South Africa nearing 1 million broadband connections

MyADSL reports that South Africa is nearing 1 million broadband Internet connections…

South Africa is closing in on the one million broadband connection mark, mainly due to fast wireless broadband growth.

Telkom’s ADSL service is still the leading broadband service in South Africa with around 400 000 subscribers.

Vodacom’s 3G/HSDPA service is fast catching up to ADSL with 350 000 subscribers, and with a strong focus on broadband from Vodacom’s new Vodacom Business division 2008 may be the year where Vodacom surpasses Telkom in broadband subscribers.

MTN’s has not released any 3G/HSDPA subscriber numbers recently, but it is estimated that the mobile provider has around 70 000 subscribers.

iBurst continues to show good growth with 60 000 subscribers while Sentech has only a few thousand MyWireless subscribers left.

Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) – typically using WiFi as a last mile access technology – account for 45 000 broadband subscribers.

This brings the total number of broadband connections in South Africa to 930 000. It is expected that the 1 Million broadband subscriber mark will be reached before the middle of 2008.

 

Living Dialogues podcast takes my spirtual understanding to new heights

The last few weeks I have spent travelling on the road. Firstly doing a series of talks for Pannar Seed International in Delmas and Klerksdorp and last week to Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. I felt really silly about that trip because I didn’t know they had an airport in Nelspruit and so I ended up driving over 330kms from Johannesburg. This kind of driving is really good time for contemplating your life and the direction it takes or the challenges you are facing.

Anyway one of the joy’s in my life is discovering amazing new podcasts from time to time. One of? these is called Living Dialogues hosted by Duncan Campbell. These podcasts are extremely provocative in the selection of guests and the manner in which the interviews or discussions take place. The guests are people who the mainstream science would consider to be on the fringe. Certainly many of them are unknown to me and I am listening to the familiar names slowly but surely. There are multiple dialogues because the interviews tend to be broken up into segments less then 30 minutes in duration.

Here’s some of my favourite dialogues:

If you found any of these dialogues fascinating I’d love to hear your comments…

 

Blogs in Plain English video


Lee Lefever has done it again with an excellent 3 minute video clip introducing Blogs to the lay audience. If you have seen his other Commoncraft videos you’re gonna love this one…

And so if you are keen on blogging register for my monthly Blogging for Business seminars across South Africa or request a private training session for your company.

 

The Connections Show, an excellent business networking podcast

Stan Relihan Sydney Autralia LinkedIn userThe Connections Show is a weekly podcast hosted by Stan Relihan, one of Australia’s most connected LinkedIn users, and a professional recruiter based in Sydney. This is one of the most practically useful business podcasts I’ve discovered on the Web. And it’s a real surprise that it comes from Australia, not America like most of the other podcasts I subscribe to using Apple iTunes. So far there’s been 23 shows and I listen to them religiously. One of the motivations is that it’s only 20 minutes long. This allows you to digest the information quickly and easily in this attention deficient age we all live in.

Some of the shows that stand out for me are the following:

  • Conversations with a LION – Christian Mayaud
  • A Taste of LinkedIn Intelligence – Scott Allen
  • Talking with the Queen of LinkedIn Q&A – Sheliah Etheridge
  • Secrets of Successful Selling – Craig Elias
  • King of Yahoo! Groups – Vincent Wright

There is a great need for short, high quality podcasts like this one, which is also exceptionally well targeted to a growing niche. Stan Relihan, the host of this podcast does a good job most of time in getting the best from the guests. Every now and then there is a disconnect between the topics discussed and LinkedIn or business networking. And this could create problems for future shows if it continues to be a weekly. That would require over 50 guests, some of which deservingly could feature a 2nd time like the above mentioned people.

So I recommend you subscribe to The Connections Show or at least listen to a few shows directly from the Podcast Network, where it’s hosted. You may also be interested in my new business social networking workshops in South Africa, where I teach how to use online networking tools to increase your sales, grow your revenue and boost your profile in your industry.

 

From Attraction to Romance and back again

David DeAngelo, an American dating coach has a famous saying online, ?Attraction isn’t a choice.? Those words in fact became the title of the 2nd ebook he published after the hugely successful Double Your Dating. Both of these books were the starting point for what has turned into my life purpose, improving my own dating life, and in turn helping others improve their dating and relationships.

Let’s starts by giving attraction a definition: the force that brings people together. Repulsion is what pushes people away. Thinking about magnets you realise how opposites attract and similarities push apart. However, in human relationships you’ll notice that in the short term opposites may indeed spark attraction but its people who have more similarities who are the ones who stay together over the longer term. Someone once told me friendships last longer than most marriages. That is a certain ring of truth to that even without any supporting evidence in the 21st century.

What makes one person more attractive over another person? This is a mystery because philosophers and poets have written about it for thousands of years. And recently many scientists have contributed to the parade. Dr Paul Dobransky defines Attractiveness or Power as positive emotional energy and mature boundary function. In physics power or energy is the amount of work that can be done in a particular length of time. The more potent you are is a core metaphor for masculine power. It’s this potency men advertise to women that creates attraction without using any words or deeds. A woman notices a man, and says to her friend, “I don’t know what it about him…” referring to her initial experience of the masculine energy.

Self-esteem or self-worth is directly linked to attraction. The more self-worth, the higher your self-esteem, the more attractive you are to people. Again from Dr Paul Dobransky, self-esteem is made up of confidence and well-being. Confidence is what you get from transforming your anxiety into courage. And as you look deeper into this you’ll realise removing uncertainty has the same effect. Well-being is more of a motherly energy. You have enough money, enough friends ? your needs is are met – enough peace, enough vacation. Mature adults need to learn to father themselves through courage and mother themselves through what’s called assertiveness. If you don’t have well-being you take anger you feel and you use it in the form of assertiveness. Assertiveness is defined as going out and getting what you need. Again the more assertive, the more attractive.

Don Juan Demarco


Don Juan Demarco Johnny Depp Marlon Brando seducer
In this movie Johnny Depp plays a young man believing himself to be the greatest lover in the world. It starts out with him being depressed because he lost the one great love of his life and is ready to commit suicide. But first must have one last romantic encounter with a woman in need.

Just this opening scene is worth your money in gold because Don Juan gives a perfect example of how to be charming, romantic and seduce a woman. He interrupts a red-headed woman waiting alone at a table, sits down and begins talking to her in a deep commanding voice. As she objects, I insist, ?I will not linger.? He proceeds to tell her how sensitive certain women are to the touch of a man. Moving up from the bottom of their legs, he proceeds to move from her fingertips to her knuckles, which he in turn associates with her knees. Eventually the fleshy part of a finger, is like the thighs and finally…he ends up kissing her between the fingers implying a kiss elsewhere on the female body.

Here’s a clip from the movie with the scene I’ve just described:

Don Juan Demarco, as a movie is a fantastic demonstration of how romance can lead to natural attraction. The problem is, it’s a movie, not real life, in the real world, sparking attraction can be reinforced or strengthened by romance, not the other way around. What I mean here is that without attraction there is a long road to misery that lies ahead. So focus on creating attraction first before you spill your feelings to the person you are attracted.

 

Cellphone etiquette for people on the move from BulkSMS

cell phone SMS text messageAccording to Dr Pieter E. Streicher, managing director at BulkSMS.com, “We need an etiquette tailored for business people who communicate on the move. The increase in cellphone usage for work and private calls or messaging is becoming a source of irritation and psychological stress within, and outside, the workplace.”

See below for BulkSMS.com’s 10 tips on cellphone etiquette for the work environment.

*10 Cellphone Etiquette Tips*

1. Use SMS to reduce the social intrusion of a call. When a cellphone call is replaced by an SMS message it is less intrusive as it gives the recipient an opportunity to reply or call back when convenient. Cellphones should be viewed differently from fixed line phones. Unlike fixed line phone calls, cellphone calls are often received in situations requiring our focused attention such as driving a car, during meetings, or at social gatherings. The public use of the cellphone intrudes into the social space of anybody within earshot, making a private communication a public spectacle.

    2. Enable the “Silent” setting on your cellphone in public places or open offices spaces. This will allow you to minimise the noise your ringtone or message alert makes in areas where several people may be disturbed by a ringing or beeping cellphone.

