Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The first IRB Sevens tournament of the 05/06 season, the Dubai Sevens kicked off today in Dubai.
Follow the Springbok Sevens team on www.bokrugby.com, where Brenden Nel will keep you upto date.
He reported earlier that Cheetah Jahndre Nel replaced star sevens player Fabian Juries in the Bok lineup- joining his Cheetah team mate Kabamba Floors. Juries had to return to be with his sick wife.
Oranje Orakel Rugby Blog wish Mrs Juries a speedy recovery and the Springbok Sevens team a great tournament.
Go Floorsie Go Jahndre SKOP ALL BLACK dinges!! GROM SAAM
Sharpening The Spear
The official site of the Southern Spears is reporting that a provisional squad of 50 players had been identified. Together with the soon to be announced squad of Spearleaders- it seems that the new Franchise is well on their way to make them a very real part of the South African rugby scenery.
Oranje Orakel wishes them and the their staunches supporter "Kandas" the best of luck for their preparations.
Port Elizabeth: 10H30: SOUTHERN SPEARS SQUAD OF 50 TRIALLISTS ANNOUNCED
Peter de Villiers, the Head Coach of the new South African Super 14 franchise, the Southern Spears, comprising of Border, Eastern province and South Western Districts, today announced the much anticipated Trials Teams to play on Friday the 2nd December at 18H00 at Outeniqua Park in George.
The recently named and launched Southern Spears have already set a precedent in South African rugby circles, of surprise, strategic acumen and swift professionalism, in the roll out of their Super 14 campaign, which has the captured the attention of rugby supporters and business community in the Southern and Eastern Cape.
Peter de Villiers announcement of his Trial Southern Spears squad of almost 50 "unknown" players was no different, in fact the announcement and composition of the Southern Spears squad defies the South African rugby norms and stereotypes.
De Villiers has long been a remarkable judge of rugby talent, having coached at some time in his career, all the members of the 2003 World Cup Springbok Team, except three, namely, John Smit, Juan Smith and Jaque Fourie.
Peter de Villiers then went on to coach the Springbok U-21 side who won the 2005 IRB World Cup Championship in Argentina in July. His talent spotting and ability to motivate unknown players and craft them into a formidable and exciting team is legend amongst the elite rugby playing youth of South Africa, who still call de Villiers with regularity, to counsel them on agreements and career choices.
Without any prescribed formula to develop a Southern Spears Team that is representative of Border, Eastern Province and South Western Districts and especially of South Africa, de Villiers has called up a squad of 50 players to Try Out and Trial for the new Southern Spears franchise on Friday evening in George.
As testimony to the selection and coaching prowess of de Villiers, SA Rugby dispatched a team of High Performance Evaluators to assess the strength, conditioning, speed and fitness of the core squad of 24 players currently training in Port Elizabeth and the outstanding results of the players, stunned the SA Rugby High Performance evaluators and proved that these players are clear candidates to play in the elite Super 14 competition.
The squad of the Southern Spears trialists, based in Port Elizabeth, each donated much need blood to the Eastern Province Blood Transfusion clinic and tonight will attend the netball Test between South Africa and England to support the South African team at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Thereafter the Team departs for George on Thursday morning, for the squad of 50 to train at 13H00 at Outeniqua Park in preparation for the Trials at 18H00 on Friday the 2nd December.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Wobblies invest in technology
This is an interesting piece on the use of ICT as enabler- by the Australian Rugby Union- courtesy of The Australian.
The ARU is hoping a customer relationship management system will help it target its steadfast supporters and build loyalty and participation.
The CRM system is expected to cut costs as well.
Merging about 40 customer databases has fundamentally changed how the organisation will market big events such as Bledisloe Cup fixtures and the Rugby World Cup in 2007, which will be held in France.
"The multiple letters sent to customers made us look amateur and were a waste of resources," ARU marketing general manager Shane Harmon said.
Instead of concentrating on above-the-line advertising, about half of tickets will be offered directly to known supporters.
"Direct marketing doesn't lie, in the past we marketed to the entire database, now we only market to those who usually respond, so we have higher response rates," he said.
Previously, it was difficult to track return on the investment in a marketing campaign, he said.
