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NGOs and Social Media Conference in Johannesburg and Cape Town

The 5th Annual SANGONeT "ICTs for Civil Society" Conference will be held in two parts - from 15-16 October 2009 in Johannesburg, and 20-21 October 2009 in Cape Town.

Following the success of the previous four annual SANGONeT conferences, the 2009 event will focus on the relevance of social media tools to the South African NGO sector.

South African NGO Web Awards 2009 - Entries Invited

Entries are now open for the South African NGO Web Awards 2009.

Organised by SANGONeT, and now in its fourth year, the competition aims to raise awareness about the benefits of having a web presence among South African NGOs, stimulate interest in the application of web solutions and applications, and showcase best practices and innovation in website use.

The closing date for applications is 21 September 2009.

Social Media and the South African NGO Sector - Online Survey

SANGONeT and World Wide Worx are currently implementing the 2009 "State of ICTs in the South African NGO Sector" research project. The purpose of the study is to establish how effectively South African NGOs are using information communication technology (ICT), and whether it is making a difference in NGOs' ability to serve their constituencies.

The research findings will be released during the 2009 SANGONeT “ICTs for Civil Society” Conference to be held from 15-16 October 2009 in Johannesburg and 20-21 October 2009 in Cape Town.

MXit Furious at Accusations After Pupil's Disappearance

Cellphone text-chat service MXit has furiously rejected suggestions that it could have been responsible for the disappearance of a Parktown schoolgirl last week.

MXit spokesperson, Juan du Toit, branded reports as sensation-seeking, misleading and inaccurate, and warned that legal advice is being sought with a view to possibly suing newspaper publishers.

Du Toit states that, “Even if it does emerge that she [Nabeela Omar] accepted a friendly request from a stranger, it is not fair to condemn a technology for bad choices made by one user.

Hackers Target Twitter and Facebook

Social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, suffered service problems on 6 August 2009, raising speculation that they have come under a pre-planned coordinated attack by hackers.

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, was knocked down by a malicious attack that prevented people from accessing its website for several hours on Thursday.

NGO Develops Book Reader For The Blind

A Nagpur-based NGO, Saksham, has launched an audio book reader for the
visually challenged. The device, will not only help the visually challenged in their studies but also to undertake leisure reading and learn music.

The NGOs' national general secretary Avinash Sangvai said that the instrument was developed after carrying out detailed research on various devices used for the blind.

Facebook Taken to Another Level

Facebook has announced that it will begin letting its members use their full names in online addresses for profile pages at the popular online social networking service.

It says profile addresses - or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) - that are changed to the personalised format will consist of facebook.com/ followed in each case by a user's name.

Facebook designer Blaise DiPersia, points out that, “This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you."

More Time Spent on Social Networks

The number of minutes Americans spent on social networking sites nearly doubled in the past year with Facebook and Twitter enjoying explosive growth. This is according to Nielsen Online.

Nielsen Online found that the number of minutes Americans spent on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Tagged, Twitter and LinkedIn grew by 83 percent from April 2008 to April of this year.

It says the total minutes spent on Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, from 1.7 billion in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009.

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