Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Franschhoek Literary Festival 2015: Social Media ‘the CCTV footage of our lives’, beware the legal consequences!

FLF Emma Sadleir, Rebecca Davis, Tom Eaton Whale CottageThe Franschhoek Literary Festival has never viewed Social Media as a serious literary genre, and its token recognition of writing on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is reflected in the event’s poor use of the medium to communicate with its audience of attendees and potential future visitors.  It is a shame that the two Social Media sessions overlapped so much, much of what was said on Friday being repeated on Saturday, not surprising in that two of the three speakers were the same persons.

Friday’s session was one of the Festival opening events, and was not as well attended as one would have thought, but the starting time may have been too early.  The target audience was not Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 2 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Ghanaian rapper D Black has been holidaying in Cape Town, his Instagram and Twitter (with 146000 followers!) shows. He visited Robben Island, Table Mountain,CampsBay, and the V&A V & A Waterfront. He also recorded with local musician Donald in Denial.

*    Cape Town has been named by National Geographic as the second best Beach City in the world, the Clifton beaches mentioned specifically for their protection against the wind and expensive accommodation. The False Bay beaches, as well as Milnerton and Blouberg, are referred to.  Number one is Barcelona, with its Barcenoleta Beach. The rest of the Beach City ranking is Honolulu (Waikiki Beach), Nice’s three beaches, Miami Beach, Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Santa Monica, Sydney’s Bondi, Tel Aviv, and Vancouver’s ten beaches.

*   SA Tourism, host of INDABA 2015, is describing the trade show as one which will exceed the expectations of both Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: TRUFFLE first ‘5 star 100% Halaal Fine Dining Bistro’ in Cape Town not yet ‘5 star’!

Truffle Exterior Whale CottageThe bottom end of Chiappini Street has housed two of my favourite restaurants in their time – Bruce Robertson’s The Showroom and Cormac Keane’s Portofino, both the talking point of Cape Town in their time.  After a surprisingly long tenancy by low class Leaf, a smart ‘5 star 100% Halaal Fine Dining Bistro‘ has opened, called TRUFFLE.  The restaurant was opened to offer top-end Halaal cuisine, which has not been available in Cape Town before.  The name was chosen for its association with indulgence, which is echoed throughout the restaurant.

I had seen the exterior branding whilst driving down Buitengracht Street a week ago, but could not find any website via Google.  Yesterday I stopped by, and was astounded how the restaurant interior has changed since Leaf occupied the space until about a year ago.  Mohammed Adam was kind enough to spend time with me, to share information about the restaurant. Truffle Mohammed Adam Whale Cottage He and Nisreen Ebrahim are joint owners, Nisreen and her husband Rafiq being previous owners of four fast food outlets they would not reveal the names of (LinkedIn revealed that they were Nando’s outlets), and took over the space in January. Mohammed did all the interior design, after some building work was done, half of the upstairs being closed off by means of a wall now, to give the kitchen double volume space.  Almost everything has been changed, other than the wooden floor in the outside section, with a new wooden floor upstairs; new wooden steps for the staircase to match the tops of the tables and the Continue reading →

‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ – who is he, are SA viewers being misled, Woolworths pushing its Australian investments ?

Hayden Quinn Title page sunflowersThe question on the lips of many South African viewers of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ is: why Hayden Quinn?  Why choose a MasterChef Australia top 3 finalist (no, not winner) of 2011 (no, not even 2013) to promote the beauty of South Africa and its abundance of sustainable foods amongst South Africans? We did some research, and found that South African viewers are being misled about the TV show host, and that Woolworths appears to have a hidden agenda in pushing its Australian investments!

I started with the Cardova Group, the production company of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘, and of the ‘Expresso Morning Show’ and ‘Top Travel‘ too, all flighted on SABC3.  A random e-mail landed in my Inbox from LinkedIn, asking me to congratulate Mark Bland as newly appointed Producer of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’, just as the series kicked off and my interest in it was piqued.   I got Mark’s cellphone number via LinkedIn, and asked him for more information about the food series.  He was extremely hesitant in talking to me, even though we have known each other for  a good two to three years.  He is a regular reader of my blog, and has commented on it on occasion.  I was taken aback about his hesitancy to meet, to talk about the new show, stating that he had just been promoted, and did not want to jeopardise his new appointment in case I wrote something that could land him in trouble. As a regular reader he would have known that I can only write what I have been told.  As the producer of the show, one would have thought that he would have wanted information about the series to be shared, or expected that he would have referred me to a PR person within his company, or at Woolworths, SABC3, and/or Nedbank, the major sponsors of the series.  The best he could send me was this bland (pardon the pun) media release: Continue reading →

Social Media Trends 2014: Facebook leads in South Africa!

Facebook logoFacebook has the largest number of Social Media users in South Africa, and grew by 40% to reach 9,4 million active users in 2013, a survey entitled ‘South African Social Media Landscape 2014’,  and conducted by World Wide Worx and Fuseware, has found.  It has overtaken Mxit, which has 6 million users, for the first time.