Now the ARU spends about a quarter of what it used to by marketing directly to rugby supporters, he said. "We have been able to divert the money to branding, as we do not have such a sales-heavy message."
Details of about 470,000 customers are now in one database.
"The problem for the ARU is that we have a wide range of interaction with customers," he said. "We deal with them through many touch points.
"There was no way of seeing a holistic view of our customers."
One of the main problems was that many customers were listed on several databases, he said.
"We found some customers had about 14 relationships with the ARU since the amalgamation of the databases.
"Many of these customers were not tapped, because they sat in separate silos. We have now been able to develop tailored programs," Mr Harmon said.
The ARU is expecting to spend about $2 million on its five-year strategic plan.
It has spent about $600,000 on licence fees and project management for the first phase, which is rolling out campaign management to the marketing team and Super 14 franchises.
Mr Harmon expects the rest of the functionality, involving player registration, club administration, sponsorship and ticketing, to be rolled out in the next year.
The internet will play a vital role in the organisation's transformation.
Email addresses have been collected from about half of the rugby supporters on its database.
"We have only had limited membership products on the site, next year we will be linking to World Cup 2007 offers," he said.
The ARU had to create content and offers on the site to draw supporters back on a regular basis, Mr Harmon said.
The ARU anticipated that more than 70 per cent of information or offers would be sent electronically by 2007, he said.
Watching the Game
Methinks that SARU should rethink their current visual distribution channels-maybe a hybrid distribution- partly sponsored by Supersport, SARU, SABC- even SABCAfrica & Lotto- as proposed, can be a working formula.
The large international audience should also be reachable via podcasting- yeah I know what the hurdles are- but clearly, there is an untapped market out there- surely Murdoch can see that as well.
Rugby 'limited to the elite'
29/11/2005 09:24 - (SA)
By Serena de Sousa
I am not one of those women who automatically develops an interest in everything her boyfriend enjoys. In fact, in the past, I used to take great pleasure in the quiet time I had to myself when he was off watching the rugby, in which I had no interest. However, over time, my disinterest eroded. Some girlfriends of mine started going with their boyfriends to watch. The appeal of a drink or two at the Jolly Roger in Parkhurst, where they make damn fine pizza, also proved to be quite a strong drawcard. What initially started out as me enjoying a good gossip with my friends and knocking back a couple of Savannahs soon evolved into a small spark of interest. Part of this evolution was as a result of seeing my usually unflappable boyfriend getting himself very worked up about rules and bad playing. Somehow, this level of excitement started to spark something in me, and instead of paying great attention to my surroundings, I started to notice what was happening on the screen. I am still not a great fan of the sport. If rugby was made illegal (not a bad idea, actually, have you seen what those guys go through?), I wouldn't be devastated. But now, when there's a decent international game on, I make a point of watching with my boyfriend.
This past Saturday when the kickoff was at the absurd hour of 22:00, my friends and I were hard-pressed to think of a place to watch the game. We didn't feel like going to a bar at that time of night and competing with puking 13 year olds wondering why the karaoke had been cancelled. We don't have DStv at home, since the only thing we really watch is the sport, and it's mostly fun to go out to a bar and enjoy the vibe. Eventually, we settled on going through to the house of the mother of an old friend who is quite keen on the rugby. We were warmly received. But this search for a rugby-viewing venue got me thinking. In a country where a vast portion of the population doesn't have access to DStv, how are we supposed to ever develop the South African rugby legends of tomorrow from a representative portion of the population? People aren't born loving rugby. Like me, they may come to appreciate the game from watching it on television, from being around others who understand the rules, who cheer the players on, from being caught up in the passion of watching the game. They're not going to come to love it as an abstract concept, watched by those privileged enough to afford a satellite. Why should a national sport that is supported by the Lotto be limited to only an elite few?
Solution: I don't know where the solution in all of this lies. If the SABC would fork out the money to broadcast the game, I'm sure it could beat DStv's viewership to make it worthwhile. I'm sure that the associated advertising and sponsorships would provide a return on investment. Even if they didn't, surely the national broadcaster should be supporting a national game? Perhaps some Lotto funds could be channelled into subsidising the broadcast of the game. Or perhaps I should accept that the majority of the population doesn't have access to a television, and just be grateful that radio stations broadcast the rugby for the disadvantaged masses.
