Jacques Du Bruyn

Ask me anything   Submit   The life and times of a guy called Jacques in a city called Johannesburg following a man called Jesus


    Social Networking, the dictatorial government breaker

    Have you noticed how many uprisings have taken place in the last 6 months alone? Egypt’s uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia’s revolt against long standing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Syrian uprising against the government, Yemen’s revolt that took place at the same time as Egypt’s calling for the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Libyan uprising inspired by the Tunisia is calling for dictator Muammar Gaddafi to resign. This all happening in 2011 alone.

    We all know the important part that Twitter played in the Egyptian uprising and that is why we start realising that as technology and social media advance it becomes more difficult for a dictatorship to sustain itself. This is why I think so;

    1. Social media connects people in a unified common cause.

     2. Social media educates people about what people in other countries have, thus they will want the same.

    3. Social media gives a “common” person a vital voice, a voice that is heard.

    4. Social media empowers people.

    If a dictator wants to remain in power, he has to shut down the internet, which in today’s time is extremely difficult. I cannot see how with the advance of social media and technology that totalitarian, authoritarian and dictatorial regimes can flourish.

    Viva social media and the empowerment of the people.


    — 3 years ago
    Dear Mr Malema

    I posted this on Facebook earlier, sorry if you have seen it already.

    I’m referring to the hate speach case where Julius Malema is making his closing arguments. AfriForum took Julius Malema (ANC Youth League) President to court because they believe that Julius is engaging with hate speech when he sings the song “shoot the Boer”. One of Malema’s main stances in the closing arguments is that the song “shoot the Boer” is part of history and part of the struggle against Apartheid.

    Well here is my response to that;

    Dear Mr Malema

    You are right, “shoot the Boer” does have a place in history, just like the statement “whites only” does. History is where “shoot the Boer” belongs along with “whites only”. They have no place in our future. If you feel that it is appropriate to sing this song then you have completely missed the point of our beloved democratic South Africa. The struggle against Apartheid only continues if you sing this song.

    — 3 years ago
    Give its Monday

    Just a little nugget for today- something for Monday.

    We are very tuned to want. Our western culture and society grafts consumerism into our DNA without us even noticing it. Consumerism pumps wanting things “yesterday” into our veins. But do we ever think of giving instead of getting?

    I don’t even mean money. Give time to help someone pack their groceries into their car. Give thought to help someone with a solution to a problem. There are many ways to give, and there are many oportunities each day to get involved.

    I truly believe that something special happens when you give.

    Try it.

    — 3 years ago
    My thoughts on claiming to be a social media guru

    (Picture from socialimplications.com)

    Everyone who has a laptop, 3G and Twitter account claims to be a social media guru these days. I am dumbfounded at how many people on Twitter claim to be such, their profiles are strewn with words eluding to the fact that they know everything about social media. If being a social media guru entails setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account then yes buddy perhaps you are a benevolent social media marketing guru.

    "Hi, my name is Jacques. I’m a shoe guru, can I perhaps offer you the service of tying your shoe lace?" - sarcasm noted.

    The dictionary describes a guru as being one who possesses knowledge, wisdom and great authority in a certain area. I pray to God that I never become so vein as to think that I know enough about something to be referred to as a guru. I would like to think that I am confident enough to offer you a great service but humble enough to know that I learn new things everyday. After all, the theory means nothing if you can’t implement it.

    Setting up a Facebook page is one thing, but what about strategy? Who is your target market and have you assessed the demographic and psychographic and what sort of personality the page will posses? Have you thought about which time of the day is best to post information? Have you considered how often to post content and what sort of content for that matter (is it going to be a video, an article that portrays you as a though leader, a competition or user generated content)? Have you thought about SEO and ORM? Have you thought about how the new Consumer Act impacts what sort of material you post? - These are basic strategic questions, which I would consider and I still claim to be a humble student of social media marketing.

    If you are looking for someone to help you with your online/social media marketing ask for their track record and past/current successes, it may just save you some trouble.

    I’m a social media enthusiast, I love it, I find it so dynamic and engaging with so many possibilities. I’m excited to be a student of this.

