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You are Useless At Powerpoint

Published by on Dec 23rd, 2012, No Comments

Are you tired of depressing Powerpoint presentations where you sit through visuals that look like a fourteen year old splashed some colour on the screen? Are you often upset or embarrassed by your inadequate skills to master Powerpoint? If so then take a look at this fantastic presentation on how to actually master the topic: (more…)

Facebook built the “Poke” App in just 12 Days

Published by on Dec 23rd, 2012, 1 Comment

One of the early Facebook features that many people got to know was the “Poke” feature. It did not do much – it simply showed a notification on the receiver’s Facebook page. But here we are a few years later, and Facebook has finally given the Poke name something that is of actual use.

Facebook yesterday launched its new Poke app for iOS, which is incredibly simple to use. Just like an instant messenger, you click a friend’s name and start typing, or sending images and video. But Poke has stolen a page from Snapchat in that the message disappears after a pre-set time up to 10 seconds. The receiver also has to hold down the person’s name in order to see the message, which does make it a little more difficult to capture with a screenshot.*

What is also quite interesting about the Poke app is that Mark Zuckerburg was actually very involved in the coding and design of the app. One of the strange little parts of the Poke app is the notification noise – which is a heavily processed voice which says “Poke!”. (more…)

The Growth of Visual Marketing

Published by on Dec 22nd, 2012, No Comments

Content marketing is rapidly growing overseas as brands realise that being a publisher online is a great way to get their products noticed and growing. As someone in the content marketing business I’m very focussed on words but further to that with the growth of Instagram and 500px it’s inevitable that imagery will eventually tell a thousand words. Here’s an infographic on the growth of visual content marketing:

 

What you need to know: Making the move to mobile

Published by on Dec 21st, 2012, No Comments

With mobile penetration in South Africa already well over 100%, an increasing number of enterprises are turning to this medium as a means of communicating with their customer bases. Mobile communications tools like SMS represent an immediate, personal and cost-effective mechanism through which to reach customers, allowing large organisations to send anything from account updates to discount vouchers at the click of a button.

Yet whilst this might seem like a simple solution for enterprises looking to improve on customer relationships, large-scale mobile messaging campaigns can prove incredibly complex, and can in fact end up hindering a company’s communication efforts if not managed correctly. Corporates looking to develop and maintain in-house mobile communications tools need to factor in a number of elements, such as security and capacity management, which can prove both costly and time consuming.

Stefano Sessa, CEO of Cape Town based mobile communications provider, Panacea Mobile, believes that corporates would be best advised to seek out expert outsourced solutions.

“Specialist SMS providers are better placed to deliver high-impact mobile communication services, with existing systems able to take into consideration a number of key elements essential to their success,” explains Sessa. “Enterprises looking to develop effective communications campaigns, whilst at the same time bolstering their bottom line, can most effectively do so by taking advantage of these systems, which can communicate with core business applications, and greatly reduce their total cost-per-message.”

System Security

For large institutions, particularly those dealing with sensitive financial information, security is of paramount importance. With mobile campaigns often spanning a number of departments, from finance to the call centre, stringent user controls need to be implemented so as to protect customer information.

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Looking back at Apple commercials of old

Published by on Dec 21st, 2012, No Comments

With every new device, be it an iPhone or iPad, that Apple introduces to the market, comes a brand new advertisement.

From acclaimed celebrities like Martin Scorsese and John Malkovich endorsing Siri to a rather uninspiring iPad Mini advertisement of which a parody was made by Conan O’Brien and one involving the Microsoft Surface tablet, new campaigns aim to impress fans, recruit new ones and boost sales.

As the end of the year approaches and we reflect on the devices, gadgets, reviews and news of 2012 let’s take a look way, way back to some Apple commercials of old.

