Interview on Radio 2000 discussing LinkedIn

Tonight, Monday 29 January at 7pm I will be interviewed on Radio 2000 (99.7FM) by Allon Raiz with my friend Brian Carl Brown discussing LinkedIn and Social Networking for Entrepreneurs. This is just one of many recent interviews I’ve done in the month of January. So the year is getting off to rockin’ start. This a must for entrepreneurs, small business owners, sales and marketing, event managers, recruitment consultants; and all those who’s job it is to create new partnerships and build relationships quickly as well as people who would like to improve their referability.

Other recent interviews include:
3 January: RSG discussing Online Dating / SMS Flirting (Afrikaans 😉
19 January: Cape Talk / KFM news segment discussing Online, SMS, Corporate Dating
20 January: Al Ansaar Radio (Durban) discussing Online Safety on Mobile Phones, Chat Rooms and MXit.

Coming up: Online dating feature in March edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. And Identity Theft feature in April edition.

More breaking news: I’ve been invited to write a regular column on Biz-Community, the largest portal for advertising, media, marketing news in South Africa. My friend Mike Stopforth, a Web 2.0 blogger is already a regular contributor to BizCommunity.

Checkout the details of my Social Networking Success Workshop here.


World's largest study on Online Gambling revealed

Online gambling seems to be a hot topic in South Africa. Today I’m doing an interview with SAFM, a national talk radio station on this topic of online gambling and online addiction. And so not surprisingly in preparation for the interview I found this excellent write-up on the most comprehensive study on online gambling to date.

Here’s a summary:

Its not all about the winning and its more about the entertainment. When asked about why the participate in online gambling most respondents answers “to relax”, “for entertainment”, “to relieve boredom”, which far outweighed “to make money.”

The average online poker player tends be to male (73.8%) and between 26-35 years old (26.9%) while average online casino player tends to be female (54.8%) and between 46-55 years old (29.5%).

To read the complete summary of this excellent study commissioned industry self-regulatory body eCOGRA and conducted by Betting and International Gaming Research Units at Nottingham Trent University by click here.

In South Africa there is currently a dispute on the legality of online gaming. And a high court decision has banned online gambling in Gauteng. Common sense tells you how ludicrous this is because there is no way to implement or monitor this situation.

Read the latest article detailing the plight of Piggs Peak Casino appeal here.


MySpace sends missing childrens alerts

Popular online social network MySpace will begin sending online alerts to users in certain US regions to help find missing children, as part of an expansion of plans to expand safeguards for users.

MySpace struck a partnership with the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children to enable MySpace Amber alerts, a programme between the media and law enforcement to issue early warning broadcast bulletins in serious child abduction cases.

It is part of an upgrade by News Corp-owned MySpace of safety features designed to address concerns of child safety advocates, some of whom say it has been slow to keep its many teenage members safe from adult predators.

Last week, the families of five teenage victims of sexual abuse by adult MySpace users sued the service for negligence in protecting its users. Last year, the family of a 14-year-old girl sued the company in a similar case.

MySpace hired a former US Justice Department prosecutor last year to improve its online safety programme.

The Amber alerts, named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1996 in Texas, will appear in a small text box at the top of a profile, MySpace said. The alerts give MySpace users the option to get more information about the case, such as photos and information on suspects.

“We’ve been working with partners… and law enforcement to find any possible avenue we can take to protect our nation’s children, keeping sex offenders off our site and providing technology that the entire industry can take advantage of,” MySpace chief security officer Hemanshu Nigam said in a phone interview.

With 150 million profiles, MySpace is seen as one of the Web’s fastest-growing properties in terms of users. More than half of US teens with online access use sites such as MySpace to stay in touch with friends, a recent Pew survey found.

The explosive growth in MySpace usage since its purchase by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in September 2005 has made it a target for sex predators who prey on its huge teen population.

Read the full article here.


Discover Your Inner Geek

Mike Stopforth 27Dinner founderThis is from Mike Stopforth, Web 2.0 guru…I’ve already reserved my seat:

I’m hosting another installment of the infamous Geek Dinner movement, now branded “27“, on the 27th January at 5pm in the Studio at Primi Piatti, Rosebank. The last one was an enormous success, and we’d like to keep the tradition going.

I regard you highly either as an incumbent geek, or a non-geek with huge potential.  Either way I’d love to see you there.  Seriously, 27 is a get together for people who love life, living on the edge, connecting, creating and innovating.  It has a tech / Web theme , but we have some talented entrepreneurs, big name media folks, artists, muso’s, designers and developers coming and it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, network and collab.  Check out the site at

I hope to see you there.  Phone me for more info or email your (positive) reply.

Yours in geek,


PS.  If you can’t make this one, 27 will be held monthly, on the 27th of each month – duh – alternating between CT and Jozi.  Next Jozi one is therefore 27th March.


Publics Talks on Dangers of Mobile Phones, Chat Rooms

16 year old girl kidnapped by online predator using MXit. Avoid your child being next victim…

Dear Parent and Teacher

In October 2006, a sexual predator lured a schoolgirl using a cell phone-based messaging service. The suspect, a 33-year-old man abducted and held the 16-year-old girl captive for five days, after he developed a cyber relationship with her through MXit, the popular mobile chat service used by over 2.3 million people, mostly teenagers and 20somethings in South Africa.

