December 28, 2007
read more | digg story
December 21, 2007
December 15, 2007
There are five categories in Google Zeitgiest 2007 , including the main one: Newsmakers, Showbiz, All the Rage, and Top of Mind.
As Google says: "To get a glimpse of what's been on our collective consciousness, we mined billions of search queries to discover what sorts of things rose to the top. We encourage you to check out our findings to see if you, too, reflect the zeitgeist — the spirit of the times."
It may be interesting to know that the Top of Mind reflects the three most asked questions during 2007 on Google- they are are:
Who is - God ?
What is - love?
How To - kiss?
Social media most captivating topic in Google Zeitgeist 2007 says Gino Cosme on Cosmedia.
December 11, 2007
"We all read daily how Facebook has now been valued at $15 billion after Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake for $240 million. This past week Li-Ka-Shing, the world's 9th richest person, bought a .4% stake for $60 million with rights to double his investment, further verifying the valuation."
December 10, 2007
read more | digg story
December 5, 2007
Did you know Photobucket now has a dedicated Digg channel?
Here you can fine the pics people have given the most Diggs, which invariable end up on your Facebook Superwall. I recognized quite a few from the first one or two pages.
Now Photobucket for me is a place where I upload images I need urls's for - you know those you' can't download directly to websites. I've never thought of using it for any other social networking.
As the blurb says: "See our new dedicated Photobucket Digg channel, with the most popular images on Photobucket, as voted by you! Let's see what you come up with when you "Digg" on Photobucket"
According to Mashable: "The new “Digg Images” feature will automatically crawl a submitted web URL and allow the user to select from thumbnail images to choose the one they would like to submit. Additionally, a mosaic view will allow users to browse submitted images. Digg has partnered with Idée for image recognition to prevent duplicates of the same photo from showing up on the site."
How Digg works on Photobucket
Next to all images on Photobucket, you'll see a Digg it button. Images with the most Diggs appear near the top of this page. If you see an image you like, click the Digg it button. You'll need to be a member of Digg to Digg an image. The registration to Digg is quick and easy. If you have questions about Digg, go to http://digg.com
With recently launched competitor Mixx offering an image section and gaining some fans since launching, Digg needed to make a big move, and with Photobucket on board this announcement certainly has some meat behind it.
December 3, 2007
Will the Oprahbama Phenomenon become one of the features of the 2008 election or is it just another celebrity flare-up? Watch out for Oprah on the campaign trail.
The Oprahbama Phenomenon - Another Celeb Uniname with Real Power
There was Bennifer, Brangelina and Tomkat and now the latest uniname is Oprahbama, probably one of the most potent mixes of African American power and celebrity ever to hit Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and who knows where else Barack and Oprah will travel on the 2008 election campaign trail
read more | digg story
November 29, 2007
The beauty of African Path is that you get mostly really well written and smart articles and opinions on various aspects of Africa, which you certainly are hard-pressed to find in the traditional media.
My Africa knowledge has increased bigtime and I have made contact with some very interesting young people across the African Continent. Now African Path has introduced a business site in beta called The Cheetah Index.
The Cheetah Index derives both its name and inspiration from Ghanaian economist Dr. George B.N. Ayittey, author of Africa Unchained. A central topic in this book is the new generation of young African professionals who look at Africa ’s problems from a different and revolutionary perspective. Dr. Ayittey believes that this group of professionals plays a central role in re-vitalizing African economies. This group of progressive, problem solving and action-oriented Africans are called the “Cheetah Generation”.
African Path will build the Cheetah Index into a leading online resource for Africa ’s current generation of decision makers. These will include managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, educationists and other people who influence Africa ’s development. The Cheetah Index site will provide breaking business news, profiles on African entrepreneurs and industry news while making it easier for business people from Africa and other continents to connect and network.
November 28, 2007
But sometimes things happen that just make you smile.
We live in a cut-throat competitive world don't' we? Well the media are always telling us so. So then an email popped into my in-box from Karen Bradke at artSpace Durban in Umgeni Road - this is where the Ubuntu and Busy Durban Arts Scene - bit comes in.
As Murphy's Law would have it there are 3 events happening in Durban tonight! So what I suggest is this: first go to the Elizabeth Gordon Gallery in Florida Road at 5:30pm to see David Wheildon's paintings, then come to artSPACE durban by 6:30pm for the Annual Affordable Art Show, and then on your way home stop in at BeanBagBohemia for their 12th Birthday bash!!
We have been hanging artworks for the past 2 days with the rest going up today, so please do stop in and see the results!! And remember no artwork sells for more than R2500!!
Now, see what I mean about Ubuntu and Busy Durban Arts Scene?
I guess the message is that here in Durbs we share. There is plenty to go round.
November 26, 2007
Robert Marawa and Jerome Valcke participate in the Asian Draw with Kaizer Motaung at the Preliminary Draw show.
The 2010 Preliminary Launch yesterday was great. Once again I was so proud to be a South African. Durban looked desirable as a holiday destination. The set and the ceremony was faultless for me and I like the new slogan - “Ke Nako. Celebrate Africa's Humanity”.
Ke Nako” means simply "it's time". And, indeed, Africa's time has come to use the 2010 FIFA World Cup to change perceptions of Africa and reposition the continent in a positive light with South Africa as the theatre and Africa the stage.
Said Khoza, “Given that we have been granted this huge opportunity to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2010 by you our friends, many of whom are here today, we felt it appropriate that we develop a message, a theme that would resonate with the objectives of the global football family as well as the intentions and ambitions of the African diaspora.
“In the development of this slogan – our 2010 message – we were also inspired by the outpouring of excitement and joy that we witnessed from villages and cities across the continent when president Blatter announced the name ‘South Africa' on 15 May 2004. To best capture these sentiments we as the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa have decided that the slogan of the first FIFA World Cup on the African continent should be ‘Ke Nako. Celebrate Africa's Humanity'.”
Read all about the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup Preliminary Draw
November 22, 2007
read more | digg story
So here they are Africa's Web 2.0 Sites with thanks to Erik Hersman from White African. For those who don't know, Eric is kind of and "honorary African, having grown up in Kenya and Sudan. He now lives in the USA, but his interest is in technology and how it is changing Africa.
Go to Flickr, where each logo has the link to the Web 2.0 Africa website.
The “To Be Added” list:
November 17, 2007
November 15, 2007
Free Rice. That's right, Free Rice. All you've got to do is play this word game and for each word you get right they donate free rice through the United Nations to help end World Hunger.
Word games are fine and the Free Rice bit makes me feel better about wasting my time with word games, so I went to the UN's World Food Programme Site to check it out and found that:
Rome, 9 November 2007 - The head of the UN’s World Food Programme Josette Sheeran has acclaimed the phenomenally successful internet-based vocabulary game FreeRice as an example of the Web’s power to mobilise millions of people in the fight against global hunger. Yesterday marked the one billionth grain of rice donated to WFP through an innovative, dynamic online campaign – enough to feed more than 50,000 people for one day.
Come on, the word games are fun and the Free Rice feeds the hungry.
read more | digg story
November 14, 2007
November 13, 2007
Gino Cosme of Cerebra writes:
According to this statement, Facebook Ads now makes it possible for “businesses to connect with users and target advertising to the exact audiences they want.” Some of the companies already on board include Sony Pictures, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless and BlockBusters.
Essentially, this is a very logical step for Facebook, and one that makes a lot of sense for advertisers. Think about it. Social networking sites have access to an almost unlimited amount of data about users. This includes their interests, friends, demographics, favorite on-site applications and groups, to name just some. Arguably there isn't a better way for advertisers to reach their target audiences with advertising that speaks to users on a very individual basis. Read the rest of Gino's story
Erick Schonfeld of Techcrunch was there when Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement, and in a liveblogging report stated:"I am at Facebook’s social advertising announcement in New York City, where Mark Zuckerberg is about to take the stage and tell us all what we already think we know: Facebook is getting into the advertising business in a big way. Much of what will be announced today, such as projects code-named Beacon and Pandemic have already leaked out."
In this great demonstration of skilled liveblogging Erick goes on to tell us:
"Facebook is announcing three things: Social Ads (ads targeted based on member profile data and spread virally), Beacon (a way for Facebook members to declare themselves fans of a brand on other sites and send those endorsements to their feeds), and Insight (marketing data that goes deep into social demographics and pyschographics which Facebook will provide to advertisers in an aggregated, anonymous way). These three things together make up Facebook Ads. Here are the press releases for Facebook Ads, Project Beacon, and its launch partners."
Read the whole story
November 11, 2007
I also like the almost playful way one is able to network and get to know business associates and exchange thoughts and ideas.
When I saw this blogpost: Promote your Brand on Facebook, a Step by Step guide, I knew it was a good one. It's all about friends and fans - so give it a go.
Andrew Smith of Ideate explains:
Step 1 - "Brands are friends"
Until now, companies were not allowed to create Facebook profiles and try and pass them as real people. Many tried, but the profiles were removed by moderators. It was possible to create a Group that centered around a brand, but this was a rather limited approach. We created a group for Yuppiechef, but we couldn’t really give a reason for anyone to join it (although strangely enough, about 30 people did!).
This week Facebook launched "Pages". These are essentially like user Profiles, but for brands. Instead of a joining the Yuppiechef group, you now add Yuppiechef as a friend. Well, almost - the correct language is "become a fan of Yuppiechef".Read more
November 7, 2007
Date: 06 Nov 2007
Title: Name change hearings set for March 2008
By Shaun Benton
Parliament - Public hearings on the standardisation of geographical names are to be held around the country from March next year.
Speaking at the media briefing on the Programme of Action for government's social cluster, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan said the public hearings would help to reach a national consensus towards procedures that "we all accept and which we all embrace."
Addressing Tuesday's briefing, whose other members include the Departments of Health, Education, Housing, Agriculture and Social Development, the minister said there had been too much controversy around the issues thus far.
Mr Jordan said the legislation governing the name change process has been in place since 1996 and this will be used as a benchmark for the process in the future.
"There are a couple of considerations which always have to be weighed with respect to the standardisation of geographical names. One consideration is the linguistic integrity of indigenous languages."
Dr Jordan explained that many names of places on dated maps, especially those from the apartheid era, have incorrectly spelt names or are simply corrupted versions of the original words in South Africa's indigenous languages.
"A number of names, in fact, I would say the majority of names you have in the old maps and atlases that are derived from indigenous names are usually corrupted. So that's the first thing that has to be attended to.
"The second is names that are offensive and degrading," the minister said.
Dr Jordan said there are certain procedures for changing and standardising names, according to the legislation, regarding the use of words from South Africa's vernacular as part of the process of transformation of the country.
He said a substantial body of the citizens of a place may approach the South African Geographical Names Commission or the provincial geographical names commissions to make a proposal about the names changes.
"It is then up to either the local authority or the provincial authority to then test public opinion on that matter, and having tested public opinion, has then the right to make a submission, either to the provincial or the national Geographical Names Commission," Dr Jordan explained.
The national or provincial commission would then examine "the motivation for the name-change" and then make a submission to the Minister of Arts and Culture.
From that point, the minister would either approach, place on hold or reject the recommendation for the change, according to certain criteria, Dr Jordan said.
"What we would propose to do is to get some sort of consensus around the acceptance of that methodology and those procedures, because it's our sense that there is a lot of incomprehension about the procedures although they've been around for 12 years," he said.
A lot of material has been published about the procedures for name changes, many of which are available at government's one-stop information centres.
Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya said to popularise South Africa's national symbols, at least 2 000 South African flags have been installed at schools and at strategic entry points to certain cities and towns, as well as government institutions. - BuaNews
November 5, 2007
I'm sure some people in the corporate world know about blogs - well they've heard about them, not quite sure how they work -and many have banned the use of Facebook from their workplaces. But that's about it! As for the PR world, we'll I don't know.
I think one of the basic issues in South Africa is that people still regard doing anything with a computer besides office work as a waste of time. After all you could go play some sport or go for a walk or go to a movie or spend time with friends, but hang out online...that just seems too unhealthy for a South African.
Well, billions of healthy and unhealthy people across the world hang out online and South Africans are actually really beginning to get into it .
Today, the Facebook South Africa network has over 419,000 members up from 35 000 in May!
So maybe South African PR people should pay a little closer attention to social media and how they can use it.
I found this great article by Brian Oberkirch titled: What PR people should know about social media.
He says: "Tired of watching PR people fuck up when it comes to social media? Me, too. Let’s help them out. Here are a few things you should consider if you’re trying to fold social media into your corporate marketing work" Read more.
Optimising your website - what Google wants.
November 4, 2007
November 2, 2007
The Website Value Calculator proposes a resale value of:
Your site is valued at: $428 - R2 820,73
Well I didn't know if I should be happy or sad - but hey that's what you get when you use a website value calculator.
If your logo isn't big enough; doesn't stand out or whack you right between the eyes, you need some Make my Logo Bigger Cream maximum strength!
I'm not kidding you. This Make my Logo Bigger Cream has a clinically proven logo enhancing formula and it says right there on the packaging that it makes your logo up to 1000 percent bigger.
