Paypal in South Africa

I am in the process of developing a number of websites. Two of them are about to be launched but one of the main problems at the moment is that to cover the cost of the development there needs to be a subscriber section. A section with some extras for if you want to really make use of all the features of the website.

Even though it is for very small amounts a payment system is needed. I have gone through the Internet trying to find an affordable payment system to implement. Unfortunately for some strange reason South Africans cannot receive payments through the world’s largest online payment system, Paypal. I have contacted them and asked why this is not possible. They assured me that they would love to add South Africa to their system but it has to do with laws and procedures in South Africa.

I do know that there are many tax implications etc, but all I want to do is accept payments through my websites! I found some local systems but the cost to implement them is enormous. I could not believe it. You really need to overcharge your customers to be able to afford taking their money.

I have a huge problem with this because this is actually slowing down the development and expansion of e-commerce in South Africa. Buying with Paypal is no problem; you can just register and make a payment. The way I see it this causes money to flow out of South Africa – rather than getting money into South Africa.

If companies are allowed to use the world’s largest payment system to accept payments for services online I am sure it will have a huge impact on South African companies. If someone could send me a reason we are left behind please let me know.

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Elektroniese nuusbriewe meer

Unwanted Gifts

EK word gereeld gevra om mense te help met die opstel van elektroniese nuusbriewe. Dit is iets wat ek ­geweldig geniet en wat my opgeval het, is die toename in hierdie ­versoeke.

Daar is vandag soveel opsies ­beskikbaar vir elektroniese nuusbriewe en van hierdie opsies is outomaties. Wanneer jy clickkliek se webblad besoek, sal jy ’n blokkie regs bo in die hoek sien waar jy jou e-posadres kan invoeg.

Elke keer wanneer ek nuwe inhoud op die webblad sit, sal daar outomaties die volgende oggend ’n nuusbrief aan almal gestuur word wat ingeteken het. Die beste hiervan is dat dit ’n gratis diens van Feedburner is. Indien jy dus ’n blog begin vir jouself of jou maatskappy sal ek dit sterk aanbeveel dat jy sommer dadelik ook by Feedburner gaan aansluit.

Skole, kerke en ander organisasies kan honderde rande spaar deur al hul lede op hul nuusbrief te laat inteken. Indien daar nuwe nuus is, kan die nuusbrief outomaties gestuur word.

Ek onthou nog die dae toe ons elke paar dae ’n omsendbrief by die skool gekry het en dan moet Ma of Pa dit teken om te bewys dat hulle dit gekry het. Die groot probleem was dat ek nooit onthou het om dit vir hulle te gee nie, maar as Ma of Pa internettoegang het, kan hulle ’n elektroniese omsendbrief ontvang. Indien jy ’n grafies ontwerpte nuusbrief wil uitstuur, kan dit werklik in enige program saamgestel word. My aanbeveling is slegs dat jy die finale produk in ’n algemeen beskikbare formaat sal plaas. Die Adobe Pdf-formaat is baie gewild en werk uitstekend.

My aanbeveling is dat jy altyd ook ’n paar gedrukte kopieë van die nuusbrief beskikbaar maak.Nico Baird is ’n direkteur van Dreamagineers Internasionaal.

 

Bfn-webontwerpers beïndruk

 

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DIE afgelope naweek het ek ’n openbaring beleef. Aan die einde van Oktober kom Rowan Polovin van myvideo.co.za hier in Bloemfontein ’n werksessie aanbied oor hoe om op die web ’n onderneming te vestig en ’n goeie inkomste te verseker.

Ek het besef dit is die ideale werksessie vir almal wat webbladsye in Bloemfontein ontwikkel. Ek besluit toe om ’n paar uur te bestee en op die web na ontwerpers in Bloemfontein te soek. Ek het verwag om dalk ’n handjievol te kry, maar groot was my verbasing toe ek nie minder nie as 20 webontwerpers opspoor.

Ek kon dit nie glo nie. Vir my was dit ’n warm gevoel toe ek van die bladsye besoek en vind die ontwerpers van Bloemfontein het nie nodig om vir enigiemand terug te staan nie. Omtrent 90% van die webontwerpers in Bloemfontein se bladsye is nie net indrukwekkend nie, maar is ook funksioneel en voldoen werklik aan die huidige neigings wêreldwyd.

Ek meen die plaaslike pryse is dalk nog ’n bietjie hoog en dat baie van die ontwerpers vereis jy moet jou webblad op hul servers stoor. Ek stem glad nie daarmee saam nie. Die rede hiervoor is omdat baie ontwerpers dieselfde produk herhaaldelik verkoop en nie wil hê iemand moet dit namaak nie. Ek verstaan dit ook, want ek skep self webbladsye, maar indien ek betaling ontvang daarvoor, is dit die eiendom van die een wat daarvoor betaal het.

