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Showing posts from May, 2008

Friends that Ring – Chatting with Neal Fullman, PR Director of fring

If you haven’t heard of fring, you’re probably a tad behind the mobile IM / VOIP wave. I discovered it a while back, looking for an application that worked on an S60 phone and enabled me to communicate with all my MSN, Skype and Google Talk contacts. If it did Twitter as well, bonus. It did.

Besides being a bit of a battery hog, like most cellphone applications that use a net connection – the latest Israeli start-up from the man who brought you ICQ, satisfied my need - and I’ve been a happy user ever since.

After using fring to Twitter a shootout outside my house, I’ve somehow drifted onto the fring Community Radar – and had the pleasure to meet their PR Director, Neal Fullman the other day.

Fring is particularly interesting for a couple of reasons. Primarily, it is the viral success of a blogosphere-driven product. No marketing, just good ‘ol egotistical bloggers waxing lyrical. Secondly, it has some very interesting applications in a cellphone saturated market like South Africa. Espec…

The 5 Rules for Building a Community on the Internet

I found a piece by Guy Kawasaki which really got me thinking. It perfectly illustrates the disjunct we find between the allure of social networks (and my new obsession - niche business networks) and the practice of implementing them.

Many companies think that building a virtual community is as simple as throwing up a cool Web site that compels people to visit every day. Dream on. These sites are commercials, not communities. If you want to build a virtual community, here are the principles to implement:

Community before commerce. In the words of John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong (authors of Net.Gain), "put community before commerce." That is, the purpose of these efforts is to build a community, not sell more stuff, so cool it on the commercialism. The community exists for its own benefit, not yours.

Communication comes next. Build in the capability for people to communicate with each other via message boards and Internet mail lists. Peer-to-peer communication is more impo…

Writing a blook...

I've volunteered to help write a blook. A book written by bloggers. Should be fun. Topic is centered around the relationship between South Africa and technology. Some big names... Here's the post from organise Darren Gorton.

So then, the complete list of authors [bloggers] looks like this:

* Andy Hadfield
* Duncan Drennan
* Eve Dmochowska
* Grant Brewer
* Justin Hartman
* Kerry-Anne Gilowey
* Mandy de Waal
* Melissa Attree
* Nic Haralambous
* Paul Jacobson
* Saul Kropman
* Tycoon's Geoff Candy and Hilton Tarrant
* Siyabonga Nhlumayo - our guest writer/blogger

And some other information that people have been looking for - the blook goes live on 1 June 2008, so make a note in your diaries. I'll post an update next week listing some of the topics allocated to our writers.

In the meantime, here are some fun facts about the blook and the authors:

* At least six of the writers have their names as domain names [should be seven by the ti…

Great Quotes #4 - Jeff Bezos

"The wake up call was finding this startling statistic that web usage in the spring of 1994 was growing at 2,300 percent a year. You know, things just don't grow that fast. It's highly unusual, and that started me about thinking , "What kind of business plan might make sense in the context of that growth?"

-- Jeff Bezos

Why are South African businesses scared of Social Networking?

It struck me today what an uphill battle we’re facing in the new media / web 2.0 / social networking industry. These shiny new communication and engagement tools are an unknown and feared art. What’s more frightening to a business than the phrase “perpetual beta”?

Let’s examine some of the reasons why…

1. Bandwidth.
It’s a mute issue. I’ve heard mutterings of a national bandwidth crisis. What bandwidth crisis? It’s always been sub-standard. The true miracle of South Africa is how we’re managing to innovate on the world stage while operating within the confines of our monopolistic gateway provider.

2. It’s too open.
You can envision the board meeting. Hasty decision needs to get made on a company’s pioneering venture into the brave new world of the web. The cynics raise a concern: what happens when someone posts a complaint or slanderous phase. Why must we have our brands trashed on an open forum?

Whoosh. That’s the sound of understanding as it flies by.

3. It’s too quick
That same board meet…

My Musings. Now on Tech Leader.

I knew someone would listen. Eventually. :) Read all my best musing on Tech Leader now...

MacBook Air vs Lenovo ThinkPad

Thanks again to #GeekList. Hehe. The parody has a point - but still, isn't it amazing how you can just SEE the difference in style. Clunky square vs sheer tech beauty. I think that is the Apple secret at the end of the day. People will "make do" with only one USB if it looks that good. Maybe.

The move from social to crowd...

Not sure where this comes from, so unfortunately can't credit properly. But it is an interesting trend paragraph.

Among the social and consumer lifestyle trends affecting marketers in the next few years, there will be a shake-up in consumer markets following shake-ups in the financial and political scenes, while 'crowds' will be the buzzword that replaces 'mash-ups'.

Social networking web sites may lose their novelty - and consumer influence - almost as quickly as they arrived, and customer feedback and reviews will become more influential. A new type of consumer identity - a 'networked self' - is expected to emerge, with each individual seeing themselves as a small-yet-significant part of the overall community, and feeling a responsibility to understand and engage with other consumers.

More consumers will feel compelled to support local businesses, producers, artists and community initiatives, and the 'local food' movement will lead the way. Consume…

Norton Internet Security 2008 - The Italian "Light" Version

Oh dear me. There is something to be said about truth in advertising. But you've got to wonder about the communication strategy behind this one. Was NIS2006 THAT bloated that they needed to apologise in a public forum designed to sell the upcoming product?

If so, can you imagine the Windows 2007 version. Se la vie! Ullo Ullo. You be uzin Veeeesta? Iss so sllooow. Ullo Windows 2007.


Wow. I'm blown away. Credit #GeekList for the link.

The REAL keyboard for Coders.

Thank to Tim for this.

Bwhaha.

The Department of Defense and Hacking.

Interesting thing popped up on #GeekList today. Go visit WAB.COM. And you'll see...

WAB.COM is now the property of the United States government.
The domain and web site were surrendered to U.S. law enforcement pursuant to a federal prosecution and felony plea agreement for conspiracy to violate criminal copyright laws.

Antonio Del Santos, a.k.a "AloneTrio" pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on January 25, 2008, to conspiring with others to violate federal copyright laws by illegally releasing copyrighted code illegally circumvent built-in security protections and allow individuals to run "homebrew" software on game consoles, such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo Wii. Del Santos and his co-conspirators used www.wab.com as the exclusive outlet to provide copyrighted code to individuals. As a result, the WAB website is now the property of the United States government. Individuals involved in this conduct face up to five…