Serena de Souza is thinking about getting DStv again.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Post II on Blogging
Google boosts blogging
15/09/2005 08:27 - (SA)
San Francisco - A new Google speciality search engine sifts through the internet's millions of frequently updated personal journals, a long-anticipated development expected to help propel blogging into the cultural mainstream.
The new tool, unveiled on Wednesday at blogsearch.google.com, focuses exclusively on the material contained in the journals known as web logs, or blogs.
Google, the internet's general search engine leader, first set its sights on blogs with its 2003 acquisition of a small startup called Blogger that makes software to publish and manage the journals.
Since that deal, Google had been expected to build a blogging-focused search engine - a mission finally accomplished by a group of developers in the company's New York office.
"There really has been a need for a world-class search product to expose this dynamic content to a worldwide audience," said Jason Goldman, who came to Google in the Blogger deal and is now the company's product manager for blogging search.
Over the past two years, blogs have become an increasingly popular vehicle for sharing opinions and information, sometimes breaking news and more often prodding the mainstream media into reconsidering how it has handled some big stories.
Just how big is the so-called 'blogosphere'?
A few people have been able to make a living largely off their blogs, or parlay them into book deals. Blogs also have been a source of embarrassment and angst, resulting in the firings of several workers, including a Google product manager, who angered their employers with revelations posted on their sites.
No one knows for certain just how big the so-called "blogosphere" has become. Technorati, the niche's top search engine so far, says it indexes 17.1 million sites spanning about 1.5 billion links.
Goldman declined to disclose the size of Google's blogging index.
Despite blogging's steady growth, its appeal has remained narrow, skewing primarily to younger audiences and technological trendsetters.
But given Google's broad reach, its speciality search engine is expected to provide blogging with additional momentum. Google's tool would allow searches not just for blogs written in English but also in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese and other languages.
Yahoo and Microsoft could follow
The appearance of the new Google tool, which catalogues the latest blog postings by looking at the web feeds they generate, also makes it more likely that two other tech powerhouses and fierce rivals, Yahoo and Microsoft, will develop a similar feature.
Microsoft's next operating system, Vista, is supposed to feature built-in tools for Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, and Atom - the two most widely used techniques for letting people subscribe to web feeds to keep abreast of the latest postings on blogs and news sites.
"This sort of feels like 1995 when the web was just starting to explode. Now it feels like the same thing is happening to blogging," said Bob Wyman, chief technical officer for PubSub, which offers a web feed subscription service.
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN already had been indexing blogs in their general search engines, but the broad approach reaps results that often buries blog links or points to outdated information.
By focusing exclusively on blog feeds, Google theoretically will be able to deliver fresher and more relevant results.
So, is Orakel a journo?
Now that Oranje Orakel has taken the HUGE step to have his own Rugby Union blog- does it means that he is a journalist?
Before the entity posting as OO tries to clarify that question- let us first delve into minds that may add more value at this point in time.
I have read the following article when it was first published on News24, so courtesy of them, enjoy.
Is a blogger a journalist?
01/09/2005 09:09 - (SA)
By Lizette Rabe
"Blogging means everyone with a computer and a dial-up connection can now be a journalist." "Blogging is reinventing journalism." "Blogging is postmodern reporting." "Bloggers are citizen reporters."
These are just some of the statements about weblogging and journalism. But what does blogging have in common with journalism? Why is it compared to journalism? Maybe confused with journalism?
The first question of course is what is blogging? It's such a new phenomenon that a printed dictionary of media and communication, updated in 2003, doesn't even have the word - while "blog" was declared word of the year for 2004. This of course emphasises just how fast the e-roller-coaster is.
Of course even the simple question of "what is blogging" can be answered on different levels. From an intricate technological explanation right to a somewhat fuzzy postmodern take on the here and now of homo sapiens in the 21st century.
But let's try and stick to a concrete understanding of the phenomenon.
Weblogging - derived from the words web and log(book), blogging for short - is a brand new way of communicating. Thanks to ICT, it is taking the world of communication to a new level. Although, according to one analyst, it is not so new: the first blogger was the first person to create a website way back in 1992.
What's a blog?
