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Hackers can't keep Cue down

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Russian and Turkish hackers nearly pulled the plug on CueMedia's digital platforms. A hack levelled the School of Journalism and Media Studies' websites including CueOnline, CuePix and CueTV a month before the National Arts Festival began. Despite the setback, CueMedia platforms were restored with days to spare and returned better than ever - with improved content syndication and cross media integration for coverage of Africa's biggest arts festival.

The New Media Lab bulged at the seams with a veritable United Nations of scholars from Europe and Africa. Dutch journalism lecturers, Peter Verweij, John Driedonks and students from the University of Utrecht helped supervise Zambian, Nigerian, Seychelloise and Kenyan scholars from the Highway Africa News Agency to work on a daily festival blog. The goal of CueBlog, a not-so-distant cousin to CueOnline is to shine a light on the festival itself - the vibe, the news and the personalities. The Dutch team under Rhodes alumnus, Elvira van Noordt introduced business cards, ringtones, microblogging website Plurk and Facebook into the blog's social marketing mix to boost page impressions.

On the other side of the lab, two groups of new media students were using Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and social video to punt their multimedia coverage of the main festival, fringe and exhibitions. Two more teams were pimped to the online publisher of Afrikaans daily Die Burger to provide daily multimedia coverage of the National Arts Festival - for the first time. Die Burger's platform editor, De Waal Steyn was on hand to coach students to ensure they complied with the title's vision and standards for online video.

CueOnline also received some minor tweaks to include weather updates, user polls, a Flickr gallery and microblog stream.

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