Date created: 2019-09-20 14:05:26

Subject: 2019 September newsletter

Cape Town news

Keeping you in the Loop!

September 2019 newsletter


(an official) Welcome to a New Beginning

It's been awhile. For those who are counting, it's been more than a few years since Cape Town news published it's email newsletter.

So why the long break?

The last time I published this newsletter was around June of 2012. At the time, I got involved in a new project and directed all my energies there. I allowed this newsletter to fade into the past.

Going back a few years, around 2007, blogging became really popular in South Africa and many bloggers were keen to derive an income from it. Many attempts were made to build sites and advertising services online that would attract corporate ad spending on blogs, but ultimately only a very few blogs prevailed.

In larger economies, such as the United States, some bloggers were able to become commercial successes, Huffington Post being just one example, with others being mashable, arstechnica. HuffPo, as it is effectionally called, was launched in South Africa but failed to gain traction here and was shut down. At one time, Thought Leader, established by the late Matthew Buckland of Mail & Guardian, thrived but now has fallen far down the chain in popularity.

Memeburn, VentureBurn & Gearburn were also created by Buckland who passed away aged 44 in April this year of cancer. He lived in Cape Town with his wife and two daughters.

Buckland came to fame, along with his then Mail & Guardian colleague, Vincent Maher, in 2007 when they created and launched Amatomu which was a blog aggregating service. On it's front page, it showed a listing of South Africa's top blogs by traffic. Blogs of all platforms could be included. It had a WordPress plugin and javascript to cut and paste into the blog's template. Everytime you posted something to your blog, it would ping Amatomu and your post would appear in their constantly updating news feed. Amatomu was an instant hit and became wildly popular among local bloggers. I met a lot of interesting people via Amatomu and the vibrant blogosphere it supported. I used it myself and got my capetownnews blog into the top 10 for a while. Vincent Maher is still alive, married to his beautiful second wife, and working for the Multichoice Group. I count him as one of my friends.

The Daily Maverick is one of the local blogs that manages to cling on by its fingernails. The EFF recently banned it because it took issue with some of its reporting.

MyBroadBand, on the other hand, has managed to gain support from corporates and is used to publish "partner content" aka sponsored blog posts on a daily basis. MYBB cunningly does not allow comments on it's partner content posts. It also enforces a very strict moderation policy on comments by the general public. Unfortunately, this has become necessary because of the great deal of malcontents online who are ever willing to jump onto a blog in order to poke their fingers into the eyes of others. And if they are feeling particularly malicious or frustrated, they will abuse an anonymous blogging platform to create slanderous content online.

I would be remiss in failing to mention 2 Ocean's vibe, even though I don't actually want to. I don't think much of the quality of the content published there, but the rag has managed to cling on somehow. Any day now, hopefully.

And last, but by no means least, I must mention Cape Town ETC, which is a delightful Cape Town blog that has all kinds of interesting news. Technically, I could call them competition to Cape Town news, but it's all different flavours of ice cream. They're very good at what they're doing and they do it consistently.

To summarise, it's hard generally to succeed in South Africa and harder still to succeed as a blogger. Frank Sinitra famously sang about about New York City, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!" Well, if Frank Sinitra had been a South African singer, it's possible that hardly anybody would have heard of him. This country can seem like a dorp at times. Great ideas get discarded or go nowhere. Our most talented leave our shores to become great overseas, because we just don't afford them the opportunities that the bigger ponds do. It's one of our greatest failings as a nation and our geography is only partly to blame. Yes, we are at the ass end of Africa, but that doesn't mean we have to be asses.


(continued) Editorial

Good Bloggers never die, they just write about something else

Following on from my welcome, although I took a break from publishing an email newsletter, I didn't stop writing or publishing, I just chose to do it in a different place on a purely adhoc basis.

A friend of mine encouraged me to create a Facebook page for Cape Town news, so back in 2011, I did so, and in the interim it has grown in number of followers. I use the Facebook page purely to write about what interests me personally. You're free to read and comment there, if you like - FACEBOOK, however, please do not post anything commercial there. Like many FB pages, it gets it's fair share of spam, but that gets taken down just as quickly as it goes up.

If you want to use Cape Town news to advertise your business, please arrange to pay for it or else refrain from trying your luck.

At the beginning of the web revolution in the late 90s, I realised very quickly that it's fairly easy to throw up a web site, but for that web site to actually gain traction and regular readership, you need to do more than just rely on a search engine to drive traffic to you. All the heavily trafficked sites make use of email notifications of updates to drive repeat traffic. Almost all sites ask you or remind you or pester you to join their mailing list. Email is still the originator of an enormous amount of web traffic.

Many have predicted the demise of email, but it remains one of the most resilient internet applications. At one time, some felt that RSS feeds were going to become the way people got notified of updates to their favourite web sites, but RSS has fallen into disuse now. There is absolutely no point in publishing an RSS feed to your blog, the only readers will be web scraper bots.

Here's something you might not know about me: nobody pays me to write this. That's right, this is a pure labour of love, free of corporate contamination. Free of political party interference. Whatever agenda you may think is present, is purely my own meandering thoughts. Reading this is like drinking down pure cool spring water. If somebody wants to buy me out, the price is $100 million EURO.

Speaking of money, the other BIG THING that happened while I was absent is bitcoin and the whole cryptocurrency nonsense. I first became aware of it around mid 2011 and I thought it might be pleasant to mine enough of it to pay my rent, but I did not think farther than that. By 2013, I used bitcoin to repatriate some US dollars paid into my PayPal, in the process circumventing FNB. With the method proven, I bought a small stake of bitcoin for about $100 and sold it for $200 a month later. I never saw the day it would soar above $10 000 or I would have held onto it.

