Recognising the Power of .Mobi websites

If you believe in the power and value that the internet can bring to your business then try typing your web address into your mobile phone…..frustrating isn’t it?

The Web has revolutionized how we interact with and publish information, however surfing the internet using one’s mobile phone, whilst being quite convenient, can be a very frustrating and time-consuming exercise if trying to access a non-mobile compliant website. The result is often that people then prefer to wait until they are sitting at a PC than have to try to scroll down and across on their tiny cell phone screen. Added to this is the problem that the majority of South Africans do not have access to a PC yet they more than likely own a cell phone which is a much cheaper means of accessing the internet.

According to Liron Segev of Swift Telecoms, “The problem that exists is that websites have been created to work with powerful PC’s, with a 17” screen, a mouse and a keyboard which means that traditional websites do not function or display correctly on mobile phones. Hence the creation of .Mobi websites whereby a dedicated Mobi site is created to deliver your information to a mobile phone anytime, anywhere there is cell phone coverage, without the current frustrations of non-mobile compliant websites.”

The .Mobi phenomenon has already been widely accepted in the international arena however the need is only now being recognised for South African internet users with larger companies slowly starting to establish a mobile presence.

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John Wooden on true success

With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom. He first came to my attention via the monthly Toastmasters International magazine. In this talk poetically about true success, hard work and also basic principles for leadership.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com,

Here’s some excellent motivational qoutes by coach Jon Wooden:

Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.

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I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.

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Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.

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Never mistake activity for achievement.

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Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

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If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation
because your character is what you really are, while your
reputation is merely what others think you are.

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Be prepared and be honest.

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Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.

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Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.

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Don’t let what u cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man given Be grateful. Conceit is self given. Be careful.

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Ability may get u to the top, but it takes character to keep u there.

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If u don’t have time to do it right, when will u have time to do it over?

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It’s what u learn after u know it all that counts.

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A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

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It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

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Ability iz a poor man’s wealth.

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A man may make mistakes, but he isn’t a failure until he starts blaming someone else.

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Be prepared & be honest.

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It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.

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Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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You cannot live a perfect day without doing something 4 someone who will never be able to repay you.

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Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

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Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.

 

New undersea cable part of 100-fold bandwidth increase

The announcement today of a formal agreement for the construction of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) by all South Africa’s major telecommunications operators sets the scene for total international bandwidth capacity coming into Africa growing more than a hundredfold by the end of 2011.

The Internet Access in South Africa 2008 study, conducted by World Wide Worx and supported by Cisco Systems, shows that international bandwidth available to sub-Saharan Africa was a mere 80 Gigabits per second at the end of 2008. This was split between the Telkom-controlled SAT3/SAFE cable and the West African Atlantis-2 cable.

But, according to the report, the capacity will rise to around 10 Terabits per second by the end of 2011, or 120 times the 208 capacity. This growth will be the cumulative result of the existing SAT3 cable being upgraded, three major new cables becoming operational this year, another two in 2010, and the WACS cable in 2011.

These figures exclude capacity available to North African countries that have access to a network of cables criss-crossing the Mediterranean.

Says Reshaad Sha, Senior Manager of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, “It is encouraging to witness and be part of the telecommunications revolution that Africa is currently undergoing. The role that the undersea cable operators will play is crucial to both the developmental and economic agendas that have and are being set by African Governments.”

The confirmed new cables due to serve West, East and Southern Africa are:

  • SEACOM, East and Southern Africa, 1.28Tb/s – Due end June 2009
  • GLO-1, West Africa,640 Gb/s, ready for operations, 2009
  • TEAMS, East and Southern Africa, 120Gb/s – Due September 2009
  • EASSy East and Southern Africa, 1.Tb/s – Due June 2010
  • MainOne, West Africa, 1.92Tb/s, due 2010
  • WACS, West and Southern Africa, 3.8Tb/s, Due 2011

“The WACS agreement puts in place the final spark for the broadband revolution that is about to sweep Africa,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx. “The real significance of all these undersea cables is that they will in turn lead to further infrastructure expansion to bring this bandwidth to end-users, especially in the business world.”

Cisco’s Sha concurs: “The telecoms operators and governments are still required to fulfil the role of delivering this connectivity to their citizens. This will probably be the most challenging role in realising the benefits of the terabits of bandwidth that will be reaching the African coastlines.”

The Internet Access in South Africa 2008 report includes an overview of each of these cables and a timeline for their implementation.

