Category Archives: online media business

Traveling Geeks meet 11 Paris startups

On day 2, we arrived at the Paris Developpement Incubateurs an incubator of French tech start-ups. The Travelling Geeks, now with one added Robert Scoble, saw a rapid-fire set of 11 presentations from some very interesting companies and people: Int13: is a French developer of next-generation games for Smartphones (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, Linux…). […]

SA study: More people banking with their mobiles than PCs

According to respected market research organisation World Wide Worx, the number of people banking from their cellphones has exceeded that of people banking from their PCs in South Africa. More than a quarter of bank customers are turning to their cellphones for services ranging from informational transaction types such as balance enquiries to financial transaction […]

Enter the Silicon Cape

I’m honoured to have been asked to MC the Silicon Cape launch next week. When Vinny Lingham asked me to do it a few weeks back, I said yebo gogo without hesitation. It’s a brilliant initiative. And it’s possibly going to be one of the most important and powerful gatherings this country has seen of […]

Which type of network suits your business?

Prosumer is one of those horrible words. But it does encapsulate an ethos sweeping through online business today (particularly media), where the audience/readers/viewers/consumers are no longer treated in a passive way but actively brought more into the business or publishing processes. It’s also known as crowd sourcing. To understand exactly what this means, here’s a […]

The surprising science of motivation

Fascinating TED talk on what motivates people in companies, challenging traditional notions of management. Very relevant to many online companies who are looking at building new and different cultures. (via Wendy Robb @ 20fourlabs)

Furious MXIT lashes out at media

MXIT is a world-wide mobile instant messaging tool (now evolving into a social network) with around 15-million users (claimed). It’s based in South Africa but has offices around the world and substantial numbers in countries like the Phillipines. Every time there is an incident via their platform, journalists with scant understanding of the technology tend […]

10 questions for new Google SA head: Stephen Newton

New Google SA Head Stephen Newton (Credit: FM Tech). Stephen Newton is the country’s new Google head. He’s an American who has been living in the UK. He’s now based in Johannesburg, heading up the local Google office. He studied as a lawyer, has previously been the GM of Hitwise UK, a Vice President at […]

Web development: The great convergence myth

I’ve always learnt that converged systems are the best way to go. In theory they are: An integrated site should ultimately allow you to do more with your site’s content and resources. It should save you time because you are not going backwards and forwards trying to get one Content Management System (CMS)* to speak […]

The future of media and other questions

Answered some questions for an article recently. Thought I’d publish them here too: What do you think the future of news organizations will look like? For mid-sized to large news organisations, I doubt there will be any specialist text or broadcast media companies left. Most media companies will be full, quality, multimedia operations. This will […]

Survey claims 80% of SA users shop online

A survey by Master Card claims that 80% of South African users are shopping online. CDs, DVDs and VCDs” emerged as the most sought after item category, with 58% of online shoppers saying that they frequently shopped for these items online. “Airline tickets” and “books and arts” emerged as the next most sought after items, […]

Where users are getting their information and who they trust?

Here’s a nice graph from the authoritative eMarketer. It’s a study from the US showing where users are getting their information. Interesting to see that 26% and 24% of users respectively are using social network and blog sites. Local newspapers feature highly at 63%, a slight increase from 2007, but down from 2006. Mobile media […]

The future of online advertising lies in the collapse of print

I guess it seems a bit negative to define the growth of a medium in the collapse of another, but here’s why: For most media organisations, online advertising* currently accounts for less than 20% of the advertising pie, with print still taking the lion’s share. My 20% estimate is high. A world-wide, median figure is […]

Big Idea: How online publishers can rival Google

Quite sometime ago I did a rather entrepreneurial proposal to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) about a new, non-profit industry-focused search engine and advertising network to rival Google. I know what you’re thinking, apart from the general nuttiness of the idea itself: I must be crazy approaching a “newspaper” body? But the idea around […]

The internet in South Africa: A tale of woe and hope

The tale of doom and gloom about the uncompetitive South African telecoms market is all too familiar. It’s kept a stranglehold on internet growth in this country, meaning the country has performed way below its potential in this sphere in comparison to the rest of the world. Arguably we are now moving in the right […]

SA bank claims 1-million mobile phone banking users

Absa, the country’s largest retail bank, says it’s one of the first banks in the world to notch up a million cellphone banking customers, prompting it to call “2009 the year for Cellphone Banking”. It was the first South African bank to introduce Cellphone Banking services in the year 2000. Absa says that over the […]

YFM create iPhone app

Just got a release from YFM, a Joburg radio station, that says its “the first radio station in Africa and among the first in the world” to release a custom application for the iPhone. (By “among first in the world” I presume they mean amongst radio stations.) This is due to the influence of its […]

The Top 100: Traditional media losing out to people power

Here is a list of the top 100 sites from Alexa. Today, I count three traditional media sites (BBC, CNN and NY Times — just squeaking in at number 100). The web of five years ago would have shown a different picture all together. It begs the question: Will there be any traditional media sites […]

'Imagine being able to read a newspaper on your computer'

A report from the 80s. Really funny.

How to approach content in the digital age

The phrase “User Generated Content” (UGC) has always been a troubled notion. At its heart it emphasises a divide between the user and the professional, with the implication that users have their place, and the professionals have theirs. Perhaps the aversion to this phrase stems from the fact that it is so simplistic. It doesn’t […]

Online advertising: What media sites are earning

This is a slide from a recent Digital conference in Amsterdam. Looking mainly at newspapers, it shows growth in online advertising revenue in 2007, and demonstrates online ad revenue as a percentage of total gross revenue.