Twitter experienced the fastest growth in the number of users, at 129% in the past year, reaching 5,5 million users.   Mxit’s growth has been curtailed by the popularity of instant messaging apps WhatsApp and 2Go, and the growing use of social networking sites on smartphones. Google+ too has been slow to grow, with less than half a million users, but Instagram has grown six-fold in the past year, and is expected to grow even more.

The majority of South African Social Media users is accessing the sites via their smartphones, 87% for Facebook and 85% for Twitter.

The Social Media usage trends of individuals reflect those of companies:  93% of major Continue reading →

Should Twitter be used as a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Red Room of Pain?

The EL James trilogy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ books has become an international publishing phenomenon, the 40 million books sold to date outselling the previous world record book sales of all Harry Potter books combined.  The books describe the relationship between Christian Grey and his ‘submissive’, to become his girlfriend and then wife Anastasia Steele, one which is based on a perverse need by Grey to punish and dominate the lady he loves, reflecting his childhood of rejection and abuse.

The book refers to Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain, and whenever Anastasia needs to be punished, she is taken into the room, for whipping and other dominant acts by Grey.

Having been the subject of a number of Twitter abuse accounts, I and others have tried to analyse why a Tweeter such as Sonia Cabano, who has created three of the four abuse Twitter accounts against ourselves, needs to lash out and ‘whip’ us at weekly intervals on her @SoniaCabano2 and the abuse Twitter accounts. Could she be the Christian Grey of Twitter, who can only deal with the anger of her day by lashing out at others, including ourselves, singer Steve Hofmeyr (her pet hate), and politicians?

Cabano has proudly Tweeted that she will Tweet whatever she wants to say, no matter how insulting or defamatory her Tweets are.  Her latest hobby horse pertains to our Twitter account, being convinced that we have ‘bought‘ Followers.  She has Tweeted the question on her personal Twitter account, on the Twitter abuse accounts, and sent the question as a comment to our blog on 15 August: ‘Would you care to explain to the hospitality and tourism industry at large how it is that you came to gain 22 000 fake bot Twitter followers overnight? Just asking. Sincerely Sonia Cabano’. As we do not accept advertising nor sponsorship on our blog, we do not need to push its readership (already having about 35000 unique readers per month built up over the past four years). We use Twitter (as well as Facebook) to alert potential readers to the new blogpost we write every day, and therefore it makes no difference to us as to how many Followers we have on Twitter.  Twitter Follower numbers vary daily, and we do not subscribe to any service which alerts us to new or to lost Twitter Followers.  We deny that we have paid for any of our 24800 Twitter Followers.  Every time Cabano lashes out, it attracts attention to our Blog and Twitter account, adding new readers and Followers.

We have been able to close down some of Cabano’s Twitter abuse accounts when they have been based on impersonation, purporting to be ourselves.  However Twitter strongly advocates freedom of speech, and generic account names, despite defamatory content, is unfortunately allowed.  We respect Facebook’s approach to abuse toward others – one warning, and the account is closed if it happens a second time.

Cabano had a short term stint as Social Media Manager for Robertson’s Spices in March, when MasterChef SA started, but she lost her position when she tried to settle personal scores on her client’s Twitter account.  She has been an international model, a TV presenter, and now is a cookbook writer, having written ‘Kombuis’, ‘Easy, Simple, and Delicious’, ‘Relish’, and ‘Luscious Vegetarian’, the latter book with her MasterChef SA Finalist niece Jade de Waal.

One wonders why Cabano has such a fascination with our Blog and Twitter account, when she can find nothing good to say about them, following in the Twitter abuse ‘footsteps’ of David Cope, who started the Whalespotter account, which has been taken over by Clare and Eamon ‘Mack’ McLoughlin of Spill Blog, with help from Skye Grove of Cape Town Tourism at one stage!  Could it be that Cabano, just like Christian Grey, has a perverse pleasure in inflicting pain on others, and needs this abuse to work through her being ‘tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control’, just as the book describes Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘?

While we love Twitter and the information it provides and its entertainment value in being a ‘virtual lounge’ connecting thousands of viewers of events such as the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, we are appalled that Twitter can allow defamatory and abusive Tweets. During the Olympic Games Tweets aimed at young British diver Tom Daley led to the Tweeter being detained, the UK having strict laws when it comes to abuse. One wishes that Twitter abuse and defamation would be dealt with in South African law as well.

Despite the abuse we have had to endure as a result of our honesty in writing this blog, we will persevere in writing the truth, no matter the cost!

POSTSCRIPT 20/8: A book ‘Return on Influence’ has been written by Mark Schaeffer, focusing on the power of Twitter Followers, and the influence of Tweeters.  He refers to Klout, the score of Social Media influence, evaluating one’s influence based on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Klout+ scores received, and Wikipedia coverage.  Today our Klout score is 65 (out of 100), with 892 of our Tweets Re-Tweeted and 1600 mentions of @WhaleCottage in others Tweets in the past 90 days.  Our Topics of Influence are Cape Town, Travel & Tourism, and Hotels, according to Klout.

POSTSCRIPT 21/8: Sonia Cabano only Tweeted once on her personal account yesterday (her usual quota is about 100 Tweets per day!). But she did lash out against this blogpost on her Twitter abuse account!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage