Posts Tagged ‘Chatter’

Adam Goldberg shows how to do it!

Adam Goldberg shows how to do it!

A marketeers (early!) review of Vine, pondering its future, considering its uses and wondering whether to ditch Instagram in place of it!

I’ve been having fun using Vine this weekend, to produce a set of ultimately useless but fun videos. It’s undeniably fun, but not without it’s quirks in this early version (e.g. lack of ability to edit/uploads video outside of the app).

The bigger question I find myself asking is should we be advising clients to take a look and try something out? There is no doubt that a few brands will quickly capitalise on the opportunity, make some PR’able waves (for being the first), but is there long term potential with the tool?

Like Instagram, the issue of content value will quickly become evident for brands. After all, sharing video and photo’s is not exactly revolutionary and in the rise of responsive sites / social sharing tools, content is becoming easier to share every day. So why use Instagram / Vine to do so? The answer has to lay in the delivery of content of value.

A lot of brands (I’ve seen badly use these channels) interpret content value by leveraging these platforms to release discounts, announce sales, show a quirky photo of a new product etc etc – please shoot me in the head right now. Brands need to give their customers more credit than thinking they exist only to be told when and how to buy product!

With Vine, brands have a great chance to build loyalty and give their customers truly unique insights into what makes them a great brand.

The fashion/retail industry, for example, can (and will!) go down the mundane – and easy – route of sharing 6 second cuts of their TVS’s on Vine. Cheap, nasty, meaningless. But consider for a moment the opportunity of intertwining these new tools into a marketing strategy which goes beyond seeing Vine and the likes as a channel extension.

Instead though, they could be giving 6 second snippets insights into what makes them, them! How they come up with their styles, 6 word / 6 second interviews with their key designers, showing the idea to production process, taking their customers to fashion shows overseas etc.

What Vine demonstrates, is that without a content production like approach to how it will be used, it won’t add much to a brands marketing. Exclusive Vine ‘episodes’ that are produced regularly that provide insights / angles of the brand never seen before will be leveraging the platform for its true strengths.

FYI, one of the most enjoyable Viner’s has to be Adam Goldberg who has already published over 40 entertaining clips, you can find them here … https://twitter.com/TheAdamGoldberg.

Another aspect that will be interesting is for brands to explore leveraging their loyal following to create (UGC) content of value. Imagine a car manufacturer engaging and inviting users to Vine their top <insert car brand> moments. No doubt it would range from the mundane to the wild as users try to outdo each other on their whacky brand moments.

User content is undervalued and our recent Plate of our Nation Instagram experience is an example of users desire to engage with brands in this way by sharing their moments – with ‘PlateOff’ (http://www.plateofournation.com.au/plate-off/) generating over 15,000 Instagram food moments (without any competition or reason to do so).

I guess my summary of Vine for now is that it is an exciting platform, certainly from a snap and have some fun perspective. Whether it will have a life for brands will depend on how brands embrace it and what content they chose to use it for.

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]I’ve not commented much on my political viewpoints and I guess one of the many reasons I came out here in the first place is because of the political isolation Australia enjoys and which I looked forward to.

But, I feel compelled to comment on the recent Aussie budget and more specifically the impending changes to LAFHA.

Many are commenting on whether it’s fair or not (basically thousands of foreign worker, many in the agency sphere) will lose 20% of their salary -but this is the wrong area to focus on IMO.

How a progressive government of a modern country can manage the proposed changes to LAFHA in such a shambolic way (chaos ensues: http://mumbrella.com.au/lafha-chaos-as-overseas-staff-excluded-from-transition-period-91158) is a poor sign of its ability to manage legislation and a bit shocking really.

Whilst the changes, fair or not are debatable, the fact that the government is leaving these thousands of people to wait in angst, to find out if the changes will impact them from July 2012 or if they will benefit from the reprieve until July 2014) is simply bewildering. With official announcements offering no clarity at all (yes, including the budget itself which I’ve read!) and even contradicting each other, it’s bad enough. But to then give them just one month (or two at best) to to deal with the impact of their reduced income should the changes indeed apply to them from this July, is comparable with the way policy is mandated in a third world economy.

I don’t feel like I have the right to comment on the merits or otherwise of the policy, but as far as I’m concerned, the policy handling and communication is a complete joke coming at the expense of many talented overseas people who have chosen to make (and contribute to) Australia as their home and may need to pack up as a result.

