Smartphone Apps Increase risk of Date Rape

Two of South Africa’s leading experts on relationships and technology warn women to be alert using smartphone dating apps. During Women’s Month in August, reports from NPRi in the USA, raised alarm bells on gross privacy violations via GPS built into all smartphones.

Whilst I am a keen supporter of social media as the modern way of connecting, communicating, making love, caution must be exercised to counter the feeling of ‘real life,’ says Marlene Wasserman, Clinical Sexologist also known as Dr Eve. “This ‘real life’ feel disarms people, enabling them to take risks which they would not do in real life. Placing a GPS dating app into your hands increases a woman’s risk factor- women generally are not free/safe in public space.”

The new breed of smartphone apps uses GPS to help singles locate potential mates nearby. While men are enthusiastic about the apps, women have been slower to adopt them. Far more men than women are signing up for the services and these apps. The app Grindrii, for gay men, has more than 4 million users worldwide.

People have looked to the Internet to find friendship or love for more than 20 years, first using dial-up bulletin boards, IRC, Internet dating, online social networking and now mobile apps,” says Ramon Thomas, author of a new book, The Psychology of Technology (2012). “Safety concerns aren’t the only reason for the gender imbalance in mobile dating. Women use smartphones for different reasons.”

New research by World Wide Worx reports at the end of August 2012, 5.3 million South Africans were using Facebook, 2.4 million were on Twitter and 9.4 million on MXit. WhatsApp has become the leading instant messaging tool among South Africans aged 16 and over, living in cities and towns, with a user base of 4.6 million. The most common “Check In” sites for Facebook in South Africa are airports and shopping malls.

More and more apps use geo-locating ability to offer you local weather forecasting or find nearby restaurants. There are dozens of GPS dating apps to choose from: SinglesAroundMe, MeetMoi, Badoo, Assisted Serendipity and Skout, just to name a few.

The vast majority of users are men. Naturally, when it comes to matching straight couples, that knocks the whole system out of whack. For matching to work, you have to have enough women. But a lot of women say they’re afraid of being harassed if they use these apps.

“It is the dumbest thing,” says Rose Mlambo, a young fashionista in Sandton. “You’re just going to see a huge increase in sexual assault and date rape because people can find out exactly where you are and exactly how many drinks you’ve had.”





Ramon Thomas BSc PDIM

Mobile: 081 4399 555


Dr Eve:

Dr Marlene Wasserman DHS

Tel 021 439 4004



Request a copy of the Psychology of Technology book before sending your full contact information to





New editor for SA's oldest online tech mag

Sean Bacher journalist editor technology gadgetsVeteran technology journalist Sean Bacher has been appointed editor of South Africa’s longest-running online technology magazine, Gadget. The appointment comes as Gadget prepares to celebrate its 12th year online, and plans a heavy focus on the technology of the World Cup.

“It’s a landmark year for South Africa, so it is a privilege for me to be at the heart of covering the developments that help shape its outcome,” says Bacher.

He started his journalistic career writing for the technology section of The Star in 1999, reviewing high-end technical products, and gradually evolving to consumer and business technology. He has had stints with FHM, Africa Geographic and Elle, before taking up a technical journalist position at Computing SA. He then moved on to become editor of Computing SA in 2005.

“The market has changed dramatically in the past 12 years, both in gadgetry and in media,” says Bacher, “and this year promises to increase that pace of change even more dramatically. It’s the right place and the right time to be in online media.”

Gadget is published by World Wide Worx. The company’s MD, Arthur Goldstuck, who previously won the Electronic category in the Telkom ICT Journalist of the Year awards for his work in Gadget, will continue to act as editor-in-chief. Gadget’s senior reviewer, Steven Ambrose, who is also MD of WWW Strategy, is appointed associate editor.


* Sean Bacher can be contacted on:

Tel: +27 82 9951510



Skype: seanbacherza


Interview on Chai FM, Jewish community radio station

[NB! I often receive phone calls or emails from people thinking this website is Chai FM. Please contact them directly via their websitebecause I was only a guest on the radio station a few times.]

Today I received an invitation to do my first interview with this new Jewish community radio station next week 10, Tuesday, 23 December 2008. We will be discussing what technology is popular among children, why it’s so popular and coping strategies for Jewish parents and families in general. The big take away for me learning about diverse South African groups is how strong families are in some and weak in others.

While doing my own background research I came across this promo video for the brand new Chai 101.9 FM Johannesburg, South Africa, a 24 hour a day Jewish radio station!

“Chai Fm is a Jewish community radio station broadcasting to the greater Johannesburg area on 101.9fm. The station is talk format with 20% Jewish music. Programming is determined by community research and reflects the diverse views of the community. Based on “Tools for Life”, Chai Fm provides programming that is informative, educational, entertaining and relevant to the community.

