First part of interview with Damaria Senne

Damaria Senne journalist, children's authorDamaria Senne, a journalist at ITWeb, recently asked me to do a lengthy and very detailed interview about online and mobile trends and the impact on children for her parenting blog. You can read part 1 of the interview here.

Some of the important things I mentioned are as follows ** 2014 updates **

  1. There is a big gap between what parents think children do online, and what they really do, especially because mobile phones seem harmless.
  2. MXit was the fastest growing social network, mobile app in 2007 but it pales in comparison to Facebook or Whatsapp, which are both much easier to use.
  3. Trend 1 – Accelerated development: Dr Suagta Mitra confirmed my prediction with his TED Prize speech on self organised learning environments for children. It is the most important application of technology to learning, especially in the primary stages of life for parents to understand.
  4. Trend 2 – Lack of Social Skills: The severity of this cannot be underestimated. Teenagers seems helpless without their mobile phones, and most dare not initiate contact with a stranger let alone a someone from opposite sex.
  5. Trend 3 – User generated content: This continues to explore. Even though content is king, the quality drops in proportion to the amount produced. There’s also a plethora of apps that generated variations or produce remixes of your content from Twitter, etc.
  6. Privacy is still the #1 issue. The lack of understand is reinforced by the ignorance of users, customers and everyone who keeps buying into the hype of the latest, the newest, the next upgrade. Recommended watching: Privacy is dead – Get over it by Steven Rambam/

Photos of Snow falling in Johannesburg in 2007

Last night I came home from watching the movie Next. I was freezing by but off walking to mall from my car and back again after the movie. And only when I got home did I realise there were actual snow flakes falling and it was NOT rain.

Anyway here’s some photos I took around my town house complex this morning. I’d be keen to hear from anyone else who’s experienced the unusual snow falling around Johannesburg.

snow on the car port Snow on my balcony
Snow in the yard of my town house complex Snow on my  balcony

Another Philip K Dick novel turned into a movie, Next

Last I watch the film Next starring Nicolas Cage and the very hot Jessica Biel. Next is based on the latest Philip K Dicknovel, The Golden Man, to be adapted to the big screen. Philip K. Dick is mostly known for his works on Science Fiction and some memorable movies have been based on his work like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and others. This film is great action packed adventure plays up the “responsibility” that comes with great power.

Nicolas Cage plays a stage magician with a gift to see 2 minutes into the future. He is obsessed with visions of a woman, Jessica Biel, which is unusual because he is seeing days into the future because of her. Peter Falk, TV’s Columbo, makes a small guest appearance. Julliane Moore plays a sassy FBI agent who convinces her boss to bring Nicolas Cage in to help track down a nuclear weapon which has been smuggled into America. There is also sorts of plot changes that seem to happen because of his visions of the future changing. So ever now and then the movie jumps back to a previous point because the desired outcome did not happen.

One of the best scenes early on is when he tests various approaches with Jessica Biel and because he is looking into the future he can figure out which one actually works and do that one. A lesson here is in fact that the best approach is the one that is not needy, indirect and also unsuspecting. With enough practise you will discover that well thought out approaches can come across as natural and spontaneous.


Art of Mastering Your Life with Dr John Demartini

Ramon Thomas & Dr John DemartiniDr John Demartini, a philosopher and international speaker presents an inspiring evening talk sharing wisdom and insights to help you to master your life. Be guided with straightforward, practical tips that will help you master and empower the 7 areas of life.

Learn the ancient and modern secrets to manifest the life you love! Practical strategies and applications of universal laws to unleash your innate wisdom and potential. Reveal your path to: Physical vitality, Financial empowerment, Clarity of your Vocational calling, Social prowess, Spiritual certainty and gratitude, Family support and security and expanding your Mental capacity. This is one talk you will not want to miss!

I’ve already booked two tickets. So join me for this event with Dr John Demartini because he is the most inspiring speaker I have ever met. You can read about my write-up on attending his Breakthrough Experience seminar which he is conducting again in South Africa in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Call Clarissa on 083 370-2201 for information.

