November 29, 2007

African Path launches The Cheetah Index

I subscribe to many newsletters. Some I just delete when they come in, others I file away, but African Path, is one I read every time, usually from top to bottom.

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

Ubuntu and the Busy Durban Arts Scene

You know, I never thought I'd use the words Ubuntu and Busy Durban Arts Scene all in the same breath.

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

Official 2010 Slogan Revealed

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

Alternative journalism in hostile environments

An alternative weekly celebrates two years of business in South Carolina, after being banned from a dozen locations and having an editor's home set on fire. Unfortunately this is nothing new to this journalist.

read more | digg story

Great list of Web 2.0 Africa sites

When I saw this post about Africa's Web 2.0 sites - with links I was really happy. I always try to take notice of them, but I'm never sure I've got them all.

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

Personal Security Products

Air Tasers, C2's, concealed weapon handbags, these are a new generation of personal security devices and products on the market, especially for women.

read more | digg story

November 15, 2007

Free Rice Programme Passes Billionth Grain

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.

South African Construction Industry gets Net Savvy

Construction Communication Network - Imagine an efficient, cost-effective and secure electronic communication platform focusing on the construction and property industry that will allow professionals as well as advertisers and suppliers a wide range of benefits including: freeing up of time, opening new channels of distribution.

read more | digg story

November 14, 2007

Free Screensavers for All Seasons

Screensavers are as much part of our lives as the computers they decorate. Downloadable free Screensavers for all seasons are available to satisfy every taste.

read more | digg story

November 13, 2007

Advertising on Facebook, should Google have to worry?

Well it's always fun when there is some competition. The pot gets stirred a bit and things get turned on their heads. It was really just a matter of time until Facebook jumped into the advertising fray and went head to head with the mighty Google. But who will be the winners, and who will be the losers.

Gino Cosme of Cerebra writes:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this week announced the launch of Facebook Ads, an advertising system that lets businesses connect with their target audience, roll out viral social ads, and track social activity on the site.

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

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

There is something about the Democratic Party's New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton that just makes her look like a sure winner in the 2008 Presidential Race.

read more | digg story

November 11, 2007

Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan

Benazir Buttho is back home and the people of Pakistan are waiting for a General Election to put their favorite daughter back into power.

read more | digg story

Promote your brand on Facebook

Well I really like Facebook. I enjoy the mixture of business and pleasure and the way Facebook has brought old friends back into my life.

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

Name Change hearings set for March 2008

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
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

Meerkats in the Kalahari Desert

Affection for these small masked mammals grows as the gang recovers from the death of Flower of Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa.

read more | digg story

November 5, 2007

What PR people should know about Social Media

Great catchy title isn't it: "What PR people should know about social media"? The question is, DO PR people here even know anything about social media?

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.

Internet Marketing - Search Engine Optimization - Google

Optimising your website - what Google wants.

Freshlyground - Doo Bee Doo

So how about a little music this Monday morning to start off the week? How about some freshlyground?

November 4, 2007

Celebrate in Morocco and Egypt

Get away from the crowds and the cold into the warm exotic climate of North Africa. Embrace Morocco and Egypt as perfect Xmas and New Year destinations.

read more | digg story

November 2, 2007

Website Value Calculator

I wasn't going to type my website's url into the Website Value Calculator because I know I've been neglecting it badly, so I decided to take a flyer with this blog and see what it is worth.

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.

Make my Logo Bigger Cream

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.