Archive for the ‘huge thoughts’ Category

Teenagers and Facebook

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Facebook has made some recent changes as of late. One of which now allows kids from the ages of 13 to 17, to publicly gain followers. Before this change, users of this age group were only able to share their personal content with friends and custom groups. Now, they too, have the freedom to be able to gain followers and spread their posts to a wider audience.

Techno-Born

As we find ourselves amidst the age of all things digital, the impact has been immense. Children born from the 90’s onward fell straight into a life that’s all things digital. From playing “pick-up-sticks” to rocking GTA on a portable Playstation, technology has dramatically impacted the concept of childhood. More importantly, the way we socialise has also been impacted.

On many nodes, online platforms such as Facebook or Myspace, make life easier. You are able to access details about others lives which you wouldn’t know. And in this hectic life, between work, school or college, there isn’t always time to be actively socially engaged.

A Thought to Ponder…

Although, how many would agree that this is a good idea? Do children between that age group have the knowledge, wisdom and responsibility to utilise an online platform? Do they understand the repercussions to which their say could inflict?

Technology Tragedy

On 15 October 2013, a report from America shocked the world. A young teen, 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. What is the connection you ask? She was a victim of online bullying. Online bullying is real and its consequences are dire.  14 and 12 year old girls were arrested and charged with felonies of aggravated stalking.

After bullying Rebecca and telling her to “drink bleach and die”, the victim of this online bullying succumbed and committed suicide. Once the bullies found out of her untimely death, they posted “I know Rebecca killed herself but I don’t give a f___.”

So… With Facebook’s recent allowance changes, how many teens are going to be able to use this online media profile responsibly? Would it just be more of a platform for online bullying? We’ll have to wait and see…

Google Throws another Curveball for SEO Fundies.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

How to master Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm.                            Hummingbird

Google, yet again, has thrown web content writers and SEO strategists another obstacle. Although this is great news for Google searchers worldwide, it is yet another algorithm adjustment for us web folk to get used to. Introducing… Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.

Having been implemented over a month ago, if you are finding your site still at a good ranking, you have probably been untouched. However, to make the most of your website and optimise your site to the maximum, it is important to work according to all of Google’s new changes.

The Hummingbird, as it’s now known, deals with Google pulling web ranks according to content. Content that is based with answers to conversational queries. This newest algorithm catches users actual search intent and pulls websites that have content which answers the intent in the best way. Conversational phrases are now where it’s all at.

So now my fellow SEO content writers start thinking along the lines of how your target market would search for your product. Think of examples such as:

  • “How to…”
  • “Where is the nearest…”
  • “Where can I get…”

Adapt your keyword strategies specifically for answers to conversational queries. Use these 3 different approaches to classify your keyword strategies.

  1. 1.       Informational

When users are interested in finding information about a specific topic.

  1. 2.       Navigational

When users are looking for a particular website.

  1. 3.       Transactional

When users are searching for a product within their area.

SEO folk now need to try and determine all conversational phrases related to their specific product or service, and classify into the 3 above approaches. Writers and strategists, start thinking about creating educational content for the informational search phrases. Push your brand name, product name and business name for navigational searches.

Another trick of the Hummingbird trade is to expand your keyword research. It is now important to start paying attention to related keywords, acronyms, synonyms and spelling variants (UK, US, South African). Remember to use these for anchor text and back-linking purposes too.

All in all, this new Hummingbird Algorithm is no train smash. It increases Google’s usability, and even you as a Google user will find the results more satisfying.

 

More Than Just a Watch…

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Samsung_GearTechnology never ceases to amaze. We have found ourselves smack in the middle of a time where the age of digital is upon us. Technology advances have been immense over the past few years. Most of it is technologies that we hear of, not experience. With the exception of advances such as the smartphones, tablets and such, most exceptional developments have been behind the scenes.

No longer is that the case. Now it’s brought closer to us than ever before. So close in fact, it’s made to be attached to your body. Introducing… The Samsung Gear.

 

 

 

Specs:

  • 800MHz Processor
  • 1.9mp Camera (Located on the wristband)
  • 4gb Memory
  • 1.63 Inch Touch Screen

What Does it Do?