OK, ok... the Make my Logo Bigger Cream is really just a clever ad for Agency Fusion, a web development company, reaching our to ad agencies and designers. Take a look. Theey also offer a free T-shirt.
October 31, 2007
October 30, 2007
The phrase Madiba Magic was coined at the 1995 Rugby World Cup when then President Nelson Mandela showed up in the captain's number 6 jersey.
Rugby has always been a white sport in South Africa and until 1991; Nelson Mandela had been in prison for 27 years, branded as a “terrorist." One year after the first democratic general elections, South Africa was back in international sport but the people of South Africa were still uneasy; they didn’t know if reconciliation was actually possible.
1995 Rugby World Cup - Madiba Magic is born
Then Nelson Mandela stepped up and supported the 1995 Springbok team and against all odds they won the World Rugby Cup at Ellis Park – Madiba Magic was born. Read this moving 1995 Rugby World Cup Story of Madiba Magic as told by then Springbok Captain Francois Pienaar and vice captain Joost van der Westhuizen.
read more | digg story
I do back up some documents onto CD. I guess I should get a removable hard drive, but I have a feeling it might be a good idea to go the online file storage route.
lifehack.org offers me an Introduction to 90 Online File Storage Services.
"I personally like the Mozy Remote Backup, which provides 2GB of free backup space. Best of all, you can access an encryption key for your account for adding security and protect privacy for your files."
This list of online file storage services comes from listible. Read more
So I went to have a look at the Online File Storage services at listable and found a much longer list and was also much more confused.
Then I found dropboks, also a free online file storage service. I like the What is dropboks?
Size: Your account has 1 GB of storage space. You can upload/download files (any format) as large as 50 MB.
So I think I'll get busy with dropboks this weekend - meanwhile paranoia rules and I'll switch off when I'm not using.
October 29, 2007
But then I read this article by a serious looking dude called John C Dvorak (a serious name too) on Marketwatch, and he says:
Techdirt further muddied the waters about the Microsoft and Facebook deal with this story:
Microsoft's Facebook Deal Might Make Sense If It's An Ad Subsidy... But What About The Hedge Funds?
"It's been reported that Facebook had been looking for $750 million, but those hedge funds don't get any of those additional benefits that Microsoft gets. For them, the best has to be on the fact that Facebook is going to be worth a lot more than $15 billion at some point in the relatively near future. That seems like an awful lot of money to bet on a risky situation without that much upside." read the whole story
Note from Blogger:Subscribe to Comments - by email! Last night we pushed a small-but-crazy-useful new feature for all Blogger blogs: subscribing to comments via email. This makes it a lot easier to stay in the conversational loop after you’ve commented on a post somewhere.
The comment subscription feature allows readers of a blog to receive an email each time a comment is made to a particular post. You can subscribe to a post's comments by clicking the "Email" link next to "Subscribe to comments" on the post page.In order to subscribe to comments by email, you must be logged in to a Google Account.
This can only be interesting. I often wonder what reaction to comments will be. Sometimes it is maybe better to not know!
October 28, 2007
When it comes to Search Engines, I'm a devoted Google user, maybe it's just because I like the toolbar and it's convenient. I use Aardvark for South African searches.
Directories are a bit of a mystery to me. I'm always looking for more to submit my websites and my blogs to, and usually find these endless lists of Directories that end up with dead links or complicated registration procedures and paid registration.
So I was quite excited when I found this link called 140+ Search Engines and Directories on Mashable .com. I couldn't wait to see what it had to offer.
October 22, 2007
The World Cup Rugby Match on Saturday night only lasted some 80 minutes and then the Stade de France exploded with lights and embraces and tears and a rather bemused looking President Mbeki being hoisted up on the shoulders of the rugby players - after being shunned by Wilkenson and other members of the England team in the line.
So the Boks have manged to hold on and "bring the Cup" home. The William Webb Ellis trophy belongs to South Africa for the next four years, but what kind of team will we see then? Many of these players are laaities and will still be cooking in four years. Hopefully we will see more black players, now that the old white guys in rugby administration are blessedly dying out from clogged arteries and other ailments of white privilege.
For me the best thing about this Rugby World Cup was the Green Fever that spread through the land. By Saturday, everyone was well and truly infected - from home owners to car guards; old, young, rich poor, black white - wherever you looked you saw Bok flags and jerseys.
It felt so good - just for a little while - to have over 40 million South Africans pulling for the same side! We still have a long road to walk on our transformation journey, but on Saturday, I was so achingly aware of how far we had already come.