Dit is regtig al probleem wat ek met van die plaaslike ontwerpers het. Die gehalte van die werk wat ek gesien het, is na my mening werklik van ’n internasionale standaard.

Indien jy enigsins daaraan dink om ’n webblad te ontwerp wil ek jou vra om beslis eers ’n ontwerper in Bloemfontein te kontak. Die werk van die gemeenskap sal jou voorwaar beïndruk.

Google launches new web application

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ON Tuesday Google launched its newest free webbased application. Now you can create presentations online.

Google has quite a number of webbased applications available, from a writing application, which replaces Word, to spreadsheets to replace Excell. Now you can also replace your PowerPoint application.

These online clones have a number of advantages and obviously some disadvantages.

The advantages are that it is free to use. You can access your documents from any computer with an internet connection. You can easily collaborate and share your work and know that the application will constantly be improved.

The disadvantage for me is that you need to be online to create a presentation or document.

This application allows you to upload your current presentations and edit it. You can save the files online or on your computer. To try it, go to: http://docs.google.com.

I am amazed at the exorbitant prices that some of these mainstream software packages still have today, if you consider that the main competition offers these applications for free through large companies like Google or through open source projects like OpenOffice.

In most countries universities and other government institutions have adopted these opensource packages, but the uptake in South Africa has been extremely slow. I think it is the fear of having to try something now.

OpenOffice also released their updated version of the programme on Tuesday.

If you want a complete suite of applications that include presentation software, writing tools and spreadsheets, you can download it for free.

It is very similar to the Office Packages that we all know with one big difference – its free.

To download it go to www.openoffice.org.

 

Presidential candidates use Net

 

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THE American presidential election is a year away. Candidates have realised that if they want to grab the attention of the 18- to 30-year-old segment of the population they will have to embrace and utilise Web 2.0 websites and applications.

For the first time in history a very public “war” is waged online. Each of the candidates are grabbing hold of every possible web application they can get their hands on. Twitter is being used by candidates to show supporters exactly what they are up to and when. Podcasts are used to get their messages out. Blogs are updated constantly to inform and attract potential voters.

Candidates are even having debates on YouTube.

The Internet community also loves to create their own content and delegates know that this could be more powerful than the content they generate themselves. They therefore encourage their supporters to generate content about them. In this way many music videos have been created. These videos are played online by millions, improving the candidates’ visibility.

To many of us it sounds unbelievable that the Internet can have such an influence in the political arena, but this is a trend that will soon spill over to our shores.

As the uptake of Internet services continue and prices continue to fall, the power of the Internet will continue to increase exponentially.

At this stage in America a funny, well crafted online music video about a candidate can increase the popularity of a candidate with up to 5% over night.

Next year when the election is coming to a close, this will be something to take note of for the future elections in our own country.

Tyd vir ‘n verandering!

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TYD vir ’n verandering!

’n Maand of twee gelede het ek besef dit is tyd vir ’n verandering.

Daar is só baie wat ek nog moet sien en doen dat ’n agt-tot- vyf-beroep nie by my meesterplan inpas nie.

Die internet het ook die nodige geleenthede vir my geskep om daardie angswekkende stap uit die sekere na die onbekende te neem.

Vandag is my laaste dag by die Sentrale Universiteit vir Tegnologie, Vrystaat (SUT).

Ek het besef Bloemfon­teiners het nie altyd toegang tot bekostigbare webontwerpers en korporatiewe opleidingsgeleenthede nie.

Dit het my aangespoor om hard te werk aan die vestiging van ’n onderneming wat bekostigbare webbladsye vir diegene wat dit nodig het, kan ontwerp en een wat korporatiewe opleiding verskaf. Enigiets van akademiese werksessies tot alles wat jy van die web en nuwe tegnologiese verwikkelinge wil weet. Die doelwit is om seker te maak inwoners van Bloemfontein sal nie net ingelig wees oor die internet nie, maar dat elkeen sal weet hoe om die internet doeltreffend te benut – wat beskikaar is en hoe om die wêreld in te vaar met net die kliek van jou muis se knoppie.

Dit is opwindend, dit is ’n wêreld wat gedurig verander en dit is werklik makliker en goedkoper as wat jy dink.

My rubrieke sal ook in die toekoms dalk meer krities en kontroversieel wees. Vir almal op wie se tone ek gaan trap, vra ek nou al verskoning. My mening is dalk soms nie gewild nie, maar ten minste is dit my eerlike mening. Ek sien uit daarna om steeds op ’n gereelde grondslag vrae en boodskappe van almal te ontvang.

