August 31, 2007

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve Africa - Luxury Private Game Reserve in South Africa

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in South Africa is owned by the well-known Oppenheimer family and gives a new meaning the phrase - luxury private game reserve.

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 Africa, Tswalu boasts 70 species of mammal including lion, cheetah, desert black rhino, sable and roan antelope. There are also more than 200 bird species. Tswalu is the historical home of the San people (Bushmen).

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 Johannesburg International).

read more | digg story

Elle MacPherson Intimates - Very Different Campaign

Elle Macpherson Intimates has launched a very different tv advertising campaign

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

10 Ways to Hurt Your Blog’s Brand by Commenting on Other Blogs

Back to my old friend ProBlogger today for a great blogpost - 10 Ways to Hurt Your Blog's Brand by Commenting on other Blogs. What it really is all about is the fact that there are ways to comment and ways not to comment.

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

Yahoo mail lets e-mailers text-message

In an effort to stay in the leading pack, Yahoo Inc has announced that it is giving its e-mail users more ways to reach friends and online contacts by allowing them to trade messages with mobile phone users.

"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."

read more

TrekStor Beats Blacks...Then Changes Product Name

Adrants is one of my favourite newsletters. I had to smile when I saw this post about a really badly named German product - or maybe the rumours of the rise of Neo-Nazi's is not that exaggerated after all?

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

Check the URL First

Proofreading starts with the URL. Please believe it, or you'll have a disaster on your hands. I cannot tell you how many horror stories I've heard of people having costly documents printed where every inch was carefully proofread, but because the URL doesn't look that familiar, it is glossed over.

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 "," 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 and redirect from it!" Which would have been lovely except for the fact that NutriSystem already owns it.

Read more.

South Africa pushes 'e-skills'

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. reporter and BuaNews

Go to Source:
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.

August 27, 2007

Create a Forest - Act4Trees

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 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

Vote Now in the Saatchi Showdown Knockout

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!

The Joy of Tech

August 24, 2007

Virgin in Africa - Virgin Vacations in Egypt Tanzania Kenya South Africa an

Virgin Vacations has a great selection of African vacation packages with an inclusive return flight on the Virgin Atlantic Airways Carriers to London and further.

read more | digg story

Meeting Other Bloggers in Africa

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

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

Archive Your B2B E-Newsletters for SEO Success

Newsletters are an essential component of websites, and when archived can serve many SEO purposes.

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"

August 22, 2007

User Genergated Content Works for Online Travel

I do some travel writing and in my wandering around the Net spend a lot of time reading user generated content in travel topics, which if find very useful and also really interesting. But I've never really known for sure how much impact it has on online travel consumers.

According to new research by EyeforTravel, user generated content plays (UGC) a considerable role in the UK young professional’s online travel buying cycle, with 72% saying that consumer reviews have influenced their travel choice.

According to the article User Generated Content, the missing link in online travel? on UGC is having a significant impact on their decision-making process when it comes to travel; 15.3% state they always use UGC for travel, and a lower 12% for non-travel products such as music. Interestingly 63.8% occasionally use UGC in their buying cycle, so that’s a sizeable 79.1% who have actually used consumer reviews for travel before.

Read more

2010 FIFA World Cup - New Host City Names Approved

Following engagement and consultation with the cities, the board of directors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) and FIFA last week agreed that the name changes proposed by various host cities may be used within South Africa, while outside of the country a combination of both the old and new names will be used.

The Organising Committee Board, inclusive of a delegation led by FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke held their third meeting of the 2007 Calendar Year last Tuesday, 7 August 2007 at SAFA House.

The board welcomed Mr Valcke, who expressed satisfaction with the progress being made by the OC. “Our goal is to ensure that we deliver a successful tournament in 2010 and I will do everything in my power to support the Organising Committee and South Africa in ensuring that this happens,” he said.