October 13, 2007
October 8, 2007
Microsoft Offers IE7 to all, Pirates Included
Microsoft has removed the Windows Genuine Advantage validation requirement for installing Internet Explorer 7.
(See PCWorld Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken's take on the Microsoft decision.)
From the moment it released IE7 almost a year ago, Microsoft has restricted the browser to users who can prove they own a legitimate copy of the operating system. Before Microsoft allows the browser to download, it runs the user's PC through a Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation test, a prime part of XP's antipiracy software.
Read the whole story
Well that's one of the big rumors out there at the moment that Facebook is going to soon be opening a big Music store to rival Apple's iTunes.
Tech Crunch has this story about Facebook and the music store. As it says - it might not be the best news for the iLike artist platform that just launched on Facebook. But the story concludes with the well worn phrase :"if you play in Facebook’s sandbox, don’t be upset when Facebook wants to play there, too."
October 7, 2007
October 3, 2007
One of the first points is the text v/s html emails and what to do with the subject line.
I believe for a short campaign, a combination of text and html formats works best. If you just want to notify your mailing list, a text email is fine, but if your point is to give in-depth information, involve people and/or drive traffic to the website - you need to go for the html format.
Some people seem to like turning their print newsletter into a .pdf file and attaching that as a creepy kind of email newsletter. I have a sinking feeling those are the same people who believe the copy from their prospectus and annual report should be used for their website - this is one of "my bads" as the American kids say - one of my pet peeves!
And the subject line? You have only 50 characters to catch the reader's eye, to entice him/her to read your mail. So do it!
There has been so much written about the subject lines; you can even find lists of best open rates and worst open rates.
For me it is a case of read and absorb what you can. Know your product and your market really well and be honest at all times (within 50 characters). And watch out for spam filters.
Opt-in News Email Marketing Research Brief shows a clear favoring of html format for B2B marketing campaigns. Some factors considered when determining the selected format include:
- Audience acceptance - Comprehending what email client a list audience possesses and what email formats the client supports.
- Time to display - Calculating an audience connection speed coupled with the creative file size to determine the loading time for recipient to view an email message.
- Source of broadcast - Depending on the source used for a mailing, what creative formats are supported; costs associated with broadcast; and file location (hosted or embedded).
Marketing Sherpa has just published a fascinating Case Study for a campaign where Text email and HTML are used in a Marketing campaign.
HTML vs Text Email: Which Works Better in a Short Conversion Cycle?
SUMMARY: Event marketers and others who need to convert products quickly can learn from a minor league baseball team who hit an email campaign out of the park.
See how they used text email first (to attract BlackBerry and mobile users) and then HTML to get a 262.3% lift over the rest of the season. Plus, how they landed a corporate sponsor in less than 48 hours.
October 1, 2007
It was like watching a solar eclipse - noting much happened and I didn't quite know what was happening, when it was happening and if it was happening, but the DSTV Channel Shuffle obviously happened because I must have dozed off and when I woke up it was on Parliament and a three digit number was on my decoder.
I automatically - flicked it over to 51 CNN and got an error message - Oops! 281 and there it was - the reshuffled DSTV.
Now all I have to do is learn the darn numbers and get into the habit of typing three digits into the decoder (which isn't so easy, you know?).
September 29, 2007
However my contemporaries in the USA and Canada are often doing the same thing - cakes and grandkids, but they have PC's and Internet at home and not only are they social networking experts, they can code and build websites as well.
But back to the Social Networking story. I read this really cool article in iMedia Connection:
Social Media: Not just for Kids, by John Gray.
One of the main points that he makes is that sties that deliver on the need for adult interaction also deliver advertising results.
"A few months ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg surprised online marketers by revealing that since opening registration of his site to the public in late 2006, 50 percent of its user base now falls into the non-student category. It was just the wake-up call advertisers needed to realize that social networking is no longer just for kids.In fact, while sites like Facebook and MySpace still dominate the social networking space and much of their audience continues to skew young, social networking is being embraced by Internet users of all ages"
He discusses leading sites like: Eons.com, BOOMj, LavalifePRIME, SisterWoman.com, CafeMom, and MothersClick.
September 28, 2007
September 23, 2007
The latest is a campaign - run through Facebook, called Blackout against Malaria. I was introduced to it though an invitation to an event - in New York. The group's name is One Million Faces against Malaria and this is Project Blackout.
