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  • Social media amplifies mass media

    Social media is touted by many as a way to get around the gatekeepers of media, the traditional old order of mass media setting the agenda for society has been tipped onto its head. Not really. A study from Yahoo! Research "Who Says What to Whom on Twitter | Yahoo! Research" found the following: "We find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter—roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users—where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed." And as for diversity of opinion? "We also find significant homophily within categories: celebrities listen to celebrities, while...

  • ANC Youth League website hacked by ‘Warbird’

    At about 3pm on Tuesday the ANC Youth League’s website was hacked. The hack came just before a radio presentation from Youth League president Julius Malema on Metro FM Drive, who was coincidentally also the target of the hack. The news of the hack was broken on Twitter with users posting snippets of the hacker’s message which was a supposed press release from Malema. The fake press release cited Malema’s resignation from the Youth League and listed various “essential” reasons behind his resignation. The hacker posted the following statement: From our investigation, it appears that the hacker gained administrative access to...

  • Google partners with Yola to get small businesses online

    Google has just launched a new way for small businesses in Canada to get online. This move sees the search engine monolith ensuring that small business have a web presence. Google has partnered with San Francisco-based web hosting company Yola Inc., a company specialising in do-it-yourself websites. The initiative, titled Canada Get Your Business Online, offers free websites, web hosting, web addresses and a bonus coupon for US$100 worth of advertising with Google’s online ad network AdWords for Canadian companies. "We work with tens of thousands of small businesses, and the one thing we found is that those who have...

  • ‘Support good journalism — Pay the wall’

    I don't understand the current debate over the New York Times paywall. Yes, it has holes in it and yes it is a bit lame but the question it asks is: will you support quality journalism? That's an important question. But it seems that the Geekorati believe that once something is free then it should be free forever, and that if you can get past the New York Times paywall, then you are smart. I disagree and here's why: I remember when the Internet first started, when domain names were free. When the first advertising that appeared on the internet it was greeted...

  • Reid Hoffman’s ten rules of entrepreneurship

    You may not have heard of Reid Hoffman, and if you were introduced to him you might be forgiven for underestimating him. With his scruffy jeans, his coke bottle glasses, and his excited giggle he may be mistaken for a common or garden nerd. But Hoffman is a key member of what is called - only partly in jest - the PayPal mafia. Hoffman was a founding board member at PayPal, and was instrumental in its acquisition by Ebay. Since then he has co-founded LinkedIn and led it into profitability as its CEO, before moving his focus to Greylock -...

  • Yuri Milner: Making billions in the new bubble

    Craig Mellow, at The Deal Magazine has a fascinating profile of Yuri Milner, the Russian investment banker who runs Digital Sky Technologies(DST), a multi-billion dollar fund. Milner has garnered tremendous amounts of publicity for his investments in Facebook, Groupon and other high flying US companies. Late last year, DST partner Alexander Tamas, defended Groupon’s rejection of Google’s acquisition bid, citing that Groupon could become one of the most important companies on the internet. Tamas also said that DST looks for companies with a valuation of at least US$1-billion and it only invests in internet companies that have the potential to become the...

  • ‘Users spend 700-billion minutes a month on Facebook’ [Infographic]

    Facebook is without a doubt the biggest social networking site in the world. The number of people within the social network is growing on a daily basis with 500-million users. Non Facebook users always attribute their reluctance to join the site with still wanting to remain connected to the "real world". Our society has become so immersed in the online world that some might even say real life interaction is threatened. Though those immersed in the online space may counter by questioning the concept of "real" --what makes online not real? After all you still communicate with your network of friends,...

  • Study shows India not bridging the digital divide

    Despite India's booming information technology industry and over 5 million broadband subscribers with a 7% internet usage penetration with over 81 million online users, the rapidly growing BRIC economy still lags far behind China and it's BRIC colleagues in bridging the "digital divide". The 7% penetration online of Indians that are connected to the web pales in comparison with the 32% in China with fewer than 1% of Indians having access to mobile internet services, despite the recent leapfrogging of mobile networks and 3G services into the country. A Digital Inclusion Index compiled by British risk analysis firm MapleCroft put India...