Both old and new names will also appear on tickets issued for the tournament in 2010. The cities affected are Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Tshwane. This step is intended to allow for the effective global promotion of the host cities, while at the same time providing an opportunity to engage visitors to the country on transformation within the country.

Among other key matters discussed during the meeting included:

Preliminary draw

The preliminary draw, to be held in Durban on 25 November 2007, will be the first major event relating to the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held on South African soil. This will be an opportunity to present all that is unique and wonderful about South Africa and the African continent as a whole, and also will be an ideal platform for the announcement of the official 2010 slogan. Preparations are reportedly moving swiftly ahead, including the appointment of Wisdom Keys Group as the event management company for the project.

Stadium construction

The OC Technical Team reported that good progress is being made on all venues and the projects are on track. Once again both FIFA and the OC agreed that it is important to continue monitoring progress to ensure that the important deadline of 31 October 2009 for the completion of construction is met.


Agreements with hotels are being finalised. The process of contracting and grading rooms is ongoing and thus far more than 1000 non-hotel rooms have been contracted. In total, approximately 28 thousand rooms have been contracted by Match Events Services, which may be contacted on

Those who wish to be involved in the accommodation solution for the 2010 FIFA World Cup may obtain more information about the process from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa on + 27 (0)11 895 3108 or the Tourism Enterprise Programme on + 27 (0)11 804 5750.

For the latest updates and information, go to

Webopedia: Online Computer Dictionary

Webopedia: Online Computer Dictionary is a very hand website for computer and Internet technology definitions.

And the people and companies that advertise on Webopedia are just so tempting with the Get a Free...

There are Free Developer's Tools to Download, terms, pronunciations and downloads.

It also has a term of the day - Today's term on
Webopedia: Online Computer Dictionary is:

Fishbowl virtual reality
Fishbowl virtual reality or fishbowl VR refers to virtual reality environments that are viewed on a computer system, rather than projection or holographic displays. Analogous to users watching a computer monitor as one would watch a fishbowl. Also called desktop virtual reality or desktop VR.

August 21, 2007

Selected African Vacation Packages

Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco - these travel companies offer a variety of African vacation packages - from couples to groups, right across the price range.

read more | digg story

IPHONE BILL...In a box?

Be careful what you wish for - can you imagine what Telkom will do with that?

August 20, 2007

Online Reputation Mangegement

Online Reputation Management - this sounds so governmentspeak I can't believe it is related to the Net. But when I saw this I suddenly became aware that I may just have an online reputation that I might want to manage so I dutifully read on.

What it really is all about, according to this guy, Stephen Pitts at Pittfall, is that you need to list yourself with in order to manage and control your reputation online.

PeekYou is a new kind of online white pages.

A PeekYou profile helps other people find your websites, social-networking pages, photos, or anything else about you online. You can also create a profile for friends or relatives to ensure that they may also be easily found online.

So read all about how Stephen Pitts did something about his online reputation management on Peekyou.

Run a Stumbleupon Advertising Campaign for your Blog

When I read this blogpost on Problogger I thought wow! I'm a regular visitor to Stumbleupon and I have seen the power of Stumblers at work, so the create an advertising campaign for your blog at Stumbleupon sounds like a very good idea to me.

You get to choose the story you want, that you think the Stumbleupon audience will go for and you set daily budgets and limits to how many impressions you want on any given campaign.

For those not in the know, StumbleUpon - is a growing social bookmarking service (over three million members) that is used by people around the globe. It is a service that many bloggers target to drive organic traffic to their blog - but also one that also offers a means to advertise a website upon it. StumbleUponAds allows you to submit a page on your blog to be shown to StumbleUpon users as they go Stumbling. The cost is 5 cents per impression so for as little as $5 you can have 100 SU users see your page.

Let Darren at ProBlogger explain the rest.

August 18, 2007

From Podcasts to Vidcasts

To tell the truth, I haven't even quite caught up with Podcasts and now I read that they are old hat and that Vidcasts are much more effective. Yes, that's right Podcasts are out, vidcasts are in!