Join One Million Faces Against Malaria's Project Blackout, our attempt to make ALL Facebookers aware of the malaria emergency. Yes, close to three million people dying per year from mosquito bites is not a cause but an EMERGENCY. 90% of the three million are under the age of five! Our world leaders are not doing nearly enough, nearly urgently enough to fight it, so your voice and your black profile pic are needed more than you can ever imagine.
All of our action steps are pretty easy:
1) On September 23, today, post a black profile pic.
2) Get invites out to your friends (just hit the invite function on the group page http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=
There is more to this, so take a look and black out your pics to raise awareness - after all, we Africans know all about Malaria - don't we?
Although marijuana is illegal in South Africa, it is widely produced, used and exported. DP is known by connoisseurs as very high quality merchandise.
read more | digg story
September 20, 2007
Exciting news for South African communicators was the launch of the all new Africa Quill Awards, run by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Africa Region.
South African communicators who have entered the Awards rate them very highly in terms of recognition and furthering of their careers. Past winners of the international awards from South Africa include Pietie Mackenzie from FNB, an internal communications specialist, and Sophia Dower, Content Manager of Words’ Worth, an external communications and marketing company providing specialist communications to corporates.
According to Pietie, awards are a good benchmark of success and this is one of the major factors that encouraged her to enter the International Gold Quill Awards in 2006.
“It’s about recognition not only for the individual, organisation or country, but recognition for communication as a profession,” she says.
FNB entered its communication programme around a campaign called Banking on Knowledge: University of Banking, which won a Gold Quill Merit Award. The campaign promoted a two year certificate in banking available at no cost to FNB’s contact centre employees. The focus of the campaign was about turning contact centre consultants into bankers to ensure a great customer experience.
“The fact that over 80% of employees registered was a clear indication that communication played a huge role in the successful buy-in to this initiative,” Pietie says.
Word’s Worth has won four International Gold Quill Awards over the past few years - one excellence award and three merit awards.
“We entered because the IABC commands a lot of respect amongst senior communicators and can be a valuable marketing tool for a small business such as ourselves,” she comments.
This year there is a new opportunity for both Sophia and Pietie to be measured against their South African peers. The Africa Quill Awards will recognise communication excellence in Africa and South Africa. This will be a regional version of the international awards and winners will automatically be entered into the international awards competition.
According to Sophia, the Africa Quill Awards have real potential to give the local communications industry the recognition and kudos that it deserves.
“The international Gold Quill successes have always made an impact on our clients. We have found that the awards have helped to raise the profile of communication and communicators, This level of award catches the attention of the people who count - the MDs, marketing directors, –and other senior management and draws much-needed attention to the fact that good communication has a key role to play,” she states.
“Communication is usually the first area to be affected by budget cuts and often isn't taken seriously enough. The Gold Quill Awards have helped to counter that. I’m sure the Africa Quill Awards will develop the profile to do the same,” she concludes.
According to the IABC Africa Region, the Africa Quill Awards will go to professionals who have proven that their communication programmes effectively furthered the goals of their organisations, boosting revenues, saving costs, rallying employees or contributing in any other way to their organisation’s success. There are 26 different categories spread across the work areas of communication management, communication skills and communication creativity.
September 18, 2007
Heard the one about three cows in a Tazz? No it's not a new music group or exotic dish on some twisted foodie's menu. It's also not software download site. It is exactly what it says - three cows in a Tazz.
Well, I don't know the gender of the beasts so they may not all be cows, but I couldn't really say "three head of cattle" in a Tazz could I? It would sound lame.
A friend sent me the story and the pics and at first it looked like one more colorful urban legend, but I remembered an equally incredible story a read a few months ago about an astounding number of goats in a mini-bus, so this is probably true.
I guess as the Tazz was already rigged for cow- transport these weren't the first three to be transported this way.
Here is the e- mail I received:
This Toyota Tazz was stolen. It was then in an accident. 3 cows were found inside (also stolen) - tied up and squashed in!! See the 1stand 2nd photos. When the cows were removed the vehicle appeared as in photo 3. The rear seats and passenger seat had been removed to fit the cattle in!! The last photo shows the 3 cows after their release - remarkably unscathed!
September 17, 2007
September 14, 2007
September 9, 2007
(Besides getting hammered.)
Looks a bit, er, disheveled to me!
This post from Democratic Underground.com is quite funny, but the comments are even funnier!
September 8, 2007
But it is also quite a critical forum, polices by the stumblers themselves. If they notice that you are using StumbleUpon purely to promote yourself and not contributing to the overall information sharing experience, you'll be in hot water.
