You thought we wouldn’t notice but we did

I finally got my piece published in the M&G about the case of my stolen aloe
photograph, which was printed on a commercial range of fabric, and the long and stressful process that followed.

AloeBelow is a comparison of the image and the fabric:

Aloeprint

Here’s the  final piece in the Mail & Guardian:

You thought we wouldn’t notice – but we did

In South Africa, intellectual property theft of photographs, design and artwork is surprisingly common, generally misunderstood and difficult to control. And it happened to me. Although I’m not a full-time photographer – I spend most of my days writing and editing – I specialised in photojournalism at university and continue to enjoy the occasional photographic project.

The rise of mobile

Rapidly changing stats on the Vodacom Now blog reflect a nation-wide trend: more South Africans are consuming media on mobile devices than ever before.

In 2013, the first month that the Vodacom now! blog launched, 93% of our readers accessed the website on a desktop computer.

Many of our readers are also likely to have skipped the desktop phase entirely – moving straight to smartphones as their source of internet and online activity.

Thanks to the rapid proliferation of smart devices and increasing access to the internet that number has changed significantly: fast-forward to January 2016 and 49% are now browsing on their phone while only 42% access the site on desktop.

The blog, which covers the latest news from Vodacom as well as trending tech updates, has had to adapt to this shift by adjusting our content strategy to meet the changing needs of our readers.

In the space of three years, our reader base has moved from desktop computer to a handheld device.

Many of our readers are also likely to have skipped the desktop phase entirely – moving straight to smartphones as their source of internet and online activity.

According to a Pew Global, since 2002, cell phone ownership has exploded in Africa. In 2002 only 8% of Ghanaians said they owned a mobile phone compared to 83% in 2015. This 10-fold increase has been seen in all African countries where data is available.

Ownership is particularly high in South Africa and Nigeria, where about nine-in-10 have a cell phone. According to the report: ‘Roughly a third of South Africans (34%) and about a quarter of Nigerians (27%) say that their device is a smartphone, i.e. one that can access the internet and apps, such as an iPhone, Blackberry or Android device.

While the main activity on the millions of cellphones in Africa isn’t necessarily online browsing – text messaging, taking photos and shooting video top the list – it does show just how quickly Africans are adopting devices.

The challenge for publishers is to adapt to this diverse audience and find ways of creating engaging content that works for our readers. Content needs to be easy to consume, it needs to load quickly and it’s critical for publishers to factor in the often-exorbitant cost of data on the continent – something American and European users don’t need to worry about.

It’s an exciting time for publishers. Smartphones give publishers a direct line to audiences virtually 24 hours a day. Creating valuable content that our readers actually want to consume now up to us.

First published on New Media’s Storyboard

Cloud resurrects the video star

Cloud traffic is set to quadruple in Africa and the Middle East over the next four years. Content marketers will need to step up.

The fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019) predicts that global cloud traffic is set to quadruple by the end of 2019. The report highlights that cloud is becoming mainstream, and the Middle East and African region is expected to see 41% growth by 2019.

One of the factors driving this growth is the rise of mobile devices and the associated cloud services among individual consumers. Whether you’re familiar with the term or not: you’re already using the cloud for all sorts of daily actions like checking your Gmail or listening to Apple Music. At its simplest, cloud just means using the internet to access your data or services rather than your computer’s hard drive.

‘South African enterprise and government organisations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads. At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere. This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem,’ said Vernon Thaver, CTO of Cisco South Africa.

Consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere. This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem.

The local launch of streaming video on demand services such as Naspers’ ShowMax and international Netflix is just the beginning. As cloud, and the quality and reliability of internet connectivity grows, content publishers are going to have to adapt.

Consumers are hungry for content – especially video. Cisco’s 2015 Visual Networking Index predicts that by 2019 more than 51% of the world’s population will be online; around 3.9 billion people. And watching videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

In South Africa, expect a compound annual growth rate of 53% in video traffic with video comprising 78% of all traffic in 2019.

2019: Key stats from the Cisco Global Cloud Index

  • 144 trillion hours of streaming music – equivalent to about 26 months of continuous music streaming for the world’s population* in 2019
  • 26 trillion hours of business web conferencing with a webcam – equivalent to about 21 hours of daily web conferencing for the world’s workforce in 2019
  • 8 trillion of high-definition (HD) movies viewed online – equivalent to about 2.4 hours of daily streamed HD movies for the world’s population in 2019
  • 2 trillion hours of ultra-high definition (UHD) video streaming – equivalent to about 25 minutes of daily streamed UHD video for the world’s population in 2019

* The world’s projected population by 2019 will be 7.6 billion people (source: United Nations)

Originally published on New Media Storyboard.