Well that's what this guys Dave Wilkie says in his article Escape the Fate of Podcasts. He even gives some handy tips to keep your vidcast doable and viewable (his words not mine) - better read it for yourself - I need to lie down and have a rest.

August 17, 2007

Understanding your Feedburner Numbers

I don't know if I quite understand how Feedburner works. Sure I get the theory, but like most Internet things, the numbers and stats of web applications are often a bit spooky to me, something that hovers more in the reality of paranormal than science.

But I was never good at numbers, so maybe it is just my numeraly challenged grey matter. So, back to the Feedburner issue. I was having a look at ProBlogger and found this post that actually made the whole Feedburner issue make sense for me:

Why does my Feedburner Subscriber Count Fluctuate?

Darren spoke to the font of all knowledge at Feedburner - Rick Klau (Feedburner’s Vice President of Publisher Services) and ask him for an official explanation of fluctuating Feedburner subscription numbers.

LongPen - Autograph Signing via the Internet

"Margaret Atwood has fans on five continents; those book signing tours must be exhausting. Not content to merely write science fiction, she has created a device she calls a LongPen, which allows her to meet and sign books for her fans all over the world from her own home. And in doing so, she has brought into being the telautograph/telephot combination, about which Hugo Gernsback dreamed almost one hundred years ago."

Isn't this cool? signing autographs long distance? I found this paragraph above on a blog at Live Science, so you can read the whole story there if you like. But imagine how handy this LongPen can be for celebrities, sports stars, politicians and other luminaries.

To quote from its own LongPen website: "But the LongPen™ is much more than that: it is a revolutionary marketing and publicity machine that digitally captures everything that happens over the system for downloads, taking book-signing events beyond bricks and mortar into the virtual world of cyberspace."

August 16, 2007

Elvis - 30 years - Amazing Graceland

It is 30 years today since Elvis Presley died in his bathroom at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

When I was planning my trip to the USA two years ago I knew I had to go to Graceland and I manoeuvred it so that I could be there during Elvis week, which culminated with the candlelight vigil on the night of the 16th.

Memphis was not at all as I had thought it would be, it is quite a small city - to me it felt like a big Southern town that just kept on growing, with the Mississippi right there, looking big and brown and muddy.

But Graceland itself was small, with overfilled little rooms and we were threaded though it like a production line. Everyone snapping their digitals and cellphone cameras in the places where we were allowed to photograph. Portraits of Elvis on the wall.

I wrote a story about it for Altitude P44 August issue - there is a flip though digital magazine on their website for Elvis fans.

How to Implement a Social Search Strategy

We know that organic search and paid search are two very different practices, now there is a third one, that is just as important to master - social search.

According to the article Social Search: Capitalize on Brand Buzz, Ron Belanger, Vice President of Agency Development for Yahoo! Search Marketing, explains that social search is the community of web users who are the authors of such answers. For example, Yahoo! Answers, just one of the social search engines out there, boasts 90 million users and 250 million answers worldwide.

He explains how to execute a social search strategy and suggests that one begins by using tools like Yahoo Buzz and Google Trends to measure the signal-to-noise ratio of a brand's relative "hotness".

I guess you'd better read the Social Search Strategy article yourself.

August 15, 2007

KZN Sharks in Deep Trouble

I don't usually react to alarming emails or charity appeals. but this one merited a read through, so I'm passing it on.:

A group of anglers in KwaZulu Natal are planning a shark fishing competition on the weekend of the 18th and 19th August. They've advertised in the Natal Deep Sea Rod and Reel Club newsletter and will catch and kill the sharks, not tag and release them. Their motivation is that their catches are often taken by sharks and "a number of anglers have now got together to find out for themselves what is going on with regards to the shark numbers", to quote from their newsletter.