Latest update from officially unofficial sources here: http://mumbrella.com.au/lafha-chaos-as-overseas-staff-excluded-from-transition-period-91158

Going mobile, explained

Posted: April 29, 2012 in Mobile
Tags:

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]

Gotta be simpler than this!

How to approach developing a Mobile Web site continues to be the source of confusion for some. With device proliferation and complexity increasing by the month (from new devices to improving specifications), the options seem to get more complicated from year to year.

In putting a reponse to an RFP together for a recent brief, I put the following presentation together which I thought might be worth sharing – it aims to simplify the options available to clients considering a mobile Web site.

Whilst it’s just the tip of the iceberg, with tools like Netbiscuits offering ‘long tail’ mobile solutions for older devices, jQuery and Web apps (see a past post about this – The costly risk of ignoring Wapps) further complicating the scene, the attached should serve as a good starting point for anyone who’s confused about going mobile.

Relationship matters

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Agency life
Tags:

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]Yesterday was Valentines Day and I did nothing. In fact, I felt somewhat liberated for ignoring it! I even played football instead and sympathised for some poor shmuck I saw standing at the bus stop with flowers and chocolates in hand (especially because I saw the price at the special ‘valentines day’ stall he got them from just minutes ago).

Anyhow (!) and contrary to what you must be thinking, this post is not about my personal relationship (I wouldn’t suggest you follow my advice on that anyway), it’s about a far more professional one – the client / agency relationship.

So, whether you’re a client side bigwig or funky agency stereotype, how familiar is this scenario…


1. Project scope is defined, cost is formulated.

2. Idea gets approved, cost needs to be reduced, ‘s(h)avings’ begin (see corners!).

3. Shavings are applied, project delivered (perhaps unsurprisingly) with a gaping hole in it.

Notice: the size of the hole is generally proportionate to a) the hit the client / agency relationship takes and b) the overspend required to manage the hole!

I’m sure that some part, if not all of the above, sounds familiar.

The solution? Simple!

4. Instead of focussing on shaving off corners, focus on changing the project approach.

5. So, in fact it’s not about delivering the same for less, it’s about finding a suitable project approach (yes, even if totally different to the original) that works within the budget.

It’s not easy, because it often means abandoning perfectly good ideas, which whilst seemed so good, were only really achievable at the originally proposed cost. Whether it means going back to the drawing board for the agency; or a client having to tell their boss “we had to scrap that idea”, it’s not always easy to do the right thing, but in the interest of the relationship, the only thing to do is rethink the approach.

After all, it’s easy (perhaps easier?) for a client to say “I want the same for the lower cost” or for an account director to say “we’ve got to deliver the original idea at the lower cost“, but, in my humble experience, over a long enough timeline these will both result in problematic relationships.

It seems simple, but it requires foresight, a (shared) understanding that you cannot deliver the same for less; and most importantly, it requires a desire from both sides for the (longer term) relationship to be preserved. And in this climate, with good (stable) agencies on one hand and good clients on the other, becoming harder to find, it is something that everybody should be bearing in mind – because this one can’t be fixed with bunch of flowers!

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]Could there soon be a time when an individuals buying power will be influenced by ones social networking activity? Can social network value actually be calculated to then used by businesses to create brand ambassadors or a new level of customer segmentation?

What sparked this for me recently is a random act of generosity by Apple. For no apparent reason after telling us it would cost over £200 to fix, Apple decided to fix the smashed screen on my iPad for free (I dropped canned tomatoes on it). They made clear it’s a once off ‘gesture of good will’ and whilst I made clear I don’t plan on dropping any more cans of tomatoes on it – the question still remains – why would they do this? Especially seeing as I was never more willing to hand over £200!

The importance of securing business today cannot be underestimated and businesses are rapidly understanding the power of social networking in achieving this. Obviously it wasn’t long after I left the Apple store that I Facebook’ed about Apples generosity, immediately letting my whole social network know of the incident. So, was I subject to a random act of kindness or had Apple assumed my social network value (at greater than £200)?

It sounds a little big brother, maybe a bit Hollywood. I’ve not seen the movie The Joneses but I hear it isn’t too far off what I’m talking about.

Today I learnt that Starbucks, Mazda and Argos have recently signed up for Facebook deals, offering Facebook users who “check in” using the Facebook Places feature on their mobile app, access to special offers and other deals. Will it be long before this idea extends, so that only those with a social network value above a certain value, or of a certain type, will be able to trigger the reward?