Tadeusz Szewczyk alias "Tad Chef", Germany's most notorious white hat SEO consultant, web developer and online publisher has written an interesting article about StumbleUpon when he presents seven reasons why StumbleUpon traffic is the best there is.
He says: "Do you think Digg or Reddit is the place to go nowadays? Never used StumbleUpon until now? You should, both as a user and a webmaster. Users get highly relevant content that matches their preferences, that’s the way of social browsing. Webmasters get substantial and steady traffic. Especially new and small non-profit blogs like mine can get a regular, even daily traffic boost. That’s not all though to say about StumbleUpon, it’s not just any traffic, it’s the best and most targeted traffic I have ever seen!
Catch his seven reasons why you should sign up right now and become a committed stumbler.
September 1, 2007
According to a recent analysis by comScore Media Metrix, Google's Orkut social network, which many had written off as dead on arrival, now draws 38.2 billion pages views per month worldwide. Facebook totals about 7.8 billion worldwide page views.
In the last quarter, Google reported $1.24 billion in foreign ad revenue, nearly double the amount it reported for the same period in 2006.
According to a report in Forbes.com, Google is looking to better leverage Orkut in the U.S. by giving the site a redesign that ads flavor and sex appeal to an otherwise blank template.
"Until now, Orkut has been an also-ran in the U.S. because it's been neglected by Google," Greg Sterling, a consultant with Sterling Market Research told Forbes. "But with just a few tweaks and redesigns, and in combination with all of Google's services, it has the potential to really differentiate itself from MySpace and Facebook."
August 31, 2007
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, covers 1000km2 (100 000 ha) of land on the edge of the mysterious desert wilderness that is the Kalahari. The largest private concession in Sub-Saharan
Tswalu has its own air shuttle that flies direct to the reserve seven days a week from the Anglo American hangar at O R Tambo airport (ex
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The Glue Society helms this unconventional campaign for Elle Macpherson Intimates in what are arguably the first lingerie ads to tease your brain with something other than the scantily-clad model. The ads are sexy and fun and a long way from the usual high gloss ad agency products.
August 30, 2007
Ja, everyone says commenting on other blogpost will help you build your blog, because you get known and people will link to you and all that, but there are ways to comment that attract people to your blog and other ways that make them run a million miles.
As Darren says: "Much has been written about commenting as a strategy to build traffic (because used correctly it is a powerful tool) - but very little has been written on the dangers of it."
He then names 10 danger areas and asks bloggers to comment. What do you think?
August 29, 2007
"The Yahoo Mail overhaul is part of a drive to transform its e-mail franchise into more of a social activity that blends the convenience of instant communication with the implicit network of relationships found in one's online address book."
In an unfortunate and amusing product naming mishap, German company TrekStor had named one of its MP3 players i.beat blaxx. upon realizing the not so nice meaning of that product name, the company has since switched the name to a less culturally agitating and more simple blaxx. One wonders who looks at this stuff before it goes out?
August 28, 2007
Result - thousands of spectacularly printed and varnished brochures, programmes, annual reports etc are printed with an incorrect website address.
I smiled to myself this morning when I found this article in MarketingSherpa and decided that I had to blog it, because I know that no matter how many warnings we sound, people will still forget that proofreading should start with the URL.
Proofreading Starts with the URL - the Pain of Typos
By Anne Holland, Content Director
Admittedly, our B-to-B Marketing Summit Brochure was brochure-from-hell from a proofing standpoint. The marketing department had to get 29 different speakers' names spelled properly (this must be very easy in places, such as Sweden, where you have a limited pool of names to deal with, but in multicultural America you always have to double-check.) And we had to make sure the right headshot went with the right speaker, which can be easier to screw up than you think.
Plus, there were 500+ past attendee company names to spell correctly, including some with caps in the middle (Sherpa included, unfortunately) and some without, which also makes guessing impossible.
And, of course, all those session times ... for some reason putting sessions into the proper slots is also always harder than expected. Like children, they wiggle about and bump into each other instead of lining up in a nice, quiet, orderly fashion.
So, when the marketing team proofed the blue lines the printer sent over for our big August campaign, they had a lot to review.
Which explains how everyone totally forgot to proofread the response URL. So, we ended up with tens of thousands of brochures that read, Go to "http://www.vanityurl.com," which was typed in as a placekeeper copy early in the process and never updated.
When the team alerted me about this, I said, "No problem, just go buy VanityURL.com and redirect from it!" Which would have been lovely except for the fact that NutriSystem already owns it.