In the guise of a very questionable charity event, they will target sharks over 20 kilograms and "donate" the fins through a local Asian buyer, and further donate potentially mercury contaminated meat to an underprivileged children's home. Contradicting their implications that there are too many sharks, they add that they cannot find any to satisfy their foreign clients who are only interested in catching sharks - another serious concern (see full details from newsletter on the AOCA website on the link What's Up). As it stands the competition is illegal as it goes against recreational permit conditions.

In light of the severe plight of shark populations worldwide, including in South Africa as depicted in our recent documentary Sharks in Deep Trouble, we cannot condone the unnecessary slaughter of animals that are in desperate need of protection. The motivation for this competition is unacceptable and not supported by scientists.

Considering the overwhelming slaughter of over 100 million sharks per year, which is driving many shark species to extinction, we fight an uphill battle to make a difference in saving them.
We need your help through this petition to stop this competition, and also to put pressure on Marine and Coastal Management to change the current recreational fishing limits of sharks of 10 per day per fisherman. We demand adequate scientific evidence, thus far lacking, to support this number, and failing which a precautionary approach for deciding daily shark catch limits. We've only got a few days and need all the support we can get to make a difference.

To enter the petition send your name, email address and comments to
In the subject line add: Shark Petition, then forward this email to as many people as possible - the number of people who sign will determine the impact we have.

Thank you for helping us to help them!

August 14, 2007

Sender Lines - the do's and don'ts

Sender Lines are really important. Most important is that you accurately identify the sender. The goal of a sender line is recognition; you want the recipient to look at the sender line and know the e-mail is from you.

Some key points are:

  • Don't make recipients guess your identity.
  • Use your most recognizable brand or product name in your subject line.
  • Don't rely on a person's name as a sender line, unless the person is:
  • 100 percent integrated, for the long term, with your product and your organization
  • Easily recognized by your target audience

But why not read Jeanne Jennings' article, E-Mail Sender Lines: Do's and Don'ts?

Some of it is not really relevant to South Africa, but you'll get the drift.

August 13, 2007

Overcoming the Barriers to Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is great. I wish someone would ask me to guest blog on their blog, so ok I didn't write this article, it was written by a guy called Ankesh Kothari who writes about all kinds of blog things like setup and traffic - and I think it is pretty good.

Overcoming the Barriers to Guest Blogging starts like this:

Guest posting on other blogs can attract more traffic than almost any other technique. Yet very few bloggers actively seek out guest blogging opportunities. Very few bloggers shoot an email to other blogs and send them a guest blog post pitch.

This post aims to break all your barriers to guest blogging. So that you too can start creating your own guest blogging opportunities.

Objection 1: The blog is so popular. I doubt if the author has time to even read my emails. I’m sure he won’t allow me to write for his blog.

I’ll let you in on a secret: most bloggers will allow you guest posting on their blog if you approach them with a unique story or angle. It doesn’t matter how popular they are. Its true that your chances of getting published on their blogs shoots up high if you’ve spent time in building a relationship with the author first though.

read more

New Social Content Site

One day there are going to be more little icons under the story than characters in the headline - maybe there already are! I found a new one, a new social content website called

Picture a pack of playing cards and it isn't hard to figure out how this one works. It's the old Digg model - register as a member - submit content - vote on content. It's that simple. The more votes (jacks) a story receives, the better placement it receives.

August 12, 2007

Google Trends - Useful Tool or Waste of Time

It takes me a while to find these things, mainly because there just seem to be so many, and every time I blink another Google-something appears. But from the review, negative one in the Guardian, it seems like Google Trends has been around for a long time. This was in May 2006, when The Guardian called Google Trends "A Great Time-Waster"

What does Google say about Google Trends - "
With Google Trends, you can compare the world's interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they've been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most."

So what are today's top ten hot Trends in the USA?

Today's Hot Trends (USA)
1. meteor shower
2. iowa straw poll results
3. perseid meteor shower 2007
4. tim calhoun
5. bionic dolphin
6. doris day
7. knoxville nationals
8. perseus constellation
9. tea for two
10. stir of echoes

Doris Day?

