September 29, 2007

2010 World Cup Preliminary Draw

The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup preliminary draw will take place on 25 November in Durban, South Africa under the eyes of over 300 members of the world media.

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Social Networking Not just for Kids

Who says social media is just for kids? OK sometimes I think I'm one of the older people on Facebook, but maybe that's just a South African thing - my generation's men, had secretaries who did their typing and the women- well most of my friends went to university, got a degree, got married and are probably now baking cakes for the Woman's Institute and looking after their grandchildren.

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"
Read more

He discusses leading sites like:, BOOMj, LavalifePRIME,, CafeMom, and MothersClick.

September 28, 2007

African Renaissance

Although President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa first labeled it an African Renaissance, the dawn of the rebirth of the African continent began a long time ago.

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September 23, 2007

Blackout Against Malaria - the Caring Face of Facebook

Social networking has reach that tradition media can only lust for. It also has a lateral kind of creative application that makes we want to sing and dance when I see some of the wonderful things that stream into my inbox.

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.

The idea:

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 and check the boxes - won't take more than a minute).

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?

Cannabis Tourism to South Africa

Although marijuana is illegal in South Africa, it is widely produced, used and exported. DP is known by connoisseurs as very high quality merchandise.

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September 20, 2007

African Business Communicators get Award Ceremony

Africa Quill Awards

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

Three Cows in a Tazz

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

Southern African Destination Weddings

African destination weddings are not only very romantic, they are also affordable. These weddings often include a beach, island or safari honeymoon in the package.

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September 14, 2007

Zoppy Video of Highway Africa Winners

The winners of the 11th SABC Highway Africa New Media Awards were Ishmael Farouk, Kamal Ben, Vincent Maher and Zachary Ochieng.

September 9, 2007

So what were Condi and George W doing on Airforce 1?

(Besides getting hammered.)

Looks a bit, er, disheveled to me!

This post from Democratic is quite funny, but the comments are even funnier!

September 8, 2007

Why StumbleUpon is good SEO

I've been a devoted stumbler (that is a a regular on StumbleUpon or SU) for about eight months and I can personally attest to the fact that it is a great social networking site to boost traffic to blogs or websites.

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.

Go Back in Time in Sunny Ethiopia

Vibrant and diverse Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia, Africa's oldest nation, where ancient historical traditions have been preserved in remarkable ways.

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September 1, 2007

Heard of Orkut, Google's Social Networking Arm?

Anyone ever heard of Orkut? It is Google's social networking arm. Yes, Google is into social networking as well, and believe it or not this very Orkut, beats the pants off Facebook.

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, 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."