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Showing posts from July, 2008

Metallica are f****** sellouts - Wikipedia

The power of social media. Evident right here. Thanks The Scott for the quick fingers on the this one. See if it's been changed yet.

Speak to your kids about Linux... Before someone else does...

Linux. Har Har. Thanks Jason Norwood-Young from GeekList. Original at XKCD.

A new site design for Cowboys...

It's been a long time coming - and finally I can announce a sweet little header and style upgrade for Cowboys & Engines. It's edgy. A bit egotistical. Humorous. Kind of like its creator. :)

I'm still sticking with Blogger. Yes, yes, WordPress fanboys turn in their grave. But, the way I see it, Google is always a safe bet. And even if Blogger has been backseated slightly in terms of new functions and features - when Google finally does decide to play catch up. They will.

And let's not forget. I can't fix a Linux server if it breaks!

Would LOVE your comments and feedback on the Design. We're tweaking a bit here and there still - and I'll take all reader's view under advisement. Let me know what you think...

The biggest thank you of this upgrade has to go to Lesley Upton - her design genius conceptualised the Techno Western art you see above. Like her stuff? Get her on Twitter...

Cuil. The new search engine that got me thinking... Who am I?

Cuil launched recently - and already the shallow interweb is full of Google-killer chatter. I'm not buying it. My virgin experience was typically egotistical. I searched for Andy Hadfield. WHO IS THIS PERSON? Not an image I've ever used. They couldn't my domain right, and now my ego is bruised.


On a slightly more serious note - the interface is pretty cool. It's different. And as the GeekList says, even Google must be crying out for competition at the moment. At the end of the day though, Google just owns "clean". When I use a search engine, I'm looking for the no frills, no fuss approach. And try as the might, Cuil isn't clean. Pity.

Presentation at the CIO Conference, powered by Deloitte...

Recently spoke at the CIO Conference, powered by Deloitte. One of the extremely interesting take-homes was how the concept of Web 2.0 and the "conversation" that is happening in Social Media has failed to permeate the top echelons of private sector and government IT managers. OK. It's new... But there's a lot of talking still to do.

This particular presentation was firmly centered around the Enterprise 2.0 employee engagement solution that our team at The Virtual Works developed for Deloitte. Read on if you're interested...

| View | Upload your own

Nokia E71. Hands-on review.

The blogosphere often comes under criticism (and usually, rightly so) for knee-jerk journalism. Don’t research the facts – just the get the scoop and get something up. In comes the traffic and some poor sod usually clicks on the Google Ads. Not a great place to be…

However, with product reviews – I think there may be a place for a gut-feel approach. When I’m in the market for a cellphone upgrade – I make the decision on a bit of net research, but mostly the time I get to spend with the phone in-store.

So here it is, my gut feel reaction to the upcoming Nokia E71, kindly provided to me by WOM World. I jotted these points down after about an hour of playing with the phone – then used the device for a week, hoping to let my views settle slightly. The result was interesting. New phones are usually emotional, brand decisions – followed all too often by remorse when it just doesn’t do the required. Hopefully this guide sends you down the right path when that next upgrade comes around…

Enjoy.

-…

Social Networking for Business - Discussion forum @ GIBS

GIBS have released their discussion forum for the networking event from the other day. I'd encourage you all to head down their and contribute. GIBS is a great platform for networking with the next generation of SA's business elite. Make yourself heard!

Here's the question I posed, mostly to do with marketing through FaceBook pages. Is it all it's cracked up to be?

---snip---

At the GIBS forum discussion on Social Networking for Business – the audience got into a rather interesting debate around the value that networks like FaceBook may provide to corporate brands / marketing efforts.

On one hand, you have 900,000 South Africans to tap as a potential online community – on the other, you’re marketing inside what is arguable the most cluttered information hub on earth today. And not only cluttered with value – but with personal problems, social pictures and Super Pokes.

Two fairly prominent brands that are currently on FaceBook are ABSA and BMW. Both with very different strat…

iTunes skipping during audio playback... Solution!

About a month ago, my iTunes installation on the MacBook Pro starting skipping / stuttering inside the first 15 seconds of almost every song. I must say - I have NEVER been so frustrated. It drove me mad. Almost to "FDISK, FORMAT, REINSTALL, DOO DAA, DOO DAA". That's crazy Windows talk right there.

After much digging, I finally found out why - hopefully this is a pointer post to anyone who's experiencing the same bloody frustrating yet really simple problem.

First off. iTunes 7 has many officially reported problems with skipping. There are threads and threads on support forums with barely any answers. It seems like there may be hardware compatibility issues, Quicktime output in 24bit vs 16 bit issues and many others. If my blinding-glimpse-of-the-bloody-obvious solution doesn't work... Make sure you check out these threads.

If you're a wombat like me, just take a little look see at your OSX Dashboard Widgets. I had a particular one, called Sing that iTune!. Now,…

JOB OFFERED: Social Media Manager

As most of you know - I'm moving on to FNB - in a quest to make bankin' sexier! That means, some spaces are opening up at Joburg's hottest niche social network shop. Get it while it's fresh...

---snip---

Job title: Social Media Manager. (Directing strategy, content and actions on niche social networks)

Context: Social media and digital technology offers business powerful ways to interact and collaborate with their customer, channel and employee communities. This speed and flexibility offered by innovative Web 2.0 tools and Social Networking platforms is one of the only remaining avenues for competitive advantage.

