Lessons from WAN

Online people dress better than print people President Thabo Mbeki is a covert blogger The deputy president makes long speeches and is not afraid to get inbetween 1600 delegates and their food You can brush your hair with a fork…

Amatomu sending blogosphere linklove

So thankfully I was wrong about the amount of linklove Amatomu was sending to the blogosphere. In a previous post I estimated Amatomu would send through around 50 000 clicks to the SA blogosphere in the month. Actually the site…

'Beware the power of social media'

This popped into my inbox this afternoon. I know Jovan Regasek well and have big respect for the man, ITWeb and the other publications his company puts out. For those of you wondering, ITWeb survived full on through the dot.bomb…

The buzz on the SA blogosphere

We’ve added more graphing on amatomu.com’s search results. It tracks activity of search keywords over a 30-day period and then graphs the buzz. These are new graphs we added together with the others launched on overall blogosphere trends and individual…

Of mice and men

This afternoon, on his way to help the news editor with the daily podcast, laptop in hand, Vincent strolled by my desk. He said he was “taking his mouse for a walk”. I know the stress gets to us all…

Questions for Jimmy Wales South Africa interview?

Am doing a one-on-one interview with the Jimmy, the founder of Wikipedia, when he comes out to Cape Town this April as part of Heather’s Bring ‘n Braai iCommons shindig. Will be dusting off the old engraved journo pen for…

Linklove: what big media can learn from bloggers

The fundamental art of linking is something online media could learn from the blogosphere….

Without linking there wouldn’t be an internet. It’s the web of links that leads a user from website-to-website that essentially creates the thing we know as the world wide web. Many commercial online media publishers hate linking from their websites to the “outside”, especially when there’s a competitor involved. It’s a protective, “walled garden” mentality, prevalent in many traditional media businesses, which doesn’t translate particularly well on the wild world wide web. It’s pretty silly, because linking is the whole point of the web.

This where the blogosphere could teach online publishers a thing or two…. read on

Online ads: What’s working?

Online advertising as we know it is crude. But it is entering a new era of sophistication….

The internet allows us to target advertising to an unprecedented degree, so why are most banner ads still served on such a hit-and-miss basis?

Publishers slap up an insurance ad on a homepage in the hope they will get the industry average 0,3% click-through rate or more. If they achieve that click-through rate, everyone is happy. But here is the question — what happened to the other 99,7%? Surely by any standards this is a pretty inefficient ratio? It may be at first glance, but that 0,3% is still valuable enough for advertisers to achieve major return on investment by forking out big bucks to be on the major sites.

The type of client found on local online publishers give us a clue as to what is working on the web. For example, insurance and car companies have had a very successful love affair with the internet. The one thing they have in common is that a single acquisition equals very high value for them, for example someone buying a car or taking out a long-term insurance policy. It’s also why the high-worth online audience, which can afford to pay regular premiums, works for their brand… (read on)

Bob Woolmer: It really cut me up

I got the breaking news SMS from M&G Online as I got off the plane late Sunday Night. I have to admit, I got strangely cut up about the news. I usually don’t get hung up about these things —…

Rosebank police station: a depressing SA reality

I usually avoid writing these kinds of posts… but felt I had to do so… The Rosebank Police Station, made me even more depressed about crime in South Africa. I went there on Friday to get an affadvit. As I walked in, a bad odour hit me and stayed with me for the rest of my short visit. The walls in the reception area were generally chipped, grimy and dirty. The place was gloomy and badly lit. The welcome carpet was tatty and had some of the letters of the “Welcome” ripped out. Broken office furniture lay in a heap to one side. I could see one police officer behind the desk, but mostly I saw overweight people without uniforms or name tags milling around behind the desk. Even though it was early morning, I think they had bored expressions on their faces — no hint of pride or alertness or professionalism that you’d expect from the police service….

Online media is the new black

I’ve been at Mail & Guardian for a long time now, five years and counting, flying the online flag. Am blogging from our 2007 strategy conference just outside Pretoria and the change in strategic direction and thinking is significant. It…

MK89, eish flippen fokof good

I don’t know what is about MK89 on DSTV. But it is brilliant and addictive. My van is nie Boekland nie, dis Buckland en ek is net amper ‘n rooinek. But Bridge and I are addicted to it and have…

Joburg geekerati gathering

Got reports from Vincent Maher at his Emmarentia Lake picnic birthday on Sunday that the new-look geek event in Joburg for “techies, media practitioners, speakers, businesspeople, entrepreneurs” called 27 was a roaring success, so went to check it out on…

Decline of the homepage

Website consumption patterns are changing. Remember when the main way to surf a website was via its homepage? Well, that was the old days. The rise of super-fast, super-efficient search engines mean that users are increasingly accessing websites via deep links that bypass their homepages directly to a website’s articles. It’s essentially a backdoor into your website. Search engines aren’t the only ones to blame. Bloggers generally link directly to the articles they are writing about, ignoring homepages. RSS feeds, which allow users to subscribe directly to article feeds, are also responsible for the decline of the homepage. So what does this mean? Paradoxically it is both a problem and an opportunity for publishers.

Where are the great online magazines? Where?

Magazines have not enjoyed the same high profile, runaway success of their newspaper counterparts in the online world. Magazines aren’t big online. Websites of print magazines have had a rather low profile in more than 10 years of internet in this country. Compare this to the high-profile online news brands that rake in big numbers and you will see what I mean. It’s no secret that the news brands dominate the top half of the local online readership rankings, whereas very few magazines even make the top 50 sites….

Bloggers can now enter major journalism award

Just noticed that the Telkom ICT Journalist of the year award now has a “Citizen Journalist” category, accepting entries from blogs or personal websites. There are nice prizes (overseas trip) and good dosh (40k) up for grabs. If the gyrating,…