Where to start? It’s a digital watch that acts as a smartphone. Attempt to wrap your head around that. The movies where people spoke into their watches to call the command base, has now become a reality. This Samsung Gear smartphone watch allows you to respond to text messages by simply speaking to it. This wristwatch will convert your speech into text. By saying a simple command- Your text is sent. Find yourself on the street and witnessing something extraordinary? No need to scratch around for your phone. Simply say the word “camera” to your Samsung Gear Wristwatch and snap away with your 1.9mp camera on the wristband. Ever had the feeling that you were about to do something but forgot? We’ve all been there. Now simply say what you are doing and what needs to be done and your all-powerful wristwatch will auto record for your convenience.

Featured Applications:

Samsung.com gives you a range of apps for your wristwatch that add to the attraction of this handy little contraption. Here we have a few selected apps to show you just how magnificent the Samsung Gear is:

  • eBay:

Complete all transactions on eBay through your watch, in real time.

  • MyFitnessPal:

This app tracks your nutrition and exercise.

  • Triplt:

Organise all your travel plans.

  • Vivino:

This wine scanner allows you to take a picture of any wine and get to know everything about it instantly.

Interested? Take a trip down to your nearest Samsung store and go try it out for yourself! Available in a range of colours, this functional accessory is definitely one not to be missed.

Technology: 3D Holograms for Organ Diagnostics

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

This is beyond cool. When the Tu Pac hologram in Coachella made its appearance, holograms became real to the masses. Doctors have Holographic.Organtaken this to the next level with 3D holograms of patients’ organs.

A Mexican enterprise, Echopixel, created this unique software that allows doctors to use 500- 1000 images of a patients respective organ, through MRI’s or CT scans, and manifest them into actual holograms that may be manipulated for diagnostic  treatments. This technology opens up the medical world to a range of less invasive treatments and diagnosis. Echopixel created a computer system called ZSpace, which allows doctors to use a flat screen for the projected hologram feature.

The program uses the images of the organs taken from scans and fuses it with a tri-dimensional form. This allows the flat image to be volumised.

Science at its best, this holographic technique allows surgeons to manipulate the hologram, for example, opening up a vein or enlarging it to get to areas that wouldn’t be so visible through surgery or scanning. This allows for views of tumours etc, which may be underlying.

Although not 100% fool proof, this technology proves we have much more to be discovered and created in the terrific field of technology.

Instagram to Launch Paid Advertising

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Instagram.AdsMany of us are users of this unique and fun photo app. Instagram took the world by storm with their innovative use of photo social media. From filters to #hashtags, the impact Instagram has left on society is enormous. Take a snapshot of your meals, add a filter and become the next Terry Richardson.

Many businesses have made full use of this free application by incorporating marketing and advertising strategies through this fun and free app. Well, here come the conglomerates with their proverbial pin to burst your bubble.

Emily White, the Instagram head at Facebook is already looking for potential advertisers to sign on. Although Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder of Instagram has the final say, White is working with him very closely to rake in the extra dollars through advertising revenue. Instagram has an impressive growth speed. With over 150 million users, 50 million new users in the past 6 months, this growth speed and potential is the hook to which potential advertisers will be caught. White goes on to mention in her interview with the Wall Street Journal that they would like to see this development beginning within the year. Ads will be published under the “Discover/ Explore’ tabs where users see what’s currently trending. The Instagram ads will act as clickable links to the respective direct sites. This hosts a slight issue with White, as she is concerned about the quality of most mobile sites.

Nevertheless, Instagram ads are happening. Keep an eye out and watch the rich get richer.

How to not suck at Twitter

Friday, February 1st, 2013

In the world of Social Media and community management there are some people who just “get Twitter” and some people who don’t.  So this is a fun, yet serious post that I feel is long overdue to help people who are just doing Twitter so wrong, do it a little better – after all Rome wasn’t built in a day, or in less than 140 characters.

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So you have heard about this thing called Twitter, and you have opened yourself up an account and chosen a handle (which is what your name is called on Twitter), what do you do from here onwards? Well let me help you out.

