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Showing posts from February, 2008

MacBook Air. Becoming an AirHead.

Thanks to series of events - I was fortunate enough to gain 15 minutes with one of the first MacBook Air's to enter South Africa.

There's nothing not to like. It is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. And who cares if you don't have a DVD drive. Plug one in or go wireless, bru. This thing feels solid, looks beautiful and will draw stares from all geek and non-geek.


Build quality. Sexiness.


What really bakes my noodle - my Acer beast vs. the MacBook Air...

At 17k, it's still way too pricey for the majority of Saffers. But R12k for a good spec MacBook seems to be the way to get into the game...

Thanks Toby Shapshack (indirectly) and Brett Haggard.

Crayon Physics. The Incredible Machine (TIM) goes tablet?

Bloody brilliant! I don't know how many of you remember TIM from Sierra? The game where you get to string piles of gadgets together to pop the balloon or get the bowling ball to land in the bucket? Lots of fun. And could definitely "pass off" as educational when we were younger...

Here's the next generation. Crayon Physics. A tablet version where you draw your tools. Awesome.


That's a geeky 8 out of 10! (Thanks Iwan Pienaar for the tip off).

Great Quotes #1 - Ronald Reagan

I love quotes. They're great for a bit of sugar-spike inspiration. They make great beginnings and endings to Death-By-Powerpoint shows. The perfect in-betweener. So, I'll start running a series of the buggers - the first one being a doozy from Ronald Reagan.

Thanks Kerry for this...


“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.”
– Ronald Reagan

Read more great quotes here...

OPA vs WASA. The plot thickens...

Been following the interesting debate emerging on Vincent Maher's response to my quick interview with Jonathan Smit from WASA. Looks like the plot has thickened, if this last comment is anything to go by...

Author: Vincent Maher
Comment:
Hi Jonathan

I think the crux of the reason why the OPA and Nielsen Netratings are taking legal action, discussed in a letter sent to OPA members on Friday, is that your statement

Andy and Rudolph did meet however, meet with the OPA over a month ago to brief them about WASA and what we were going to do and specifically mentioned that we would publish a consolidated list of stats, so it’s not as if this was done under the radar.

is in dispute. As far as the OPA is concerned, permission to use OPA stats in the way they were used was not asked for or mentioned in those meetings, and neither was it mentioned, specifically, that an OPA member account would be used to extract the stats.

Isn't this just a fascinating case study of how information / opinion …

The Benefits of Blogging / Social Media - Part #2

Continuing the musing into how to handle this centuries newest media form...

FOUR. The ability to attach a personality to an opinion. Yes, it's something "brands" have been doing for a while - but blogging provides such an instant medium, where the personality of the blogger, the text, the images, the surrounding blog design, the comments and the comments on every Digg and Reddit submission can add layers to the brand/personality of the communication. With or without the control of the original owner - social media has an uncanny knack of instantly, if not always accurately, representing the broader personalities, likes and dislikes of their originators and readers.

FIVE. The immediacey of feedback and Customer Evangelism. Aston Martin recently profited from an example of quick reactions and customer evangelism. BMW continues to lead the foray into marketing via social media. Stork even gave it a try - but fell short.

I guess the question is - what would a marketing directo…

INTERVIEW: WASA, the Website Association of South Africa

Heard on the grapevine that a potential, low cost, hassle free, non big-boys-club competitor to the OPA had launched recently.

My take on the OPA for those interested. At first glance, disliked them. In fact, launched various petitions under the guise of my previous company. It took to the market like a bloated old boys club, forcing sites to pay to be members of an association with no discernable value besides "audited" statistics that, theoretically, advertisers should trust.

That may have changed, I'm not sure. Like so many other things, once a product leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you rarely return to graze.

Enter WASA. They accept analytics and for the moment, are FREE. The site owners say that even when pay subscriptions start, it'll be low. (Nothing like the launch of OPA 3/4 years ago demanding 1% of turnover (UPDATED: R20,000 NOT 1% of turnover)!?!?). Doubt that idea lasted.


