“Become a member of our exclusive club and get ring tones for free”, flashes in bold animated characters across television screens in South Africa. Tucked up in the corner is a little box stating that this is a subscription service – charging you “XXX/per week”. Near the bottom of the screen, against a transparent background, the commercial states “terms and conditions apply”. However, when you take a closer look at the “terms and conditions”, you’ll discover ….

  • “Free” airtime minute rates do not apply (because the service provider makes its money from your airtime!).
  • Errors billed. This means that when you start downloading a ring tone (after having become a ‘member’ of course), you will still be charged – meaning the service provider will grab your airtime for the download, regardless of whether you have the ring tone or not.
  • To become a member, you have to send a SMS to a particular number. After you have done this – at the cost of your SMS – the service provider now has access to you via your cell number.

It takes all types of people to make this world of ours ring true. Some will happily part with their cell numbers without a second thought. My annoyance with “ringtomania” hit the ceiling  when the “fart” ringtone was the rave of ringtomalia. In my world, your ringtone is part of “who you are” .  Things you like or dislike give others a glimpse of who you are. I was not amused when someone’s phone started “farting” during a workshop I attended yesterday. The workshop dealt with serious issues and the “farting” noise made everyone in the room cringe – it was totally inappropriate under the circumstances.

Advertisements on television always make me smirk, but the ones about the “latest” ring tone that you “must have” because “everyone else has it” invariably make me switch the channel. Besides, how many ring tones do you really need? Although not the most creative, sassy and hip, ring tones “pre-loaded” onto your cellphone should be more than enough. Pick one you like and stick with it. On the other hand, will you at least change it from the standard “Nokia” tone to something less obvious.

Season 1, Episode 1 of “Ringtomania”. Be on the lookout for Episode 2 … soon.




Shaina Siwinski Sep 14, 2010

I am glad to stumble upon this blog. For a while, I challenged myself trying to create one like this too, though I am not certain how to do it. How exactly is this “WordPress” portal? Is it hard to learn? Is it required to be knowledgable in computers to create a blog? I am hoping to create a blog for my sample essay writing website. Can the design be integrated into a current website?

admin Sep 29, 2010

Hi Shaina

I’ve sent you a reply, but just in case you did not get this, here we go again.

Using WordPress is quite easy. Mine is set up as a site which I administer myself. If you have access to your own domain’s back-end (such as a MySQL database), you can install and run your own site, using WordPress as a Content Management System (“blogging” – writing and posting online).
If you just want to blog (not create a site), sign on at http://www.wordpress.org to create a free account and you can then start blogging away… Good Luck!

admin Sep 29, 2010

Hi Shaina

As far as I know, you can install WordPress as a part of your existing site. In the same way that you would link to a page on your website, you will then be able to use WordPress as a part (section) of your site. In my case, WordPress is the main tool I use to run my site.

Alternatively, you can however create a free blog on http://wordpress.com and link to your WordPress Blog from an existing site – without altering the structure of your existing site.

Hope this helps! 🙂

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Just go to http://theme.wordpress.com/ and explore the themes there. I’m sure you’ll find one that suits your needs and taste. Happy blogging! 🙂

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The blogging system that my site runs on is WordPress. When you write blogs, you can publish the blog on a future date. When that date comes up, the blog is then published. Give it a go …

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