Thoughts, insights and analysis of the May 2012 African Top Twits list

Posted on May 13, 2012

This post cover some thoughts, insights and analysis of the Top Twits list (May 2012 Africa’s Top Twits) I posted yesterday. Each of the headings provides an anchor for some tidbits and discussion around that bit. Browse through as you will. I would highly recommend you open either the PDF or Excel document when going through so you can let the information talk to you and come up with your own interpretations and insights.

Overall uptake of twitter

It is interesting to see the continued phenomenal growth of Twitter. While the top African twitter user (@pastorchrislive) hasn’t grown much there is massive growth in the top 10 below him. Previously second place had 243 861 followers, now that has grown to 615 332 and where previously (August 2011) 117 357 followers would have got you into 10th place, now just 8 months later that won’t even crack the top 50.

In the top 50 you would need to be more than doubling your following in the period just to hold onto your spot. And its not just those accounts that have small followings that are growing at these high rates (off a small base) but many in the top 10 have growth rates of 250% to 350%.


Bands 5/12/2012 8/31/2011 Growth Growth %
1   1,062,297   1,038,830     23,467 2%
2      615,332      243,861   371,471 152%
10      363,226      117,357   245,869 210%
50      120,941        59,003     61,938 105%
100        61,521        36,422     25,099 69%

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Africa’s Top Twits – May 2012 edition

Posted on May 12, 2012

I have finally got around to updating my list of Africa’s top twits (or top twitter users as some prefer). The page with the current and previous information can be found here : TopTwits. As before, the information is presented in both PDF and Excel formats. Download the one most suitable for you.

There are some significant changes that have happened in the last 8 months. The growth in users outside of South Africa has been nothing short of phenomenal. It seems us in SA have much to learn from the rest of Africa, Egypt in particular, around the potential use of Twitter.

To make analysis a little easier I have provided some comparative information from the last run I did (which is some 8 months ago). You can now see the previous rank, the number of followers back then, absolute growth and % growth. I am pasting the top 50 here, and will do some more analysis of my own and come back with further commentary at a later stage. Without those growth figures, don’t read too much into the numbers below. For example, DJ Fresh shows a drop of 10 places in the rank, but actually has grown  significantly from 114 000 followers to 205 000, an 80% growth over that period. Gareth Cliff has fallen from 5 to 16, but has taken on 107 000 new followers in the period (64% growth) to reach a total of 275 000 followers. Trevor Noah has dropped from 7 to 9, but grown a phenomenal 154% to reach 365 000 followers.

Growth in the top 10 has some phenomenal rates, at least 6 of these top 10 are Egyptian. These have growth rates of between 108% up to 368%.‘s account (the 368%) has grown from 117 000 followers to 550 000 in this 8 months period. Pretty amazing.

Our previous top South African, fellow Durbanite @brat13 has fallen from 2nd spot down to 12th, but has in that same time taken on 100 000 additional followers, a 42% growth, to reach 345 000, awesome for a “Engineer, motorsport fan, occasional cyclist, photographer, blogger, Durbanite!”

As always, errors, omissions and suggestions will be taken on board for future updates. All discussion welcome.

Don’t forget, the full excel and PDF versions are available for download on the  TopTwits page.

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Africa’s Top Twits August 2011 edition now out

Posted on September 03, 2011

The latest edition of Africa’s Top Twits is now out. Read it here :

There are once again more twitter users included who had been overlooked previously, with particular focus on users in other parts of Africa. This has had a significant impact on the top 100.

This month I include a little more commentary on the top 10, include some growth statistics for this special group, as well as lay down the start of a comparison we can do over the next few months for our 13 Bokke who are on twitter. The 13 can be found here (

Once again, suggestions, comments, corrections all welcome.






Security and Ethics presentation at UKZN MBA Class 2011

Posted on August 24, 2011

I presented to the 2011 MBA class last week on Information Security and Ethics. A copy of the presentation is uploaded for those who are interested.

Drop me a mail or tweet if you have questions on anything or need more info.

Download here : security and ethics 2011 UKZN mba Aug 2011.pdf

(South) Africa’s Top Twits – August interim edition

Posted on August 20, 2011

I have found a number of additional African twitter accounts which had previously not been included in the list. I have added these in and updated the follower numbers for all accounts present in the list. As always, please send through comments suggestions and amendments.  An updated version will be produced at the end of August as the “official” August list. This is to just correct known issues from the last 3 weeks since the last list.

