Archive for Lipiec, 2013

Mobile apps: Brand enhancer, business tool or waste of time?

By admin, 27 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Identifying value in mobile apps

Not every mobile app is worth building, says Gartner research director Richard Marshall – and investing in the wrong app can waste resources and damage brands.

“There is an app frenzy at the moment that’s leading many companies to rush into building apps because they feel they have to be on trend,” says Marshall, who will present several talks and workshops on mobility at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa in September. “But if an app is going to succeed, there must be a good reason for it to exist, and for people to download and use it.”

For example, he says, “it might seem like a great idea for an insurance company to release an app that their customers can use after a car accident, to record all the information they need. But nobody ever plans to have an accident – so who’ll download an app to help them manage one?”

Apps that will be used seldom or never are not worth building, he says. “In many cases a mobile web site will do the job more effectively and cost a lot less. Apps are an expensive investment and they need constant maintenance and tuning if they’re to work properly on multiple smartphone platforms.”

Companies need to take a systematic approach to identifying useful app opportunities and calculating the likely ROI, says Marshall – and to broaden their focus beyond consumer-facing apps.

Sales force automation is one area where a well-designed mobile app can deliver solid commercial returns, he returns. “Cadbury South Africa increased their van sales by 450% in six months by giving drivers an app that enabled them to check inventory and pricing in real time, process orders and print instant invoices.”

“Apps can deliver real business value,” he says. “But they must be well planned and executed, and properly maintained and updated.”

Marshall will present a session at the Symposium on calculating app ROI, as well as a workshop on how to identify the business processes that are the best candidates for mobilisation.

For more about Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa, to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 16 – 18 September, visit http://www.gartner.co.za/symp2013

Axxess to launch static IP Addresses

By admin, 27 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Static IP’s will soon be available to Axxess Clients

Internet Service Provider, Axxess is excited to announce that they will be making Static IP Addresses available to their clients in the next few weeks. This decision was made based on the high demand for this service amongst Axxess Clients and forms part of the companies’ contingency plan to position themselves as the number one Internet Service Provider in South Africa, both in service delivery and innovation, at affordable prices.

Axxess clients will be able to purchase their Static IP Address as a value-add to their existing services with Axxess. They will not be bound to contracts, will not be subject to set-up fees or premiums and their service will be instantly activated, setting Axxess aside from other ISP’s . Static IP’s will be made available to Axxess Resellers and will be offered free of charge to all Business Uncapped account holders.

As an added benefit Axxess clients will be able to use their existing routers or servers, the only minimum requirement being that the device has the ability to terminate an L2TP tunnel/connection (no IPSec). Axxess is also looking at supplying ADSL routers that support L2TP to their clients in the near future.

Axxess is currently in the final testing phases and Static IP Addresses will be available in the next few weeks.

Tour de France hero Chris Froome presented with unique Jaguar F Type

By admin, 26 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Cycling the length and breadth of France faster than anyone else this year must have been very rewarding for Chris Froome, but Jaguar have just made his achievement even sweeter. Chris Froome has just been awarded a bespoke Jaguar F-Type for completing and winning the 2013 Tour de France.

The model features a unique two-tone paint job, and features Team Sky Pro livery, sponsor decals, and selected pictures from fans who were part of Jaguar’s #GetBehindTeamSky social media campaign.

Jaguar has not been clear about which model Froome received, but the S badge suggests it will either be the F-Type V6S or V8 S. The F-Type S uses a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 280kW and 460Nm of torque, while the F-Type V8 S has a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 364kW and 625Nm of torque.

The F-Type’s interior features a driver-focused philosophy, with engaging controls encased in dramatic architecture. Unique technical grains tailor the trim materials, further differentiating the dual-cockpit cabin.

According to Froome, “Every young cyclist dreams of one day riding in the Tour de France, let alone winning it. I haven’t done it alone though. Team Sky has a great set of partners, and I’d like to thank Jaguar for their brilliant support over the past four years. They’ve invested a lot of time and ingenuity into designing the XF Sportbrake, which is the perfect race support car for us. It has been crucial to keeping the team on the road throughout the competition.”

froome-jag2

 

http://www.cars.co.za/

 

 

AIG’s CyberEdge app keeps clients ahead of the liability curve

By admin, 26 lipca, 2013, No Comment

While there is little doubt that prevention is always better than cure, particularly when it comes to the matter of corporate security threats, complete prevention is simply not possible. In those instances where something does make it through a company’s defences, there is inevitably the potential for liability, arising from a breach of data protection laws.