Cost for Art of Mastering Your Life public talk: R 90 @ Computicket: or 083 915 8000 or R100 at the door. Registration: 7pm. Talk: 7:30 – 9pm. (duration: 1.5 hours)

By the way I’m also attending his Speed Reading and Learning Dynamics seminar on 6 July. Again email Clarissa on if you are interested in receiving notifications of his talks and seminars in South Africa.


Apocalypto death to fear and courage reborn

This past weekend I finally watched the new Mel Gibson film: Apocalypto. This film is set in the ancient Maya civilisation just before the arrival of the first Europeans. It’s graphic in it’s violence and it’s portrayal of the capturing of one tribe by another to be used as slaves and for ritual sacrifice is gruesome indeed.

This movie really made me think about the link between fear and courage. This was first brought to my attention by Dr Paul Dobransky, a noted psychiatrist and author MindOS. Basically it goes like this when you are afraid you need courage to do the things that bring fear into your life. When you do courages things it fills up the amount of confidence you have to do other things which may bring feels of fear into your life. Susan Jeffers also wrote an excellent little book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.

Now back to Apocalypto. This movie is set in the jungle’s of Mesoamerica and right from the beginning it’s very much an adrenalin rush with the capture of a wild boar. Soon after the capture the son of the tribal leader, Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), through intuition or through sharp senses, gets up, turns around and calls out to what turns out to be a huge tribe in migration, to come out of hiding. This tribe is on the run from slave hunters if you can call them such. Flint Sky, the father of Jaguar Paw, reminds his son not to be afraid. He says to these tribal people moving through their forest, something like this: I am Flint Stone! This is my forest. This is my forest! My father hunted in this forest before me, and my sons will hunt here after I am gone! This is a quote that will be repeated by Jaguar Paw later on in the film.

Soon afterwards the village of Jaguar Paw is pillaged by same slave hunters. The Mayan priests and through them, the king, had ordained that more sacrifice is needed to purify the lands, improve the crop harvest and to save them all. The society had been in decline for a number of years. There is elements of the film that is not historically accurate but this has nothing to do with how powerful a message it conveys regarding how to overcome fear with courage. Just before he is about to be executed a solar eclipse takes place and all the ritual sacrifices is stopped. It’s not over for the captures slaves as the high priest orders them killed. Through some tough determination Jaguar Paw outmanoeuvres the hunters who had captures him and manages to escape into the forest.

Apocalypto waterfall sceneAnd here is where he’s courage is brought to the fore. His confidences increases as he gets deeper into the forest. Now just as his village was being attacked he managed to get his newly pregnant wife and son into a deep hole. And this is part of what drives him to keep going. The fact that he has to rescue them before it rains, and they drown. As the hunters close in on him he fights them off in different ways. The most exhilarating scene in the movie could be when he jumps over a waterfall. When you consider how some of the hunters following him hesitate and end up being killed because of bad jumps over the same waterfall you realise how superior Jaguar Paw’s confidence has become. He is not afraid to take risks and he places himself directly in the line of fire on several occasions. With speed and agility he overcomes great obstacles in the chase. Overall though you can start to see how living in the moment, the now, brings you closer to your true self. It brings you closer to nature and your instincts can take over. Now in a modern, westernised, technologically advances society we live in there is absolutely nothing that pushes us in the same way to develop our confidence, our courage and our instincts. To a large extent we become nothing more than automatons doing repetitive things over and over. Our ability to overcome fear when confronted by it is reduces because of this group behaviour and placating activity we call living today.

Watch the trailer for Apocalypto here and also checkout the detailed Wikipedia entry on Apocalypto.