Media contacts

For comment on this press release, please contact Zweli Mnisi, PR Manager: Cisco South Africa

Cell: +27 83 616 6175 Email: zmnisi@cisco.com

For further information, please contact Arthur Goldstuck at World Wide Worx, on 011 782 7003 or 083 326 4345, or e-mail arthur@worldwideworx.com

 

Democratic Alliance leads elections race in Internet performance

An in-depth analysis of the Internet strategy of the main political parties in South Afrca’s 2009 general elections reveals that the Democratic Alliance has a substantial lead in online performance over its rivals. The African National Congress comes in a distant second, narrowly ahead of the Congress of the People. The United Democratic Movement and Independent Democrats, in turn, are well behind COPE, while the Inkatha Freedom Party trails so far behind, its web presence is described as “damaging”.

The first formal web site benchmarking survey of South African political parties was released today by World Wide Worx, which uses its Webagility system to evaluate and benchmark web site usability and strategy of companies, organisations and institutions in South Africa and globally.

The Webagility system breaks the analysis down into several modules, including usability, social media, campaign effectiveness, and content strategy. Each module contains up to 30 micro-elements, which are each assigned a score, providing a detailed measure of overall effectiveness of online presence. Webagility has been used to analyse sites for clients as diverse as major retailers, banks, bookstores, the City of Jo’burg, SA Revenue Services, the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants and Wits University.

“The DA site achieves only an average score from a usability point of view, but their content strategy sets them apart,” says Steven Ambrose, manage director of WWW Strategy, which conducts the Webagility analyses on behalf of World Wide Worx. Ambrose heads up the Webagility team of analysts. “Benchmarked against global best practise, the DA scores 81% on content strategy, against 64% by the ANC and 60% by COPE.”

In usability, the DA score drops to 69%, while the ANC is consistent at 63% and COPE drops to 57%. Campaign effectiveness sees similar ratings for the DA, at 65%, while the ANC scores only 48%, COPE 45% and the UDM comparing well with these at 43%.

The much vaunted use of social media like blogging, Facebook and YouTube by the political parties is revealed by the analysis to lag behind global best practise. While the DA still leads substantially here, its benchmarked score drops to 69%. The ANC plummets to 47% and COPE 43%.

“The difference lies not so much in what they are doing, but in how they are doing it,” says Ambrose. “The ANC have clearly invested heavily in their online presence, and their YouTube site looks most impressive at first sight. But it is put to very poor use, with uninspiring content, and little opportunity for voter engagement. The DA, on the other hand, has spent less money on the Internet, but scores far higher due to the direct engagement of its own representatives. Their blogs are not only relevant, but interesting, so it comes across as real engagement rather than a public relations exercise.”

The overall Webagility scores of the major parties, benchmarked against global best practice, are:

  • DA: 76%
  • ANC: 61%
  • COPE: 56%
  • UDM: 43%
  • ID: 32%
  • IFP: 23%

“The poor performance of the IFP web site, which our system characterises as ‘potentially damaging’, is a reflection of the reality that the IFP does not expect its target voter audience to be found among Internet users,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx. “It is probably not vote-effective for them to spend too much energy online. The ID’s performance is more a reflection of poor understanding of online strategy, with its leader famous for her attacks on blogs.”

Goldstuck adds that the DA has clearly done its homework on the Obama campaign in the USA, which set the standard globally for embracing the Internet in political campaigning.

Says Goldstuck, “We have nothing like that kind of sophistication in South Africa, but lessons are being learned fast.”

A PowerPoint presentation summarising the Webagility analysis can be downloaded at the World Wide Worx web site.

Media contacts

· * For comment on this press release, please contact Steven Ambrose, MD of WWW Strategy, on 011 782 0045 or 083 601 0333, or e-mail steven@wwwstrategy.co.za

· * For further information, please contact Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, on 011 782 7003 or 083 326 4345, or e-mail arthur@worldwideworx.com

 

Losing My Faith in being a Jehovah's Witness

Losing My Faith in Jehovah's Witnesses by Robin JacksonThe Jehovah’s Witness organisation, also know as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, has become known as a very secluded and insular organisation. It is one of the more controversial denominations of the Christian religion. From my earliest days in Uitenhage I have been aware of their existence. And for the most part they came across as a group of people who were sincerely spreading their information brochures to clarify their teachings. Its only in the last few years that it has come closer to home because a cousin of mine converted to this religion and married into a Jehovah’s Witness family.

What I admire most about him till today is that not once has he tried to convert me, or has he insisted on me attending any services. I have been with him once or twice to the Kingdom Hall and noted some differences in how the religious ceremonies take place compared to my own experiences in the Dutch Reformed Church and some other Evangelical churches. At the same time my own mother became a reborn Christian in about 1988 when my sister was born, and when I entered high school. She is a staunch advocate against the Witness organisation and all other belief systems like Islam, Hinduism, etc. This stance is something that is difficult for me to reconcile. I have always preferred to find the things we have in common with those from different cultures or belief systems because after all we are all human beings, and we are all created in the image of God.

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