August 11, 2007

32 Different Ways to Lace Shoes

OK, this might be a bit weird, but I really like to have my takkies laced differently from the other plebs, who doesn't?

I was really excited to stumble Ian's Shoelace Site where he tells you more about shoelaces and shoe lacing than you ever wanted to know. It has great little diagrams and can be translated into six languages. So don't just be a criss-crosser - get creative.

August 10, 2007

Durban wins UN award for debt relief scheme

The eThekwini Water and Sanitation Department has won a United Nations award for its Debt Relief Scheme, introduced to assist poor customers whose water accounts are in arrears for more than ninety days.

read more | digg story

Learn isiZulu in 8 weeks... free!

When I saw this story Learn isiZulu in 8! I thought, Wow, I have to sign up; then I thought, "get real" it's going to take time and I'm too busy, but when I read the story I realised that it is a great idea, that it won't take much time and although it is just the basics of isiZulu, it's a good start.

The Motherland Language program - the brainchild of Motherland founder Kevin McKerr – is launching on the 3 September and will be presented in short video clips, which can be accessed on any PC by visiting Motherland Isiko TV ( or via cellphone through the mitv Bluetooth network.

"We live in the new South Africa and are living the African Renaissance, but many white South Africans can't speak any of the major African SA languages" says McKerr of his motivation for the project.

Motherland Isiko TV is releasing sixteen 1.5 minute video episodes that teach the basics of isiZulu. The episodes will be released every Monday and Thursday morning so that all South Africans receive the same lessons at the same time.

Read more and find out how you can register.

And please spread the good news!

Libya: When the End is a Beginning

Last week's press conference held by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the Secretary of the General People’s Congress, was a sign of the changing currents in Libya. It may be only a small one, but nonetheless welcome.

read more | digg story

Google pays $10 for people to walk into shops to take a picture

I saw this interesting post on Digg - Google will pay you $10 per store for walking in and taking pictures.

This is all about becoming a Google Business Referral Representative.

The comments are great - sadly the offer is only for the US at the moment, otherwise I could see crowds of people with access to a digital scuttling around, sleuthing out the local shops.

Oh well, we'll still have to wait a while, but it will get to South Africa - and ten bucks for a photo is a lot of money!

August 9, 2007

Making your "Out of the Office" Message Work for You

Email contact assumes the ability to instant reply. When you have to be away for any period of time, you should not only leave an Out of the Office message on your email, you should make it work for you.

Karen Gedney of ClickZ had written an interesting little article:

Your Vacation Message: Make It Work for You

I wish everyone who goes away on a course, workshop, seminar, holiday, sick leave, dirty weekend - would put an "out of the office" message on their email. If you're anything like me, you've spent days wondering if people have received mail; what their response is to what you've sent; if your message has disintegrated in cyberspace and never reached its destination; if you should send another message or if it would be rude - gone through all the turmoil, only to find out later that the recipient of your email was "out of the office".

August 8, 2007

Use More BDA's

Branded Desktop Applications (BDA's) are great for airlines and the hospitality industry. This guy, Michael Leiss, even believes that there are some brand that will do better with BDA's than with websites.

He says that they are perfectly suited for the Boomers - like their machines to proceed from Step one to step 2 to step3 to s specific outcome.

"Today, to many boomers, as much as web convention helps to standardize interfaces, each website can feel like looking at a brand new car or dishwasher. Where are the controls? What do I do next?

Ask these people about their computer usage, and they’ll reply with, “I do my email, write a letter, go to the internet if I have to, and that’s it,” as if the computer will wear down if they use it for too many tasks (which, courtesy of Windows Operating Systems, has reinforced this idea)."

Read: Give Boomers What They Want

also read: What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Literacy, Hip-hop Style

I enjoy Sometimes I pick up really cool things there and even though they're American, they set my mind buzzing.