The objectives of Chai FM are to: Unite the Jewish community, to build the connection between the community and the land of Israel, to reflect ourselves to ourselves and to provide programming that is relevant, informative, intelligent, honest, engaging, reflects a diversity of views and is entertaining.

Chai FM is for all the Jews of Johannesburg, irrespective of observance levels, age, gender, race or financial status.

“The station aims to provide a platform for debate and a diversity of opinion” says Kathy Kaler, a director of Chai FM. She adds: “It’s so easy to think that our communities are insular and we can forget we are each part of a greater “whole”.

Chai FM was granted a community broadcasting licence in June 2007 and will begin broadcasting in September 2008.

Source: Teruah blog.


Interview Zooming In On Men, SABC3

Pepsi Pokana, host Zooming in on Men SABC3On Sunday, 21 September I was interviewed in a pre-recorded episode “Dating Games” for the fascinating show Zooming In On Men (ZOIM). ZOIM now in it’s 2nd season is broadcast Sundays at 4.30pm, following Car Torque, with the target market being the mature South African man – apparently the rest of the media believes we are in short supply!

Anyway this is the first television show where I was introduced as South Africa’s #1 Dating Coach aka Hitch…lol…The host Pepsi Pokana and his wife, who does the make-up, helped me relax quickly and the director, the camera crew and sound engineers have by far been the most professional I have worked with in the broadcasting industry in South Africa. I was extremly confortable before and afterwards the filming of my segment.

Melanie Son, the content producer confirmed the following transmission information:

  • Channel : SABC 3
  • Date: Sunday, 26th October 2008
  • Time: 16h30

More about this show that I highly recommend for all men. And for women who want to understand men, instead of trying to “fix” them:

Zooming in on Men is a quirky, humorous television property that is partly influenced by, but not limited to, men’s print formats like Best Life, GQ and magazines like Afropolitan, Tribute and Blaque. It is an entertaining, engaging and informative platform that moves away from being merely a lifestyle show, but rather uses topics relevant to men to create a space where “real men talk” about the variety of issues that affect, confound, inspire, anger and humour them. One of the key pillars behind this new season of ZIOM is to create a platform where we can laugh at ourselves in our exploration of the constructs of Masculinity. We discuss debate, argue, laugh and experience a range of topics ranging from the serious to the frivolous. The show, hosted by an anchor host, supported by a comedian, will be studio-based, which serves as the foundation for the show. It will be driven by the banter between our two hosts and their interaction with the various guests in studio. The space will reflect men and their interests. Each show is driven by a topic/theme, and all the elements in an episode serve to explore the relevant topic. The core of the show is the conversation between men, which will happen in our location studio.

Target Market: Urban men aged 25-40


Move magazine interview about other women

Recently I was asked to answer some questions for Move magazine. I normally wait until after they go to print before publishing it on my own blog.

That other women

Question – I met this guy last year in May we started dating in June. The problem started when his ex- girl friend phoned him and yelled at me saying crazy things. one day I was at the guy’s place and when I got there she came and wanted to start a fight with me and when I asked the guy about her he said she just a crazy woman because she even sends his parents sms’s saying stupid things she even calls every day but when she calls she just keeps quiet. Now what I want to know is will she ever get used to the fact that it’s over between them because she has even started threatening the guy.

Continue reading “Move magazine interview about other women”


Who's who in the non-white Web 2.0 South African Zoo

This blog post was updated for some corrections in June 2012.

Mandy de Waal, a freelance journalist, wrote this article on ITWeb, profiling top social media gurus in South Africa. When I first read it, I found offensive not because it’s inaccurate, rather because it is incomplete. The main reason I take issue with this is because it’s an example of lazy journalism. She interviewed eleven people, all white, asking them about their Web 2.0 dream team is. Maybe she did not have a non-white person on speed dial. Yet she could still have made her point without having to call them the white boys club.

Ramon Thomas “dream team” of black Social Media experts:

Vinny Lingham SEO guru Internet entrepreneurVinny Lingham: This is the one person I assumed Mandy de Waal would interviewed for her piece. Maybe she skipped him because he moved to San Francisco Bay Area for a period of time. I’m not sure where he was based at the time the initial column. Vinny is a master at raising start-up capital for his Internet business ventures. Beside his SEO background I believe his experience naturally leads him to role of business development. Persuading other people to invest their cash into your business is a crucial factor to business growth.

