Archive for April, 2011

Eagles on Twitter

RSPB Scotland is using Twitter and blogging in a clever way to track the
movements of rare Eagles.

Sneak preview of Obama’s online campaign

Watch this short video to get an insight into how Obama is campaigning online to mobilise grass roots support for his re-election. The approach is direct, open, personal and of course, social. Obama’s team want to generate conversations about their candidate and want supporters to participate and engage through social media networks.

Accidental Billionaires – a few thoughts

Just finished Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich which ‘The Social Network’ film was based on – a hedge fund manager urged me to read it, saying it was unbelievable how Mark Zuckerberg is alleged to have broken so many promises.

What comes through is the ruthlessness of Zuckerberg. At first at Harvard, Facebook was fun, a game. But the book charts how it becomes his life and argues that no one can stand in the way of the rise of Facebook.

Harvard friend, Eduardo Saverin, sees his 30% stake in Facebook diluted and he is pushed out. And the grievances that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have is well documented in this gripping account.

Sean Parker who joins Facebook later sees the potential of social networking. Driven by the desire to re-create the Napster effect he gets involved fast; and enjoys quoting numbers to the VCs and companies who quickly come knocking on Facebook’s door.

In the beginning Zuckerberg is presented as an awkward individual who is not especially social. However at Harvard they are used to people who are like that, apparently. Individuals who are brilliant in one thing.

Zuckerberg unleashes Facebook and is astonished at its take up and initially runs into trouble with the Harvard authorities for breaching privacy issues. Sounds familiar? A lot of women don’t like him at Harvard because he shares their details online. Naturally this changes rapidly as he becomes famous and the parties get underway.

Based on dozens of interviews, and court proceedings, Zuckerberg is portrayed as a lone genius. A brilliant programmer. The abiding image is ‘that glowing screen in front of his face’. He had a business card done. Which said simply: I’m CEO- Bitch.

He wants Facebook to become the operating system of the web. Eliminating the need for companies to have web sites. Inspired by Bill Gates, this young man is, as the book suggests, going to be hard to stop. The only social network holding out against Facebook, I understand, is Orkut. And this has now been overtaken by Facebook in India; although it is dominant in Brazil still. But for how long?

Is interactive fiction the future of books?

This Alice in Wonderland game perhaps points the way to the future of
fiction.

YouTube releases the YouTube Copyright School, starring Happy Tree Friends

YouTube has released a video detailing the ins-and-outs of copyright infringement in video, and how to avoid it.

Created using the popular cast from Happy Tree Friends, the light-hearted video has a serious message to anyone who receives a valid copyright notification. Users need to watch the entire video and answer a small survey on the content before they are allowed to upload any further videos.

Are you familiar with copyright rules and regulations with videos?

Another viral hit for T-Mobile with their Royal Wedding Dance

T-Mobile is a brand that knows how to combine social media and hot trends to create virals. Last year, it dominated YouTube and TV advert slots with its flashmob dances in Liverpool Street Station.  This year it created a singing group to greet air passengers at Heathrow.

Now, T-Mobile has combined one of the hottest videos of the last five years with one of the hottest events of the year.

The T-Mobile Royal Wedding

Following the huge success of Jill and Kevin’s Wedding Entrance Dance, T-Mobile has recreated it using lookalikes of the Royal Family. Even The Queen shakes her thang down the aisle.

Unsurprisingly, it’s another huge hit for the phone network, proving that it definitely has its finger on the pulse when it comes to popular culture and the benefits of video media.

Are you a fan of T-Mobile’s viral videos?

Busting the myths: A Facebook infographic

Social media experts spend quite a bit of time persuading businesses and individuals to involve Facebook in their social media strategy. Excuses like “my customers don’t use Facebook” and “our brand isn’t right for Facebook” just don’t wash, particularly given the fact that Facebook now has over 500 million users.

This infographic from Smilespread.co.uk busts all those Facebook myths in one smooth, retro-esque poster.

Five reasons why you should be recruiting through LinkedIn

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

LinkedIn is often seen as the ‘professional social network’, and yet the number of companies using it to actively search for candidates, rather than check up on them pre-interview, is still fairly low. Only 40% of Fortune 500 companies currently uses LinkedIn for recruiting.

Considering the site just passed the 100 million-member mark, this seems like a huge waste of resources.

Not sure why you should use LinkedIn for your recruitment? Here are five reasons.

  • You can search by a keyword or term. You don’t even have to have an upgraded membership to do this. Simply type in your requirements, like ‘finance director’, and you’ll come up with hundreds of people who match your requirements, who you can then whittle down by location, connection and experience.
  • In general, active LinkedIn users update their profile more often than they would update a job site CV, which means you have the latest information.
  • Recommendations are built in, so you can quickly see what others think of a potential candidate without going through the process of sending out reference forms.
  • You can see what contacts you have in common. Therefore, you can ask for an introduction – or check what they think of the person – before making contact.
  • Allow the job hunters to come to you. Build a LinkedIn page for your business and you can display all your vacancies within your group. Job hunters will then come across your page when performing a job search.

Do you recruit on LinkedIn? What do you think about it?

Finding the missing link

Something deeper is going on through social media in the sense that there appears to be a desire to restore the missing link between producer and consumer. The experience of going into a supermarket for example and seeing stuff piled up is not as engaging for many people as strolling around a farmers’ market and chatting with the people who grow our food.

A new consumer mindset is emerging. Consumers are yearning to go back to a time when markets meant community-based, traditional relationships with strong ties. People want to see the person behind the product. Which is why there is a growing emphasis on the value of local products and services.

Anonymous, impersonal brands, who lack humanity will not be able to connect to these new types of consumer demands and will lose relevance, trust and affection.

I want a company like me!

People have been sharing information with their peers through social networks for a long time, and only now are businesses starting to catch up. Many are too focused on transactions rather than relationships, which is a key part of successfully engaging with social media.

Customers and stakeholders want to, and expect to, interact with companies in the way in which they interact with a friend or a peer they trust.

Customers and stakeholders are unique and they expect unique interactions that are appropriate to them. Who doesn’t want to be respected and treated as a unique individual?!

This is the key challenge of connecting with customers and stakeholders online. How can you be different with each individual so they have the highly personalised unique experience they expect and which they would expect from their peers?

What customers and stakeholders value is not necessarily what the companies value either. Marketing collateral, for example, is aimed at pushing a product. Whereas customers and stakeholders are more interested in conversations that are honest and revealing.

I think one of the ways companies can best engage in this context is to admit that they do not have all the answers and create platforms through which they can learn from others. Listening is crucial. They can then gain a better understanding of what their stakeholders actually require and become better businesses as a consequence.