I spoke to Jonathan Smit - one of the owners. The textual interview is below for you…

The Benefits of Blogging / Social Media - Part #1

Back to the debate about social media and its effectiveness...Here's a series of musing about the marketing and business benefit / non-benefit of blogging. Enjoy! Comments welcome, as always...
The Benefits of Blogging / Social Media - Part #1ONE. The ability to get a message out quicker than any other media form. The message might happen to be 95% personal opinion - but it's opinion that tends to govern itself in terms of validity. Social media tools like Digg and Reddit bring the concept of sharing and rating content to a whole new level. In fact, most news stories seem to be breaking quicker in the blogosphere than on network television.

It does raise an interesting point: if there is so much content, so much opinion and it distributes so quickly... just how do you sort the good from the bad? Digg proved it had its own problems in 2006 when a fake story about faulty PS3's leapt to the front page. No-one fact checked. They just digg'd away and caused a minor PR catastr…

Buzzfuse. Creator or Consumer?

Interesting development over at Buzzfuse, the content marketing startup. Try clean your cookies and reload the home page. You're now presented with a "consumer intro". Are you a content creator, or a content consumer? I think this, and the info that follows each option goes a long way to making the service proposition clearer. Buzzfuse was always a great idea that just didn't smack you in the face quick enough - this helps.


Give it a go...

Full REVIEW of Buzzfuse HERE.

Getting Fired At Yahoo: A Twitter Log

Found on Digg."Yahoo's Ryan Kuder was canned today. A drag for him, but a gift for the rest of us--because he Twittered it. A new form of literature is in the making..."Incredible. Twitter really is turning into a new art form. Instant micro-blogging.I just had a hectic experience - witnessing a gun battle outside my house. Twittered it. Crazy. Article coming.

read more | digg story

A Vista Update... so you can update?

Does anyone else find this profoundly odd.


"Install this update to enable future updates to install successfully".

Or translated: We bollocksed something up big time, which could crash your system horribly and you'd better do this. Or else.

What's even more typical, is that yesterday, Vista pushed out 12 IMPORTANT UPDATES and 1 OPTIONAL (but important) UPDATE. Downloaded those, cracked my knuckles through the 5 minute shutdown process, reboot, cracked knuckles and was done with it.

The very next morning... this thing pops up.

Unleash the fury, Mitch.

Good reason to go MAC! (The MAC Girl!)

Hmmm. Loving the MAC GIRL!


The state of offline advertising.

Aw shucks. This is truly awful. Got me to look though. GOT melons?

Buzzfuse - Cutting through the Peer Review Clutter (Full Review Part 2)

Some thoughts for the future...

Read the Part 1 of the full review here.


Having had some time to digest my Buzzfuse experience – I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and proffer some musings...

1. While it is nice to be able to comment and discuss each item of content – finding a way to integrate that with the current comments of a blog would really help. Two sets of anything is never good. Short attention sp... huh? I imagine there must be some way to integrate the default comments feed that platforms such as Blogger and WordPress have. (PS Thanks Scott for vindication).

2. Fewer steps to publish an item. I measured it. It takes a while. Post item. Reload item. Click Add to BuzzFuse FireFox widget. Copy paste widget code. Paste into blog. Center. Publish. Reload blog. Click to activate. Choose distribution. Fill in tags. Fill in comment. Set up questionnaire. GO! Don’t get me wrong – the rewards of there for those who persevere – but I’m thinking a one click (choose all default option…

Buzzfuse - Cutting through the Peer Review Clutter (Full Review Part 1)

The Internet is a mess. Let’s face it.

Between the 5 social networks, blogs, forums, comments, mailing lists and actual real world social connections (we do still have those don’t we?) – getting quality content to tide one over is tricky – to say the least.

It’s the greatest irony of the modern media-consuming age. The 15 – 35’s digest media and content at a frightening rate – but are forced to wade through reams of digital crap. All the gear. No idea.


Enter the latest local startup that attempts to put some mathematical and social arms around a network of peer reviewed content. Buzzfuse.