As of now, though, I do not believe that cryptocurrency will fulfill its promise of replacing fiat currency. And if it can't do that, then it's value to us all is ultimately nothing. And if that is the case, then its current value is artificially inflated and eventually, it will crash completely with no recovery. Of course, I do not possess a crystal ball and so I can't predict the future. It's still possible that some variant or off shoot of cryptocurrency will eventually prove imminently useful and go mainstream across the globe like the internet did in the 90s. I just feel that the odds are stacked against that. Countries desire to remain firmly in control of their currency due to the tax implications of losing control.

About 2 years ago, I heard some noise about ProjectUBU, a new South African based cryptocurrency that would provide a Universal Basic Income by issuing free UBU every day to "citizens". A citizen was anyone who installed their app and created a wallet. Their twitter account went dead in April this year. Safe to say this project is over or will be soon.

Currently, IOL is accepting advertising money to promote SAFCOIN on Facebook. SAFCOIN is undoubtably a scam and has been analysed here. All the ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) turned out to be worth nothing. They were designed to enrich the pockets of the guy in charge. They were merely capitalising on hype surrounding cryptocurrency. A well known local entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham, was among those with his hand out offering a CIVIC ICO. Civic has something to do with online identity protection, apparently, but the civic wallet which is used to pay for services is still not available.

There's too many people hyping crypto and blockchain without having anything useful to show. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) executed a pilot test project to enable faster bank clearances of EFTs using a blockchain based solution. Although the pilot demonstrated it could be done, the project has not gone forward.

Someone well known who has recently been making an ass out of himself is Trevor Manuel, chairperson of the Old Mutual board. They fired Peter Moyo, the OM CEO, over an apparent conflict of interest, so he went to court and won reinstatement. Instead of respecting the court order, Trevor Manuel / OM have done all they can to block Moyo returning to his office including terminating him a second time. Manuel made his blatant contempt for court known when he referred to the court as "an individual in a robe". OM shares are down 20% and some sharesholders are calling now for Manuel and the board to resign. [story]

Another well known who is now in prison, is Bob Hewitt. Originally from Dubbo, Australia, this creep married a South African woman in 1967 and became a South African shortly thereafter. After becoming a world famous tennis super star, he began coaching girls to play tennis and raped some of them. He was an active serial rapist for the 80s and 90s and no-one was the wiser because the girls aged 12, 13 & 14 and their parents were too afraid to proceed against him. After being convicted, he was shunned by the international tennis community and was stripped of all his honours. He was removed from the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012. Recently, it was announced that he would be paroled after serving 2 years of a 6 year sentence (yeah, it's a disgustingly short sentence). However, after protest from his victims, his parole has been set aside for review. So that's two Australians who are confirmed wankers - Rolf, I'm looking at you. Only kidding, it's ALL of them. [story]

I find this brouhahaha over the old Orange, white and blue flag annoying. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is abusing its position. Getting the old flag declared "hate speech" does nothing to alleviate our most pressing problems, but this is what they're wasting their time doing - running after stupid icons instead of applying themselves to the real issues. They went to court about this and nobody won anything. They tried to make out that Roets was in contempt of speech for posting an image of the flag to his twitter account but that was ruled out as bollocks. These people must get a grip and find more productive use of their time. Afriforum and Solidarity are doing more for South Africa than the politicians are. [ story ]

Finally, I will leave you with a famous and long lasting bit of Revolutionary fervour, courtesy of Che Guevara: "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine."

Yes, I am still a comrade of Che.

-- ctn-editor, Cape Town news

I'm always keen to hear your feedback - {contact}


Silly Humour

The one thing that South Africans, including myself, remain addicted to is humour and memes. So here are some jokes.

Qs:

Have you ever noticed that the word "queue" is one letter, Q, followed by 4 silent letters. Nobody says the 'ueue'. Why is the word spelt that way?

Because a Queue is always longer than expected.

Overheard:

I'm such a yuppie dirtbag, I have two dual-sim phones.

I have 4 numbers that I am completely unreachable on.

On Women:

A lot of people have suggested that if women ran the world, it would be a much more peaceful one. Really? I disagree. You only have to watch one woman's rugby match to realise that if women were in charge, we'd be in for some really serious shit.

Never mind men playing dirty, women rugby players are out of control. They will literally smash anything that gets in their way. It's not just elbows in the face, they are like steamrollers flattening all opposition. You've never seen anything quite as frightening as a female rugby player with a ball in her hands.

Same as women in the military. Shoot at them, and they'll laugh at you, and then blow your head off. You think you're badass? You think you're tough? You ain't seen nothin'.

What I'd really like to see is our dirtbag rapists & murderers being thrown to the mercy of a female All Black rugby player.

"I ain't gonna lie, this is gonna hurt."

Women are total savages. Men think they're badass if they stick a sword in you. A woman will hose you down with ice water while you stand naked in the middle of winter and watch you freeze to death. Now that's cold.


Advertising

I am accepting advertising for October's newsletter now. Deadline is October 15 2019. Circulation is approximately 500 000. Distribution is nationwide via email only.

If you're operating a legitimate business and you need some extra exposure, contact me for advertising options in Cape Town news - {contact}

No scams, spams, insurance, make money fast, forex, multi-level marketing etc.

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