AIG’s CyberEdge has been specially designed to address this liability, looking at the issues around the management of personal data and the consequences of losing corporate information. To this end, the launch of the new CyberEdge application for the iPad will add yet another string to companies’ bows in this regard.

“Already, some 80% of executives and brokers find it difficult to keep pace because cyber threats are evolving so rapidly. This, coupled with the impact of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill, is going to make it difficult for clients to stay ahead of the curve. For this reason, AIG has developed the CyberEdge Mobile App for the iPad’s a means of assisting clients to understand, mitigate and respond to cyber threats,” says Roxanne Moodley, Underwriter, Financial Lines, AIG South Africa.

The first of its kind to be launched in SA, Moodley adds that the new app is available on the iTunes app store and can be downloaded free of charge.

“The app offers users a number of important features, including a featured content list that will provide the latest news on what is happening each day that may be related to cyber threats. This will keep users up-to-date with all of the most recent news regarding security breaches, both locally and globally,” she says.
“In addition, the app provides a security breach threat map that delivers real-time information and security alerts, displaying breaches around the world as icons on a map. The user can then click on an icon to find out exactly what the breach was about, how many records were affected and what the potential outcome may be.”

Moodley points out that the app also provides a knowledge centre, where users can access a collection of articles, white papers and videos by searching industry type and region. However, she adds, one of the most useful resources is the data breach calculator.

“This is a dynamic risk analysis tool that allows the user to input their company’s information into the cost analysis. Once this is done, a query can be run to reveal the potential liability cost associated with a data breach.”

“AIG has always focused on answering our clients’ insurance needs today, while anticipating those of tomorrow. By constantly monitoring the cyber landscape, and staying at the forefront of the industry as cyber risks continue to evolve, innovations like CyberEdge become our clients’ protection. This is just one more way that we offer companies tailored coverage options, ensuring they are able to promptly respond and prevent future or more costly damages,” concludes Moodley.

To download the AIG CyberEdge app visit the iTunes store.

Backup and Disaster Recovery: What are the best options for emerging enterprises?

By admin, 26 lipca, 2013, No Comment

By Gareth Tudor, CEO at Altonet

There is a lot of hype in the marketplace about virtual machine backups at a host level to backup infrastructures in its entirety in order to deploy it elsewhere as part of their backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy. In reality, these types of backup and DR strategies should not be categorised together.

DR is required in the event that an organisation suffers a complete loss of infrastructure. While it is paramount to plan for such an incident, in by far the majority of cases, companies only experience a partial data loss, such as deleted files, missing log files on only one server as opposed to their entire data centre. Because virtualisation is still relatively new in the SME marketplace, backing up entire servers is a knee-jerk reaction because it is touted as the easiest way to recover from a total data disaster.

In my opinion, many Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) companies have not thought their DR and backup strategies through. Virtual machine backups as a primary function is inefficient and Operating System (OS) level backups give them similar, if not the same functionality to host level backups. However, it requires a bit more effort and planning, but gives companies the same granularity, which is the ability to restore a single file, rather than restoring the entire drive as well as efficiency of data.

When doing virtual machine backups, companies essentially backup their virtual disks in their entirety, and are shipping entire drives across the network to the DR site. There are distinct advantages to that strategy because with virtualisation, the virtual hardware is extracted from the physical hardware, so there are a lot less issues when moving servers between physical hardware, and if the servers are platform agnostic the process is relatively painless as long as the new server runs on the same platform.

On the other hand, if they backup on OS level, certain functionalities, such as incremental backups come in to play, which is a much more efficient way of doing things. Companies can do ‘bare-metal’ restores which restore not only the data but also the OS, applications and data. Therefore, in a total server loss scenario, OS backups can be re-provisioned and the machine can be restored to its original state or when the last backup was taken.

Another advantage of OS backups is that companies are able to include or exclude certain files when they backup, as opposed to a virtual machine backup. Files such as emails that need to be stored for compliance and governance purposes can be backed up regularly, as opposed to transient files and data. This also makes maintenance of servers much more efficient. From a timing perspective, this also makes backups much quicker and efficient.