Literacy is something that really concerns me because I believe that it is difficult for people to truly have dignity and humanity in our society when they have been denied literacy. Have you ever though how humiliating it must be for an adult to have to ask a child or grandchild to read official documents for him/her. Or how unimportant pieces of paper, like accounts, official notices, warnings etc are to someone who is illiterate.

As a compulsive reader, anything that deals with literacy catches my eye so when I saw this rapper- approach "read the mothafuckin' book!" I thought hell why not. Here is the story:

Don't Just Encourage Literacy, Pistolwhip People with It!

Jeremy over at Pop-PR sent us a link to this alleged PSA, which takes place at Raphael De La Ghetto High School, where very scary things happen. (Really. It was like a lower-budget version of Pink Floyd's "The Wall.")

The purpose of the crunked-out video is to encourage disenfranchised youth to "read a mothafuckin' book!" Users are also led to Not a Rapper, the official website of Bomani D'Mite Armah, "the poet with a hip-hop style."

Read more

August 7, 2007

2010 Confidence on the Increase

Overall public confidence in South Africa's readiness to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup has improved slightly since 2006, with a study by market research company African Response finding that 70% of South Africans believe the country will be ready then.

African Response director Anina Maree says this is an encouraging sign, explaining that their 2010 barometer was designed to track public perceptions, and to allow organisers and other stakeholders to address public concerns.

"A heart-warming result from the 2010 African Response barometer is that the majority of respondents (85%) believe that South Africa will benefit from the 2010 World Cup," African Response says in a statement this week.

"In addition, almost four out of five respondents believe that the World Cup is important to them personally."

The survey interviewed 1 200 respondents from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria over April, May and June this year.

The survey shows that the residents of Johannesburg as being significantly more optimistic in the country's ability to host the World Cup, with a 76% confidence level, as opposed to residents of Cape Town, with only 60%.

Seventy percent of those interviewed believe that South African airports will be while 59% have faith that public transport will be sufficient to carry soccer fans around the country during the tournament.

An overwhelming 85% also believed that South Africa's many restaurants would be ready to cope with the increased demands of hosting the World Cup.

"Bafana Bafana have apparently made a good impression on the South African public in the last three months, as confidence in our local team has risen from 44% in 2006 to 52% in 2007," African Response adds.

The survey also points to more South Africans preferring to watch World Cup matches on television, with only 54% wanting to watch matches live, down from 61% in 2006.

"Although overall levels of confidence are high, some areas for improvement have been highlighted from the survey," African Response says.

The survey shows that there has been a notable decline in the confidence that South Africa will be able to meet electricity demands during the World Cup, with confidence being lowest in Cape Town, which has had many power disruptions.

Confidence is South Africa's security and policing has declined from 62% in 2006 to 55% currently, while residents' optimism on sufficient accommodation being available during the tournament also dropped to 77% from 84% in 2006.

The survey also finds that over half of the respondents feel that they are not receiving enough information on the progress made on World Cup preparations.

"While overall confidence is up, there are obvious areas which South Africans believe could be improved on," says Maree.

"However, as 2010 nears, and developments become visible to the public these scores are sure to rise as excitement builds." reporter

Go to Source:
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.

August 6, 2007

Online Creativity in SA -Disappointing at Loeries

So what's up with the level of our online creativity? Is it ok, or does it suck? Elan Lohman has put together a great piece in the new bizcommunity about that very topic titled: Online Creatives disappoint at the Loeries.

But he takes it further and gives links to some great examples of very creative banner ads that take your breath away wit the clarity of the concept and their simplicity. He also provides links to some of the Cannes Lions winners 2007.

He also provides a list of Ten Great Tips for Online creatives which I think is one of those things one should cut out and stick up on the wall.

Mauritius - Indian Ocean Island - Budget Holidays in a Tropical Paradise

Mauritius has all the luxuries of Maui or Martinique but is easier on the pocket, especially for families who want to enjoy a holiday in a tropical paradise.

read more | digg story

August 5, 2007

Blog Cabin - a new Reality Show in the US staring Bloggers

Looks like there's not much that bloggers can't do. I'm not talking about writing skills either - Blog Cabin is a new reality TV show that is just going on air. It documents the building of a log cabin in the Smokey Mountains with guidance from bloggers, contributing a DIY Network weblog over the course of several months.