    3. Use SMS like a pager. SMS is an unobtrusive way to get hold of a person as there is no immediate compulsion to reply to the SMS. If a cellphone is turned off, the SMS will be delivered shortly after it is switched on. When fixed line calls are not answered it is assumed that no one is home. It is therefore acceptable to continue calling a fixed line number until someone answers. In contrast, a cellphone is usually carried on your person. When a cellphone call is not answered it may not be an opportune time to speak. It may be viewed as unnecessary harassment if calls are made continuously to a cellphone.

    4. Use SMS as a notepad. Request callers to SMS the required details after the call. A pen and notepad are common items near fixed line phones for writing down instructions and phone numbers. In contrast, it is often difficult to take notes during a cellphone conversation, especially when driving a car (with a hands-free kit) or when listening to multiple voice messages.

    5. Change your voicemail greetings to include: “Don’t leave a message, rather SMS me”.

    6. Instead of leaving a voicemail message send an SMS. This removes the need to write down details while listening to messages. Furthermore, scrolling through SMS messages is much quicker than listening to many voicemail messages.

    7. Use SMS to send regular updates on a business process directly to a customer’s cellphone. Businesses are finding that customers appreciate receiving regular updates in any extended business process; such as the repairing a car, the delivery of items ordered online, or when new a cheque book is available for collection.

    8. Avoid the inappropriate use of SMS messaging. Consumers do not appreciate unwanted marketing messages. Unwanted messages are seen as spam. There are regulations prescribing opt-in and opt-out procedures via SMS. Businesses contravening these codes of conduct for commercial messages can be heavily fined by the regulatory authority.

    9. Ensure that there is an opt-out mechanism for consumers when sending out marketing messages via SMS. An SMS channel ensures that a consumer does not have to make unnecessary phone calls to networks or wireless application service providers to remove themselves from a database.To opt-out from unwanted commercial SMS messages, a consumer should be able to reply with the word “Stop”. Visit WASPA for more details.

    10. Use a desktop SMS messaging solution, such as the BulkSMS Text Messenger, that supports the sending and receiving of personalised individual and bulk messages. This allows you to customise your communications and track conversations with your consumers, clients or suppliers and promotes efficient internal and external business communications. Businesses should heed the changing social norms of cellphone use. In certain situations, customer, client or supplier preference to receive SMS messages rather than voice calls necessitates the implementation of an SMS solution across all departments of a business.

    Download the full media release here.

     

    Anti child-porn alliance launched in Europe

    by Chimwemwe Mwanza*

    Barcelona – How do mobile operators curb access to websites that pro-actively peddle pornography without interfering in the rights of subscribers?

    This is one of the biggest challenges facing European mobile operators particularly those in Norway and France.

    Alarmed at the rate at which children were easily accessing pornography sites, the GSM Association (GSMA) has formed an organisation called the Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content to help curb minors’ access to web-based pornography.

    “Do operators filter access to pornographic material – the result of which could easily cost them subscribers,” asked GSMA chairperson Craig Erlich.

    Operators have less of a choice under these circumstances; they have to rein in on the kind of content that consumers have access to.

    Erlich says that international policing group Interpol has in its possession over 200 000 online images of child pornography, representing over 20 000 individual children.

    According to Telenor – a Norwegian telecoms operator that’s successfully introduced a filtering system – child pornography has been on the increase in Norway over the past 10 years, with online child abuse content growing by 74% from 2005-06.

    When fully functional, the newly established anti child pornography body is expected to have a global footprint and hopes to draw on the support of global mobile operators, governments and regulatory bodies to clamp down on the scourge.

    “We have got to make it difficult for child porn vendors to profit the distribution of such offensive material.”

    In Europe, Vodafone – with the backing of the European Union – was leading the campaign still in its infancy but with time Erlich hopes that MTN, Orascom, Celtel and Vodacom – four of the biggest operators in Africa – would embrace the initiative.

    * Mwanza is attending the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, Spain, as a guest of Cell C. Originally published on Fin24.

     

    Google Calendar may be the best time mangement and online scheduling tool available

    In the mobile world filled with hotspots and wireless, you will be stuck if you continue to use an old fashioned calendar. I stopped using them years ago. Maybe I’ve been lazy and I just never got into the whole “writing things down” habit. In the past I relied heavily on Microsoft Outlook’s awesome calendaring and appointment scheduling functionality. In those years I was forced to rely on Microsoft products because the companies I worked for rolled it out as the company standard.

