The Evolution of myScoop

It has been over 4 years since I created myScoop, the once called “the real time South African blog aggregator”. Let’s face it, aggregation is dead. As with all things in life, change should be the only constant and this is the reason myScoop has been completely overhauled into something new – a premium blog network that offers bloggers the opportunity to monetise their blogs and offers advertisers the opportunity to get their message out to millions of South Africans in a relevant and unique manner.

The idea

I have been playing with this idea for quite some time now. Just like AdDynamo’s “sponsored tweets” concept, the concept of “paid blogging” is relatively new to South Africa and there have been a few discussions around it over the past year. I have been working full tilt to get the system up and running and I’m finally proud to announce the relaunch of myScoop.

How it works

It’s quite a simple tool at the moment. Bloggers have their choice of which campaigns they would like to be a part of and get paid according to how popular their blog is. Advertisers create campaigns within myScoop and then choose which blogs they would like to have writing about their brand, product or service. For ethical reasons, all sponsored posts need to be fully disclosed on the blogs. All of this is controlled through the myScoop App.

myScoop has over 1000 South African blogs registered giving potential advertisers the luxury of choice as to when and how their message is spread throughout the millions of South African internet users.

 

Evernote hacked: 50 million user accounts compromised

EvernoteEvernote, the service and app that allows you to record anything about your life, business or ideas recently sent out an email stating that they will be carrying out a service-wide password reset due to suspicious activity on their servers. Although they mention that they are taking precautionary measures to ensure your account is safe, they do also mention that your user information has been compromised. Oh great.

Dear Evernote user,

Evernote’s Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service.

As a precaution to protect your data, we have decided to implement a password reset. Please read below for details and instructions.

In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.

The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts, and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)

While our password encryption measures are robust, we are taking steps to ensure your personal data remains secure. This means that in an abundance of caution, we are requiring all users to reset their Evernote account passwords. Please create a new password by signing into your account on evernote.com.

After signing in, you will be prompted to enter your new password. Once you have reset your password on evernote.com, you will need to enter this new password in other Evernote apps that you use. We are also releasing updates to several of our apps to make the password change process easier, so please check for updates over the next several hours.

As recent events with other large services have demonstrated, this type of activity is becoming more common. We take our responsibility to keep your data safe very seriously, and we’re constantly enhancing the security of our service infrastructure to protect Evernote and your content.

There are also several important steps that you can take to ensure that your data on any site, including Evernote, is secure:

Avoid using simple passwords based on dictionary words
Never use the same password on multiple sites or services
Never click on ‘reset password’ requests in emails – instead go directly to the service
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We apologize for the annoyance of having to change your password, but, ultimately, we believe this simple step will result in a more secure Evernote experience. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Evernote Support.

The Evernote Team

I for one have an account with Evernote, let’s hope I don’t get an additional 100 spam emails sent to me every day over and above the 300 I already get.

Top Group Buying Websites in South Africa (Updated May 2011)

Group Buying websites have become very popular in the past few months, so much so that every Tom, Dick and Sipho have decided to create one of their own. With the help from a list compiled over at iGeek, I took the time to analyse which of these group buying websites are actually making an impression on the South Africa internet landscape.

*** 23 May 2011 (Latest)

Rank Website Alexa Rank (ZA) Unique Visitors (AdPlanner)
1 My City Deal 50 420k
2 Ubuntudeal 296 14k
3 WiCount 302 48k
4 CityMob 488
5 Zappon 524 12k
Twangoo 896 11k
VuvuPlaza 943 15k
OneDayOnly 1258 5.3k
Dealio 1701
24 Hours Only 1941
Skoop 2293
AllDeals 2599
UCit 5073
Collective Cow 8360
SaleWine 9636
Justhenga 12 228
Bangoo 14 623
GroupBuying 20 828
DealsOn 21 057

The biggest climber for May was Zappon.

 

*** as at 30 Mar 2011

Rank Website Alexa Rank (ZA) Unique Visitors (AdPlanner)
1 My City Deal 39 350k
2 WiCount 248 44k
3 Twangoo 333 27k
4 Ubuntudeal 655 10k
5 OneDayOnly 868 7.9k
Zappon 295 (* new)
Dealio 1030
Skoop 1826
UCit 1913
24 Hours Only 1944
VuvuPlaza 2559
Collective Cow 3252
Justhenga 7575
Bangoo 7638
AllDeals 8131
SaleWine 11382
DealsOn 13737
GroupBuying 19339

 

Although Zappon was only recently created, Alexa.com believes its already the 295th ranked website in SA. Pretty impressive.

Which one is your favourite?

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 may be… erm… amazing.

Yup, I actually said “amazing”. On the way to work this morning an update from Mashable on Facebook caught my eye. It appears that Microsoft’s new version of Internet Explorer may just surpass everybody’s expectations. I decided to do a little digging myself and found that Microsoft have made a “test drive” facility available for their new Internet Explorer version and the results really do look promising.

Yup, I actually said “amazing”. On the way to work this morning an update from Mashable on Facebook caught my eye. It appears that Microsoft’s new version of Internet Explorer may just surpass everybody’s expectations. I decided to do a little digging myself and found that Microsoft have made a “test drive” facility available for their new Internet Explorer version and the results really do look promising.

Internet Explorer is due for beta release this September.

Here are some metrics that have been released from Microsoft:

IE9 Acid Test

As you can see from the image, IE9 scores an amazing 95/100 as apposed to its previous score of 20/100.

To be honest, I never thought I would see the day that Microsoft would actually pull this off. Over and above all of this, Microsoft is trying its best at complying with requests from thousands of developers for better interoperability between browsers with regards to markup (tags, scripts and language). Microsoft has submitted over 2,100 tests to working groups at the W3C.

Well done Microsoft!

Google Chrome Market Share Increasing in South Africa

When Google first released the Google Chrome web browser, the initial sentiment was neither here nor there. However, times have changed as more and more internet users have converted to this amazingly quick and stable web browser. I have conducted some limited research on the market share relating to web browsers in South Africa.

When Google first released the Google Chrome web browser, the initial sentiment was neither here nor there. However, times have changed as more and more internet users have converted to this amazingly quick and stable web browser. I have conducted some limited research on the market share relating to web browsers in South Africa.

South Africa

This research is based on information aggregated from 2.5 million page views  from 6 different web categories: Entertainment, shopping, travel, kids, blogging and business. These stats are a comparison between the dates Jul 2009 – Dec 2009 to Jan 2010 – Jun 2010.

  • Chrome increased from 5.64% to 8.16% (up 2.52%)
  • Internet Explorer decreased from 70.78% to 69.42% (down 1.36%)
  • Firefox increased from 15.43% to 15.57% (up 0.14%)

As you can see, South African’s are reluctant to let go of Internet Explorer.

Global

This data (from Net Applications) follows the same date range as above, Jul-Dec 2009 to Jan-Jun 2010 and yields similar results.

  • Chrome increased from 3.45% to 6.31% (up 2.86%)
  • Internet Explorer decreased from 65.24% to 60.74% (down 4.50%)
  • Firefox increased from 23.76% to 24.32% ( up 0.56%)
Browser market share Jan-Jun 20101