My suggestion to SMEs for an efficient backup and DR strategy is the following: if you have a bottomless budget, you can use virtualised backups and OS backups, as you would ideally want to restore single files if need be, but with virtualisation you have a DR strategy as well. However, in the real world where tight budgets are a reality for smaller businesses, OS level backups would suffice even though the process takes a bit longer.

That said, backup and DR is not the same thing. Backup is leveraged for DR, but just because you have a backup, does not mean that you can successfully recover from a disaster. That is where virtualisation comes in, which makes recovery a lot quicker.

This brings me to another point: recovery time objectives and budgets. How long after a data loss do you need to be up and running? If a week is sufficient after a complete data loss, OS level backups will be sufficient and cost-effective. If you can only afford a day, virtualised backups are the way to go, but at a price.

In closing, for most SMEs I believe that from a cost and recovery time perspective, OS level backups provide a good value proposition, because it gives you the ability to recover from a disaster, but requires a bit more planning.

 

Getting a better deal on cloud computing

By admin, 26 lipca, 2013, No Comment

True cloud services are a lot more user-friendly and cost-effective than remote hosted services, but not everyone is getting true cloud, says Grant Vine, Technical director at Cybervine IT Solutions.

Cloud computing has a lot to offer businesses, and can deliver real scale and cost benefits. But much of what is being offered on the market in South Africa today is not true cloud computing. Much of it amounts to little more than standard remote hosted solutions with the cloud brand slapped on them.

These hosted solutions have been offered in much the same form for years: customers sign a contract to have access to X amount of capacity for X amount of time, usually 12 months. Whether they use the capacity or not, their fees remain the same. Should the customer suddenly need additional capacity, there’s a good chance they will have to upgrade their contract with no opportunity to downscale once the peak requirement has passed. Unfortunately, every man and his dog is slapping “Cloud” on the product name and adjusting their fees upward to cash in on the hype. In fact, when hosting your virtual machines with an infrastructure hosting company, the overall cost in the long term could prove higher than buying the infrastructure yourself.

In contrast, true cloud computing requires a complete change in the way we look at the deployment of software. It gives customers the ability to scale up and down as needed, and to pay only for what was actually used. In South Africa, this utility billing model for computing has been talked about for some time, but it is only starting to become a reality now. Few hosted service providers are starting to offer month to month billing, rather than a 12 month fixed term contract. The next step will be to pay for actual use rather than a fixed infrastructure framework. This ties in very heavily with web-based self-service and administration of your Cloud provisioning framework, where you do away with sales and account management staff – and the necessity to “get a quotation” prior to increasing or decreasing your capacity. This is what true cloud computing is really all about – but not everyone in South Africa is getting this.

When looking to move to cloud-based services, companies should consider their needs carefully, and not just sign up for the first cloud-branded service they see. A complete evaluation of internally utilized products and services is required to gauge exactly what is appropriate to be run on a public cloud infrastructure. Re-evaluation of some services could result in a complete migration to cloud delivered solutions; a good example of this would be migrating from an internal Microsoft Exchange Server and Local Office applications to the suite of services available from Office 365.

Companies need to assess if what they are about to buy is actually what they will use.

If contracts are necessary, companies should try to isolate to shorter-term contracts; month to month being the best currently available. The costs of new technologies are dropping all the time, and committing to 12 months at a set fee could result in unnecessary expenditure.

Be wary of the costs of putting data into the cloud vendor’s platform, as well as the cost of getting it back out. You may find there is a charge to take your VMs and files to leave their environment, so it is important to read contracts carefully.

Understand the policies and procedures around what you are allowed to do in the environment and what the host will do if there is a breach. You may discover that in terms of your agreement, the hosting company may shut down access to your servers in the event of a problem, for example. Protection of their environment is more important than protecting the clients that are hosted there, and therefore situations such as this are a means of managing their own overall risk and exposure. This could leave your company offline and unable to function, which could be costly.

In some instances, it may be most efficient and cost-effective to rethink your IT completely. It might be best to deconstruct your IT requirements into individual elements and solutions, therefore choosing elements to be hosted on the infrastructure where the solution best suits your needs. You may find that certain solutions are best for certain components, and by deconstructing your IT environment, you are able to use best of breed cloud solutions from a variety of vendors.

