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Mobile Web Africa 2012 in numbers

Published by on Nov 14th, 2012, 1 Comment

It’s just two weeks until the 2012 Mobile Web Africa conference in Johannesburg from the 27th to 29th November and with 84% of the venue already filled, now is the time to register if you’re interested in being a part of this event.

Contributors include:

  • Prins Mhlanga – Managing Executive of Digital Media, Vodacom
  • Ory Okolloh - Manager Policy & Government Relations, Google Africa
  • Zeyad Davids - Managing Director, M&C Saatchi Mobile
  • Marc Herson, 2go
  • Mark Kaigwa - Partner, Afrinnovator
  • Musa Kalenga- Group Head: Digital Marketing, Nedbank 

mapIT Announces Interactive Mapping for Cycle Challenge

Published by on Nov 14th, 2012, No Comments

Digital mapping partner mapIT, with 94.7 Highveld Stereo and Altech Netstar, have announced the launch of the online Interactive Map, Route Maps, Race Profiles and Mobi Site for the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge taking place on 18 November 2012 through the streets of Johannesburg.  Altech Netstar will be providing tracking of over 100 route vehicles, as well as riders supporting various charities.

The mapIT Route Maps and Race Profiles, which visually show the gradient of the route, allow for entrants to prepare for the race. The Interactive Map that can be viewed on 947.mapservice.co.za, contains the routes, live tracking of charities, points of interest as well as road closures which will enable race participants to plan their movements and meeting points for the day. The Mobi Site will also assist supporters in navigating to meeting spots and will also provide real time tracking of cyclists.

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Google Nexus devices sold out soon after release

Published by on Nov 14th, 2012, 2 Comments

The new batch of Google Nexus devices were released yesterday, 13 November, on sale directly from the Google Play Store. Within hours of release in the UK all the devices were sold out and Engadget has reported the same in the US.

Google Nexus sales sky-rocketed minutes after it went live on the site and the Play Store was struggling to handle all the traffic coming in at once. The site was unstable after the release of devices, which were sold out within an hour. There were reports to Google of errors and strange happenings on the site, but they were resolved quickly.

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5rooms.com launches eco grafitti campaign

Published by on Nov 14th, 2012, No Comments

5rooms.com, a local online home and living store, is setting new standards in outdoor advertising. They recently launched their much anticipated eco graffiti campaign which is one of the first of its kind in South Africa and is expected not to be the last.

In twenty strategically selected locations throughout Cape Town, 5rooms.com has placed stencilled tags on the city streets via a wholly eco-conscious advertising medium, eco graffiti. Each custom-made tag has a unique voucher code that allows passers-by to gain a discount of their purchase when shopping at the online store.

Eco graffiti is, in effect, clean advertising that’s created using a stencil placed onto dirty walls or pavements. A specialist, commercial cleaning machine is then used to clean over the stencil, which is then lifted to reveal a bright and sharp contrast between clean and dirty, illuminating a the message.

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Sinfosky Departure: Ballmer’s letter to employees

Published by on Nov 13th, 2012, No Comments

It has now become well known publicly that President of Windows and Windows Live at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky has left the company. This turn of events comes less than a month after Sinofsky presided over the launch of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and Windows 8 (Read our quick review).

Various media publications are reporting that the departure was as a result of the increasing tension between Sinofsky and various executives at the company.

Here is what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had to say in a letter to employees about the departure:

Over the past few months we have delivered the foundation for a new era for Microsoft. From Office to Bing to Windows Phone and Windows Azure, to Xbox and of course Windows and Surface and everything in between, we’ve unleashed a huge wave of devices and services that people and businesses love. I simply couldn’t be more proud of the effort you have all put in to get us here and to set the foundation for our future. At the Windows launch in New York, at the Windows Phone event in San Francisco, and again at the Build event on Redmond campus, I was struck that while externally many people look at these events as the finish line, they really represent the starting line of a new era.

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Free access to Gmail and Google+ with 8ta

Published by on Nov 13th, 2012, No Comments

Google and 8ta today announced Free Zone powered by Google at G-South Africa in Cape Town that gives people access to mobile web search and feature-phone-friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ for free.

The new service will be trialled until 31 May 2013.

The service is aimed at first time Internet users who find basic services like email and web browsing to be very expensive. Using Free Zone, feature phone users can use the web without the possibility of unknown data costs.

Luke Mckend, Country Manager, Google South Africa, said: “Given that data can be expensive for many South Africans, the open web is only as open as it is affordable. Working with 8ta on this exciting trial means that we can offer Internet services at no cost to anyone with a phone. This gives people easier access to information in a way that benefits everyone, whether it’s an individual or a small business that wants to reach more people on the web.”

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Loot.co.za secures additional funding

Published by on Nov 13th, 2012, No Comments

Online retailer Loot.co.za has announced that it has secured additional funding from Titan Investments.

Loot.co.za, headed up by ex-Kalahari CEO Gary Hadfield, and recently nominated by the public for a 2012 eCommerce Award, has grown its product offering from books to DVDs, electronics, games, music, toys and more.

Sean Emery, Investment Director at Titan Investment and also co-founder and CEO of RainFin.com says of the additional funding that “We have chosen to partner with Loot.co.za for a number of reasons, chief of which is their understanding that South Africa is not Europe and requires a dedicated, experienced management team with a long track record within the unique dynamics of the South African ecommerce commercial and logistical infrastructure environment.”

Titan, has a number of investments including a shareholding in EOH, Connection-Telecom, wysetalk.co.za, Quadrem Africa, BCX and RainFin.com.

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Introducing Teedu: A new way of engaging with brands

Published by on Nov 13th, 2012, No Comments

South Africa’s first dedicated online photo uploading competition site, Teedu.co.za, has gone live.

The site is based on a system of challenges known as “missions”. For each challenge completed, users are given a certain amount of points, which enters them into a draw for a prize. The more points users accumulate, the better their chance of winning.

Since its launch, Twitter and Facebook users have grown tremendously. As for gaining exposure, once a mission has been completed, there is an option for users to challenge friends which adds to the viral component.

“We want the South African market to understand that bridging the gap between on- and offline customer interaction does not have to be a complicated or costly affair,” explains Teedu director Tyrone Middleton. “Companies can have a campaign up and running in under 24 hours, at minimal cost. This not only gives customers the opportunity to engage and have fun with the brand, but also affords the brands in question the chance to conduct market research and gain free publicity.”

The goal of the platform is to drive interaction with products, brands and services through various incentives. “Many brands have followers on various social media sites, but aren’t getting optimal value from them,” Middleton explains. “Teedu allows users to showcase the different ways they interact with a brand – a hamburger chain, for example, might ask customers to upload photos of themselves enjoying their favourite burger in order to accumulate points. The incentive not only draws people to the restaurant, but promotes it and gives the owner insight into customer preferences.”

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