Archive for February, 2009
This volcano is located in Chile, on the border with Argentina in Patagonia (see the map below with volcano, not to scale and enhanced for dramatic effect). The volcano erupted last May and although there was no loss of human life, the town of Chaitén was completely covered in ash and residents were evacuated.
The volcano has once again increased its activity, recently spewing a 6 mile column of ash and causing earthquakes. The Volcanism Blog is posting ongoing reports and photos. El Cordillerano, a newspaper based in Bariloche, also has up to date reports (Spanish only).
The town of Chaitén has been evacuated, although there are some inhabitants who are refusing to leave. Other communities are not in direct danger, although the dust and ash is currently affecting towns 60 miles away. Governmental organizations are distributing drinking water, eye wash and headscarves to disrupted areas.
The volcano could have more far-reaching effects as continued ash eruption and wind patterns could spread dust all the way to Buenos Aires. This dust activity was mild
Last night I was walking home from work and decided I wanted to take a detour down to Parque Calderon
, where I’d heard there were a lot of Carnaval festivities going on. Sure enough, there was a big castillo
and people sending glowing globos
floating up lazily into the sky. I hung around for a few minutes, watched the people and their families, and then proceeded on my way home.
Rounding the corner, I saw a small group standing on the sidewalk, facing a parking garage exit expectantly. Remembering that one of my coworkers had said that Presidente Correa was in town and having dinner in the area, I asked someone if that’s why they were there and got an affirmative nod. Bueno, pues
. I had nothing better to do at the moment, so I joined the little throng of loiterers.
Also present was a large group of police officers and military men, some in riot gear, others in their dress uniforms. Further confirming the eminence of an important figure was the motorcade of parked vehicles taking up the entire block. The officers weren’t at any kind of attention and none of…
The Democratic Alliance (DA), a local opposition party, has impressed with their new online strategy. Clearly inspired by Barack Obama’s web innovation
, the political party has launched two websites, although only just squeaking in two months before national elections kick off. The sites are: a social media-type campaigning site, “Contribute to change
“, (built on BuddyPress
) and the official site
, built by World Wide Creative
, a Cape Town web dev house.
I was impressed that the DA specifically invited bloggers to their website launch event, which I unfortunately could not make because I was doing my regular Thursday Cape Talk
Inspired by Obama
The DA sites have Obama written all over them, both in design and functionality. Considering that Barack Obama’s campaign website was by far the most sophisticated political website the world had ever seen, it’s not a bad model to emulate either.
I’d been previously criticised
for what was deemed to be premature criticism
of the DA’s rather poor previous “temporary” web presence (it was a blog). But these fresh sites are not only a dramatic improvement, but…
A scan of articles on the state of the Vietnamese Advertising Market over the last few months reveals one thing: Somebody can’t get the numbers right. And that somebody is the industry’s guiding body, the Vietnam Advertising Association.For instance – How many advertising firms are there in Vietnam?
This article says 3000. And the next one says 3000 as well. But this one says 6000. And yet another says 7000. So how many firms is it really and what is considered an “advertising firm”?
And, how large is the market?
One story says $500 million. The next story says $1 Billion. Another only $31 million (are US bankers doing the counting around here?) And finally, a projection for the market in 2020 reaches a lofty $3 billion. But who really knows? Not the Vietnam Advertising Association, that’s for sure, because all the numbers you see quoted above have been attributed to them according to the various publications.
But the one thing the VAA seems to hold a rock-hard consistency
Before sunrise in Jaisalmer a roadside vendor makes chai
Later, a delivery of milk. Across rural India milk comes fresh every morning and is always boiled before serving.
Jaisalmer is 600 kilometers west of Jaipur and less than an hour from the Pakistan border. It is a small desert city with an ancient fort that sits atop a plateau of sand dunes.
The above photo shows just a small section of the fort, but it is truly massive and one of the only inhabited forts in Rajasthan. (Most other cities — Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur — have forts as well but people no longer live in them.) On the periphery of Jaisalmer most people live in stone and mud shacks sheltered with tarps.
From the city, the annual sand dunes festival is set up an hour’s drive into the desert towards the southwest.
Indians come from all over the country for this very popular three-day festival. There are camel rides and races, wrestling matches, beauty contests (including one for best mustache), and traditional singing and dance performances.
There were rumors of an…
One of the key viral elements of content websites, such as news sites, are the “email to a friend” links you see on many articles. Personally, I don’t use these, but I know they’re valuable: there’s a type of user that religiously use these links as a way of sharing. Obviously they introduce new traffic and users to a site, so they’re a key growth element.
But they’re also an outdated viral element
. In fact the old “send to a friend” is looking rather late 1990s/early 2000s as a web feature. Since the social networking revolution, contact mining
and social networking mining
as a way of building contacts has become a more sophisticated way of sharing content than the old “email a friend”. In fact the “email a friend” links should be replaced by replaced by contact mining.
Sites like Octazen
and contact mines
offer open source PHP and .net solutions for you. They allow users to build up contact lists on your site, and then share in a more sophisticated and efficient manner (ie without having to monotonously type out emails or remember email addresses). From your point of view, it will encourage more sharing…
Travel writer Jason H. Harper from Concierge.com loved the scenery, the amenities and the choice of activities at the Hotel Correntoso in Villa La Angostura, Patagonia. Fly fishing, full spa treatments or taking a scenic drive along the Seven Lakes, it’s all fabulous. Read his review and then check out even more stunning views on the Hotel Correntoso web site. If you can be tempted to leave the hotel, there are tons of things to do and see in and around Villa La Angostura.
Hotel Correntoso, Villa La Angostura
Map of the Area (see the Map of Argentina as a reference point)
, the site that creates sites, has just received $20-million more in funding. It’s been the worst kept secret in the industry, but now it’s official. The site is also about to undergo a name change to secure a much shorter, four-letter .com domain — but this is yet to be officially announced.
One of the founders Vinny Lingham
sent a mail saying: “When we began building SynthaSite from our humble base in Cape Town, we sought to create a company whose product would change the lives of millions of people by giving them a voice online. ”
In 2007 Synthasite raised $5-million in venture capital. They then moved their headquarters to San Francisco, while retaining their technical team in Cape Town. SynthaSite has grown from just a handful of people to more than 40 across both their local and US office. It claims to have more than a million unique browsers.
Says Lingham: “Today, I’m proud to announce that Reinet Fund has just invested $20 million into SynthaSite, securing our future and enabling us to continue to build our business model and product offering. This is a massive vote of confidence in SynthaSite.”
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