Because the cloud is much-hyped at the moment, there is always the risk that companies will blindly rush in to any service branded as cloud, and move their entire infrastructure without careful consideration. But the ‘forklift approach’ to putting everything in the cloud could be risky and expensive. So be weary of being swept up in the tornado of hype, throwing caution to the wind and finding yourself with your head in the clouds and no way back to solid ground.

IT in the Public Sector

By admin, 26 lipca, 2013, No Comment

by President Ntuli, Business Critical Systems Manager (BCS), HP Enterprise Group, South Africa

Governments around the world are under enormous pressure to deliver more services with fewer resources. The current European economic climate in countries such as Greece, Spain and others have forced government to cut their budget by as much as 50% in some cases – a very serious case of ‘do more with less’.

Other countries, such as those in the Middle East, have experienced different types of challenges, with various countries putting their own economy at halt with protests that went on for as long as six months.

South Africa, like the other countries, is not exempt from citizen protests. We have seen many service delivery protests across the country in the past two years with citizens complaining about the poor quality of service or lack of service delivery.

The most pertinent questions are;

  • What role can technology play to help government improve service delivery?
  • What technology opportunities are available that government can exploit to their advantage?
  • Does government have capacity to deliver on those technologies?
  • What is the role of the ICT sector in helping deliver services?

The biggest IT challenge facing the South African government is that its IT still operates in silos. Each department has its own ICT unit that procures IT hardware, software and services to cater for its own immediate requirements without much future planning. With consolidation and standardisation, government can vastly reduce the costs associated with running IT operations, thereby re-channelling the resources and available savings to innovative ideas that helps them do more with less.

Another major challenge facing government is big data – the amount of data growth in the world has moved to Exabytes of data. Above that, the adoption of smart phones in Africa is the fastest in the world. Citizens are demanding more convenient ways to access government services. Just like the banks are making banking available on people’s palms, citizens will start demanding to renew their car licences from their phones.

So what exactly is the situation in South Africa? I’m pleased to say it is not as gloomy as it looks. We have SARS bringing innovative ways of filing tax returns with more and more citizens embracing this technology. The banks rely on Home Affairs to verify customers’ identities and government continues to pay more than 300,000 public servants every month using technology. Sita host the National Matric exams question papers and results, with only minor glitches to date, which is quite commendable.

However, the biggest challenge and opportunity government should embrace is the use of cloud computing technologies in various forms to help them;

  • Deliver services at acceptable speeds
  • Take advantage of the existing infrastructure to reduce costs – pay-as-you-use will be the acceptable model going forward
  • Align government political and delivery mandates using technology

Security is a big concern for government in deploying cloud. Therefore, cloud service providers have been working hard to address security and compliance concerns together with governments. HP has recently been awarded a private cloud deployment deal by one of the US defence organisations, proving a point that security issues can easily be alleviated should it be planned properly. Cloud is by no doubt a significant shift in the business and economic model for provisioning and consuming IT, leading to significant cost savings.

Government processes and procurement inefficiencies remain a hindrance for the delivery of services. Government needs to review their procurement processes in line with service delivery and applicable PPPFA and other regulations. Using a pay-as-you-go framework, it will become easier to procure IT resources and significantly reduce delivery times as resources will be readily available. For example, instead of taking a minimum of 14 days for RFQ and up to three months for evaluation and order processing to procure a server, you could deploy one within 24 hours.

Government recently published some crucial tenders that will cover document management and cloud. These are definitely some great strides forward in embracing new technology in delivering government services.

One Loyalty Rewards partner with DSG to launch a mobile app

By admin, 26 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Having commissioned Digital Solutions Group (DSG) to develop the One Loyalty Mobi Insurance and Lifestyle app, One Loyalty Rewards is now able to offer clients a professional, customised, mobile application for their customers to download.

The app provides immediate access to emergency and non-emergency services, general insurance information, claims processing and in addition; travel, special offers, discounts and concierge services. The app will also allow clients to introduce new, existing and potential customers to their brand, products and services.

Says Anthony Kotton, MD of One Loyalty Rewards: “We have a legacy to uphold of being able to offer our clients tailored and enhanced solutions, using the latest technology for their customer needs and as such, we were looking for a solution that would assist our clients in helping them achieve these corporate objectives. What better way than to incorporate a mobile element given the demand for anytime, anywhere access? DSG was able to build a customised front-end for our Insurance and Lifestyle application and assisted us in creating a solution that spoke to our specific needs.”

