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Showing posts from March, 2007

I will use Google before asking dumb questions...

Har Har!

Standard Bank's Ross Linstrom responds to the email scam (on a blog nogal)

Ross Linstrom responds... Well done Standard Bank. After some of my other opinion pieces on their approach to privacy laws - Ross was the last person I thought I would hear from. And in all those pieces, I tried desperately to track the man down for comment. I wonder what's changed.

But, musings aside. Well done man. I hope the blogosphere starts tittering a little - it's not often we see big corporates monitoring the social media airwaves. There are a lot of good customers to find a keep using new media. So nice to see someone waking up.

Ah, it could have been a simple Google Alert... but let's give the man credit where credit is due.

His response below... (I've included the whole bloody thing. Because I can. And I'm impressed with the response time.)

Hi Cowboy...

Nice posting. Yes, it is always better to call your own bank if you are not sure of the authenticity of a mail or bank communication. Below is a press release that we sent out on Monday. We also sent all of o…

Security worries me... and Standard Bank.

Having just had my mind leveraged open to dodgy sounding technical words like Scroogle and CSS History Snooping (Angelina Jolie in Hackers couldn't have been that good - she never said shit like that!)... I was astonished to find the following mail slithering into my office InBox.


Look, I never click on this kind of stuff anyway - it just looks off. But hell man. "Turn on your Javascript and CSS". Alarm bells ringing in my new found security knowledge bank (please turn on the crappy features in IE that let us run external scripts on your computer). Then a nice looking button promising a more secure login? My mother would click on that.

What confuses me slightly... Are you allowed to run scripts inside email? If not, how did the button get there? And, surely most corporate filters will pick this up?

Nevertheless. Warning ladies and germs. There's a Standard Bank Email Scam on the go - and this one looks pretty good...

Just woke up from the 27 Dinner...

Hmph. 1:30am obviously a sign of a good blogger gathering, no? Excellent, let's not mince words. Nicely done team Stopforth and Duarte again. The speakers were excellent - truly didn't expect that kind of personality and speaking skill to come out of security experts and developers. In fact, it's perfect fodder to take back to the team at the office and raise some eyebrows about our industry. It's great - I always come back from these events feeling inspired to keep up the charge. And believe me (as I'm sure you do) - blogging, promoting and keeping up to speed in your industry takes effort. It's times like these that make it even more rewarding. Uuggh. Resisting. Urge. Not. To. Link. To. Stormhoek. DAMMIT. Thanks for the wine chaps, your story is an inspiration to true marketing and you deserve every link you get. Social networking in the real world (not on the comments engine) is NOT considered a circle jerk in my opinion. It's critical to the growth and …

The squash of 2.0...

Playing with FaceBook a lot recently. Horrifying encounters with ex-girlfriends I haven't seen for 10 years. It obviously works, doesn't it? (Joking about the ex-girlfriends - they're all wonderful - and this is a public blog). :)

Came across this great photo - cartoon style illustration of the squashed nature of the 2.0 / online industry. Just a quick bit of Tuesday inspiration...


I think you can cleeck to make big - or just right-click save-as. Definitely worth a peek.

Blogger integrates into Picasa

SCORE Blogger Fans: 3
SCORE WordPress Fans: 621


We're gaining against the WordPress Snobbery. Good 'ol Blogger really has gone to town in its new version. One of these very funky features is full integration into Picasa - their highly successful competitor to Flickr.



A Picasa Web Album is automatically created (defaults to private, but you can reset to public) under your Google Account. All the pics in your blog, in chronological order since December are available.

Nifty. Especially if you put a bit of care into your images. Next, I hope to see auto tagging and a couple of other things creep in. WordPress got this? Huh? Huh? :)

Can't blog underwater...

Hello lads and lasses - apologies for the lack of posting recently, but I've been completing my Open Water 1 Dive Course. Can't blog underwater of course. Quite mind-blowing being 20m under and not relying on a single piece of electrical equipment to keep you alive. Next stop - dive computer. Feels much safer to have some code protecting my life!

Some interesting stuff on the way. So stay tuned...

The speed of social media - Herschelle and his six sixes...

Unlike most South Africans, I happened to be on a beer run when the greatest over in international cricket got bowled. Thanks to Radio Twee Duisend - I relived it in my imagination.

But there's nothing wrong with a technology blog getting a little patriotic. Especially when you see how QUICKLY Mr Gibbs has been plastered all over the social media platforms.


*62 Videos on YouTube
*32700 results on Google
*262 results on Technorati
*And even 6 results on our very own Gargoyle

The social media industry could never claim to have broken this story - but they're going a fair way to spreading it.

