. Bloomberg recently reported that the internet search monolith may soon be facing yet another anti-trust probe, this time from US federal authorities. According to Bloomberg's sources, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an agency tasked with consumer protection and the regulation of harmful business practices -- may investigate Google. The FTC is currently waiting for word from the US Department of Justice on before taking action against Google's US$700-million acquisition of flight software company ITA Software. According to Google...

  • The importance of social proofing your brand

    The hubris of trends, tweets, status updates, blogs and social media has definitely dominated online user activity over the past few years. Along with the substantial revenue brought in by eCommerce and online advertising into this sector, the majority of online marketers and internet startups have undoubtedly overlooked one very important aspect of user involvement. And that is: their online behavioural psychology. Briefly put, in a process known as Social Proof, our behavioural patterns are highly influenced by the actions of other people or communities which is indicative of the herd mentality/bandwagon models whereby users tend to follow a crowd without first evaluating the...

  • Google’s US$900-million patent binge — Will it share the protection?

    Larry Dignan at ZDNet reports: "Nortel said that it plans to sell all of its remaining patents and applications for US$900-million to Google unless a better bid emerges. With the move, Google would get about 6 000 patents covering wired, wireless and digital communications technologies." Google's top lawyer, Kent Walker wrote: "Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories." The PC industry had a problem when it was starting out in that PC technologies represented a basket of technologies that had lots of IP belonging to...

  • Exploring Africa’s open data

    I recently discovered Afrographique, a site that does data visualisations on African data. It’s done by Ivan Colic, a South African designer, as a “small contribution to assist the changing perception of Africa…” What Ivan does is brilliantly delve into the data that’s freely open on the internet to show patterns and information in ways that we might not have noticed if looking at the data in its raw format. The problem that Ivan has, is there’s not always that much information about Africa to use – in fact, some of his maps show big blank spots for countries on...

  • Advertising Apple: From the Mac to the iPad 2

    Since the first Apple products hit the market in late 1976, the company has been creating memorable ads that began by educating the public about the many uses of a personal computer, but increasingly became more and more entertaining and abstract. Let's take a look at some of the iconic Apple television commercials which have come to define Apple in the public's mind over the years, from the iconic 1984 commercial for Apple Mac up to the brand new iPad 2 ad. 1. A collection of Macintosh ads. 2. The 1984 Apple Mac ad 3. The great Mac vs PC...

  • Condé Nast publications surface from an US$8-million phishing scam

    It's 9 in the morning. You've survived the AM traffic and all you want to do is spend the next few minutes browsing the pictures of cute kittens your cousin Ronnie, twice removed, just emailed you. However, like every morning, you must first wade through a trove of emails from European super-lotteries, soldiers in Iraq who have found Saddam's hidden millions, and Nigerian bankers desperate for your help in relocating their funds internationally. Well now we know who is to blame: multi-million dollar publishing house, Condé Nast. As Forbes reports, referencing the names of a number of Condé Nast...

  • Obama announces 2012 campaign via Twitter

    On Monday US President Barack Obama launched his reelection campaign via social media. The new campaign sees Obama turning once again to the online tools that helped propel him to the White House in 2008. Obama, 49, announced his 2012 candidacy with a message on Twitter, a status update on his Facebook page and an email blast to his millions of supporters, all of which provided a link to his BarackObama.com campaign website. "Today, we're filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign," the Democrat told the 7.28-million followers of the @barackobama account on Twitter. The Twitter message, Barack Obama page on Facebook...

  • Indian village uses Skype for schooling

    In the poor village of Chamanpura in the struggling state of Bihar,  having internet access for school usage is never really an option and is a luxury awarded to few. Electricity is never readily available and keeps getting cut and once an internet connection is established, the output is crackly, transmitted through faulty hardware resulting in a poor transmission. But, for the underprivileged Indian students of Chamanpura, this is the only way to receive tuition. Some 970 kilometers away, in a two story-house in the New Delhi suburbs, Santosh Kumar uses the Skype software application to teach maths to the children...

  • Branding at the movies: Apple leads the way… again

    If you’re ever in need of a hero, you could do a lot worse than Jack Bauer. Jack has busy days. When he’s not averting the many surfeits of disaster compressed into 24-hours (sure it’s contrived, but it’s entertaining), Jack apparently goes shopping. How else could you explain his clear brand preference for Apple Mac? Not a few plot cliffhangers have hinged upon Jack’s penchant for Mac-branded products. And is it by chance that those intrusive FBI agents always use Dell machines? In truth, strategic product placement saturates the film industry. Essentially, it’s the insertion of brands into contexts that...

  • Could Bitcoin be the global online currency?

    With the rapid growth of eCommerce over the last decade, online payment has become a hugely influential area. This niche has made fortunes for credit card companies, and services like Paypal, providing the ability for real currency to be used online with relative ease. With the estimated total value of eCommerce approaching a trillion US$, there is another solution that may be even more useful. Perhaps it is time for a global online currency? Bitcoin is such a currency, created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. It is an anonymous, open source and peer to peer fiat currency. There is no central...