It has happened... After years of groping blindly around a very bare mapping system (and doing ourselves no favours trying to prove we're a thriving metropolis with only one main road)... Google Maps is now available for South Africa.
1. How quickly this rolls out to the iPhone. The iPhone's GPS capabilities, as far as I know, are largely based on Google Maps with GPS integration.
2. Many, many mashup startups that leverage the power of detailed, free mapping.
3. Every man and his dog registers on the Business Centre for Maps. Not necessarily a bad thing.
4. Google Latitude takes on The Grid. Ok - I kid, I kid. Although they might be a little worried. Rather expect The Grid to pull in the new mapping technology and reinforce their position as the most beta, yet only geo-location network that has penetration power in this country.
Was playing around with TwitScoop yesterday, the real time tag cloud of Twitter content. Of course, like any good tag cloud, it lets you click on an element to pull more focused data on that topic.
This is where I spotted a funny.
Click on the image to enlarge if necessary. See how they pull related tweets through in the middle content pane (I clicked on "Conan" in this instance)? The first tweet has a Google logo slapped on, and even though the "Ads by Google" label appears on the far right, it's been made to appear like a tweet.
Does this cross the line?
Have they sacrificed usability for the "online advertising cents" that everyone is chasing after?
Maybe a bit old, but very cool. There is such amazing power in a visualisation medium like the tag cloud - if it can be updated in real time. Twitscoop have gone a long way to achieving this. OK, it could be prettier. But this representation of the topic of collective consciousness. Ah. Geeked up right now. :)
I've been catching up on my RSS feeds lately. A new thing for me. It has actually been a fairly disappointing experience. Well over half my RSS feeds are truncated, forcing you to click through to a site. I tend to browse most of my feeds using Google Reader mobile on the Nokia E71. This is a pain in the ass.
I understand that people need to drive traffic to increase advertising revenue. But are our body of long tail publishers so desperate to drive traffic that they're willing to bastardise the cleanest form of information transfer we've seen this side of the 2000's?
A truncated RSS feed is useless to me. I can't repackage, recredit or reproduce that information in any way. Isn't that what the protocol is all about?
I hate that end of year trend rush. Not enough thought usually goes into the "trend prediction" posts - people hash something together just to grab some traffic, while their minds are on the beach. At least mine was. So I didn't play. I much preferred the trend of bloggers going through their most popular posts of 2008. More value.
However, that doesn't mean I didn't have my 2c to add. Or that I might have just been too lazy to join the rush. What you're about to read has been carefully considered, thrashed around, rehashed and eventually published in February. Enjoy! My advice for South African Business in the digital marketing arena...
Happy to discuss the relevance and why I picked these five. Hit me on Twitter (@followandyh) or leave a comment...
1. The race to own the social profile
Companies, brands and startups are waking up to the fact that there's a really easy way to disintermediate service providers. Own the social profile, not the mother brand. Lo…