Follow this link to find all the goodies :


Please help Marketing Research students of the Commerce Faculty of UCT:LinkedIn Survey

Posted on August 04, 2011

To whom it may concern, please fill out the following questionnaire with regard to your use of the social networking site LinkedIn. The completion of this questionnaire should not take more than five minutes. This survey has been issued by the Marketing Research students of the Commerce Faculty of the University of Cape Town. You will remain anonymous in your response and thus all your answers will be kept confidential.

 If you have any queries with regard the research, please do not hesitate to contact the researchers Kirsten Eddey or Jessica Gamble at

Automating collection of Twitter user stats

Posted on July 30, 2011

Nasty little hack, but it works.

  1. Download Curl
  2. Download the OpenSLL DLL’s
  3. Create your text file with the list of Twitter accounts you want, one line per account (twits.txt)
  4. Create your batch file in the same folder as the above 3, just the following 2 lines needed (doit.bat)
    1. DEL out.xml
    2. FOR /F %%i IN (twits.txt) do (curl >>out.xml & ping -n 2 -w 1>NUL)
  5. Run the batch file, it creates “out.xml”
  6. Load the XML file into notepad/wordpad
  7. Search and replace to remove the following <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
  8. Except for the first line which must remain
  9. Then add in <twits> as the second line in the file and </twits> as the last line of the file
  10. Now save the XML file
  11. Load it into Excel.
  12. All done, enjoy

(South) Africa’s Top Twits – July 2011 (final)

Posted on July 28, 2011

This is the third post in four days on the matter of the top twitter users in (South) Africa, ranked by number of followers.

You can read the previous posts here  explaining how this arose:

I have now created a static page (as opposed to a post) to house the information going forward, and I hope to be able to update it regularly. Initially perhaps monthly and then maybe to quarterly if that proves to be too onerous.
The page is “Top Twits” on the menu at the top of the site, or linked here.
The information is available as an Excel sheet or as a PDF as well as the Top 100 present in the body of the post.
Enjoy and please provide feedback.

The new improved (South) African Top Twits July 2011

Posted on July 26, 2011

See the final list here :

Yesterday’s post (here) attempted to list the Top Twits (by number of followers) in (South) Africa.  If you didn’t read the post yesterday, take a read to see where this all started.  It had some flaws. There were some big names missing. After some manual processing and prompting for various parties, here is the new improved (still very much draft) (South) African Top Twits.  The top 10 has changed a bit, and beyond that even more so. To make yesterday’s top 50 you needed 13 251 followers, today that has jumped to 22 613.

Once again, if there are some big names out there that have been missed please let me know.

Change log :

  • Removed duplicated @BusRep, @BibleThoughts now makes it in at number 50 (26/7/2011)
  • Added in some more users @Elbaradei, Jacob Zuma (SAPresident), Presidency, MetroFM (27/7/2011)
  • Expanded the list to top 60 (so that some didn’t drop out of yesterday’s list)
  • Included the date updated field
  • Checked the numbers of all the accounts listed against current numbers as previous sources were unreliable. Checked the balance of the top 120 as well just in case any jumped up the list, some of which did.
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Will South Africa’s real Top Twits please stand up

Posted on July 25, 2011

Update : See the final list here : (updated monthly)

The Strategy Worx recently released their ‘Social Media in SA – The Numbers‘ Report for Quarter two. Makes some interesting reading. There is some discussion on Google Plus here.

In the report is a list of  the Top 20 South African twitter personalities. The list was interesting, but on reflection seemed to be missing some of the people who I would have expected to be in the report.  There appear to be some obvious missing ones eg. DJ Fresh 98 656 followers and Pigspotter (Cliff) with 61 000 Jack Parrow 22 281 Steven Pienaar (ok, he lives in the UK most of the time) 67 480 John Robbie 23 377, Bryan Habana 46 270 etc etc

I quickly posted a question on the discussion asking what was the selection criteria for this? After going back and reading the report more closely I found the reference :

Going onto Twitaholic and playing a little gave some insight into the problem. The query used only picks you up if you list South Africa (Country), not City, Country (Eg. Durban South Africa).

This is very clear, Bruce Attridge in Durban, South Africa has 213 000 followers and is top of the Durban list, but doesn’t come up (would be 1st) in the South Africa query. Problem. Playing a bit more and you find that Durban, Durban South Africa and South Africa all produce different lists.