SA blogging industry growth pains...

I've been watching with interest the controversy expanding around the credibility of the SA Blog Awards. While I'm way too slow on the uptake to get involved in the heated debate - and in some ways don't want to. It did get me thinking.

I won't even summarise it. Enough has been said already: here, here and here.

If we all take a big step back, it's pretty obvious what's happening. The South African blogging industry is going through growth pains. We're a young industry, a very young industry - where our members are both our support structure, our voting public and our pioneers. That makes for some strange dynamics.

And in any young industry, you can expect issues like this to crop up - as our population learns to regulate, adminstrate and award itself.

Just take a look at where we are in terms of stuff on the web. This post cites the introduction of mass-media blogging platforms as one of the reasons the web has exploded over the last year. It's from Septe…

The Power of the Search Engine (with a small ode to myself)

I'm beginning to realise more and more, the power of Search Engines and Search Engine Optimisation. Over half the traffic to Cowboys and All Scrubbed Up (blogs from the me.com stable) comes from Google specifically. Generically popular articles, seeded sneakily with keywords... Mmmm.

But when you can get ranked on a pretty popular word (TV show to be particular) and come first? Well, somethings up. And its blogworthy.

Scrubs is an extremely popular medical comedy - I'm sure you've seen it here. Bloopers are when things go wrong, actors muck it up - and get loaded onto YouTube. Generic enough for you? So... how the hell did sister blog All Scrubbed Up achieve what you see below?



A coup? I think so.

So. The more important questions. How and why? How can a 3 line article from a blog that gets a micro fraction of the traffic of ranking competitors, perform that well on the SEO front? And when I say perform, I'm talking about beating YouTube and MoveMistakes.com... Those aren&#…

More Gargoyle (and servers with personality)

I promised I'd let you know how quickly Gargoyle (the South African and African blog search engine) picked up my article... Glad to report. Pretty much instantaneously. Now, whether that's because its creator, Hart-Davis, was clever enough to pick it up and add it in (he did comment, bless his soul) or because of the sheer 2.0ishness of the spider engine - I don't know. Benefit of the doubt goes to the engine.

While playing around a bit more with this service, I picked up a great example of new age web humour. It's something that's missing from many South African web applications - and what a pity. We're a humorous nation. Why doesn't it translate? Even Google got some Afrikaans going at one stage...

Anyway, I digress. While trying valiantly to break the alpha version (that's kinda like picking on the little guy) I came across this error message. It had me howling. Love it.


Keep going lad!

Gargoyle - South African Blog Search

Blogging off the back of Mnr. Stopforth. And trying to add value and not rehash - practice what I preach yeah? Introducing Gargoyle. A South African / African blog search engine. Very interesting.

Here's my 10c (smallest coin we've got I gather). Nice idea - especially when you consider the volume out there. There's just too much - both competitively and in terms of finding what you want. I've always been an advocate of an African conglomeration of content - both for our Social Media Ranking Tools, our sites and our bloggers.


I'm honoured to be included (Cowboys, All Scrubbed Up & Paki's Corner). And wonder how that happened? Someone has just GOT to write a little bot which hops between links of SA blogs when it finds a post containing suspiciously South African keywords. Like...

* South Africa. Duh
* Kief
* Doos
* Jeek (can ANYONE else actually be using this?)
* Biltong
* Danny K (ye gods)
* Muti
* 27
* TBG

THAT would build you a search index of uncompromising quality…

The Philosophy of the Web

It's beautiful. A visual commentary on this wonderful thing we call the web, the social web, the cloud - the media form that's changing the way we view content... It makes you excited to be part of this wave, doesn't it?

Mobile Phones - the next mass media?

Discovered a new blog, courtesy of "lost to blogging" Kerry Haggard. Communities Dominate Brands is written by two authors - mostly around technology and how it can be used to manage and interact with communities.

What really resonated with me was some of the prose below - talking about the advent of the cellphone as the 7th major mass media.

The Mobile Phone has emerged as the 7th Mass Media. It is as different from the internet (6th Mass Media) as TV (5th) is from radio (4th). Trying to force concepts from the internet, TV, or other previous media will produce disappointing audience experience on mobile. But understanding the unique power of mobile as the 7th Mass Media will deliver radical new concepts and new winners on this, the newest mass media.

Most of the media experts, including those in new media, do not understand mobile. It became a mass media first in Japan only seven years ago, and until recently was mostly dismissed as a youth SMS text messaging and viral market…