Smart Africa TV: The Internet no longer only for urban elites

by Russell Southwood (@BalancingActAfr) In this interview we talk to Indra de Lanerolle, lead researcher on the South African Network Society Survey, a user survey of African internet use. De Lanerolle also teaches television and mobile media at Wits Journalism.

Brand Journeys: MWeb – not quite ‘just like that’

For many people MWEB is still the big black box, which it launched in 1997, the same year the business was established by MIH Limited (a Naspers company). The big black box, in case you don’t get it, was a box, and black, and offered wary South Africans everything they needed to connect to the Internet via dial-up modem, with the payoff line “Just like that” (I still hear the finger snap in the background).

The commercial Internet was new, exciting, and big business was getting in on the act. The first dot com bubble had yet to burst and MWEB was spending large swathes of money buying up rival ISPs before its 1998 listing on the JSE.

Today it is a friendly consumer brand wholly owned by Naspers. Its pay-off line has changed to Connect & You Can to reflect the growing acceptance and integration of the Internet into daily lives. It serves a user base of over 300 000 subscribers (which is not that much higher than figures available for 2005 – although it has had success in converting many of those to ADSL) of whom more than 200 000 sits on ADSL. They consume 4.5 petabytes (4,500,000,000,000,000 bytes) of bandwidth per month.

Jason Xenopoulos wants to win the advertising war

Jason Xenopoulos recently re-emerged as an important player in the SA digital arena through his role in facilitating and leading the merger of Brandsh, Stonewall+ and Cambrient,to launch Native.

The people want to overthrow the ad tracker

You have every reason to be paranoid about your privacy in a digital world, says Dominic White, a security consultant at SensePost and self-proclaimed ‘argumentative Catholic hacker geek’, known under the pseudonym ‘Singe’ online. White was a speaker at ITWeb’s Security Summit recently held in Sandton, where he discussed the politics and technology around online privacy.

Where to find the #NetProphet 2011 speakers on Twitter

Want to follow the 2011 NetProphet conference speakers? Look no further. The tag for the event taking place May 12 in Cape Town is #netprophet.

Refocused good news for newspaper brands?, the largest and one of the most important South African digital media players, earlier this week announced a significant strategic move that will see it restructured and refocused. It will, in effect, move from being standalone to a division integrated with Media24 Newspapers.

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