A simple definition is that it is a diary, journal or website produced by an individual or a group; it is frequently updated; written in a personal tone, on topics ranging from an account of daily family life to political statements, promotional information or just commentary on issues in the mainstream media.
In an attempt to stay focused, as this topic has the natural tendency to navigate itself into all kinds of hyperlinks: can blogging be equated to journalism? Is a blogger a journalist?
Certainly journalists can be bloggers. Even - especially - student-journalists are already, like, seriaas bloggers, man.
But are all bloggers journalists?
Many positive characteristics can be distilled from blogging. One of the debates is whether blogging is a new form of journalism. Indeed, many an oh so serious conference, where sometimes indecent amounts of intellectual masturbation take place, keep themselves busy with the question. And trizillions of megabytes - no, gigabytes - have already been written on the topic.
If you unpack the phenomenon, blogging belongs to the wide discipline of communication within the field of media and cultural studies. But just as advertising, PR and corporate communication belong to the field, but cannot be equated to journalism, blogging cannot be synonymous with the j-word.
The blogging facts
Some facts: according to one source, 3 000 new blogs are created every new day. And we all know about statistics: they usually only show the tip of the iceberg - or be it the blog-berg. Fact is, one source says in the time it has taken you to read half of this sentence, a dozen more blogs have been created.
Chances are if you google something, that the first number of references will take you to blogs.
In a sense one can simply describe blogging as an electronic diary made public thanks to the phenomenal reach of ICT. It is out there in the public sphere, accessible in the virtual realm of the web and the internet.
If the web is described as a "giant expanding database linking documents" and the internet a "worldwide network of interlinked computer systems to exchange digital information", then a blogger is someone contributing yet another document to the web, to be consumed by those who can access the network. Unfortunately, mostly the urban elites of the world.
According to one source about one billion people in total can currently access the internet. In South Africa, only five per cent of the adult population has internet access.
A stumbling block is the cost of telephony. On average local costs are 400% higher than in the rest of the world. But that's not our topic. Although of course, you can always start your own hellcom-blog on monopolies.
Is blogging journalism?
But the question remains: is blogging journalism?
Not if we stick to the traditional definition of journalism of being fair, accurate, balanced, independent. But then, a communication expert declared "we have reached the end of journalism as we know it".
In many cases, hopefully not. But maybe one of the best things about blogging is that instead of reporting from "Washington and Westminster" (or, for us, Pretoria and Parliament) in a top-down fashion, it is now bottom-up. "Collaborative citizen journalists" are airing opinion; tearing down the traditional borders of communication, politics, even nation-states.
It adds to freedom of expression, one of the important elements that make a democracy a democracy. So many new - unfiltered - voices. Previously, the journalist would go to eyewitnesses and retell their stories. Now the eyewitnesses tell their own stories.
Which is the point. It is their story. Their attempt to "make meaning". Which is not journalism. Journalism must have different takes on a story; it goes through a process of verification, it has to measure up to professional standards.
Is blogging a new way of alternative journalism? Citizen-reporting? Or self-gratifying exhibitionism? A vanity thing?
Is it on-line journalism? Or e-diaries?
So I will at least try to be a seriaaaas blogger- and to be objective- I can promise you now "Potlood met die Oranje Lood" will not be objective.
I will try to be " being fair, accurate, balanced, independent" and so on and so on......never relying to much on the single source story..... ;-0
I will post other pieces on Blogging in general as well- ditto "pod-casting", potgooi in my lingo.
So feel free to debate and to add value.
So it will be.
Now I have to decide what to do with it- maybe will even have more sympathy for IG that is sometimes stu-ing in his own juices at HSM.
I believe that the general take will be to post Rugby Union results and information from the realm of the Cheetahs- may even get Kandas to share his spearing passion here- Ras- PISSANT Donner & Boertjie to post- BRANNASNACHT should stay however on keo- where it belongs.
I may get Sors to post his wisdom- BloemBull to provide comments on what I believe will turn out to be a super derby in future Cheetahs vs Bulls and may even get Ollie- to smoke a cyber cigar called the The Country Couzins.
It may well be that the entity "Potlood met 'n Oranje Lood" will post his drivel here- alongside with Shields & Koos Brisbane- who knows
So time will tell what this blog will add value to the world of Oranje Orakel and hopefully Rugby Union.
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