Act Two, Week One – Thanks for joining. So good to have you aboard

My weekly newsletter that was sent out this afternoon to the rapidly growing list of Biznewz subscribers. If you haven’t signed up for your own emailed copy – click here.    

Hi there,

It’s been a long wait. Restraints are awful. But this week, my version of the Steve Job’s Act II began. And I’m tap dancing to work again.

Since the early end to my restraint last month, we’ve been hard at putting the Biznewz.biz’s back end together. It opened for business last Saturday night. The response in this first week has blown us away. Thank you for joining our adventure.

Biznewz is an affair of the heart. A return to the first love. Relevant, balanced, rational journalism. No drama. Plenty context.

Done right, ours is the most noble of professions. A thin but sturdy line between vested interests and those upon whom they would prey. Honest representatives in the Court of Public Opinion for the otherwise voiceless.

Good journalism is also a potent empowering force. Knowledge is power. Understanding, overcoming ignorance, is our first step to freedom. To make a living helping others achieve this is the most privileged of existences. Something which keeps one enthused, curious and excited. Every day.

Those who participated in Act I may find Biznewz quite familiar. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. One repeats successes. And we realised back in 1998 that transcripts of interviews are popular. They offer insights from the horse itself. We prefer reading what the guy actually said. Not someone else’s version of it. So the transcripts of interviews are a big part of Biznewz.

But with a major improvement.

Along with each transcript is the actual video clip. So you are able to watch the body language. This is courtesy of our partners at CNBC Africa who have allowed the embedding of this precious IP. Over the years, they have diligently built a network of what is now 14 bureaus on this most exciting of continents. In this critical space, CNBC Africa has a big lead on its rivals. It’s not often you get to be associated with such a far-sighted team.

Another enhancement is context. Each contribution to Biznewz carries a few lines of background. Adding value, I hope, to your experience although I will never know unless you tell me. Please make use of the comment facility at the bottom of articles. Or email us (addresses below). We can’t fix something if we don’t know it’s broken!

My other role at Biznewz is curator-in-chief. Which means I’m responsible for getting interesting people to share their views. So far, I’ve been prevailing on friends. Not one of them has turned me down. Guess that’s why they’re called friends. But you really don’t need an invitation. If there’s something on your mind that deserves a wider audience, send it to me. Write as you would a letter to a friend. That helps keep the language easy and flowing. And try stick to less than 800 words.

Arianna Huffington started HuffPo by copying faxes of contributions from her friends and associates. Who knows where your emailed Word documents might take us?

Most of all, please stay with us. We know the value of fresh content. So expect to see something new and interesting on Biznewz every day. Your time is valuable. We won’t waste it. Also, please let us know when we’re deviating from making good art. If you would like to help, please tell friends and associates that Biznewz.biz has landed. Better still; get them to sign up athttp://bit.ly/11Pejcq. And let’s make magic together. Again.

Best

Alec

Biznewz’s Top Ten best read articles of the past week:

Sandton penthouse, a snip at R60m with pics People love property. And this story with the video interview and plenty of pics caught the imagination of the Biznewz community.

Have aliens occupied my President’s brain? My Undictated column focused on the extraordinary reaction of Jacob Zuma immediately after the “results” of the Zimbabwe election were released.

Robyn Louw’s story about a mare who taught her human One of the best writers in the country. Period. Robyn’s piece about the relationship with her Lady Warden was so beautiful it moved me to tears. Get the tissues ready.

Thirteen years and three big lessons that I’ll use in future Alan Knott-Craig looks back on his recent experiences and how he’s going to apply what he has learnt in his new challenge.

Who says you can’t dismiss expensive employees? Rael Solomon’s insights into a little exposed law that works against SA’s pro-worker legislation.

At 33c, Village is now too juicy to resist After interviewing the company’s CEO Marius Saaiman, I has another look at this “cheapie” and concluded it’s more than a cigar butt

Business is now about fast v slow, and guess who’s winning? Dion Chang looks at what is killing businesses and how the rest of us should adapt to avoid joining them

Serial entrepreneur Mark Lamberti gets an offer he couldn’t refuse The deal of the week: Sale by Transaction Capital of 12% of its business for 25% of its market cap. A no brainer.

Nedbank’s R700m bad debt write-off suggests tougher times for other banks Provisions for unsecured lending and First Strut bond default will be modest compared with rival’s.

JSE’s worst performing share (R10 000 to R15 in 5yrs) gets Chinese cash It looks horrible, but CRG might just be worth a punt. A small one, though, as the risks remain high.

And some more great reading – week’s best read articles on Gill Moodie’s Grubstreet:

Quiet your mind: 13 top tips for journo interviews, 7 Aug

Major TV shake-up bodes ill for newspapers (but it’s great for consumers), 8 Aug

Washington Post: A shift from cost-cutters to smart investors? 7 Aug

Digital Grandad: Mr Un-popular, you too can become Mr Popular, 6 Aug

New Year’s Resolution: Learn to Code [online resources for journos who want to dig deeper], 9 Aug

 

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