How does it all work?
Like any social network these days, a vist to Buzzfuse presents a summary home page which groups together like-minded and highly rated content. Quick, easy signup, automatic import and you’ve got the start of your “inner circle” – a group of contacts that you choose (they choose?!) to receive PUSH notifications every time you release an item. PUSH items out by pasting some HTML code …

Awww BOLLOCKS!

How's this for a bright spark move?

Thought I was extremely clever getting Vista and Ubuntu 7.10 to dual boot, using GRUB. It all worked and life was good.

Then, found myself needing a little extra hard drive space (had made the Ubuntu partition 15 gigs - overkill in hindsight). So, not really having used Ubuntu that much - still trapped in a very Gatesy world - I used Vista's partition manager to delete the Ubunutu partition. Resize. Magic! 15 extra gigs available.

Until I rebooted...

GRUB ERROR 22.

Bright spark just went and deleted the master boot record for the thing that allowed me to choose my OS.

Bollocks.

Sweet bollocks.

Should I go Mac (Part 3)?

Yowsers. Just phone the Apple Store in Sandton City. Woe betide. Entry into this market is just not easy for first timers. For some reason, the R20k spent on the Vista Beast has given me a bad taste in my mouth.

Getting into stable computing should NOT be that expensive. Especially if you can't play games on the ruddy things.

13" MacBook White
2.0 dual core
120 gig hdd
1 gig RAM
R12,900

EXTRA: R1,599 for another gig
EXTRA: super drive + R2,500

OR...

13" MacBook Black
2.2 dual core
160 gig hdd
1 gig RAM
super drive
R15,100

EXTRA: R1,599 for another gig

OR...

15" MacBook Pro Silver
2.2 dual core
120 gig HD
2 gig RAM
R17,800

OR...

15" Macbook Pro Silver
2.4 dual core
2 gig ram
160 gig hdd
R22,000

AND...

OfficeMac R1,499
If I wanted a MacBook White, but with all the goodies, I'd be forced to pay more than the black version. Smacks of dodgy pricing strategy. MacBooks don't have any graphics card to speak of - so forget about heavy pretty processing. MacBook Pro's don't come in wh…

Nudjit. South African Gadget Review.

I am officially impressed. No wonder Hartman has been so busy.

Rohrig. Hartman. Haramlambous. They've just released Nudjit - a South African gadget review site. Take a peak...


Wordpress has really gone up a notch in my books. The sleek silver design will take on most content portals in its range. Lots of RSS output. Lots of quick aggregatory inputs. And all I can really think about is how hideously easy it must be to post content once the initial work is done. Gone are the days of bloated CMS.

Now. All very impressive, but the tricky bit lies ahead. Here's my tri-axial analysis.

1. Content. The 200 strong local blogosphere is only going to get you SO far... You'll have to keep quality content appearing daily. These are the fast and furios days of Engadget after all.

2. Adveritisers. South Africans are 80% clueless about the benefits of online advertising. You'll see web companies and small businesses start to take advantage of Google Adsense, and there are some good exampl…

Jump.co.za and Sexy Lingerie...

Hehe. Good to see local boys Jump Shopping getting in on the Google AdSense act. And with a bang.


It caught my eye all right... Suddenly I thought I'd managed to attract some lucrative porn advertising (how, I'm not quite sure).

Musings: As far as I can remember, Google AdSense requires that each advert links to a page that is contextually relevant to the offer. This particular ad links to the Jump homepage. It kinda gives away the fact that this campaign was targetted at a male audience. Any normal-blooded male (yes, I clicked - otherwise how would I have intimate knowledge of this lingerie faux pas) would most likely be lost if they were greeted with a page of 34 A through E. But, sneaky puffadder, if they clicked expecting some NSFW and suddenly happened upon cheap local gadgets?

Different story. More conversions. Better sense.

I wonder if Google will allow this blatant abuse of male gullibility?

I'm off to FIND THE PERFECT DIGITAL CAMERA!