Khaya Dlanga youtube video blogger Khaya Dlanga: A video blogger on Youtube has over 10,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel. I first met him at the annual Digital Citizen Indaba, a blogging conference, at Rhodes University last year. In his day job he works for an advertising agency, according to his LinkedIn profile, the Jupiter Drawing Room, one of the top agencies in South Africa. Another feather in his cap is that Khaya is one of the contributors to the Mail & Guardian’s Thought Leader group blog. What I would like from Khaya is to produce a weekly video blog for myself and in turn I would like to help commercialise his videos. There is a great potential to create a DVDs (like the Ask a Ninja DVD) based on his videos and sell this online, direct to home or to video rental chains in South Africa. His outstanding quality is his sharp sense of humour and wit.

Rafiq Phillips SEO guru bloggerRafiq Phillips: Cape Town based SEO expert, hardcore technology blogger and Internet evangelist blogs at WebAddict. He is the co-creator of iDrive a portal for finding driving schools in South Africa. Both of us represented South Africa as bloggers at the TEDGlobal Conference in Tanzania last year. The iDrive platform was accessible on MXit until recently. The innovation from him has led to him being featured on a Carte Blanche segment in March 2008. Rafiq would be the obvious person to run search engine campaigns and also act as the lead blogger to drive traffic and attention.

Charles Ash webmasterCharles Ash: The founder of the community portal for multiracial or mixed race people. Charles has a technical background in the IT industry and started this community website while living in Cape Town a few years ago. Its been a labour of love for him and I was once more directly involved. He has built a 10,000 strong user community and a website that generates over 3.5 million page views per month with zero funding or institutional support. Since he started his own hosting company, Charles would be my choice to run the technical back-end from hosting to system administration.

Nur Ahmad Furlong designerNur Ahmed Furlong Cape Town based WordPress guruNur Ahmad Furlong: A web strategist and graphic designer also based in Cape Town. He blogs at Nomad-One and also at TechLeader. From what I can tell he is a fantastic designer but what really strikes me as unique is his ethically motivated approach to business. The fact that he has been spearheaded the launch of WordPress meetings in Cape Town is a testament to his passion for getting the good word about the WordPress open source blogging platform out and bringing together the growing community of enthusiasts in South Africa. I look forward to having him redo some professional blog designs for me in the near future and maybe some other branding work that requires a sharp eye for detail.

Yusuf Mahomedy Worksucks authorYusuf Mahomedy: Author, work radical and blogger at Worksucks and Work911 on The Times. His professional track record is impeccable as a Tax Consultant at Ernst & Young and Senior Manager in HR at MTN Group. What impresses me about him the most is his output: he has published 2 books (Worksucks & Smart Reward Strategies) and contributes to trade journals like HR Future. Since 2007 we have delivered several seminars together and most recently this Internet Cafe workshop. What I would like from him is help in self-publishing my own book, and also putting all the business processes in place, especially those who focus on human resources as I continue grow my business and move from casual to full-time employment of people.

Mario Olckers copywriter graphic designerMario Olckers: A multi skilled web developer, blogger, copywriter, graphic designer at Hogsback Media Networks. Mario was first introduced to me by Charles Ash, and even though we have not yet collaborated we have had numerous conversations. His skills in copywriting are what I need the most. You can also follow him on Twitter since I deleted my account.

Consider some statistics from TechLeader group blog in terms of contributors by race:

Race Contributors Percentage
white 54 88.52%
black 2 3.28%
coloured 0 0.00%
indian 5 8.20%

What about me, Ramon Thomas? Interested in my contributions to Web 2.0 or Social Media in South Africa. Read or listen to the following interviews:

Sometimes I wonder will South African media ever, ever be more representative. When white people own most of the media companies, produce most of the radio or television content, publish (edit) most of the newspapers, magazines or websites, what do you expect?


My CNBC Africa interview on Business Networking

MANDLAKAZI MPAHLWA host Kaleidoscope CNBC AfricaOn Wednesday I will be interviewed for the 2nd time on the Kaleidoscope show on CNBC Africa. The focus was on business networking and social networking. Here’s some of the what I covered in the interview with Mandlakazi Mpahlwa:

MM: How does a delegate begin to Network?

RT: Learn to ask questions. You do not have to have all the answers but if you can ask good questions you allow the other person to open up and tell you what’s most important to them. Once you know what’s important to them you can link what you have to offer to that. And that could be another person in your social network (not something you are selling). Building trust should be your #1 objective.

MM: When and where should one Network?

RT: You should network everywhere. Therefore you must always, always carry your business cards with you. And don’t wait for the other person to ask for it. After speaking to someone for a few minutes give them your card. Now when they give you there card DO NOT put it away immediately. In Japan its customary to accept a business cards using both hands and bow. And then you keep the card in your hand UNTIL the other person puts it away. By glancing at the card you can begin to remember the person’s name before putting it away. And also looking at the info on their card you can make fairly accurate guesses on the nature of their business. I have networked with people in book stores, coffee shops, conferences, parties, the plane, buses, you name it. There is not perfect place.

