Array ( [total] => 7 [pageSize] => 24 [page] => 0 [results] => Array ( [5658] => Array ( [iID] => 5658 [tTitle] => Elitsha [tSlug] => elitsha [iTime] => 1492466400 [iUpdate] => 1516109426 [tDescription] => Elitsha is a bi-weekly newspaper based in Cape Town, published by Workers World Media Productions. The target audience is South Africans living in, primarily, the townships around Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and East London. Primary focus is on Labour, Education, Health and Service Delivery. The Elitsha website is the shift from a physical and PDF-based newspaper, to an online platform. [iCategory] => 5 [tURL] => [iViews] => 788 [iClicks] => 179 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1489 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 1 [iFullImage] => 1 [fLatitude] => -23.5755 [fLongitude] => -46.8554 [tLocation] => The yellow house [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Work [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 5 [categories] => Array ( [5] => Array ( [iID] => 5 [tName] => Work [tSlug] => work [tDescription] => Work, shmork! But, yes, one needs to make a living as well. I'm a self employed web developer with extensive experience in 'the south', that is, the developing world. I strongly focus on social applications, or, 'web 2.0'. If you're intrigued, you can check out my CV. My business is called Baba's projects. [iOrder] => 6 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=5658 ) [5446] => Array ( [iID] => 5446 [tTitle] => Switching from Google Reader [tSlug] => switching-from-google-reader [iTime] => 1365199200 [iUpdate] => 1365199200 [tDescription] => It still is a bit of mystery why Google announced shutting down its Google Reader service a few weeks ago. Earlier, products that were shut down by Google typically resulted in a tiny backlash from a typically small community of dedicated users. Not so with Google Reader, which, as it turned out, has a sizable following, even after Google limited its functionalities with the introduction of Google+. Case in point, one of the Google Reader alternatives, Feedly, announced 3 million new users just two weeks after Google's shutdown announcement. I'm one of the avid users of Google Reader and have been for many years. It's one of the two tabs that are always open in my browser (the other one being Gmail). I use Google Reader for four things: + Reading the entries of RSS feeds. + As a platform through which any and all RSS clients can synchronize. + As an RSS aggregator (primarily for customers), outputting aggregated RSS feeds. + As a place from which to send content to somewhere else, most notably delicious, for further processing (primarily for customers). I've been investigating alternatives over the last few weeks. Here are, in short, my findings. Google Reader for reading feeds There are numerous alternatives for this. The prettiest is Feedly, which is available in the browser, on Android and iOS. However, the interface doesn't always work as expected and appears buggy a bit too often for comfort. On the up, they announced they were going to provide an alternative to using Google Reader as the synchronization platform for their users' feeds. Feedly is free. Also, the flexible online interface allows for a quicker scan of updates than Google Reader, and many of the other Google Reader alternatives. Bazqux, not free, and a close copy of Google Reader, if not as easy on the eye, is another alternative. One advantage is their inclusion of article comments in their feed reader. Feedspot , free, is easier on the eye, but is very much a walled garden. NewsBlur, not free, has a bit of a power user interface with a layout efficiently presenting a lot of information at the same time. Also has an API. Feedbin, not free, has a clean interface and a basic API. The old reader comes closest to the Google Reader experience, but also lacks in more advanced functionalities that many of the other readers have. It took them about two weeks to finally import my list of feeds. All the paid readers are affordable, typically costing around 20 USD per year. Then there are a bunch of standalone solutions, like Fever, Vienna and Cleverfeed. Digg has promised an RSS reader, but won't deliver for a while. Google Reader as a synchronization platform Feedly has promised an alternative to Google Reader as a synchronization platform, but its Feedbin and NewsBlur who already have an API. Google Reader as an RSS aggregator Feedbin and NewsBlur have an API, though this would require client side coding. Free alternatives are self hosted and use libraries like SimplePie or MagpieRSS. These also required client side coding, but then don't rely on third party services. Sharing to other platforms Feedly and Bazqux allow for sharing to a bunch of platforms, straight from the reader. Standalone readers typically do as well, but require a piece of software to be installed. Also notable For news discovery, for which I use Zite and, to a lesser extent, News360, there are also some online alternatives. Prismatic is one. Concluding There is, sadly, not one ideal solution for replacing Google Reader. For news consumption, the best alternative currently seems to be Feedly. For developer support, probably Feedly, or one of the self hosted solutions like SimplePie or MagpieRSS. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3508 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1140 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462129224 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 8 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 0.29893 [fLongitude] => 32.6227 [tLocation] => GOAL apartments [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20130406 ) [5368] => Array ( [iID] => 5368 [tTitle] => Geonews: news from a location on a particular date [tSlug] => geonews-news-from-a-location-on-a-particular-date [iTime] => 1334872800 [iUpdate] => 1516124707 [tDescription] => This little function builds an array of news articles from the NYTimes back catalogue, related to a particular geographic location and around a particular date. Download it now. The function uses the NYTimes Article Search API to pick up the articles and uses the geonames API to convert coordinates to a readable location. The geonames lookup returns a hierarchy of locations, with the first being the most general (typically 'Earth') and the last being the most specific (typically a burrough, a suburb or a village). The $window variable defines the number of days on each side of the date passed to the getNews function during which for the most specific location is to be searched for news. For one geographical level up, that window is halved, and so on, until the most general geographical is reached. When the maximum number (or all) of requested news items has been fetched, the resulting collection of news is sorted on the distance in days from the date which was originally parsed. Note that both APIs might enforce a limit on use. This function is distributed as is, under a creative commons attribution 3.0 license. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 10469 [iClicks] => 662 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1140 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462100123 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 1 [iFullImage] => 2 [fLatitude] => 0.29893 [fLongitude] => 32.6227 [tLocation] => GOAL apartments [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=5368 ) [5123] => Array ( [iID] => 5123 [tTitle] => Uganda Radio Network [tSlug] => uganda-radio-network [iTime] => 1299884400 [iUpdate] => 1516112656 [tDescription] => Uganda Radio Network, URN, is a subscription-based independent news agency in Uganda. News is distributed through an online article management system and having operated for half a dozen years, in early 2010, due to circumstances, they had to move away from their tried and trusted system to a locally created one. Though serviceable, this system lacked a number of features and URN asked for a grant to have a proper article management system for them developed. Twaweza answered that call, hired me and the rest is history. Predominantly, URN's clients are radio stations from all over Uganda. The news distributed often includes audio files which can be used by these radio stations alongside the news items. In the past, all news was only available to paying subscribers. However, from now on, all news becomes public after seven days, with the news younger than seven days being partially available to the public as well. The expectation is that the library of over 30000 articles will quickly generate a significant number of eyeballs and, perhaps, additional income through advertising. The biggest challenge for building the URN website was not so much creating the article management system, but consolidating the content from the two previous systems into one, both having been designed along very different lines. Specifically because the most recent system was built in Drupal and, so it seems, no proper export module exists for Drupal, consolidating all these articles was the most time consuming bit of the job. consists of two parts. The more conventional, 'corporate', website was built on Wordpress, the article management system was custom built using PHP, MySQL and jQuery. Here's a list of tools, services and whatnot I consulted along the way. + Buttons were styled, based on an article on Particletree. + The geographical coordinates of physical locations are picked up from Tiny Geocoder. + CAPTCHAs are served by + Plenty of icons are from the excellent silk icon set from + helped me with a few Drupal tips and some extremely helpful code. + Search is done through Google Site Search. + Some help on sorting a multidimensional array came from + A way of displaying dates with sprites was adapted from an article over at + Styling of the notifications were taken from an article on, with the notification icons coming from iTweek over at deviantart. + WYSIWYG editing for contributors, journalists, is done with CKEditor. + The commenting facilities are hosted by Disqus. + The banner which currently crowns the Wordpress pages was made by a URN employee. However, I adjusted a few photos by Flickr users for usage as banners. These might show up in the future. These photos were by Flickr users diga, John Connell, Kigali Wire, Internews Network and IICD. + Maps are displayed using the Google Maps API. Shadows for markers were made with Shadowmaker and some code was lifted from + Some help on Wordpress came from htmlcenter on adding custom menus, CAM Web Design on using custom banner images and Aaron Jorbin on using child themes in Wordpress 3. + provided a script for uploading files, while a download script came from You know, it's almost like having colleagues. [iCategory] => 5 [tURL] => [iViews] => 21932 [iClicks] => 1975 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1063 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462239400 [iHot] => 2 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 2 [iFullImage] => 1 [fLatitude] => 0.34796 [fLongitude] => 32.5963 [tLocation] => Uganda Radio Network [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 1 [tCategory] => Work [iCategoryFeatured] => 1 [iPrimaryCategory] => 5 [categories] => Array ( [5] => Array ( [iID] => 5 [tName] => Work [tSlug] => work [tDescription] => Work, shmork! But, yes, one needs to make a living as well. I'm a self employed web developer with extensive experience in 'the south', that is, the developing world. I strongly focus on social applications, or, 'web 2.0'. If you're intrigued, you can check out my CV. My business is called Baba's projects. [iOrder] => 6 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 1 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=5123 ) [572] => Array ( [iID] => 572 [tTitle] => Social networking and social news [tSlug] => social-networking-and-social-news [iTime] => 1188511200 [iUpdate] => 1188511200 [tDescription] => Come October, I'm relocating from South Africa to Thailand. You know, to bring some more spice to my life. Well, actually, it's because for my next steady job I will be based in Chiang Mai. Indeed, I hear you thinking: "Steady?"; this is my first steady job since working in Afghanistan, two years ago. And I keep surprising myself how, with the rather limited cash I make, I keep getting fatter year on year. I'll be working for an NGO called HDN, Health & Development Networks (in June, I set up their new website, but that hasn't gone live yet), which basically busies itself with facilitating NGOs in developing countries who work on HIV and TB education. Quite a bit of HDN's support for these organizations goes through two online platforms they created. One is fairly recent,, but lacks functionality. The other has been going for some 8 years,, but is badly in need of an upgrade. You feel it coming, I'll be combining and structurally upgrading these services come mid-October. I'm looking at reconfiguring these two services into a socially driven news website, focusing on the developing world and AIDS and TB. Socially driven news? The most well known socially driven news website is Digg, but the one which pretty much pioneered it is Slashdot. However, both of these more typically link to stories, instead of hosting or facilitating news makers. One that allows for members to create their own news and one which I actually use is Newsvine. But, for HDN, I will have to create something that holds the middle between a Newsvine-like website and a Digg-like site, as members need to be able to post links to stories on the web (which is basically what's happening at and post stories themselves (which is happening at So I've been scouting for existing solutions which I might be able to build upon. The obvious choice would be Pligg, an open source Digg clone, but that also has its disadvantages, being modeled on Digg. And it's currently going through turbulent times. Two solutions out there that have caught my attention are Plime and Thoof, both doing personalized news (this one links to Thoof). Both are similar to Digg in many ways, but with the powerful difference that the content is basically open. That is, anyone can manipulate the extracts which are listed on these two sites. As this is functionality I want to implement, it's these two websites which I find the most interesting of the (very large) bunch that offer similar stuff. The problem? Neither has open code, so I either have to convince HDN to start using either one of these websites (which I don't think is too smart as it would make the organization too dependent), or build my own. You see, I got my work cut out for me. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3487 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 421 [iOldID] => 943 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462109878 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -26.0287 [fLongitude] => 28.0151 [tLocation] => Shingara Sands [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20070831 ) [3142] => Array ( [iID] => 3142 [tTitle] => global-cancer-news . com [tSlug] => global-cancer-news-com [iTime] => 1138057200 [iUpdate] => 1516120789 [tDescription] => Rebuilding got me thinking. And since thinking is for philosophers, I also did something and created, which collects cancer news from around the web. Why cancer? Well.... it's a common disease. Visit the site. Note: Due to what probably was a successful hack-attempt, the site has been taken offline in September 2006. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 4555 [iClicks] => 133 [iRating] => 4 [iVote] => 5 [iVoters] => 1 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 5 [iOldID] => 2401 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462112632 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 2 [fLatitude] => 52.0109 [fLongitude] => 4.33628 [tLocation] => Home [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=2401 ) [2006] => Array ( [iID] => 2006 [tTitle] => [tSlug] => inzim-com [iTime] => 1074121200 [iUpdate] => 1516117482 [tDescription] => When I went to Zimbabwe in 2004, it was to be for some two years. There were few resources on former Rhodesia on the web and I toyed with the idea of building a useful online platform. Specifically, what seemed to be lacking, was a good portal. So, in the few days before heading south, I threw together a very reasonable portal on all things Zimbabwean and called it Technically, the portal leaned heavily on work by DUware, although I found the code of their CMS/portal rather buggy to start with. Rebranding as a news portal In early 2006, it was time to completely overhaul Though many visitors stopped by, few contributors participated actually participated. I threw out the concept of the portal and had the site focus on African news, photos and weather forecasts. The site was rebranded as reloaded. The news was sourced from, with pictures coming from Flickr. Yet another rebranding In early 2011, after some inspiration triggered by browsing the excellent projects of the guys over at MapBox, I updated the site yet again. Specifically their interesting Managing News application spurned my interest, in part tipped off by a friend, in part after having a chat with a Dutch web developer in Uganda.  Managing News is essentially an RSS-based news aggregator which plots incoming news on a map. I installed it, learned that it is based on Drupal, and found that, though rather pretty to look at, was also a tad slow. What was more, Managing News didn't do two things I think are essential for an application like this. It didn't recognize the locations in geoRSS feeds and it didn't recognize duplicate items sourced from individual RSS feeds. So, I decided to throw together a similar setup, coded by hand in PHP and jQuery, with a MySQL backend and use it to replace The, again, rebranded revolutions still serves up news form Africa, coming in through the plethora of RSS feeds available from RSS imports are done using Magpie and RSS to geoRSS conversion is done through a Geonames service, from where I also source individual place names. The map is, of course, Google Maps. The functionality of the new inZIM is essentially the same as what I've built several times in the past few years for a couple of clients in the health industry. There, too, multiple information sources were trawled, filtered, and then displayed on a Google map.  However, as the variety of news sources for these clients was significant, a little bit of overhead, content administration, was required to optimize those systems' output.  Sadly, with that content administration lacking, my clients not taking the time, really, those services weren't able to add value to their users. revolutions is different, in that all the news is already coming from a highly targeted source where extensive selecting and editing is already done before the articles are sent out into the world, meaning the quality of the content will be better by design, requiring less outside interference to optimize the information displayed. World Summit Award In March 2011, was nominated for the World Summit Award Global Contest as the best e-Content example in e-Science & Technology from Uganda. Partaking in a MOOC In August 2013, I partook in a MOOC called Maps and the Geospatial Revolution. For the course's final project, I extended inZIM revolutions to provide a historical view of news plotted on the map of Africa. With this, it's now possible to see the focus of the world's attention shift from one day to the next, creating a historical narrative of news on and from Africa. The one obvious conclusion is that, even during the unrest in Egypt, AllAfrica's news sources still predominantly focus on sub-saharan Africa. Additionally, the individual news articles are, where possible, matched with Flickr photos through their tags and locations. The biggest issue I had to resolve (and of which I'm not totally sure it now has been) was the seemingly inconsistent character encodings of the news stories and locations that were pulled in through the different services. In preperation for a mobile app In November 2015, I streamlined much of the website in preperation for a mobile app I intend to build, serving the news available through In December 2015, the app became available on the iOS app store. Materialized In March 2017, was rebuilt using Materialize, a front-end framework inspired by Google's Material Design philosophy. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 12055 [iClicks] => 2404 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 5 [iVoters] => 1 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 126 [iOldID] => 1181 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462233857 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 4 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -17.8031 [fLongitude] => 31.0296 [tLocation] => Small World Backpackers Lodge [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=1181 ) ) ) Keyword: news ::