    — 3 years ago
    Bin Laden’s death, justice or revenge?

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    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr

    It has been almost a week since the stealthy and sudden killing of Osama Bin Laden. The media has flooded us with stories of Bin Laden and how it all played out, adding bits and pieces to the puzzle as it unfolded during the week. It is difficult not to be drawn into the overwhelming sum of information about the events and also not to form your own bias conspiracy theory about what exactly took place.  Yes, Bin Laden is dead, that is what we all know. What can we take from this now and how do we move forward?

    The words of Martin Luther King Jr at the top of this post have an enormous amount of truth in them. I say this because it is so much easier to repay hatred with hatred, to want to take revenge. It unnerves me to think that at first I would want to react exactly the same as America has, go and kill, take revenge! To sit back and think about Martin Luther King Jr’s words only complicates that initial feeling.

    The problem we face is that the world is honestly better off without Bin Laden but that moral teaches us not to hate and take revenge. What do you do? Do you sit back and let Bin Laden strike or do you kill him? In my opinion America has taken revenge, but not made the world a safer place. Al Qaeda is only more eager to strike now. America has filled Al Qaeda’s fangs with more venom. How does that help?

    We sit with an interesting scenario with Pakistan, their leadership not knowing how to answer the world’s question’s on how they did not know that the world’s most wanted man was basically sitting in their military base. The Americans are pushing for answers that are only infuriating and straining the already fragile relationship between themselves and Pakistan. Pakistan are sitting with Bin Laden’s wife from Yemen in their custody, a woman that was literally chucked out of Pakistan 7 years ago with no license to ever return. How did she manage to get back to Pakistan and live under their noses for 5 years?

    I think there is a lot more that will unfold as time ticks. But for now…

    America; is it right to retaliate, to return hate with hate even when Bin Laden’s death seems so right?

    Pakistan; have the lies caught up to you? Is this a time to be humble and admit your shortcomings and own up?

    Al Qaeda; does your god really wish for the blood of the West? Is that really at the heart of the Muslim message?

    All I know is this; there is only one man’s death that has brought about life. His death was far more brutal and public than Bin Laden’s, his message was not that of hate but of love. He didn’t run from his enemy like Bin Laden did. You know whom I’m talking about here… I certainly don’t have the answers to these questions but I can rest assured that He does.

    — 3 years ago
    hellopeter.com vs social media, what does the future hold?

    For those who don’t know what hellopeter.com is; very simply it is a website that allows you to report bad or good service which is sent directly to the supplier involved. The unique selling point of the website is that you should get a quick response from the supplier involved which should result in a quick resolution to the problem that you have reported.

    Hellopeter.com has been an icon in the reporting of bad service in South Africa and has been a trail blazer in the area of holding suppliers accountable. You will often hear people boast that they “hello petered” the bad service.

    Today we sit with a new avenue called social media. In my opinion a far greater impact is made when reporting bad service on a social media platform than writing a report on a website. Not only am I able to tell my Facebook friends but my Twitter followers too. If I have a blog like this one that receives 450+ views per post then I have engaged a fairly large audience. Every supplier should be on Twitter and should have an active account that responds to queries and bad reports. I have a little example right here;

    I contacted Vida e Cafe via this blog through Twitter and Facebook about bad service and got a great response. Read my complaint here and their response here. Not only did they respond but I was able to share the experience with all my friends too.

    So having said this, what does the future hold for hellopeter.com? Unless Twitter and Facebook integration is included on the website I’m afraid to say not much. Hellopeter.com need to include the ability to share the report on Twitter and Facebook at least. Slowly people will revert to Twitter more and websites like hellopeter.com less. It is far easier to quickly “@” tag a supplier on your mobile phone using Twitter than wait to get back into the office or home to write a report on hellopeter.com.

    Don’t get me wrong, hellopeter.com is still thriving, but I feel that the future is social media unless hellopeter.com becomes more social.

    — 3 years ago
    Endorsements that endorse nothing

    My wife and I visited some friends in Hilton, KwaZulu Natal this weekend. We were having dinner on one of the evenings when I noticed an inscription on the balsamic vinegar bottle; “Chef’s Choice”.

