March 24, 2009

Most White South Africans Still Just Can't Get Over 1994

Most White South Africans just can't get over 1994 !

I am not prone to making sweeping statements and I know this is a helluva one!

But you know, it keeps on coming back and hitting me between the eyes. Take this whole debacle with South Africa not giving the Dalai Lama a Visa - now I'm big time pissed off, because I really dig the old guy, but suddenly all these people who don't give two hoots in hell about Buddhism or His Holiness are jumping up and down - owning the process, man.

I know there are a few things that possibly lead to this sad diplomatic fuck-up:
And our foreign policy is often a bit shaky, like our vote on Myanmar at the UN wasn't exactly a shining moment! But, hey we are a new democracy and we try not to piss off our friends, rather than standing up for what we truly believe in. A lot of the time our government does ok.

Gordon Brown Did Not Meet HH at 10 Downing Street

So, instead of working something out and doing it in a more elegant way like the Brits did recently when HH visited and Gordon Brown didn't meet the Dalai Lama at 10 Downing Street, the SA Government blustered and blundered and came up with a series of patently stupid excuses for refusing a visa to one of the most respected religious leaders in the world.

Joined a Facebook Group

I happily joined a Facebook group to Bring the Dalai Lama to SA and invited almost all my friends to join, hoping to raise some consciousness - hoping that the government would see the error in this decision and reverse it.

Not 24 hours later this very group had turned into a mob - slanging and slandering; an anti government lynch mob trying to organise Anti 2010 FIF Soccer World Cup protests.

Withdrew from Facebook Group

I withdrew from the group and that is why I said what I began with: Most White South Africans Still Just Can't Get Over 1994. Whenever there is a gap; an opportunity even just the tiniest little glimmer of a chance - you see them pile in with insults, damnation, criticism, negativity.

But go to workshops on the city's Integrated Development Plan where public participation has been called for or other community initiatives or anything that requires participation, input and a positive spirit and ... surprise, surprise -slim pickings.

Oh, and the Peace Conference that was the focal point of the whole fuss, just seen on Reuters that its been cancelled.

March 12, 2009

100 Twitter Tools

So what to you need most when you're a novice twit, building up a string of followers? Of course you need 100 Twitter Tools to help you achieve your goals.

Well you actually need a lot more than that, but it is a good start.

I was watching a tweeting a bit, checking it out, when I saw this post shimmy by across my tweetdeck and I decided to investigate. I mean what are twitter tools?

I've already got the Tiny URL goody and I found something called twhirl, which makes my life a lot easier and helps me search Twitter.

So I looked at the 100 Twitter Tools post. And I realised how little I know. My favorites are:
I feel dazed and confused as I look at the list. There is so much I need to do and need to know before I tweet again. How am I ever going to work my way though all 100 Twitter Tools?

March 10, 2009

50th Anniversary of Dalai Lama's Escape

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Dalai Lama's escape.

I met him once here in the City Hall in Durban and spent about two hours in his presence - we were showing him around an exhibition for Artists for Human Rights. I edited the Catalogue of the opening of the Human Rights Print Portfolio , so I had some privileges at the opening.

I was amazed at how ordinary he seemed and what a great sense of humor he has. He was laughing and making jokes, all the time.

But like Madiba, he just had that "thing" that made you feel so blessed and special and humble and happy and all kinds of good feelings, just to be in his presence.

Today, China is on the alert. President Hu Jintao yesterday called for a "great wall" of stability in Tibet on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the failed anti-Chinese uprising which led to the Dalai Lama's flight into exile.

Ratu Ngawang Remembers

Ratu Ngawang, now 83, then a hardened young guerrilla fighter who was responsible for getting the spiritual leader out of China, is celebrated among Tibetan exiles for his role in the Dalai Lama's epic escape across the Himalayas.

He remembers:"We killed many of their soldiers, and without regret," he said. "I was an experienced warrior and was unafraid. We were battling to save the Dalai Lama, so we were prepared to die. Many of my best friends lost their lives."

The Dalai Lama to Make a Speech in Dharmsala

The Dalai Lama scheduled a speech today (Tuesday) marking the 50th anniversary in the Indian hill town of Dharmsala where he is based.

His envoy, Kelsan Gyaltsen, said the situation in Tibet was "very, very distressing.

March 8, 2009

International Women's Day 2009

So what does International Women's Day 2009 mean to you?