MM: What are the No-No’s when networking at a function / conference?

RT: The biggest mistake is trying to sell somebody on your products or services. People are coming together to meet and network to help them solve problems not to buy something. That always comes later. You have to listen, ask questions and once you have an understanding of their pains you can make suggestions. The key is taking time to build trust and find out what’s most important to the other person.

MM: What tools does one require to successfully network?

RT: You can use online tools like LinkedIn, Facebook or MyGenius to manage your growing network of business or social connections. It’s important to touch base with people within the 1st week after meeting them and then once every 90 days. In additional your email software like Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook can help you keep track of birthdays and you can go as far as sending automated emails using a CRM system.

For me LinkedIn is the most powerful business networking website because:

  • it has very strict built in privacy management so you cannot spam people
  • it has very high quality members: many CEOs, Directors or Specialists
  • over 35,000 South African business people
  • A goldmine for research, competitive intelligence in the LinkedIn Answers

On the other hand Facebook floods your Inbox with more information than most people can handle, even though you can turn it off. Also many of my business connections are on Facebook, however, they use it to share more personal experiences like family photos, etc.

A Networking Example:

If I meet you at a function and you tell me you’re in the media and you have your own show, etc. I will tell you about some people I’ve met who I think will make good guests. So I’m not saying you should interview Me. I’m suggesting other people and other things in which I’ve have no vested interest. What I’m doing here is playing the connector role. I’m helping people connect the dots. I always play my own role, my own abilities down. I’m being humble.

You may be interested in my business social networking workshop.  You will learn how to become more interesting, improving your social intelligence, increasing the depth of your business relationships and most importantly substantially improving the results you get from business networking.


Interview with Tom London on 702

Tonight I did a quick interview with Tom London, the new host of the late night show on Talkradio 702, Cape Talk. To demonstrate how easy it is to do a video podcast with my new Sony Ericsson w880i I’m posting this video of the late night team for those of you who listened to the show.

If you are interested in my Blogging for Business seminar click here for details on the next dates because Friday, 22 June is already fully booked.


TEDGlobal 2007: Session 12: Noah Samara

Noah SamaraNoah Samara is a satellite radio pioneer. Growing up saw a lot of people battered by many problems but there has always been a hope. He is impassioned about empowering people with information. Because of HIV/AIDS 17 million people would die by the end of the decade in the 1990s would die and simply because of a lack of information. This prediction was being made in the late 1980s.

Since nobody was doing anything he decided to build his own satellite radio station. His wife said once you’re finished go and get yourself a real job. It was daunting task because it had not been done before to allow satellite to broadcast to terrestrial radio. A 131 countries allocated frequencies. By 1996 $1.1 billion was raised. And for the first time technology was launched in Africa before it was handed down to America.

Some of the programming include daily soap operas, weather information and other types of information that are locally relevant. About 90% of funds are raised inside Africa. Some young people, children of refugees, were interviewed it was an goosebumps moment when they heard themselves on radio from Cape to Cairo the next day. So the question is now how do we scale this impact from anecdotal stories like that of William who built a windmill to serve his family’s energy’s needs. How much of the positive force created by the TEDGlobal conference can be unleashed.

For more please read the Noah Samara page on Wikipedia and also visit Worldpace radio website.


TEDGlobal 2007: Session 11: Salim Amin

Salim AminThe final session of TED: Leadership and Truth, opened with a short film with photos from the famine in Ethiopia. He open with “My name is Salim Amin and I am an African.” The images from the film saved the lives of 3 million people. Images taken by his father, Mohammed Amin. A24 media project, a 24 hour news channel, covered by Africans for Africans. The short film was an extract from a documentary “Mo and Me” about rediscovering his father’s work. The photos of what his father took is still what people think 20 years on. Children with flies in their eyes and malnutrition.

We have 900 million people on this continent yet we don’t have our own news channel and rely on foreign companies. CNBC is business focused and foreign owned. SABC is largely South African focussed – compromised. Most news usually comes from other sources and focusses on the negative issues. Rely on 46 low cost, regional. Will be offered free to air to all terrestrial broadcasters, mainly because we never get paid.

Private Equity has been set-up in Mauritius for the new media company. And no shareholder will ever own more than 25% of the company to remain independent. We need to empower Africans around the world with knowledge. Great good governance, democracy and holding people in leadership positions accountable is the primary drivers of this bringing this A24 news channel together.

For more on Salim Amin please visit the Mohammed Amin foundation.