Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mac or PC?

I started my long and ongoing relationship with computers on a mac- (17 years ago now) and thought it was the shizniz! The only reason I went to PC is that there are more games available for it.

So we sold the old mac, my bro and I started building PCs together and we never looked back...until I graduated from varsity having done Communication Design. Now, my varsity uses PCs exclusively and the same went for our design lab...we were blisfully unaware that a better alternative was waiting for us in the professional, working world of graphic design.

Long story short- my dad got me a macbook pro as a graduation present and I am as happy as a pig in shit I can tell you!

Its great! Mac aaaaallll the way!

Which do you prefer? Vote here!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A world gone mad

I am sad that this is my 50th post on this blog...

Its not often that the news affects me this much...

The people of South Africa are angry. Angry because of high crime, poverty and joblessness. Angry because the bright future that was promised to them seems to be nothing more than a far off dream.

They needed someone to blame....

This anger has boiled over and the hapless victims are those who have come to our country to seek a better life for themselves. The immigrants, refugees of a broken continent coming to South Africa because they see our country as a haven and somewhere to start afresh.

Xenophobia has taken hold and has translated into mob violence the likes we haven't seen since the faction fighting of the early 90s.

People are being killed. Their crime? Merely wanting a better accused of stealing jobs from unemployed local people. They are paying with their lives for their dreams as part of some mad logic that they are the root cause of the joblessness...

I have no more words- I can only watch and wait.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008 Join up!

So there I was...minding my own business and busy whittling away the hours on Facebook when a friend of mine, Bryan Vlok, changes his status to "Bryan is launching" so being the curious type of chap I am I amble over to the site and fill in all my details and whatnot and blam I realise I am staring at greatness....

Why do I say that? Well, I usually think an idea is good if it is clever...but I think an idea is GREAT when I have a "why didn't I think of that moment" the kind I had about 5 minutes ago.

The site is rough and needs work but the idea behind it is spectacular and simple. But I urge you to bear with it and fill out the details, get the registration email and click on the "about us" link once you have activated your account!

Watch adverts and then fill out questionnaires about them...then get rewarded for doing so. Now I know that the internet is awash with similar ventures but the ones I have come across have always been dodgy, bland and don't even get to watch anything.

The reward is practical at least- no banking details required even! Instead all you need do is get a Pick 'n Pay gift card and enter the 16 digit number found on the back into your site profile. Then every time you watch an advert and fill out the questions that come with it you will be given a certain amount of credit on this card!

Genius. Pure genius.

I am sorry if you web 2.0 types are all saying "seen it already" but I haven't ok? this is new for me...this is interesting for me and I believe that with the right amount of support this can work out to be great for everyone...

And lord knows I need help with the grocery bill!

So you web 2.0 types, you know who you are! Go and rain on someone else's parade! There are still boundaries to be pushed on the web...there are still good ideas out there, even if they have been done somewhere else, they haven't been done here.

Now go and register mense!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Miley Cyrus makes Time's top 100 most influential people...WTF???

I have been a pretty loyal reader of time for most of my life but lately I feel Time is losing its edge.

A case in point was when I found Miley Cyrus' grinning at me from the midst of Time's top 100 most influential say that I was flabbergasted would be a gross understatement.

You see, my problem is really two-fold:

1.) Why on earth would Time take up a spot on their top 100 for a 15 year-old teenager who can't really sing- shouldn't they have given that spot to someone more deserving? This is an obvious gripe which I feel will be shared by many.


2.) What the hell is dear little Miley Cyrus got to live for now? Lets take stock of this teen's life: She adored by millions of little girls who look up to her as their "big sister" - she has lucrative recording deals and a seemingly permanaent spot on the Disney Channel's line-up - PLUS: she makes it to Time's top 100 most influential people!

My point is that she has already achieved more than what many entertainers only dream about doing and never even get close to in their entire lifetimes.

So what is going to happen to little Miley when her audience grows up, let alone what more can she possibly hope to achieve in her professional life? That was the one redeeming thing about the article written about her in Time- Donny Osmond said that she will need to re-invent herself or sink into obscurity by the time she is 20.

In short she could either turn out to be a Madonna and still be around when my kids are in their 20s...or turn into another Britney Spears- alone, troubled and seen as nothing more than a washed up singer.

The next question is whether or not she has the talent to re-invent herself (or any talent at all) and if her rise to fame was only to get daddy Cyrus a second chance at being famous.

You can read the offending article in the latest copy of Time or just click here!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why thought leader can't truly be a "blog"

Ok so I might take some flak for this but here goes.

I am currently studying media management at the Sol Plaaitjie Media Leadership Institute at Rhodes University.

One of the topics discussed today was the emergence of "internet journalism" and the involvement of audiences in reporting news and often making the news. An important part of this new information landscape is the so-called "blogosphere."

Now, to me at least, my definition of a blog is somewhere a person makes comments, chronicles events and their lives, talks about their hobbies and so on- "true" blue-blooded blogs are ones which information is unsolicited, unmoderated, unpaid for and unregulated.

Under this definition (and I suppose you can call it quite conservative) Thought Leader cannot be a blog. It is instead a case of "old media" using a new platform to do something the mainstream media has always done: Make people little-known people into well-known people and finally, into experts who are always called upon to make comment on particular things (eg: Guy Berger et al).

While the content may be, for the most part, unsolicited, it is most certainly moderated (you or I mortals cannot just email in an article to Thought Leader) and it is certainly sponsored as it is a Mail & Guardian initiative- no doubt a Maher/Buckland meeting of minds spawned it. It is therefore elitist and this goes against everything that blogs stand for, in my opinion at least.

If one were to look at the internet as merely a platform (which, in part, it is) then what Thought Leader is doing is extremely clever, laudable and an excellent exercise. While I am not saying that Thought Leader isn't any of the above- I happen to find it extremely interesting myself- I feel that blogs are way more than just a platform, they are a social phenomenon where, in the words of Willis and Bowman millions have a "press" in the form of the internet.

I read somewhere that in the case of the internet, change happens at the fringes...not at the centre and I would situate good old Thought Leader firmly on the mainstream, elitist "New Media" bandwagon.

Thought Leader may be a great forum for who the Mail and Guardian think "leaders" are, it may be a pioneering piece of on-line wizardry, it may be relevant, it may be needed, it may be the best thing to come onto the media landscape since podcasts were invented...but a my most certainly isn't.


PS If you made it this far well done, for those of you who don't know what Thought Leader is then here is the link, click and be amazed!