black lives matter

Beyond #BlackOutTuesday: navigating social media during social unrest

By Mulesa

Photo by Clay Banks 

In the past two weeks, our social media news feeds have been filled with news on George Floyd – an African-American man who tragically died at the hands of a white police officer while he was being arrested – and the subsequent revival of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the United States and beyond. In addition to the powerful images of his face and gatherings of protestors in Australia, South Korea and the UK posted over every social media platform, there have been impassioned calls to end violence against black people, systemic racism and police brutality across the world. Closer to home, names like Collins Khosa, Petrus Miggels and Robyn Montsumi dominate news headlines.

Offline activism also moved to the online space with users showing their support for those at the frontlines of protest action using hashtags like #ICantBreathe, #SayTheirNames and #BlackOutTuesday, which was born out of a music industry initiative in the US. Although initially for entertainers, big brands and ordinary people alike joined the initiative, the aim of which was to go silent on social media and use the time to reflect on current events. Users also posted a single black square as their profile picture on Facebook and Twitter or to their grid on Instagram as a symbol of solidarity with the BLM movement. Aside from some of the controversy around the symbolic sea of black squares on social media, the hashtag prompted a much-needed online exchange of information about BLM. It also raised some valuable questions about online activism, especially for digital marketers.READ MORE

Creating a healthy relationship with our smartphones while quarantining

By Melissa

My last blog post focussed on the amount of time we spend on our phones and ideas on how to go on a digital detox.

Coronavirus has many of us glued to our smartphones. Whether it is checking the news regularly, scrolling through social media or keeping up with endless WhatsApp chats, it can quickly feel quite overwhelming. I think it’s incredibly important to look after our wellbeing and practise social distancing from our mobile devices during this uncertain time, but there are ways that we can use the apps on our phones to our benefit and make our stay at home that little bit easier:READ MORE

Mulesa Lumina

Meet Mulesa

Starting a new job is always a bit nerve-wracking. Starting a new job, remotely, during a worldwide pandemic, adds another layer to the experience, you could say.

But the wonderful Mulesa has taken it all in her stride and she’s been a joy to work with during these strange times.

Joining us as a junior social media manager, she has a broad range of interests and talents.READ MORE

sabbatical

A six-month sabbatical

By Sarah 

The fact that I was able to take six months off work to travel the world – and that it actually worked – still feels surreal. I am so grateful to the Pomegranite team for helping me make this happen.

I am also so grateful for the timing of it all. Out of six months, we only lost four days as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated and we cut things short to skid onto a hasty plane home. The last one out of São Paulo to South Africa, it turned out.

Sitting in lockdown, it feels almost impossible that we could have visited so many incredible places.

How do you even begin to go about summarising six months of memories, across three continents and 13 countries?

READ MORE

Top 10 quarantine tips

Top 10 quarantine tips

By Tom

The world is a very different place right now. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has meant social distancing and quarantine has become the norm. As South Africa entered its own countrywide lockdown on March 26th, we gathered (virtually) as a team for our weekly skills share. It was my turn to contribute and I really couldn’t think of much else, and still can’t, other than the predicament we all find ourselves in currently.

While the idea of spending 21 days in one’s home might seem like the perfect holiday for some, for many others, especially in a country like ours with such a stark contrast in living standards, it can be truly daunting. That’s why I decided to share some practical tips for quarantine, with the help of the UN and WHO’s official guides. I’m not the biggest fan of a top 10 list, but I took a whirl and also got some valuable input from the team as well.

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Do you know how much time you’re spending on your phone?

By Melissa

Yes, there are many remarkable pros to our mobile phones, but I can’t help wondering about the cons and how much time we are actually spending on our phones. Time on your phone happens in short bursts all through the day, but these moments add up quickly. 

 

In my online hunt for clarity on how much time I spend on my phone, I completed this quick Buzzfeed quiz. I was a bit sceptical on the accuracy so I then downloaded StayFree – an app which monitors the time you spend on your phone. My results from the quiz and average daily phone usage from the app were aligned for the most part – give or take 10 minutes. Over the last week I averaged 2h 15 minutes per day – which is just under 16 hours a week, 67 hours a month and 810 hours a year – I.E. 34 DAYS PER YEAR. That’s a lot of valuable time! Especially because this total doesn’t include the hours I spend on my laptop, nor watching Netflix.

The negative effects span beyond just wasted time in that it can disrupt our real-life social interactions and affect our mental and physical well-being. I know that if I am away from my phone for a few hours, I immediately feel calmer and more grounded. Here are some ways to find a balance with technology:

  1. Understand your phone usage. Getting a better understanding of your phone use is the first step toward improving your digital well-being. Download Space to help you change your phone habits and consciously connect.
  2. Using an app (e.g. Freedom) to set boundaries using time limits for certain apps and sites can help you to not scroll the day away.
  3. Initiate space from your phone at night by limiting use before going to sleep or leaving it in another room. This can help you feel more relaxed and to sleep better. 
  4. Create device-free zones and times. Select times of the day or spaces in your home to be device-free. Keeping your phone in a central place can reduce the urge to check notifications.
  5. Try single-tasking. Improve your focus by reducing the screens around you, using just the one that helps you achieve a single task at a time.

I’m challenging myself to get my daily phone time down to an hour a day. Are you up to the challenge too?

READ MORE

Social media manager wanter Pomegranite Online Presence Consultancy

Social media manager wanted

Remuneration: R15000 per month Cost to company
Location: Cape Town, Gardens, CBD
Education level: Diploma
Job level: Mid
Own transport required: Yes
Type: Permanent

Job description

Our small digital agency is looking for a social media and community manager. Do you have your finger on the pulse of what’s working in social media and what isn’t? Can you write excellently in a range of styles? Are you thoughtful, creative, meticulous and resourceful?