  1. Start following people with the same interest as you:  You can find these people by searching keywords that interest you, in order to find other people who are talking about the same stuff as you, for example ‘running’, ‘fishing ‘, and ‘poetry’.
  2. Get interacting:  The most valuable thing I was ever told was “Interaction is Key” and it really is. How is anyone with a lot of followers supposed to know you are there and that you share their interests if you don’t try to talk to them? So get interacting
  3. Don’t over use #Hashtags: Your tweet has to get across what you are trying to say in under 140 characters. There is nothing more annoying than reading a tweet that goes along the lines of, “Wow, what a great run #Running #Fitness #WorkingOut #RunningTips #RunForFun”. Your tweet gets lost in the hash tag noise.  Tweet it like you would say it, and if you do need to add a hash tag, I would personally stick to 2 maximum.
  4. Don’t join #TeamFollowBack or beg for followers: Team Follow Back is to Twitter what Oil is to Water.  Granted you can put oil and water together but sooner or later they are going to separate and the result isn’t pretty. The same applies to #TeamFollowBack. Your Twitter experience will be diluted because they are following you and you are following them only because you are a number.  Rather have fewer followers who share the same interests as you and really enjoy the people in your community than having millions of people you don’t talk to but feel obligated to follow.
  5. Don’t be an arrogant idiot:  Ok we get it. You have a lot of followers. People may even call you “an influencer”, well guess what? The people who made you an influencer are still following you and can stop doing that at any time.  Respond to tweets, follow the ones trying to interact with you or interact back with them.  Be human. Calling yourself a Twitter celebrity is kind of like the homeless guy at the traffic light. Everyone knows you are there and can see you but only the ones who smile back will give you their spare change or a moment of your time

Good chat kids. Now go forth and tweet, but be ‘Twitter Friendly”

Social Media for Businesses

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

What is Social Media?

The term Social Media is being thrown around a lot lately and it is sometimes tricky to actually define what it exactly is.  To keep it simple, Social Media is people having conversations online and generating content through interacting with one another and with brands.

There are many ways that users of Social Media can interact with one another ranging from easy, such as commenting on blogs, allowing voting on articles, liking a status update and replying to a tweet to the more complex Social Media platforms such as recommending movies on Flixster.

Many companies are sceptical about using Social Media but the reality of the situation is companies need to embrace Social Media.  Customers are adapting and using Social Media to look for information about products and services in the form of recommendations and first hand feedback from other uses instead of using traditional media

How can Social Media help your business?

Gone are the days when having a website was considered good enough as an online presence.  As a generation we thrive on instant gratification, which is why Social Media is so important to stay ahead of the game.

There is good news though especially for smaller companies trying to compete in the market; Social Media is relatively cost effective and allows large and small companies to compete on a level playing field.

Social Media also allows a company to find out what consumers think of your product or service, which at times can be a scary, but when issues are dealt with efficiently and effectively, can help improve the way companies are viewed by consumers. This also assists in increasing brand equity.  Interacting with your customers, finding out about their wants and needs as well as how you can cater to them, is critical to Social Media. More so, it allows companies to improve their service and better satisfy customer needs.  Interaction is key to Social Media and companies can make use of it on different platforms to improve their business and its offerings to better satisfy needs.

What Social Media Sites should you consider and why?

There are new Social Media sites popping up every day, and although having a presence on every single one would be ideal it’s just not realistic in terms of management.  Companies should have their company profile on the major Social networking sites namely Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Wikipedia.

Social Media sites especially Facebook allow you to position your advertising efforts directly at your target market to attract customers, and they allow you to do this at a significantly cheaper price than traditional media.

With Facebook recently reaching 1 Billion users, and a 106% increase in users following brands that they like, the question that companies need to ask themselves is, can they afford to not be a part of the Social Media pie?

Is Apple and iPhone playing around with the idea of using glass?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Apple, known for its cutting edge and innovative styling has taken its design to the next level with its next iPhone. What comes to mind when you hear of a phone made entirely from glass? Is it even possible? What’s it going to look like? Insane right!? Well, that’s exactly what the future iPhone might be made of. In fact, Apple has already applied for a patent for this design.

The see through iPhone could potentially be fashioned from two pieces of glass bonded together, or from a single hollow glass tube.

Advantages of a glass iPhone

The advantage of an all-glass iPhone would be the fact that it’s hermetically sealed and therefore water resistant, more so than being treated with Liquipel, the water repellent coating which has been rumoured for the iPhone 5. Glass is radio transparent so hopefully that would mean improved reception.

Naturally, an all-glass iPhone would look sleek and sexy. There’s no underestimating the extra zing it would give to an already much-admired gadget.

Disadvantages of a glass iPhone

The major worry would be how tough a glass iPhone would be, but Apple is certainly talking tough enough in the patent application. The company notes: “Some of the reasons for using glass over other materials are that glass is strong, stiff, and radio transparent.”

Many critics argue that even if potential breakage and strength isn’t an issue, there’s also the danger of scratches to contend with. Another point is if the device is hermetically sealed and waterproof, what about the port openings?

The question is: is your glass half full or half empty? Whatever it is Apple still has plenty of research and work to do to pull this one off. We have all limbs crossed as we wait in anticipation.

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.