Nothing much?

Have we become so desensitized but all the "anniversaries, commemorations and awareness days" that we are just immune to much else other than our own survival - which seems to be getting tougher by the day?

I guess I'm lucky because my work and my life brings me into contact on a daily basis with a wide spectrum of people - most far less fortunate than I am as far as money, opportunities, education and all the other everyday building blocks of our live that Western people just take for granted.

It keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground.

So today, I honor the women of the world, especially the women of Africa who suffer a triple oppression - most are POOR, BLACK and WOMEN.

I was thinking of a song to play and so many came flying into my brain because I love female vocalists and I know plenty of songs, but then on VH1 which I have on came the song I want to play for today - No Woman No Cry

March 7, 2009

Link to Where you Want To in a YouTube Video

Somebody once asked me what the World Wide Web as all about.

Links and linking, I said it is about creating a web, like a spider web where everything is interconnected via a series of links.

Link to a Specific Part of a YouTube Video - Minute and Second-Specific

Well with video, that has been a bit of a frustration, one could link to the URL of a YouTube Video, but you couldn't like to a specific part of it. Now you can.

Well, my cyber-intelligence has just jumped a few points since joining Twitter and finding the right people to follow.

(Lesson to myself: Do so in life as you do on Twitter - only "follow" the right people!)

Anyway, Matt Cutts has posted this very interesting bit of info about linking to certain parts of YouTube videos .

It is just so easy to link to s specific part of a video down to the minutes and seconds.

March 5, 2009

Twitter on Facebook? Almost Real Time Web Capabilities

No, not quite, Facebook has not bought Twitter, I know they tried and failed last year, but with their enormous numbers, it was just a matter of time before they surrendered to real-rime web capabilities - or almost real time.

More than 5000 Friends on Facebook

I noticed yesterday when I went to Facebook that they were announcing the changes to Profile pages and feeds, so I browsed around a bit and found a few posts with interesting info.

Yay for those with Messiah complexes! Like Twitter, you can now have more than 5000 friends on Facebook. With Pages being removed and everybody having Profiles it is going to be interesting - and hard work from an SEO perspective promoting a business or celebrity - but hey challenges are cool and we just adjust and move on.

Facebook is also speeding up the updates that populate the news feeds on everyone’s personal page.

Twitter Envy

Gigaom describes it as Twitter envy: "For starters, Facebook announced changes to its home page that would allow streaming of “posts from your friends in real-time.” Facebook also changed the status prompt from “What are you doing right now?” to “What’s on your mind?” — a blatant attempt to prompt a more real-time interaction, and bringing it one step further than Twitter’s “What are you doing?”

FaceBook Conference Marc Zuckerberg Explains

Eric Schonfeld blogged live for Tech Crunch yesterday from the Facebook conference:

Marc Zuckerberg explains: "What we’re talking about today, is that there’s a philosophical change in that we want to converge these public figures (which are one way) and friends (two way connections). People asking for 5,000 friends, don’t necessarily want to connect with 5,000 people, they want to let 5,000 people connect with them. Pages are now similar to user profiles, but profiles are similar to pages in that people can have 1 sided connections.

We’re seeing an interesting trend that a lot of people are open to sharing information to specific people. A big part of what we’re doing is sharing information in a safe way."

March 1, 2009

Smart Marketing in a Downturn

Right, so our government here in South Africa says we're not in a recession, but we all know that things are much tighter all around and the squeeze is on - there is most certainly a downturn in the economy.

According to Business Day, "SA’s trade deficit hit a record R17,4bn in January, swelled by plunging vehicle and precious metal exports as a global economic crisis hits demand."

For us with small businesses the knock-on effect will ripple down, so we need to work smarter.

Smart Marketing in a Downturn

Debbie Weil is one my online sources of inspiration and information. She recently wrote an excellent blogpost called Digital Cupcakes: Smart Marketing in a Downturn Whether you are Out of Work or Not.

Debbie Weil says: "
Smart marketing in a recession is about building relationships. Most folks are not ready to buy - or hire. Everyone is ready to connect. That's the secret of social media marketing."

So for those of you who think you can still do all your business on the golf course or the "power breakfasts" - the playing field has changed. You need a solid online reputation to succeed in the market today.

You need to be able to connect with people online and establish a presence, and you need to be able to do it smartly.