Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Social Business – The Focus of NetProphet 2011

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

So what is Social Business, who’s doing it, and why is it so important?

NetProphetNet Prophet 2011 opened up with yet another bang this year, with Rob Gilmour covering the overall history and success of NetProphet to date. This year being no different, but with attendance exceeding the 1000 people mark.

The general theme of the event was that of Social Business, and why we should all be thinking about getting involved. Although the concept is a rather fresh one, it’s something that many businesses, to a large extent are already very actively involved in. The sad fact however, is that most businesses haven’t even considered the idea.

So what is Social Business?

Social Business ThinkingImagine if you will the impact of businesses working together not only for profit, but, in the process, creating a business model that adds immense value to the broader community that surrounds it. How many times have you found yourself frustrated by a number of things that just don’t work? How many times have you thought to yourself, if I had the means, I could fix this, and make it better?

Now take this example to the next level. Imagine, you were able to conceptualise the solution, get the right team of people together, employ a vast number of free technologies to support it, raise some funding along the way, and in the process, not only fix the initial problem, but make life better for all those impacted by the same problem, and while you’re at it, make a profit from your initiative.

This is Social Business.

Social business is not about running a charity, or a non-profit organization. It’s not even about doing things for free. On the contrary, social businesses make good profits, and all the while, they are aiding a greater cause, eliminating a problem, or just simply making life easier for all those around them.

While this might sound somewhat utopian, social businesses are already a reality in most parts of the world, delivering much needed relief from a wide variety of global challenges.

Two examples of such social businesses are:

Young Africa Live, a mobile-based community portal developed by the praekeltfoundation, where young people can openly discuss critical issues such as love, sex and relationships with each other, and mPedigree, a mobile service in Ghana and Nigeria that verifies via SMS the authenticity of medication prior to being taken. Saving millions of lives and recouping lost revenue to pharmaceutical companies.

Social businesses are sustainable, they deliver true value to their community, they build trust and most importantly, lasting customer relationships, and loyalty. Another great thing about social business is that, if set up correctly, they are a great source of ever increasing annuity revenue for the founding businesses.

Technology and Social Business

With the level of technology at our fingertips today, the possibility of social business also becomes that much more of a reality. The misconception of limited Internet access in places like Africa is now superseded by present day mobile phone penetration, allowing us to reach a much wider audience immediately. Social Media allows us to share and consume content and media much faster, while also collaborating on multiple projects in real time. And finally, the Internet provides the power of research right on our doorstep.

So, the next time you are faced with a situation that you find somewhat frustrating, chances are, you are not alone. The difference however is that you might be in a unique enough position to bring about a change that has a long-term benefit to your community, while making you a handsome profit in the process.

Talooma revealed to clients at the “Yellow Launch”

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Over the last few months, there has been much stress, panic, fun and games revolving around our “Yellow Launch.”  After sending out teaser mailers and invitations to all our clients and preparing for one of the biggest and most exciting moments in JD Internet Consulting’s history, we are proud to announce that we have refreshed and recreated our brand. The unveiling of “Talooma”, which is our new name, created much hype and excitement amongst our clients and especially the hard working staff at Talooma. Over the last few months, there has been much dedication to hard work, brain power and creativity that has gone into launching our rebranded company.

The name “Talooma” originates from the Swahili term for “professionalism.”  After much debate and research it was decided that yellow and grey would represent the new brand. The fresh, original approach is carried throughout our logo, website and within the company as a whole.

The launch, which was hosted at The Business Centre in Fourways, was a great success.  We asked all our guests to bring a yellow colored gift for the SPCA. We received an  impressive collection of donations which will be going to the SPCA in Nigel.

With almost all of our clients at the event, there was much mingling, eating and fun to partake in. The evening  begun with snacks and drinks outside and later moved indoors so that our guest speakers could reveal what the “Yellow Launch” was all about. This was long awaited as all of our clients were in the dark with regards to what the launch involved.

When our new name “Talooma” was introduced to the guests, the Talooma team threw streamers and decorations into the crowd. The banner was unveiled and Talooma was born. This very exciting moment was certainly well earned by the new Talooma team.