The Virtual Works are an 11 year old business that supply outsourced expertise, creativity and engagement systems and management services to help clients build and engage their enterprise communities. We run niche social networks – for business reasons – and offer our clients a REAL rate of return on Web 2.0 platforms. For a live example – check out www.designmin…

Social Networking for Business - GIBS Presentation July 2008

Attended a great event at GIBS last night. Presentation and forum discussion on Social Networking for Business. It turned out, as most of these do, to deal generally with the principle of Web 2.0, and then how businesses can take advantage of new trends in web and media.

Excellent audience - one of the best I've presented to so far.

Here's the presentation for those who are interested.

| View | Upload your own
Thanks Mathew Buckland, Vincent Maher, Mark Buwalda and Kate Elphick - great co-presenters - enjoyed your stuff immensely.

PS. On a side note - I actually owe a debt of loyalty to Mark's company Ananzi. Their campaigns on gAL in its early days definitely funded some of my student beer money - good to chat again, albeit briefly!

Customer Service @ Flickr...

What an incredible experience. I've been sitting on a Flickr account for ages, unable to use it because I'd forgotten my Yahoo ID - and try as I might, none of the password or login recovery tools were working. I REALLY thought my mother's first dog was called Sandy. Go figure.

Anyhoo. Emailed tech support. Got a mail back in seconds confirming ticket number. And then a resolution email back within hours. AND it was full of quirky Flickr goodness.

Just a quick email from Team Flickr to let you know that we've successfully received your recent Help by Email query and we hope to respond shortly.

We'd also like to take an opportunity to remind you that one query is sufficient and multiple queries regarding the same issue make the Magic Donkey cry.

Lastly, you may not be aware that our FAQs and forums are full of help goodness:

http://www.flickr.com/help/faq/

http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/

The Flickreenos
What a pleasure. South African companies, take a knee...

Zombie Outbreak on Twitter

This is great. Shallow, worthless tweeting that somehow ends up being:

1. Contextually relevant
2. An instant source of news
3. Wonderful spread of links

Isn't that the mystery of Twitter?


Click to enlarge...

Your girlfriend is now following you on Twitter...

Hell. This gave me a fright. Gave my wife a fright as well! Twitter spam - another example of society's obsessive need to degenerate into spam.

Hi, Andy Hadfield.

Your girlfriend (yourgirlfriend) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Your girlfriend's profile here:

http://twitter.com/yourgirlfriend

You may follow Your girlfriend as well by clicking on the "follow" button.

Best,
Twitter
Funny though.

Time for a change... FNB calls...

Every now and again, an opportunity comes along which forces you to take a step back and examine life, the universe... and everything. That happened a week or so ago - was tying up some loose ends, so can only really chat about it now.

It's a sad day, announcing that I'm leaving Jon Hall and The Virtual Works - but an incredible challenge awaits. I'll be moving to FNB in August, specifically their Premier Banking department in a strategic role - helping to drive and develop Web 2.0 solutions to engage their banking communities. Make banking sexy. Make it user friendly. Make it new media. Give it a personality and get a working case study of using Web 2.0 for real business return.

It's just too good to pass up. Bring it on. I'm pretty excited!

So - time to say goodbye to The Virtual Works - a company that is really going places. I'll miss the blend of old school business strategy with new school web strategy. We've achieved some great things and I hope to conti…

Interview with Ning... Musings on Social Networking.

Interesting interview I just did with ning.com. I get to wax lyrical about my view that social networks are typically full of shallow crap - and some real effort is needed to achieve real business value of the "new networking" concept.

For your reading pleasure...

Howsit Will... You're speaking to Andy Hadfield, COO of the Virtual Works (www.virtualworks.co.za | www.virtuallyspeaking.co.za)


> Why did you decide to create your social network on Ning?

At The Virtual Works, we're extremely concerned that the shallow nature of large social networking sites is going to adversely affect it's take up in Corporate South Africa. Therefore, we're a firm believer in the value that can be generated by niche social networks. Ning provides that platform. Furthermore, we needed an open architecture upon which we could build widgets, query databases and have a large degree of freedom with branding and design.


> What is the biggest challenge you've had on the network?

Que…

ISOC-ZA strongly condemns Vodacom behaviour

I was going to blog this - but Nic the Greek beat me to it. Here's the news... Has anyone heard what happened post this release?


ISOC-ZA strongly condemns Vodacom behaviour

On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 Vodacom claimed to revolutionise Internet on the cellphone. They falsely claimed that millions of Vodacom customers now (effectively) have the same experience of the Internet on their cellphones as they do on a PC. In reality Vodacom have broken the Internet for these millions of customers. This came without any warning and ISOC-ZA is united against this sort of behaviour.

Various applications that include instant messaging, banking, specialised mobile applications such as email, Youtube, Twitter, Fring and at least a dozen others, are no longer working. In technical terms, Vodacom installed a proxy service that was not sufficiently tested.

As one blogger so correctly pointed out: "Vodacom is essentially using the public as subjects for an alpha test of their technology" (Flint…

Webmail. Killing me softly with your banner addddd...

Webmail. Agh! No no no no no no no. An epileptic fit has overtaken me. Must. Click. On. Flashing. Gif.



Splash pages, pop up ads... And I think they actually make money. Shudder.