From roof style to window selection to fireplace, bloggers logged over 4 million suggestions and votes during the Blog Cabin project. They are planning now for Blog Cabin 2008

This could be a great project fro some enterprising TV company to do here - imagine how it would get blogging going!

August 4, 2007

If Harry Potter Did SEO

One of my regular newsletter is from ClickZ Network. I thought that this is a weekend-ish kind of topic - If Harry Potter did SEO.

Well it does have wizards and spiders...

August 3, 2007

Social Networking for the Over 50 Set

Rofl! Ja, I'm sure that 99 percent of you have already fallen onto the floor and are not just laughing, but are gasping for air at the thought that anyone over 50 would even be interested in Web2.0.

Well I'm not quite there, but when you feel like you're the oldest person on Facebook, this article sounds quite interesting. Who knows, maybe that's where the cool old guys and chicks with megabucks hang out.

OK, so maybe they probably don't know much about turning your blog into a lean, mean PV attracting machine, but they'll have other good points, I'm sure. Read Social Networking for the Over 50 Set and find out for yourself.

Top 7 Blog Mistakes to Avoid

David Airey is a graphic designer and a great blogger with plenty to say. You can find out everything from great blog designs to building trust online to what makes a great logo or what does your website say about you.

But I decides to focus on The Psychology of Blog Publishing. I never know how many posts I should post. I can never predict what will be popular or not; I don't know how accurate the stats are - I check at three sites and they all seem different to me. And I truly don't know why it is that important for me that anyone is reading my blog.

Top 7 Blog mistakes to avoid depresses me from the get go - yes, I strike out at Mistake number one. I'm a pleb - I just have a common old Blogger blog, with a Blogger address and no customization - I really though it was the contents that counted, but what do I know?

But it's a pretty good article, worth reading - all this guys stories are.

Entries pour in for Durban SMME ICT Awards

The second SmartXchange ICT Awards ceremony, without a doubt the biggest event on Durban’s ICT calendar, will be held on Thursday September 27 this year.

Any KZN SMME in the ICT sector can enter, which means that you do not have to be part of the SmartXchange entrepreneur support programme to enter.

The official categories for the bigger and better SmartXchange ICT Awards 2007 are: The closing date for nominations is August 31, 2007 .

August 2, 2007

Widgets as Marketing Tools

Some people just can't leave them alone - widgets that is. I bet they are the kind of people who have heaps of appliances at home - even ones still in their boxes, stacked up on the kitchen cupboards, like bread makers and juicers, and milkshake machines.

But this is The Year of the Widget - just over half way through and by all accounts there are 230 million people who use widgets every day - so so wonder marketers want to get in on the action. But just how effective are widgets as marketing tools?

Kate Donaho from iMedia Connection wrote this article on The Widget: a small tool with a big future where she poses three questions for marketers proposing to use widgets.
  • Message: What and how?
  • Customer: who?
  • Context: where?
Enjoy the article, I did. I still can't resist widgets.

Facebook does have a Ratecard

Facebook is just SO Social networking that is apparently doesn't have a ratecard. The company has been swearing to all who enquired that the ratecard doesn't exist, well to quote Facebook spokesperson Brandee Barker:"I just don't think it's a rate card in the traditional sense."

Well it is titled "Rate Card / Snapshot of Integrated Opportunities" and explains the workings from Facebook - from a financial angle.

Take a look for yourself.

August 1, 2007

Emerging Social Networks

Emerging Markets is a popular word buzzing around at the moment. In fact, South Africa is one of the leading "emerging markets". so when it is translated to webspeak Emerging Social Networks are surely the ones who are one the way up - not quite the Facebook's or the MySpaces - but knocking on the door.

Read this interesting article on Emerging Social Networks.