Power Macintosh:

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Samsung 5.5 inch Flexible Display to be revealed at CES 2013

Published by on Dec 21st, 2012, No Comments

Samsung have long been teasing the idea of flexible displays and have recently created a subsidiary, Samsung Display, which will showcase a couple of their flexible displays at CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Showcase). Reportedly the first will target smartphone users, with a 5.5 inch 1280 x 720 HD screen, while the other will be a massive 55 inch screen, obviously for television use.

According to Samsung Display, these screens curve without rendering, but don’t yet roll up. The men in white coats in the lab developed the touch panel and cover lens in addition to creating the material that becomes the main substance of the screen.

The electronics giant has long been accused of merely copying and refining in the smartphone market and this kind of innovation would surely silence their critics. If Samsung Display can perfect this kind of technology, we could see another radical shift in smartphone trends in the years to come, just like we saw after the introduction of the iPhone.

CES is kicking off in about three weeks and we can’t wait to see what kind of devices and technologies get unveiled. If these are the kind of new technologies we can expect from CES 2013, it will be a fantastic show!

Inside a Hybrid office space, Los Angeles

Published by on Dec 20th, 2012, No Comments

This office space for a creative agency of thirty based in Los Angeles, California takes a fresh approach to the concept of the office cubicle playing with shape, texture, colour and materials.

The 6,000-square-foot space was designed by Edward Ogosta Architecture who called it a Hybrid Office where hybrid objects “exists somewhere between furniture and architecture, infusing the office functions with new iconographic presence, and abstractly reference nature and the surrounding city”.

This open plan, clean and rather stark space reveals some very clever design ideas that lend itself to a sense of calm and encourage creativity. Interaction between employees is encouraged with a number of meeting areas, a large boardroom and a gathering space surrounded by book cases called Book-Arena.

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Ster-Kinekor App a Big Hit with BlackBerry Users

Published by on Dec 20th, 2012, No Comments

Since launching on 24 September 2012, the Ster-Kinekor app for BlackBerry smartphones has been downloaded more than 200,000 times.  After being live for just over 2 months it’s now the most popular of the suite of mobile apps released by the entertainment giant, Ster-Kinekor.

The Ster-Kinekor app for BlackBerry allows users to choose their seating, view detailed movie synopses and trailers as well as enriched movie news from Africa’s leading entertainment content provider all wrapped up in an enhanced user experience, which adapts automatically to suit the entire BlackBerry range including its touch screen devices. The developers are also ready for the future. Not only is the app BlackBerry 10 ready for the BB10 launch, it is also a BBM Connected app, which makes it easy for users to share movie information and chat to their BBM friends within the Ster-Kinekor app.

“The fact that the BlackBerry version of the Ster-Kinekor app has reached this download milestone so quickly is a testament to the power of smart user-friendly design,” says Lynette Hundermark, Head of Product Strategy at Prezence Digital, one of South Africa’s leading digital and mobile web and native application specialists.

Tim Bishop, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Prezence Digital says that “Core to the mobilising of the Ster-Kinekor brand with this suite of apps was that it  allows Ster-Kinekor to be able to transact and connect with all of its customers in a manner that suits their lifestyles and choices  leaving nobody excluded.”

“It’s for this reason that while the focus for many other brands and agencies seem to be exclusively in the ‘trendy’ iOS and Android platforms, we at Prezence Digital are always pushing our clients to also unlock the power of BlackBerry in South Africa. Now the numbers say it all. Out of the total number of downloads to date across the Ster-Kinekor mobile app suite, BlackBerry constitutes almost 60% which indicates the larger penetration of BlackBerry smartphones in this market.”

Referring to the company as “platform agnostic”, Doug Place, marketing executive for Ster-Kinekor, said as Africa’s leading entertainment content provider, it was important to both Ster-Kinekor and customers that its digital content be available on whichever mobile device they prefer.

“Beyond providing a simple and seamless experience to our customers, the cornerstone of Ster-Kinekor’s digitising and mobilising strategy, was to ensure that regardless of their preferences, the power of film was right in the hands of our customers,” Place says.

Go check out the the Ster-Kinekor app on BlackBerry App World:
http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/136464/?lang=en

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