To top it all off, looking at the follower numbers shows some more problems. I am listed way down on the list (not that I have that many followers), but the numbers were vastly different from what Twitter shows as my followers. It seems the list is quite dated. If you click on a user, there is a button to “Update my Stats!” which can be used once a day. A manual process – though some numbers are more recent than others. Ok, so the data is flawed.

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MBA 3rd year student research : Employee Attitudes towards Employment Equity survey : Please assist

Posted on July 14, 2011

Please assist an MBA student complete their research by filling in the questionnaire below. Thanks.

Dear all,

I am a 3rd year MBA student at UKZN  Graduate School of Business. I would like to invite you to participate in my survey entitled “Employee Attitudes towards Employment Equity” by clicking on the link below:

Your participation in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Zithulele Buthelezi

Pure Speculation : New DSTV Drifta decoder to be launched? #in

Posted on June 04, 2011

Updates :


A new version of the DSTV Drifta software was released recently (1.2.11). Doing some simple sleuthing around in the install reveals some potentially very interesting news. Is a Drifta2 about to be launched?

The following were the only files updated / added in the new installer:

1.2.11 vs 1.1.0

Existing files:

  • Decoder.exe  2011/05/10 06:57      1 512KB
  • infcopy.exe    2010/12/06 02:34          79KB
  • tvnb.bin           2011/04/20 08:39    8 288KB

New files:

  • IPSetup.exe      2011/03/18 06:21         58KB
  • tvnb_usb.bin   2011/05/03 02:09    5 840KB


The really interesting bit is in the new tvnb_usb.bin file.

The tvnb_usb.bin has an interesting identification string “Drifta2(DVB-H) 2.1.277 2011/05/03-14:09:23 ”  vs the older style tvnb.bin identification string “Tivit(DVB-H) 2.1.266 2011/04/20-17:03:51″.

Is this a hint at a new Drifta decoder to come?

Share your thoughts, on or off the record.

New ISACA audit programs: Cloud computing, Crisis mgt, Infosec mgt, Active Directory, Oracle eBusiness #in

Posted on September 02, 2010

ISACA has recently made 5 new audit programs available, 4 in August and one in July, bringing the total number of available programs to 31.

These new audit programs cover :

  • Cloud Computing Management Audit/Assurance Program (Aug 2010)
  • Crisis Management Audit/Assurance Program (Aug 2010)
  • Information Security Management Audit/Assurance Program (Aug 2010)
  • Windows Active Directory Audit Program (20 Aug 2010)
  • Security, Audit and Control Features Oracle E-Business Suite, 3rd Edition – Audit programs and ICQs (July 2010)

They are all available for download on the ISACA knowledge centre website.

ISACA makes the material available at no cost as a benefit of ISACA membership. Anybody wanting to contribute material to share with fellow professionals can send it to ISACA via

2010 Data Breach Investigation Report – Who stole my client’s cheese? #in

Posted on August 25, 2010

The first-ever joint report by the Verizon Business Risk data crime investigation team and the U.S. Secret Service presents a fascinating and current insight into the murky world of data theft and cyber crime. Contrary to general expectations 85% of all stolen data records can be traced back to organised crime. Woaah. While almost 50% of cases had active insider involvement, these were small-time jobs resulting in only 3% of records lost. So yes, watch out for your employees, but beware of those syndicates!

Read more in Woody Leonhard’s summation of the report here.

Download a copy of the VBR/USSS report from Verizon Business here

ISACA Whitepaper “Securing Mobile Devices” #in

Posted on August 25, 2010

ISACA have released a whitepaper on the securing of mobile devices. This is the first in a series of documents which will eventually include audit/assurance programs for such devices. The overview of these documents can be found here.

Abstract of white paper

Mobile computing devices have become a critical tool in today’s networked world. Enterprises and individuals alike rely on mobile devices to remain reachable when away from the office or home. While mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and Universal Serial Bus (USB) memory sticks have facilitated increased convenience for individuals as well as the potential for increased productivity in the workplace, these benefits are not without risks. Mobile devices have been, and continue to be, a source of various types of security incidents. These stem from issues such as device loss, malware and external breaches. As the availability of human resources and systems continues to be critical to society and business operations, it stands to reason that mobile device usage will continue to escalate as will the features that these devices offer. It is therefore imperative that proper risk management be applied and security controls implemented to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks associated with such devices.

Download the whitepaper here. writeup on the whitepaper here.

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