    OK… So who is this chef? For all I know Its a guy who makes hotdogs for children on summer camp. That information is as useless as a motorbike with air conditioning. We might as well have everything endorsed by an “unknown”;

    "Buy this couch, its the choice of a regular couch potato"

    "Buy this shampoo, its the choice of a man with a really wild mullet"

    "Buy this learning guide, Unknown says its cool"

    "Buy these kitchen knives, they are the choice of a cereal killer"

    Lets be honest, anyone can put an endorsement on their product, especially when it has no one’s name on it.

    With all that said, the balsamic vinegar and dinner was really good…

    — 3 years ago
    A tweet too far - the royal wedding

    Ok. So we are all well aware that the media will ride any trending wave until the wave has crashed onto the beach. But unfortunately sometimes the media takes a wave and pours all sorts of food colouring onto it, mixes sugar into it and creates something that looks like an Irish soup. The tweet below by Time Magazine is such an example;

    @TIMENewsFeed The royal wedding might be good for British morale, but is it good for the environment? | http://ti.me/k2KcbQ

    Am I the only one that thinks this tweet is like seeing a Ferrari drive past pulling a caravan? Does the media always have to take a topic that was hot like a tin can in the Kalahari last year but that has cooled down quite considerably and sticky tape it to something that is relatively hot now? What has the environment to do with exchanging vows?

    "The royal wedding might be good for British cupcakes, but is it good for the Teletubbies home?"

    "The royal wedding might be good for British poodles, but is it good for the doves in Trafalgar Square?"

    "The royal wedding might be good for British underwear, but is it good for the door handle on 10 Downing Street?"

    I don’t really care to be honest.

    If you are going to watch the royal wedding, please don’t worry about the environment!

    — 3 years ago
    A picture of myself with Charlie Sheen

    Thought you were going to see an ACTUAL picture of me with Charlie Sheen?


    This blog post is in fact about creating punchy, eye catching and attention grabbing headlines. There is a lot of information out there! If you want what you have to share to be noticed then you had better put as much thought into the heading as the actual body copy. This is especially important for blog posts, Facebook page updates etc.

    Don’t obviously lie like I have so unethically done here, but produce something that draws people to your post. Remember you have less than 5 seconds to engage.

    Another thing that I would like to mention is that short simple and to the point always works best. Text books are for Kindle, not blogs.

    I do look better than Charlie though don’t I?

    — 3 years ago
    Why I buy Ouma Rusks

    As many a South African I enjoy a good cup of coffee. What is a good cup of coffee in the morning without a tasty rusk to dip it in?

    For those of you who are from outside the boarders of the most amazing country in the world, find out what a rusk is here.

    This is why I buy Ouma Rusks;

    They tell a story. On the side of the Ouma Rusks box it reads;

    "Ouma Rusks began in the 1939 in the small Eastern Cape town of Molteno, where the effects of the Great Depression were bringing many people to their knees. During this time, a certain Ouma Greyvensteyn and her friends attended a church meeting where ways in which to help mission work were discussed. At the end of the meeting, each of the women were given a half-a-crown coin and told to multiply it using their talents, as in the Gospel. Ouma Greyvensteyn used this money to buy ingredients in order to make rusks using her family recipe. The rusks she baked proved to be extremely popular and orders continued to be placed for her rusks.”

    As a South African I make an emotional connection with that. The truth is stories sell. They create a link between the consumer and brand. Have you noticed how your grandparents love telling you stories about the past? They don’t only do this to inform you but because they have a deep emotional connection with the stories of their past- “the good old days”!

    When you create emotional ties between consumer and brand then you have won. Stories are a great way of doing this.

    Why do I want to drive an Alfa Romeo? My father who passed away 4 years ago loved them. There is an emotional tie there.

    As a brand you want to create these ties, these stories that connect with your consumers. Glocalisation (localising a global brand) makes this a little more difficult, but at the end of the day your story is important.

    What is your story?

    — 3 years ago