 

Make Podcamp happen in Bfn

Training Course

I am working on the idea of a national Podcamp, which will bring North and South together, in Bloemfontein.
All the people in New Media – online video, blogging, podcasting and online companies – will come together in Bloemfontein and have an UnConference.

This is a place to meet one another (and maybe collaborate in the future) and share ideas.
Podcamps are always free and the costs are covered by sponsors.

The Podcamp will go hand in hand with many technology exhibitions which will also be free to attend. As with all ideas there are people who think that Bloemforntein is not the right place to have a national Podcamp. They say that nobody from Johannesburg or Cape Town will actually come all the way to here.

I wish to prove them wrong. If you are a company involved in New Media, an individual who is working online, a software developer or just interested in the things taking place online, please let me know.

With the necessary support from you, I can make sure that PodcampSA is held here in Bloemfontein. Otherwise I will probably have to give someone else the opportunity to arrange it in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Let’s show the guys from the main centra around South Africa that Bloemfontein is up there with the best of them.

Training Course

 

World Wide Web in years to come

Liberty Life

THE World Wide Web was made available to the public for the first time on 7 August 1991. Could it really only be 16 years ago?

Even though the web was first started in 1980 it was only meant to be a method for scientists around the world to stay connected and to collaborate on projects.

It is almost impossible to compare the web of 1991 with the powerful World Wide Web that we know today, let alone compare it to the web of 1980. Today’s internet is a network of powerful systems working together as a unit.

Through this elaborate system of connected machines our lives have changed to the extent that we would almost be helpless without it. Waiting for about a month to receive a letter from the UK, in 1991, to receiving an email in a few minutes or seconds from the same person today.

The question is of course what things would look like in another 16 years. Or even in 5 years time. I will take the risk in predicting that in five to seven years’ time the majority of the population will have access to the Internet and our dependence on it will have increased to a point where we only rarely need to leave our homes. We will do everything online. Obviously this could not be true of all occupa­tions but administrative tasks and managerial tasks will probably be done online.

If you want to take a look back at the way things on the Internet were a few years ago visit the Internet Archive.

Click here to visit the Internet Archive to see how websites have changed over the past few years.  Just enter the domain name of the website!

 

Facebook

I LOVE Facebook! If you are not a member yet you should go join immediately.

I never quite get used to any of these social networking websites. I play around with them for a while, and many of them are here one minute and gone the next. Well not the case with Facebook.com. Started by college students to be able to network with their friends on campus, this website will connect you with friends you have not seen or spoken to in years.

At first I just went through it and did not quite know where to begin. Then I started searching for people I have not seen for years. And sure enough I found some of them. I was immediately hooked. Because of the fact that you have to approve your friends who add you to their network you have full control of who lists themselves as your friends.

This can be a valuable tool both in your personal life as well as in business. PodCamp Cape Town also created a Facebook group and daily more and more people join. This is a great way to distribute information to all the members of the group and a great way to build a network. When you join a group you will probably get into contact with people who share many of your views.

There are hundreds of fun applications and plug-ins that you can add to your profile and it will keep you busy for hours. You can post your photos, videos, thoughts and send emails to your friends. It is a one-stop gathering space for you and your friends.

Sign up today for a free account and give it a try. Hey, maybe even add me as your friend.

 

Heltasa 2007 Conference

 

Shrek Third!

Each week I write about technology and the Internet, the way it influences and impacts our lives. I think that if there is one area where these new technologies and social media will have an ever increasing role to play it is in education.

The problem is that educators do not always have opportunities to find out about all the changes taking place in education around the world and in the end we end up just sticking to the past practices. Because of the rapid pace at which the world is changing we need to stay up to date and implement new strategies. We need to make use of a variety of delivery methods to enable us to reach each and every student. We need to adapt to each individual’s learning style. When we stick to the old methods this is not possible. By utilising these new technologies we are able to do more and truly educate more effectively.

This year, the Central University of Technology, Free State, will be the host for the 2007 HELTASA (Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa) conference. This is the ideal place for educators to get in touch with peers from other institutions to gain and share knowledge and experiences. The conference will have a strong emphasis on new learning and the use of new technologies in education.

This is a great opportunity for local educators from schools and tertiary institutions to attend an international education conference right here in Bloemfontein. If you are an educator who would like to participate or maybe a company who works in the education field please contact me and come and share in this educational experience. Please visit the conference website at www.heltasa2007.com.

 

Shrek Third!

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