Archive for August, 2011

FT and Social Media

We are getting ready for the next Social Media Leadership Forum members session on September 15 in London. The Financial Times will be discussing the impact of social media and its continuing response.

It will be fascinating to learn how one of the world’s leading media companies has had to alter its traditional communications methods, and how it is seeking to secure its influence within the torrential digital flow of news.

In particular it will be revealing to better understand how journalists are now sourcing their news and how they expect to be able to communicate online with businesses to keep analysts and investors up to speed.

I’m still amazed at how many companies have long lines of media contacts with telephone numbers on their web sites. When important stories break across global markets, I cannot imagine bloggers and users of Facebook and Twitter stopping in their tracks and thinking, ‘I must call the press office, before I make any further comments’!!

In another related development, with the exception of the FT, there are some traditional print and news organisations who seem to be getting ever more extreme in their coverage of news. Partly, I think, because of competition from the web and social media. As audiences migrate online to find news and information, and share it with their peers, they are naturally paying less attention to newspapers, which go out of date rapidly, or TV programmes that are commenting on situations unfolding on your computer screens.

However, what we know is that within this context, trusted media brands are prospering and can serve as anchors of record for online audiences. I would put the FT in that bracket and look forward to learning how they are developing their engagement with social media whilst preserving their reputation for quality comment and analysis.

If you are reading this, and you are not a member of the collaborative social media leadership forum, and are a member of a leading organisation, then please get in touch.

The Social Media Leadership Forum is only as strong as its members and we are extremely grateful for all their support, as we continue to look to provide a  reflective platform to discuss insights and share experiences. Hopefully this will help tackle the massive disruption in how information is produced, distributed and exchanged internally and externally across businesses and the world’s markets.

Google TV to take off?

Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility has focused on the patent advantages this gives Google, as well as the competitive advantages it presents the company by providing a grip on the handset market to challenge the likes of Apple.

However by acquiring Motorola Mobility, Google has bought its way into TV as well. Motorola Mobility is the second largest maker of set top boxes that US cable operators lend out to subscribers. Which means Google is able to control the manufacturing of these boxes and the software that runs inside. It has effectively got itself into the TVs of tens of millions of US viewers. How Google innovates in this area will be interesting.

The internet can be accessed pretty much any place and anywhere and Google aims to be wherever it can be accessed. As the internet becomes a ubiquitous plaform, so does Google.

As the new information distribution ecosystem expands through mobiles, tablet pcs, and TVs, the distribution of news and information is going to become more rapid, pervasive and potentially more intense. That presents challenges to all those organisations and policy makers that have a stake in creating and managing news and their reputations.

Behind the scenes at a Social Media Leadership Forum Event

Thinking about joining the Social Media Leadership Forum? Wonder what  those leading organisations get up to when they get together to share ideas and learn from each others’ experiences?

Have a look at this video. We think it really captures the modern, collaborative, innovative atmosphere that prevails at the Forum events.

For more information on the Social Media Leadership Forum have a look here.

How Virgin Media uses Twitter

In the latest of our video interviews exploring how leading companies are engaging senior executives in social media, Asad Ahmad explains the journey to making Twitter a revenue stream for Virgin Media.

Which social media site do I need?

Sometimes it’s the simplest infographics that really capture the imagination. This infographic from Visual.ly outlines what each social network does with one simple sentence.

It’s actually a great example to show anyone that utters the words “But why would I use more than one social network?” It highlights the subtle differences between the networks, which attract varied audiences – or the same audiences using sites in very different ways. For example, those who love to share their dinner with Flickr or Tumblr are unlikely to have the same affection for Meetup – unless they also love finding business networking groups, or local knitting meet-ups.

Overall, it demonstrates that social media is all about sharing – it’s just a different approach for how they share it.

What do you think? Do you use multiple social networks?

Time to hangout with Google+?

More Google+ innovations, including ‘hangouts’, are being made available now that enable users to share videos with specific groups. In this story a cooking class is being broadcast through Google+.

The possibilities for different ways to interact using video with specific groups through Google+ are endless.

Texting under threat

As you have probably heard, Facebook has launched an instant messaging app. Google+ has plans for one too, as does Apple.

The battle for mobile users is intensifying, as the leading social networks try to capture and engage users across a range of mobile platforms. They want to make their networks the de facto network for the web.

The communications landscape is fragmenting rapidly. So far, when it comes to apps, most people have focused on the iPhone. But apps are now being promoted more aggressively on Android devices.

The revolution gathers pace. Traditional hiearchical management of media communications has to change, and companies and policy makers generally are going to have to re-think their communications models to remain relevant to all the conversations going on across multiple platforms.

The BBC has a good summary of the new development.

The weirdest use of QR codes yet?

Example of Micro QR

Image via Wikipedia

QR codes are everywhere right now. Recently, we looked at many ways in which QR codes can be used for business and personal reasons. But I think we’ve found the weirdest one yet: adding a QR code to your tombstone.

That’s right, your memory can live on through a webpage, image or, worst of all, video created and set before you pass on.

This service, provided by a company in Seattle, means people can find out more about a deceased person simply by scanning their head stone.

Creepy, no?

Of course, this could be a huge time-saver for historians. After all, why would you spend hours researching a person’s past, when all you have to do is click a button on your phone? It’s like a time capsule for the twenty-first century.

What do you think? Creepy or clever?

Source: The Next Web

Internet Explorer users have the lowest IQs.

Browsers

Image via Wikipedia

What browser do you use? Internet Explorer? Firefox? Chrome? Safari?

Turns out, your choice of web browser is more than just personal preference. In fact, a new study suggests that the browser you use reflects your IQ.

According to the study “Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage” by AptiQuant, Internet Explorer 6 users have an average IQ score of 80; Firefox and Chrome users have an average IQ score of around 110, while Opera and Camino users have an average IQ score more than 120. In fairness, those who use a newer version of Internet Explorer tend to have a slightly higher IQ than those who stick to the old version.

As a conclusion, the study sums up that “individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers.” So those with a higher IQ are more likely to try out a new version, different browsers and little tweaks to get the most out of their surfing.

Website designers across the world will be cheering about this study, considering how much of a nightmare Internet Explorer can be to code for.

Clearly, this is one of those studies where correlation does not imply causation – although if we’re wrong, maybe it’s time to install Opera to get our IQ up.

What browser do you use? Do you agree with this study?

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Five mistakes to avoid on Google+

So, you’re on Google+. Now what? There are many articles out there saying what you should be doing with it. Over on Mashable, Chris Brogan has created this quick video offering Google+ tips and advice:

So that’s a few things you should do on Google+. Now, here are five things you shouldn’t do:

  • Post the same content on Google+ as you do on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. At this early stage, people following you will almost certainly be in contact on other sites too. If you start double-posting, it’ll just be annoying duplication for them.
  • Dictate. At the moment, there are a group of early adopters who are determined to steer the direction of the conversation (mainly to social media topics). Google+ will only grow if it’s allowed to evolve naturally. So don’t try to force it – it’ll find its own niche, or fail trying.
  • Ignore comments. If someone has taken the time to comment on something you’ve shared, it’s basic manners to acknowledge and/or reply to it.
  • Troll people. This goes for any social media sites, obviously. The golden rule is to treat people as you’d like to be treated – then everyone’s happy.
  • Forget your Google+ profile is public: anything you put out there is available for anyone to see.

Are you on Google+? What tips would you offer a newbie?