How Virgin Media uses Twitter

by Ben Davies

In the latest of our 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?

by ItsOpen

Sometimes it’s the simplest infographics that really capture the imagination. This infographic from 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+?

by Justin Hunt

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

by Justin Hunt

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?

by ItsOpen

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.

by ItsOpen


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?

Five mistakes to avoid on Google+

by ItsOpen

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?

Social Media and the London Riots

by Justin Hunt

People have been asking me about the role of social media in the London riots. The point is that social media is neutral. It is just a tool.

One minute it is the hero, with the waves of democracy breaking out in Arab states, and then it is cast as the villain by newspapers in connection with the riots. It cannot be both.

Also note that some coverage of social media in certain newspapers is coloured by the fact that they are threatened by social media -  ie, now everyone can be a journalist.

Excellent piece by Ben Rooney in the Wall Street Journal on the topic.

The future of pharmaceutical companies

by Justin Hunt

The future of pharmaceutical companies is going to be challenging over the next few years, as the patents for many blockbuster revenue-generating drugs expire. What the pharmaceutical companies need are game-changing drugs to make significant breakthroughs from the past.

It is clearly better for everyone that pioneering medicines are developed. However, old industrial models of thinking based on excessive secrecy and lack of sharing and collaboration are holding back the pharmaceutical companies, as leading thinkers like Don Tapscott are arguing. Tapscott is going to be sharing his latest ideas with the Social Media Leadership Forum ( later this year.

Making clinical trials more open, and developing more innovative online ways to tap into research minds around the world, is surely the way forward.

Surely the all-pervasive platform of the internet and the emergence of  powerful collaborative social media tools provide an historic opportunity to develop new models to marshall greater research resources in new ways for the good of the health of the world for years to come.

Flexible working and social technologies – Virgin Media leading the way

by Ben Davies

At our most recent Social Media Leadership Forum event, members discussed how best to engage senior executives in social media.

We recorded a series of with our presenters on the day. In this latest one Leon Benjamin of Virgin Media explains how social technologies are changing the way the company’s executives communicate with staff.