    These days I’m a convert to Open Source software models because I believe in the principles underlying this movement. So for my desktops operating systems I’ve switched to Ubuntu Linux, for my office and productivity applications I’ve switched to OpenOffice, which runs brilliantly across Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (my current primary desktop OS)!

    Since moving my email to Mozilla Thunderbird I’ve had to let go of an integrated email and calendaring solution. And after experimenting with the awful standalone Mozilla calendar project called Sunbird, I decided to continue looking for alternatives. Any Outlook user will understand the exceptional flexibility of having integrated email and calendar software. So for a while I even relied on my cellphone calendar, and this again was so tedious to keep updating. And of course I didn’t have a way to schedule recurring appointments – this is a key requirement for anyone focussed on increasing their productivity. I do a Tai Chi class every Monday and Wednesday, 6-7pm and I have other routines I’ve built into my weekly and monthly schedule, like Toastmasters, which is important for me to reflect in my diary.

    And so I found what may be one of the best tools available, as with most Google tools, also free: Google Calendar. This calendar is based on the iCal web standard for data exchange. This enhances interoperability with other calendaring applications. If you are using GMail it synchronizes with your contact list. The sharing is also extremely flexible and you can assign other Google users various levels of access to your calendar. I’ve had my personal assist be able to schedule new appointments directly in my calendar for a while now and it works perfectly.

    The one thing that really stands out about Google Calendar, being a user from South Africa, is the ability for reminders to be sent to you via SMS. This is a big deal because you’re not always at your laptop or always online. And whenever you are away from your computer this function can be a real life saver. Again the best part about this is the fact that the SMS messages does not cost you a cent. It’s been a real life save for me, allowing me to automate certain aspects of my life. I highly recommend you consider this amazing free tool as you preferred scheduling tool and appointment tool.

     

    Speed dating wasn't fast enough meeting the Baroness

    There was a young man called Ramon
    who was tired of being alone.
    Imagine his stress
    when a man in a dress
    blew him kisses and followed him home.

    How many of you have encountered a man dressed up like a woman? Aha! Fortunately it’s only happened once in my life ? so far.

    A few years ago I attended the first ever speed dating event held in South Africa in Melrose Arch. I read on a website that an SABC3 was going to record the evening’s events. So I jumped at the opportunity to be on tv ? I mean after all who does not want to be on tv? Normally I don’t do skydiving or bungee jumping but doing this was a very big thrill for me.

    How speed dating works is as follows: you normally have 10 guys and 10 girls. The girls sit down on tables and the guys rotate after 5 minutes so they are guaranteed to meet all the woman ? as you know this does not always happen in a bar.

    The Baroness Coral von ReefenhausenAnyway I moved around on a few dates and low and behold I faced the Baroness. The camera crew swooped in to capture the moment. As I sat down and she/he extended her hand, ?Well, well, well… aren’t you a handsome fellow…? Why thank you was my quick reply. ?Tell me…Ramon…where would we go on a first date..,? was her next question. This is where I had to think really, really fast. ?Oh maybe we’d go on a picnic, so we have lots of time to talk and get to know each other.? Those 5 minutes felt like an eternity with the Baroness.

    My next speed dating event was a huge improvement. Popular Joburg radio station 94.7 Highveld Stereo ran a special competition for Valentine’s Day 2005, which turned out to be the biggest speed dating event ever. We had over 50 people and you could smell the excitement in the air. Because of the amount of people we were split into two groups, and Fastdate, hosted the function. This lead to use being split up into two groups. Now as I entered the building going upstairs where the event was taking place. I was followed by a gorgeous girl with a big smile. She had a certain energy about her, a girly, bubbly type, which so many women over 30 seem to loose. As we reached the 2nd floor, a table full of small champagne bottles waited for us. I grabbed mine without a straw as usual. This girl, Lauren, took hers and innocently placed the straw in hers. The gas in the champagne reacted and almost like a volcano this thing erupted….”Oops! I did it again”, Was the expression on her face and she giggled her shy hello. We hit it off later on and I left the venue with a kiss and a her cellphone number tucked safely in my back pocket. So in fact I broke the rules, because I didn’t bother completing the speed dating forms, evaluating all the other women.

    If you’re keen on trying speed dating start by reading my speed dating articles.