We at Talooma look forward to working with our clients and taking on new challenges within the world of the internet. We thank all our clients who attended the “Yellow Launch” and for all the support over the years.

Talooma’s new website is something we are all very proud of. We feel that it not only represents our rebranded company perfectly but also each one of us at Talooma. Check it out, www.talooma.com

What’s private might not be so private anymore

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Facebook- the social media site that has taken the world by storm. With 1 million users in 2004 to over 400 million users in 2010, Facebook has become one of the most common ways to communicate with people not only on the other side of the world but next door too.

Despite the number of users, Facebook has recently been taking slack from many of its followers. It has slowly been increasing the amount of data that can be shared with “friends” on Facebook. Between December 2004 and April 2010, Facebook has increased the amount of items that are available for public viewing from 4 to over 8. This means that information that is put up on Facebook has gone from being available for viewing for Facebook users, to available for the world to see. Not a good thing if your mate put pictures up of that time you passed out drunk, hugging the toilet bowl.


Facebook suicide

There was recently a website formed, www.quitfacebook.com, that petitioned the privacy settings. The plan that was to follow was for Facebook users to “kill off” their social network profiles. Quit Facebook Day on the 31st May 2010 had almost 30 000 members who planned to say goodbye to the addictive site forever. They felt violated by Facebook’s privacy policy and settings. However not all of the angry users did delete their profiles.

The creator and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and the rest of the team have nothing to worry about should more people decide to cut ties with the popular social site. Facebook is gaining a monstrous 35 000 users an hour. To break that down for you, that’s about 10 users every second, all over the world.

Privacy control on Facebook

With so many complaints about Facebook privacy settings there have been changes made to try decrease the amount of personal information and data that is available to the public. A privacy setting has been added to all content. It applies to contact details, photos and status updates. Facebookers can now decide whether or not they want to share their information with Facebook friends, friends- of- friends or everyone on the internet. Less information will be available to the public from now on and games applications on Facebook will have to ask the Facebook account holder for permission to access private information.

Over the last few months, Facebook has received harsh criticism from regulators. The European Commission and advocacy groups such as Electronic Frontier Foundation have made remarks and complaints about Facebook’s privacy settings. Facebook was accused of steering users towards sharing private information instead of keeping it private.

Mark Zuckerberg says that because so many new applications and features have been added to Facebook, it became almost impossible for users to control the privacy settings. They became complicated and difficult to use. Let’s just hope that they have overcome this hiccup and that we can continue posting those crazy weekend pics up without the rest of the world having a good laugh at us.

Does your mobile site validate?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

I have recently been developing mobi sites for some of our customers and after an immense number of hours researching, I have yet to find a South African mobi website that validates. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

Before we go any further, let’s define the term “Validation“:

1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.

After some time, I managed to validate the 2 mobi websites I have been busy with and to be honest, it was somewhat of a challenge. Rules and guidelines have been laid out by the W3C to ensure (or try to ensure) that websites (including mobi sites) keep to the best standards of practice. This ensures search engines can actually crawl your webpages and it maintains universal understanding between browsers and users. For more information on understanding the phrase “Validating a website” please refer to the first half of this wordpress post.

With mobile validation, your validation score is represented by a number, with the maximum being 100 at the top of the scale, and the opposite side can go into negatives. I have taken a look into some of the most well known SA mobi sites and can say that they do not score well at all, they range between -13 and 77.

Some common errors included the following:

  • Extraneous characters (whitespaces or comments),
  • The document does not validate against XHTML Basic 1.1 or MP 1.2,
  • The Table contains less than 2 tr elements,
  • Page weight errors,
  • Embedded external resources,
  • Nested tables,
  • Cache control,
  • Incorrect character encoding,
  • Incorrect Doctypes,
  • Broken links,
  • and the list goes on…

It is imperitive to source a web design/mobi design company that complies with the W3C standards. This will ultimately save you thousands in the long-run when you decide to hire a SEO company to market your site online.

For those of you that don’t know how to validate your site, visit the W3C Mobile Validator page to try yourself, but once you have pulled enough of your hair out, consider JD Consulting.

If anyone knows of any valid mobi sites, please send me the details.