The Year of Visual Communications - 27 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] Bizcommunity.com has wrapped up its annual BizTrends2017 with a round up of all the trends we predict will move the industry this year. In 17 Trends for 2017, we predict that this will be the ‘Year of Visual Communications' as video gains prominence and becomes an integral element of all marketing communications. Elsewhere in Africa, the Africa Data Science Association NGO has been formed to promote globally acceptable data science practices for Africa. read more

Africa gets its own domain name - finally - 20 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] After years of wrangling through the courts, the .Africa domain name will finally be available to brands and individuals from mid-2017. This follows the resolution of a court case in the United States. read more

Preparing for times of uncertainty - 13 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] The only way to prepare for uncertain or disruptive times in business, in your own industry, is to be informed. To understand the global forces at work, pessimism in the markets, the factors that are looming to disrupt your industry. read more

A hopeful narrative for Africa - 6 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] The new secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has expressed his hopeful optimism for Africa in a recent address at the African Union Summit. He spoke of the continent's promise and vast potential: “I am convinced that the world has much to gain from African wisdom, ideas and solutions.” He said he also brought with him “a deep sense of gratitude” for Africa's humanity. read more

Media innovation for Africa in 2017 - 30 Jan 2017

[Louise Marsland] While the news coming from parts of the world is rather depressing this past week, it's nice to be able to post stories like ‘Ten media innovations in Africa in 2017', from Dashboard's Peter Searll, which looks at the speed at which the media landscape on the continent is changing and the proliferation of smartphone penetration, rise in media consumption, new choices and formats, including the emergence of better research tools. Central to this is the roll out of 4G across Africa. In research from Balancing Act, they outline ‘The new data normal for Africa'. Then there is the fact that despite a global economic downturn, Africa is expected to show modest growth in 2017/18. read more

What is news? - 23 Jan 2017

[Louise Marsland] It has never been more important that in this age of unfettered information flows and unrestrained social media, to maintain a healthy scepticism when confronted with news that evokes a strong emotion. In this era of fake news, it is not only up to the media to filter the facts from the nonsense and offer up stories to inform and entertain us; but it is also up to every individual to take the time to evaluate the source of content, including pictures, before sharing or reacting. What makes it extremely difficult to spot fake news is that often the URLs or social media handles are very similar to the original source - often mainstream, well-known media sources. read more

Economic prospects for Africa in 2017 - 16 Jan 2017

[Louise Marsland] As January is Trends Month, we are highlighting our #BizTrends2017 articles daily and will do so for the entire month. For all the top trends for 2017 across the media and marketing industry, go to Bizcommunity.com's main BizTrends section. Given the disruptive year that 2016 was, it's no wonder we have several additional articles talking about the economic prognosis for Africa in 2017. read more

Launch of BizTrends2017 - 9 Jan 2017

[Louise Marsland] A very Happy New Year to all our readers, on this, our first working Monday of 2017. read more

The most read stories on Africa - 12 Dec 2016

[Louise Marsland] As we march on to the end of the year, Bizcommunity.com has compiled its annual lists of the top most read stories of the year, as well as the top contributors and top advertisers, in the #BestofBiz. An interesting aside: most of the most read stories on our Africa Media & Marketing portal are the positive business stories on Africa - from awards to business opportunities. Despite local and global economic and political challenges, initiatives like Africa Trade Week and a renewed focus on agriculture; renewable energy; and concrete proposals to implement the Continental Free Trade Area, spell positive outcomes for the continent. In fact, 'Africa must do what it is good at', according to development economist Ha-Joon Chang. read more

Lessons from brands doing it right - 5 Dec 2016

[Louise Marsland] This week we've carried a couple of stories with lessons from brands getting it right in various sectors, from innovation to corporate social responsibility. In 'How to build a culture of innovation', Katherine Madley from Alexander Forbes explains how to create an innovation culture from within to "improve" business. read more

Looking ahead to the future - 28 Nov 2016

[Louise Marsland] It's that time of the year when predictions for business in the next year and industry trends start filtering in to newsdesks and you know the end of the year is near! The fact is that the world is in a state of constant digital evolution, making business today very fluid. One of the most sought after skills in any career today is flexibility, in the context of being able to adapt to change and take chaos in one's stride as almost every industry is "disrupted" by disruptive technologies. This "on-demand economy" of ours presents unique challenges for business and individuals because we are expected to be "always on" and brands need to be immediately responsive to consumer demands. read more

Finding the hopeful news - 21 Nov 2016

[Louise Marsland] If one looks beyond the bad news emanating from Africa and elsewhere on the globe, you can always find that which will uplift your spirits. This is a continent of incredible innovation, hopeful initiatives and entrepreneurs. read more

Research under the spotlight - 14 Nov 2016

[Louise Marsland] One thing that will be hotly debated after this year and the subject, no doubt, of numerous case studies and future research papers, will be how research got it so wrong in two major global events this year: Brexit and the US Presidential election. Or how in both cases, social media pollsters got it right when all the other pollsters got it wrong. read more

Towards Agenda 2030 - 7 Nov 2016

[Louise Marsland] A global action plan for data is in the spotlight this week with the news that the inaugural United Nations Data Forum will be held in Africa, specifically Cape Town, in January next year. The objective is to improve the use of data and stats to achieve a transformational vision of a better future for all people on this planet, as set out in Agenda 2030. It is hoped the event will inspire innovation and dissect all the tools available for tracking and analysing data, including data journalism, for sustainable development, and create data ecosystems with all stakeholders. An integrated approach is needed to meet Africa's development goals as the Millennium Development Goals transition to Agenda 2030 and NEPAD transitions to Agenda 2063. read more

The human element - 31 Oct 2016

[Louise Marsland] Has social media fundamentally changed language and the way we communicate? JP Kloppers, the CEO of BrandsEye says in his article on social media and data, that we actually changed how language works in using the limits of tweets and status updates, plus emoticons to convey feelings. However, given the complexity, cultural nuance of language and even acronyms, Kloppers says we still need people to decode the trends and patterns in what is being conveyed online, as algorithms and machines will not pick up the subtleties to provide accurate social data to make informed business decisions. This week Deloittes reported back on a session with business execs on how to extract value from mega business trend and disruptor, the internet of things (IoT). read more

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