  • Fibre to the home: lessons from Kenya

    With i3 Africa’s announcement earlier this month that fibre to the home was finally going to be a reality for South Africans, I thought it high time we checked in with the FTTH pioneers in sub-Saharan Africa, the Wananchi Group, to see how its Zuku service has been received in East Africa. You may remember the Zuku triple-play service (voice, data and TV) was announced mid-2010 to much gnashing of teeth and shaking of heads in South Africa, especially when Wananchi chief executive, Richard Bell, said the company would be in South Africa in a heartbeat, if only it could...

  • Three million works deleted in Baidu’s move to curb copyright suit

    Chinese search engine giant Baidu said Wednesday it had deleted nearly three million works from its online library in a three-day blitz aimed at ending a copyright dispute with writers. Company spokesman Kaiser Kuo said the firm had deleted "nearly 2.8-million potentially infringing items in total in the literary section." "It took us three solid days working round-the-clock. I'm told that what remains is all licenced, and that any additional uploads to that section are being carefully vetted," Kuo said. The row erupted when more than 40 authors, including top-selling writer Han Han, signed a letter blasting the Chinese firm for providing...

  • ‘Cloud Drive’ — Amazon leaves Google and Apple in the dust

    US online retail giant Amazon has joined the music streaming game with the launch of "Cloud Drive" and "Cloud Player". Cloud Player is a music player that allows users to upload their music to Amazon’s servers -- Cloud Drive. Users are given five GB of storage for free which allows them to access their media content from any location. Cloud Player is available as an app for the web and Android. Both apps allow users to upload their music, create playlists and organise their lists. The music and settings can be accessed from any compatible computer or Android device. The service...

  • GroupMe adds brands to group messaging

    Dominating Twitter streams at the recent SXSW event in the group messaging class with 65% of the overall mentions (according to social media analytics group Simply Measured), GroupMe, the New York based mobile group chat startup, yesterday revealed its plan for bringing brands into its new business model: Featured Groups. The new big initiative opens up the mobile group chat platform by allowing brands an opportunity to participate in group messaging conversations directly related to the brand and thus actively engage users, thereby driving up its user growth and overall usage. Users who attended SXSW in Austin earlier this month, will already...

  • Twitter brings back Jack Dorsey as Executive Chairman

    Twitter's seesaw problems with product development entered a new phase this morning as the company brought back former CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey. He will take over product development from co-founder Evan Williams, as Executive Chairman, but also run his own startup, Square. The move makes sense. Evan Williams involvement in Twitter has been questioned by myself and others. He spends little time at the office and his use of Twitter is extremely low, tweeting just twice a day and sometimes none at all. Co-founder Biz Stone is even less interested in tweeting. Take a look at my recent survey of the...

  • New York Times rolls out paywall globally

    On Monday The New York Times rolled out its paywall system which means readers will now begin paying for full access to the site. The site also dangled a heavily discounted introductory offer intended to lure its first digital subscribers. The newspaper is offering three digital subscription packages, including an all-access option, so you can choose a plan that is right for you based on which device you use to access the site -- computer, smartphone or tablet. For now however the site is offering its three digital subscription plans for the same price of US$0.99 for the first four weeks. The...

  • 6 eCommerce steps to online profit

    You may have just launched an eCommerce site, or perhaps your business is considering the advantage of the massive online market space. Don’t underestimate the growing potential. For a start consultant Neil Turner has been passionately devising ways to ensure maximum online profit and we’ve identified six steps in particular that will ensure you grow your business across the web. Identify users with their email address Identifying people with their email addresses is much better than doing so with usernames. We’re all likely to forget usernames for once-off subscriptions. Rarely do we forget our own email addresses. As email...