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  • The game layer and what it will look like

    "The game layer is coming," he said, and everyone in the room believed him. At SxSW 2011, the young CEO of SCVNGR, Seth Priebatsch, expressed what was arguably the most important prediction of the illustrious tech conference: that the experience of real-life would more and more be organised around game-like structures and technologies. It sounds as confusing as it does inevitable. After all, what does a world look like in which we use games to solve real problems, the kind you can’t zap with a virtual gun? And how could anyone make money from this? But first of all… what’s so special...

  • Google’s new recommendation tool: +1

    Google is going more social with its newest search feature. The new feature, the +1 button, is a recommendation tool which works in a similar fashion to Facebook's 'Like' button. The world's most popular online search service started adding the +1 buttons on Wednesday and users who opt into the +1 button experiment in Google Labs will start seeing a +1 button next to each link in Google search results. "Our goal at Google is to get you the most relevant results as quickly as possible. But relevance is about relationships as well as words on webpages. That’s why we...

  • Oxford Dictionary’s new words — Keeping up with the times

    Be quiet for a moment. You hear that faint yet frantic tapping? That, my friends, is the sound of the world's youth smsing, tweeting, Mxit-ing & Facebooking each other or, as most like to think of it, the sound of barbarians chipping away at the walls of Rome. This chipping has become a rumble as a weak spot has been found in the English language’s defences. In a move by the Oxford English Dictionary’s (OED) turncoat announcement of last week, the Dictionary welcomed OMG, LOL and FYI into its most recent online edition. This apparent betrayal has resulted in much...

  • Blekko — The future of search

    On the eve of Google's launch of an experimental feature that allows users to recommend search results, Blekko, the curated search engine, hosted a lively dinner in San Francisco with journalists to discuss the future of search. Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley kicked things off by saying that Google's results were polluted and that Google itself was financing the "pollution" through its AdSense advertising network. Rich Skrenta, CEO of Blekko supported Wadhwa's claim that Google results were polluted and he said that Google was hiding behind its algorithm and saying it couldn't do much about the number of...

  • Twin baby brothers a viral hit on YouTube

    A video of a pair of diaper-clad babies seemingly engaged in an animated conversation in a home kitchen was a fast-spreading YouTube sensation. The two-minute snippet of the lively exchange between twin brothers barely old enough to stand has been watched more than 5-million times since it was uploaded to the Google-owned video sharing website on Valentine's Day. The then 17-month-old boys laughed, gestured, and raised their feet during what appeared to be a baby talk chat so genuine that it inspired viewers to add playful captions suggesting translations. Suggestions included that one brother telling the other "That diaper is so 2010"...

  • Social media marketing and the Consumer Protection Act

    Recently a report was released on how the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), which comes into effect on Thursday, will impact marketing efforts in social networks as well as online advertising and retailing in South Africa. The report was compiled by Phatic Communications, in association with Goldman Judin Attorneys Inc. A few key elements of the CPA are summarised below, along with some quick tips on how to comply when marketing online. Direct marketing defined Anytime that a person is approached online for the direct or indirect purpose of promoting, selling or requesting a donation constitutes direct marketing. “Approaching” also includes something...

  • Evan Williams scaling back his role at Twitter

    On the heels of Jack Dorsey's return to Twitter, co-founder Evan Williams is scaling back his role in the microblogging site and turning his attention to a new entrepreneurial endeavour. "After stepping down from CEO six months ago, my mind started to wander," Williams said in a message at his EvHead blog on Wednesday. "I've decided to scale back my role at the company." When he ceded the Twitter helm to then chief operating officer Dick Costolo, Williams said he would be focusing on product strategy at the San Francisco-based firm. "Now that Twitter is in capable hands that aren't mine,...

  • 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...