Inside the Information Society: Of Politics and Social Media

There’s been a lot of talk lately about politics and social media. Some have seen Facebook, Twitter and the like as champions of empowerment; others, more recently, as vehicles for hate. I’d suggest they’re both and more; that their impact’s messy; and that it’s changing and will continue to do so. Some thoughts, then, about what’s happening and what we need to know.

Phase one: Insurgency (or not)

Facebook Offers Digital Training for SA Entrepreneurs

Livity Africa launched its “Digify” training initiative – which consists of various courses targeting different levels of digital experience – in 2014.  The initiative has received backing from Google, the Rockefeller Foundation and the British Council.

The new programme launched in collaboration with Facebook will see Livity Africa’s Digify trainers provide immersive coaching to young entrepreneurs, which will be supported by ongoing training from Facebook.

Facebook Turns to Money Transfers

The service is available for payments to and from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Europe, the company said Tuesday. It said it would later expand the offering to all 50 countries — and 600 currency exchange pairings — that TransferWise supports.

In launching a bot on Facebook, TransferWise joins a growing lists of foreign exchange and payment companies experimenting with sending money over messaging apps, which many people think will gradually replace standalone mobile applications as the primary e-commerce platform. 

WhatsApp and Facebook Data Sharing on Recess

Facebook agreed to suspend its planned use of data from UK users of its WhatsApp messaging service for advertising purposes, the nation’s privacy watchdog said as it vowed to “keep pushing” so people get more control.
“We’ve set out the law clearly to Facebook, and we’re pleased that they’ve agreed to pause using data from UK WhatsApp users for advertisements or product improvement purposes,” UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a blog post Monday.

MXit, Leading Social Media in SA

A study released by technology research organisation World Wide Worx  and online reputation management group Fuseware, has found that nearly a quarter of South Africa’s population actively uses social network, MXit.

The study also found that Facebook appears to be losing some of its early appeal as the youth turn to BlackBerry’s instant messaging service instead.

They say currently, MXit remains the most popular site by far, with 10-million active users.

10 Tips to Give Your Charity A Digital Spring Clean this Spring Day

Happy Spring Day!

As we celebrate the packing away of winter clothes, heaters and blankets and look forward to the advent of Spring and warmer weather, isn't it time you gave your charity a much needed digital spring clean? Dust away the cobwebs with these 10 tips we've devised to revitalise your fundraising, both online and offline.

1. Review your website

Site Launched as Facebook Rival

Four United States students who launched a new social networking site called ‘Diaspora’ are stressing its ease of use and stricter privacy policy, in a bid to make waves in a field dominated by Facebook.

The version, which is available to software developers since last week, is giving outsiders an opportunity to work on applications within its framework, ahead of a public launch due at a yet undisclosed later date.

Facebook Launches Panic Button for Child Safety

Social networking website, Facebook, has agreed to adopt a panic button aimed at improving the online safety of its younger users.

According to a child protection group, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), says the launch of button, which follows its long campaign, will allow children and teenagers to report suspicious behaviour and get help, advice and support about staying safe online.

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