Benefits from Blogging for Business seminar in Joburg

Last Friday, I launched my first Blogging for Business seminar. This workshop has been in development for several months. And the response has been huge. There is such a great opportunity for South African businesses to benefit from blogging. A reminder to those who attended of the core benefits of blogging for business:

  • Become the Expert: when blogging start with issues affecting your industry and use your experiences in your company as a ongoing case study. As you become a industry commentator your peers and people on the outside will start to look to your for guidance.
  • Customer Relationships: this is where blogging can have the greatest benefit for very large companies. If you ever experienced high call volumes in a call centre, writing your feedback on a blog can help blow off some steam. Other clients can read the response from your company and may never have to call in with their complaints or feedback.
  • Media Relations: When you issue a press release to the media in many cases the can edit it or rewrite it and certain important messages can be taken out of context. You can publish your media releases on your blog unedited. And your audience, clients, partners can get the story straight from the horse’s mouth as they say.
  • Internal Collaboration: Again in very large companies or in virtual teams blogging the progress of a project can be invaluable way to communicate in a non-obtrusive manner. Project managers can keep track of the project progress without getting involved in calling meetings which only take people away from the projects they are working on.
  • Knowledge Management: Information can be shared using blogging technologies like RSS to keep relevant people informed of updates.
  • Recruitment: As you write about your industry and your company you can be seen as a open and attractive company to work for. Younger generation of employees are very intolerant of old fashioned bureaucratic ways of working.
  • Test ideas or products: You can use your blog to communicate new products, features and updates. And you can get quick and instant feedback from your audience. This can be seen as a kind of co-development with prospective clients and they will help spread your word of mouth better than you could ever imagine.
  • Rank high in Search Engines: The most obvious benefit from Blogging is how it boost search engine rankings. Search engines like Google love frequently updates web pages.

You can download my presentation from here:


Blogging for Business presentation in Durban with

Last Thursday I delivered the following Blogging for Business presentation for at a breakfast seminar in Durban. This was the most amazing experience because just after I started with my presentation electricity was lost in the whole area. The biggest implication blogging has for business is that you enter into a conversation with our clients, your partners, your suppliers and also your staff. And as said in the Cluetrain manifesto, the more people participate in a conversation in any given market, the smarter the market becomes.

You can download my presentation from here:


Fake it till you make it when speaking in Durban

There is a very popular saying in the seduction community that you should fake it till you make it with women. What they mean is that you should pretend you have confidence until you develop real inner confidence. And the same goes for confident body language, etc.

This last week I’ve been giving talks on MXit and Blogging in Durban. This is one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa and especially the North Coast where I was staying in guest house, On the Beach.

Anyway this morning I presented a Blogging seminar for a paid audience organised by, a specialist e-business and web design company. The venue was excellent, the room was packed, the mic was there, and the projector was set-up. Just after I started my presentation we completely lost all electricity in the area. This took me by surprise for a brief moment. There has been so many power outages in South Africa for the last year or so it was not a complete shock to the audience.

I immediately continued to share some stories with the audience. Someone opened the windows so we could get some sun light. And so I proceeded, be it a bit shaken by the loss of my presentation. My instincts kicked in and I proceeded to talk. I know one thing that happened was that I spoke faster. And I ended the presentation with an hour instead of the agreed 1.5 hours. We took questions and there a good response from most the audience. The feedback I received afterwards was generally positive. In my own mind I tried my best to remain calm. There is something about fake till you make it that came into play here. Because I was really ensure how to proceed without my presentation. I think we in business have developed a unnatural reliance on visual presentations. So even though it can enhance the message being delivered, it should never be the primary source of stimulation for your audience.

The best comment I received was my Toastmasters club would be proud with how I handled the loss of electricity and smoothly moved on and continued to delivery my presentation on Blogging. So the last word here is to take it till you make it. Just continue talking as if nothing happened and your audience will follow your lead. Remember you set the tone of the engagement. And most people are going to look to you fo reassurance of some kind.


Dr John Demartini interviewed about his new book the Heart of Love

The funny thing about this book is that I bought it after listing to his public talk on the topic but I have not read it because its with a friend who needs it more than I do right now. Anyway one of my favourite websites for video content is Conscious Media Network with a ton of full length (30mins to 1 hour) video interviews with experts in various disciplines from the most esoteric, to hardcore science like quantum physics and string theory. And this is the website where I first encountered the work of Dr John Demartini. I guarantee you will learn something about relating to your men or women in romantic relationships from this interview:

You can purchase Dr Demartini’s relationship book, The Heart of Love from if you live in South Africa or from if you live elsewhere in the world.