The South African government is to establish a council to oversee the development of "e-skills" in the country, while a number of leading local and international IT companies are to set up new training centres in SA, it was announced on the weekend.
Speaking to journalists after meeting with an advisory council on information society and development in Kwazulu-Natal, President Thabo Mbeki said that improving South Africa's information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure would be futile if people did not possess the necessary skill to use the technology.
The new e-skills council, comprising members of government, business and academia, would "very rapidly" drive the process of improving ICT skills in the country, Mbeki said.
Mbeki, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri were among those who attended the latest meeting of the council, set up to advise the government on ICT trends and ways of encouraging economic development.
At the meeting, a number of corporations outlined their plans for contribute to skills development in South Africa.
Hewlett Packard (HP) announced a R150-million initiative, dubbed the HP Business Institute, designed to provide subsidised training to small black-owned ICT companies.
Ken Willett, MD of HP Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa, said the institute would provide its students with comprehensive training, including not only traditional IT-related training but also general business training in areas such as marketing communications and business management.
Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle also announced proposals for the launch of centres to provide ICT training and job placement.
Oracle said that, according to industry statistics, the demand for skills in South Africa's ICT sector - which currently employs approximately 200 000 people - would exceed the supply by as much as 24% by 2009.
"The skills shortage in the manufacturing sector alone will lag by 14 000 ICT specialists in 2010," the company said in statement.
SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.
August 27, 2007
Create a virtual forest. It sounds like great fun and it's for a good cause - saving the rainforest.
On this game-like website people can build and name their virtual forests and then invite their friends to help them Act4trees - in real language - put leaves on the trees, by clicking and clicking and clicking.
I came to hear of this via a cyber friend Cate, an environmental and animal rights activist, who has named a forest in memory of her son Eben who died earlier this year.
At Act4Trees you can plant a tree in a specific forest or create a forest of your own.
What happens is you are only allowed one click per day and www.prize.com will give 10 000
Euros for each million clicks to Aquaverde, a Save the Rainforest organisation.
So give Eben's forest some clicks, or create your own, but bookmark a forest and visit it once a day for a click. Why not?
August 25, 2007
There are 12 winners from the Saatchi SHOWDOWN rounds that now enter the knockout phase.
The two artworks with the highest vote will enter a final head-to-head to decide the overall SHOWDOWN winner.
My personal favorite in the Showdown is Chicago artist -Alice Mcmahon White's "Chains"
So vote now!
August 24, 2007
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I enjoy reading blogs from other African bloggers - that is how I came upon Oluniyi David Ajao, so I did a blogpost about him in my other blog at Suite101- Meet Oluniyi David Ajao - and it turns out that he had done a similar thing with a South African blogger Israel Mlambo a while ago.
Now while this may look to some like some type of blog-link incest, I think this is what blogging is all about. It is not really about the ratings or the stats, it is about reaching people and connecting, on whatever level you choose to connect.
My connection with Oluniyi David Ajao, who is a young entrepreneur who runs a web hosting business in Accra, Ghana was for a weekly blog I write to go with my African travel articles on Canadian content website Suite 101.com.
I said there that I believe that before people traveled to Africa (anywhere as a matter of fact) they should become acquainted with local bloggers and local blogs to understand more about the real people and the heart and soul of the countries they were going to travel to.
Hey the bloggers might even give you great tips on where to stay and what to do so you don't get ripped off by brochures and travel scams.
(The image is from Mr Ajao's blog)
August 23, 2007
OK, I'm biased toward newsletters because I'm a journalist and I believe that no matter how much technology or gizmo's you shower people with, the cornerstone is still good old fashioned communication.
It you keep in touch with people (your clients, your market) and keep them informed you're ahead of the race.
As I was skimming though ClickZ Expert's newsletter I found this article by Karen Gedney , Archive Your B2B E-Newsletters for SEO Success
I like the way she started:
Right off the bat, I have to tell you I'm no SEO (define) expert.
Yet I consistently generate highly qualified leads from my Web site using what my colleague, Dianna Huff, calls the SEO secret weapon -- the e-newsletter archive.
I'm so tired of experts! Everyone is an SEO expert. It must be one of the fields with the most experts.And then no matter what all the SEO experts do do say, Google tweaks its parameters and everything changes.
Anyway the secrets are - according to her and Ms Huff - Fresh Content, Keyword rich content, Linkable content, Reprintable content, Reusable content and Conversations.
Read the whole article and optimise your "SEO secret weapon"