READ MORE

Pomegranite’s NEW office

You guys, we have BIG news! We’ve moved into a brand new office and it’s great.

It all happened quite suddenly so here’s the full story. We had been at our lovely spot on Long Street for just over a year when Sarah went to meet with one of our first clients (and now good friend) Helen from White Rabbit Days. Returning from the meeting, Sarah made a convincing case to go and check it out so I did and I fell for it too. Two weeks later and we’ve started our first official week at 75 Harrington Street. We’re even on the wall!

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What made us so keen to move is that, while it’s a co-working space, it’s not just plonk at your desk and put your head down. This is a real community of a wide spectrum of small businesses including everything from The Braai Tool to Gravity Ideas to NGOs like Open Streets and artists and freelancers of all descriptions. The building connects us all.  It’s abuzz with entrepreneurial energy and that’s what makes it greater than the sum of its parts.

When we first met Steven Harris, who is the driving force behind 75 Harrington and who owns and runs The Design Bank next door, he compared the space to Darwin’s idea of the tangled river bank and I totally get how this building is an ecosystem. There’s growth, there are thought-provoking conversations, there’s a bagel joint across the road, there’s competition, there are events, there are connections, there’s life! Here’s the Darwin quote before I get too poetic:

“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. […] There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” 

We’ll be posting a bunch of photos of our new spot so you can have a good old digitial snoop soon but here are some teasers for now.

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The one where we go surfing at Muizenberg

Once a month, Pomegranite leaves the office for a morning or afternoon, and spends some time out in the world, talking about the business, coming up with new ideas, and just having fun, doing something we will remember with more clarity than answering emails and drawing up invoices.

For our March inspiration day, we decided to visit one of my favourite places in Cape Town, Muizenberg Beach. Liz, who grew up in Durban and hence knows how to surf (the two are synonymous aren’t they?) agreed to teach me the art. Let me just say that I am the biggest Vaalie. Having lived in Cape Town for nearly a year and a half, I still get SO excited when I see the sea and feel the sand between my toes. So, when Liz suggested the surfing idea, let’s just say that I was on board (Yip. That just happened).

If you know me at all, you will know that I am something of a perfectionist, and I am unlikely to quit anything until I get it right. Surfing was no different.

So, from my (vast) experience, here are 10 things every beginner surfer needs to know:

1) Trying to carry a surfboard in the wind is bloody difficult. Have you ever watched someone trying to bath a cat? Ja – it’s kind of like that. Just harder. Top tip: let your business partner carry it. She loves it. And you’re a novice, remember? Do not be afraid to play that card.

2) Set aside a good hour to put your wetsuit on. It’s an acquired skill apparently.

3) Don’t skip the embarrassing “lesson on the sand” part. People have come to the beach primarily to people watch. Do not deprive them of some quality entertainment.

4) You will feel like a child initially. A special needs child. Embrace it. Everyone needs to feel ridiculous from time to time.

5) It is likely that your “teacher” will speak to you in a soothing voice you’ve once heard her use while babysitting a screaming child. She will tell you that you are doing “soooooo well!” And she’s right. Obviously. That nine year old kid has nothing on you.

6) Make sure your wetsuit is the right size. The guy at the surf shop underestimated my height a bit, so I kind of felt like my wetsuit was trying (and succeeding) to choke me the whole time. Not ideal.

7) You will get a lot of sea water up your nose, which is ever so slightly unpleasant. Ever so slightly. On the plus side, no blocked sinus issues for what I can only assume will be the rest of your life.

8) Don’t be afraid to just kneel on the board in the beginning. People may tell you to “stand up, dammit!” But what do they know? You’ve got some moves. They’re just jealous of your lunge.

9) Make sure that you yell loudly at people in your way as you cruise into shore at break-neck speed. They need enough time to throw themselves out of your way. Be considerate.

10) It’s not the most comfortable experience you’ll ever have. But that feeling of riding that final wave right into shore, casually hopping off and dancing a wild victory dance glancing nonchalantly at your “teacher” as she cheers you on… It’s pretty damn amazing.

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Office for the afternoon

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Putting on a wetsuit is HARD

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As I said…

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Post-surf smugness

 

Rise and Vine! Get the low-down on this micro video app

Over on our Facebook page, we recently launched Vine Vednesdays (Wine Wednesdays are still alive and well, remain calm). Named after a ‘Vignette’, a short impressionistic scene, this mobile app enables its users to create and post short looping video clips.

Why it works

The limitations of time (7 seconds) and editing (the camera records only while the screen is being touched) has forced users to become increasingly creative and to plan their precious moments. The result? Some really original entertainment.

In terms of watching Vines, the brevity of the looping clip makes the app mesmerising.

What people are doing with it

1.Capturing moments: watch cute kittens getting tickled or the view from  parasailing over turquoise waters.

2. Making moments: check out guys pulling off amazing tricks and some slightly bizarre theatrical moments.

3. Dorseying: founder, Jack Dorsey loves to take a selfie (usually half a selfie actually) with a scene, landmark or moment going on behind him. Dorseying has inspired many an entertaining parody.

For a taste of what’s out there, check out Vine’s Twitter account or just keep an eye on our Facebook feed for the best of the best every Vednesday.

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Sources: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100807818,
http://eggboss.com/technology/10-facts-probably-didnt-know-vine/