Category Archives: web strategy

A short word on innovation

Innovation in a business context is one of the most misunderstood concepts around. I have to admit that I’ve misunderstood it for most of my life too. I’ve grown to realise that ideas by themselves are pretty much worthless — and innovation really arises out of a process of execution of those ideas that tests […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is SEO evil?

It’s an old debate, but always worth a good discussion: The Digital Edge podcast by Jarred Cinman and Saul Kropman is tackling the topic of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It’s a contentious topic, around which there is still discussion, and a bit of obfuscation. The podcast sensationally interviews two “anonymous SEO practitioners” to see how […]

The social network approach to viralising your articles

One of the key viral elements of content websites, such as news sites, are the “email to a friend” links you see on many articles. Personally, I don’t use these, but I know they’re valuable: there’s a type of user that religiously use these links as a way of sharing. Obviously they introduce new traffic […]

How stupidity can lead to innovation

It sounds crazy, but it’s true. There’s a famous philosophical phrase that goes along the lines of “The more I know, the more I realise I don’t know”. I first came across it in my Philosophy II class as a freshed-faced student at Rhodes University. It speaks to the realisation that the more we discover […]

Have you Obamafied your website today?

Nobody likes an antisocial site. Social sites are winning the traffic stakes, and even elections. A politician from Honolulu showed us how it’s done. I never thought that one of the best examples of a social site would come from a politician, but it did. It’s a lesson for all websites, including media players, on […]

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 […]

Ten elements for your website's success

Did this presentation a while back at the Highway Africa conference. (The big numbers were a bit chopped on Slideshare, but it’s still readable.) It’s essentially a talk I gave on the ten key elements for your website business’ success. Comments welcome. The Numbers Game View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: website strategy)

Web technologies: Separating reality from hype

Got this interesting graph from Gartner, which puts it all in perspective. (Via Techcrunch).

Which CMS? WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal

It’s the big question. I’ve had the opportunity to work with all three of these Content Management Systems (CMS) in various guises, and in my view — from a online publishing perspective — there is a clear winner. Everyone has their favourite and there will no doubt people that vehemently disagree, but hear me out. […]

The semantic web for publishers and bloggers

The semantic web is often referred to as the “next phase” of the world wide web. It’s also sometimes referred to — perhaps pretentiously — as “Web 3.0”. Wrapped up in this semantic web is an appearance of artificial intelligence as it involves computers “understanding” content (eg: teaching a machine that “Africa” is a continent […]

Blogger covers another side of ANC Polokwane conference

Of all the news reports I’ve read on the African National Congress (ANC) Polokwane conference so far, the live coverage from our blogger Ndumiso Ngcobo, who is at the event, has honestly been the most interesting. The ANC conference is a major event for South Africa, set to determine the next leader of the country’s […]

Future web trends

Here’s the presentation I did at a recent iCommons Innovations Series talk with Mr Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, a while back. Honoured to be in such company. I did an adapted version of it again at the recent “Publish Online” conference in Cape Town. The presentation now has a slightly less pretentious title: changed it from […]

Ten more web trends for the future

The good folks at Read/Write Web (still my most favourite website) had such an outrageous response to their first post on “10 web trends for the future“, that they have come up with ten more — or rather their users have come up with ten more. Some are obvious omissions (hyperlocal) others are a little […]

Will Facebook eventually replace the Windows & Mac desktop?

Had the privilege to meet up with Saul Klein, E-commerce VP at Skype and founder of the Open Coffee club, who was in the country yesterday. While chatting to him about the local online scene together with my colleague, Vincent Maher, we got talking about Facebook and other niche social networks. We articulated a thought […]

Facebook, the Web 2.0 killer

Also on Thought Leader The existence of Facebook, the smash-hit social-networking site, may unwittingly kill off a host of other Web 2.0 start-ups. This is mainly because of Facebook’s inclusive and all-encompassing nature. The site appears to be blogging (lite), Twittering (short blogging), multiplayer gaming (simple games), dating, social networking, online photo management and even […]

Thought Leader

We’ve launched what I call an “editorial blog” platform, called Thought Leader — the third part of our blog strategy, after the amas — amatomu.com and amagama.com. We’ve been trialling the site for about three weeks, ironing out bugs and getting new writers onboard. It’s a hybrid blog-media product which I think combines the best […]