Some of the on-app services include; customised assist services including: immediate response roadside assistance, panic button call functionality, access to 24-hour emergency assistance services, submission of photographs for insurance related incidents such as windscreen, vehicle and home incidents. The user can make changes to their policy and send change-or-update requests including personal, family and dependants details. The app functionality can also allow for additional insurance cover requests, the lodging of a claim and submission thereof to the respective insurer and a built-in geo-locate functionality for immediate location of nearby police stations, fire stations, hospitals and clinics via Google Maps

The app boasts lifestyle elements such as concierge, travel services, access to competitions, special offers and discounts. At a corporate level – the app can also drive your social media strategy by incorporating links to the various social media platforms.

“We work with our clients to find the most appropriate mobile solution that will help them achieve their objective,” says Yaron Assabi, CEO and founder of DSG. “The vision behind this specific application was to develop a mobile solution that would work across all platforms and could be personalised by One Loyalty Rewards clients. By encouraging loyal customers to engage with the brand through their channel of choice, the app will provide an opportunity to build on greater customer experiences resulting in improved brand loyalty and overall return on investment.”

Though this is the launch phase, DSG believes that through extensive use, the app will provide One Loyalty Rewards with business intelligence from the client and customer interactions on the app, which will increase data mining capabilities. This will be assisted by exciting new features that will be available on the next phases of the app which will be made available to customers via updates through the various app stores.

“The mobile application will assist One Loyalty to drive a stronger level of engagement with current and potential clients and continue to fulfil our brand promise to deliver integrated assist and loyalty marketing solutions. DSG has exceptional market knowledge and experience to add value to such a project and we look forward to building a successful relationship,” concludes Kotton.

For more information and to view other features available on the app please visit: http://www.oneloyaltyrewards.co.za/#!mobi-app/c1zp5

SA internet users grew by over 2 million in last 12 months says DMMA

By admin, 24 lipca, 2013, No Comment

Research reveals that 39% of South African adults have access to the internet

Research conducted by the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) and Echo Consultancy estimates the total internet population in South Africa in 2013 to be almost 14 million users. This represents 39% of the adult population.

The figure was derived from the All Media Products Survey (AMPS) and independently validated by Effective Measure (EM), the DMMA’s official measurement provider for digital audience data.

This comes as good news for advertisers, as it reflects a larger internet audience than basic AMPS levels. “We needed to provide our members with a more realistic view of the total internet population in South Africa. The validated figure of 14 million users is significant as it indicates that a greater percentage of South Africans are consuming media online than previously reported,” says Jarred Cinman, Chair of the DMMA Steerco. “This has direct implications for the media mix that marketers purchase.”

Peter Langschmidt is the Managing Director of Echo and sits on the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) board. He explains: “EM derives its figures through tagged sites, which count Unique Browsers. Some users access the internet from more than one device –i.e. laptop, mobile phone and home computer. EM will count this as three Unique Browsers, but marketers are interested in reaching people not machines. Therefore, we weighted EM’s Unique Brower data against AMPS’ multiple device usage and the EM panel to translate the number from browsers to people.

“In the case of internet penetration in South Africa from AMPS, there is most definitely respondent confusion regarding internet usage, with many respondents not equating websites accessed via their mobile phones with internet browsing. Through recoding AMPS to take mobile access into account, we were able to provide a figure that matched the EM online universe,” says Langschmidt.

This methodology can be simplified into three steps:

  1. The time periods of the AMPS and Effective Measure data sets were matched, going back to June 2012.
  2. EM’s Unique Browsers accessing the internet at that time was 15 million. This was reduced by 23% using the EM panel and AMPS multiple device calculations, to arrive at a figure of 11.6 million monthly internet users.
  3. The AMPS figures were recalibrated to include web browsing via mobile phones as well as computers, which increased the numbers from 8.6 million to 11.3 million monthly internet users

“In the middle of last year EM reported that there were 15 million Unique Browsers. In the last year this number has grown to 20 million. By applying the derived formula, we can say that that these 20 million Unique Browsers represent just under 14 million adult users,” says Langschmidt.

“This is great news for all of our publisher members in particular as it is predicted that ad spend across online channels will grow as a result, as marketers will attribute greater weight to digital media,” concludes Cinman.