This is but one example of an actual event that took place as a result of the current online and mobile technology that exists. More and more children are becoming the victims of mastermind criminals that study, observe, stalk and finally kidnap children. Children’s innocence is at stake, and it is up to you the parent, teachers and guardians to safeguard children from these evildoers.

The best way to protect your children is empowering yourselves with the knowledge and understanding of these types of technology, that children have access to. With some understanding of this technology, you learn how to set boundaries for children that will affectively protect them from cyber criminals.

Ramon Thomas, a recognised expert on online behaviour is giving public talks from Joburg, to Cape Town, Durban to Port Elizabeth during. This is an exclusive opportunity for parents and teachers to gain a better understanding of these incredible new technologies,

The following topics will be covered in the awareness talks:

  • Overview of Chat Rooms
  • Criminal cases involving children
  • Addiction and children
  • Abuse among children
  • Setting boundaries
  • Sexual Predators online
  • Information for parents

The talks is approximately 40 minutes with 20 minutes for Questions & Answers. If a projector is available a presentation will be used to guide the audience through the talk. Take action today, book Ramon Thomas for a public talk at your organisation.

This investment that could change the quality of your life and give you peace of mind when your child is having real, genuine fun, chatting with friends on the Internet or their cell phones.


Web hosting locally a waste of time

I’ve been hosting in America for more then two years now and will likely never, ever host in South Africa. A new article on ITWeb discussed the conundrum of hosting in South Africa here. There are many people in the Internet industry that advocate hosting in South Africa for some kind of patriotic or proudly SA reasons. I don’t subscribe to any of them because it is more important to focus on the value added services, then on a commodity item like hosting. If you insist on hosting locally avoid M-Web and the likes and checkout this list for the cheapest hosting available from Hellkom.


Cellphone Lockers for School

Cellphone LockersOne of the recommendations I’m making in severe cases of MXit / cellphone addiction is for schools is to ban cellphones. There is no laws to enforce this and no regulations I’m aware of from the Department of Education. However, one of the emails I’ve received since the Parents’ Guide to MXit has been released in November is the following:

Dear Ramon

My company, Security Cell-Lock, provides schools in SA with a ‘lock up your cellphone during school hours’ system. Learners are playing MXit and sms’ing during the school day. To prevent a total ban we install our units so that the schools have their own ‘safe’ for each learner. It takes away the responsibility from the school and still allows the learner to be accessable to and from school. This keeps mom and dad happy, the school happy and the learner happy (well almost because he cannot play during school time anymore, but he/she is there to learn).

Please contact Brandon Lindsay on Tel: 021 686 3305 or on his company webiste here.


Apple iPhone finally unveiled

Steve Jobs unveils Apple iPhoneSteve Jobs has done it again. Stealing the thunder from Microsoft’s Bill Gates who was the keynote speaker at the CES Conference in Las Vegas. As it happens my mentor, Arthur Goldstuck, is currently at CES but likely on his way back. Anyway you can read here about how Apple does it. To get a good overview of the capabilities of the iPhone and some concerns it has in store for IT Managers go here.

From the price range I do not think this mobile phone will come bundles with any cellphone contracts in South Africa. But this damn phone so cool its bound to be sought after no matter what the cost.

Robert X Cringely, my favourite technology industry columnist, weighs in with opinion in his weekly column on PBS – What’s in a Name?


Guy Kawasaki on LinkedIn

Guy KawasakiI’ve just broken through the 500 connections on LinkedIn and wanted to share a great new article by Guy Kawasaki, someone I have great respect for, discussing this amazingly useful website. Guy Kawasaki was the Chief Evangelist at Apple Computer for a long time and came from the Jewellery industry. You must read his excellent blog post: Ten Ways To Use LinkedIn.

And next to that I highly, highly recommend you watch (download) this 40 minute video where Guy delivers one of the most brilliant presentation based on his book, The Art of the Start.

If you are want to have a real impact when using LinkedIn I also highly recommend this free ebook: How To Double Your Income In Six Months Using LinkedIn


Disillusioned American and British men find Thai brides

Today is my first post for the new year. So happy new year to all my readers. This is going to be a real cracker as my public speaking career is taking off and the media interviews keep coming in. Just this morning I did an interview on RSG, the national Afrikaans radio station here in South Africa, all about online dating, speed dating and sms dating. What I didn’t get to say was that I personally do not use any of these anymore, and only keep track for research purposes. I am aggressively using my social network to expand the potential women I am exposing myself to.

Anyway the Mail & Guardian featured a shockingly sad article about the state of American and even British men today. This article quotes a few of these men who are now seeking brides in Thailand. Now the first thing they mention is how demanding the American and British women have become. And how feminism has made a very negative impact on how modern Western women behave. The biggest problem I see is the disproportionately high expectations expectations by women toward men. The exaggerated indoctrination that modern women can have the same success as men in their careers and also have the perfect relationship with a man. This kind of expectation leads to ongoing disappointment by women.

And also you have men growing up with much fewer strong male role models. More and more are growing up without any father figure. The mothers rip into the fathers and blame them for everything. The sons dislike their fathers and does everything possible to please mommy. You end up with the common, nice guy syndrome or wussy behavior I see all the time. Men who just cannot stand their ground, set any boundaries, and behave like the confident men that women desire.

I’d be very keen to get your perspective on this story: Thai brides on the Internet.