Two thirds of world leaders are engaged in diplomatic relations on Twitter

By admin, 24 lipca, 2013, No Comment

@BarackObama is still the most followed but not the most connected

Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, today released “Twiplomacy” (http://twiplomacy.com) an annual global study of world leaders on Twitter. The study shows that more than three-quarters (77.7%) of world leaders have a Twitter account and two-thirds (68%) have made mutual connections with their peers.

“Twiplomacy” is the leading research of its kind, aimed at identifying to what extent world leaders use Twitter. In early July 2013 Burson-Marsteller analyzed 505 government accounts in 153 countries.

The findings indicate that US President @BarackObama is still the most followed world leader on Twitter with more than 33 million followers. However, while almost a third (148) of all world leaders and governments are following Barack Obama he is not the best connected leader. @BarackObama only mutually follows two other world leaders – Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev. The @WhiteHouse and the @StateDept are followed by 132 and 99 peers respectively, but they are also giving all other world leaders the cold shoulder: The @WhiteHouse follows three other leaders and the @StateDept is not following any other Foreign Ministry.

The Pope (@Pontifex) has become the second most followed world leader with more than 7 million followers on his nine different accounts. Although Pope Francis does not engage with other Twitter users, especially his Spanish tweets are retweeted on average more than 11,000 times, making him the most influential world leader on Twitter. In comparison @BarackObama’s tweets are only retweeted on average 2,309 times despite his massive following.

Turkish President Abdullah Gül (@cbabdullahgul) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RT_Erdogan) are among the top five most followed world leaders with more than 3.4 million followers each.

Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt is the best connected world leader mutually following 44 peers. The European External Action Service (@eu_eeas), is the best connected Foreign Service with 36 mutual connections followed by the Polish Foreign Ministry @PolandMFA, the UK @ForeignOffice and the French Foreign Ministry @FranceDiplo‏.

“This study illustrates how Twitter and social media in general have become part and parcel of any integrated government communications”, said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa. “While Twitter is certainly not the only channel of communication and will not replace face-to-face meetings, it allows for direct peer-to-peer interaction. I expect we will see an increasing number of corporations and CEOs also embracing the new tools that are connecting our world leaders”, he said.

Turkish Prime Minister @RT_Erdogan, ousted Egyptian President @MuhammadMorsi, Rwandan President @PaulKagame, Israel’s @PresidentPeres, Singapore Prime Minister @LeeHsienLoong, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte @MinPres and 35 other accounts do not follow any other Twitter user.

On the other hand Ugandan Prime Minister @AmamaMbabazi is the most conversational world leader with 96% of his tweets being @replies to other Twitter users. The second and third most conversational leaders are Rwanda’s President @PaulKagame and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt with his @fragaCarlBildt ‘Ask Carl Bildt’ account.

The study found that Twitter has become a formidable broadcasting tool for world leaders. Although not being conversational, the @Pontifex account has seen phenomenal Twitter growth over the past six months as have the accounts of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono @SBYudhoyono and Venezuela’s President @NicolasMaduro who both signed up to Twitter in March 2013 and now rank among the top 20 most followed world leaders. Even dormant accounts of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff @DilmaBR and French President François Hollande @FHollande, who both suspended tweeting after being elected, have seen their followers increase.

“People want to engage with their leaders on Twitter”, notes Matthias Lüfkens, Burson-Marsteller’s Digital Practice Leader EMEA and author of the report, “However, it is astonishing to see that accounts with the largest number of followers have the least interaction with other Twitter users.”

There are 227 personal accounts and 76 world leaders tweet personally albeit many only occasionally. Seven of the G8 leaders have a personal Twitter account and all but one of the G20 governments have an official Twitter presence.

Twitter is also used by smaller nations to put them on the world map and tweet eye-to-eye with their peers. The Croatian government (@VladaRH) and the Foreign Minister of Iceland (@MFAIceland) are unilaterally following 195 and 142 peers and world leaders respectively in the hope that they will return the favour.

All 45 European governments now have an official presence on Twitter. In South America all countries except Suriname have an official Twitter presence. In North America, Asia and Africa 79%, 76% and 71% of all governments have a Twitter account. Only a third (38.4%) of all governments in the Pacific use the micro-blogging service.

To access the complete analysis of these findings, visit: http://twiplomacy.com

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