There is a risk to all this of course. Something outlined by Seth Godin recently, “Networking is always important when it’s real, and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake. What the Internet has allowed is an enormous amount of fake networking to take place, and it’s so easy to be seduced by it… and it’s nonsense.”

Where things get scary is where social network value could become a factor not only of the number of contacts one has, but what the combined value of ones network is. Introduce into this credit ratings, demographic data and anything else which is being collected about us today and you have a pretty frightening scenario to contemplate.

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]The reality of social networking has impacted us greater than anybody could have anticipated even only a few years ago. Today, life would barely feel right without the constant stream of reassuring status updates from our connections, assuring us that our lives are all as mundane as each others!

But with the popularity of posting activity to ones social network showing no sign of diminishing, have you noticed it’s not just our connections that are feeding us with updates. Just looking through my streams today I have shoes telling me where they’ve run to, books telling me who has read them, places telling me who has checked in and articles telling me who has read them.

Whether it’s a perfect showcase for marketing effectiveness in a socially networked world, or a representation of human desire to (over) share, it leaves me wondering where will things go from here?

Now don’t get me wrong – I am as addicted to social networking (and reliant on it in a professional sense) as the next person. But, the more my network stream presents me with these automatic updates the more I wonder about these things.

It’s all well and good taking time to look through a feed to read and comment on a friends latest ‘look at my life, isn’t my life fun’ photo, but what will we do when we find ourselves spending more time filtering through automatic updates from shoes, books and soon refrigerators and televisions too, rather than what originally made social networking so purposeful (and fun!)?

autobot responding for me

autobots could be representing us in the future

In recognition of this, you can already turn updates from automated services into your facebook stream off (if finding out about your friends running habits doesn’t interest you) but what happens when this doesn’t suffice? Perhaps in the not too distant future, the Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s will allow us to automate responses to automated posting – seems fair enough no. After all, if somebody allowed their shoes to talk to me, why can’t I allow a bot to respond back!!? Is this the future?

Is it completely inconceivable that our involvement in our own social networking streams will, in the future, be as sporadic as the automated updates are today? Perhaps we’ll develop online persona’s, who will respond for us, represent us. Automated responses which are dictated and shaped by the actions we take online (think Google Adsense) and offline (think geo location data capture).

It’s an interesting concept. Either that, or I’ve just received one too many updates from my friends Nike’s today!

“Jason’s Honda has just driven Jason home.”

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]If you’ve got nothing clever to say, then don’t say it. It’s as simple as that and it’s a lesson that ‘Generation Y’ have been living.

For us Generation X’ers, the obsession with the latest and greatest is staggering. We’re hooked! Hooked on each incremental enhancement (2.0, 3.0, 3G or 4G), every minor upgrade and don’t even mention the beta’s! Every tweet and every post. Every device and any technology. Give it to us, we’ll lap it up! We’re hooked – fascinated by each and every new way of receiving our hourly hit/bit of irrelevance.

I’m not in a rambling mood, I’ve just come to understand that for those that grew up without all this, we are now inherintly obsessed with the of realms of what is today possible and what ‘great’ life enhancing upgrade looms around the corner.

Generation Y on the other hand have grown up with disposable media culture being part of their fabric. Does this make them different? They’ve had Facebook accounts since they were 14 (even watched the movie!), have been accessing mobile content since owning their first mobile phone and been subject to corporate blogging & microblogging since they fell into the marketing brackets. They’ve grown up obliviously ignorant of Generation X standing beside them oogling and fascinated by what is essentially, to them, a mundane reality of life.

Many are predicting that Generation Y will succumb to a stereotype (lazy and blaming others for their failures). And, as a father to three kids, it  gives me good cause for concern as I hope they don’t end up, case in point, turning to the internet to solve their problems – like how to defy the Generation Y stereotype!

But my experience (and hopes) with Generation Y here at work is more positive –  I see them rebelling against the (shallow) fragmentation of information thrust upon them. Questioning more ‘why should I trust this just because it’s written?’ and indeed at times they seem more industrious and inquisitive than some of us bedazzled Generation X’ers!

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]In general, the debate of online copyright is not new – it’s probably one of the longest standing debates in regards to issues which the internet has given rise to (though one of the least contentious).

The discussions recently flared up again here at View when one of our client sites became the subject of ‘online plagiarism‘. The screenshots below show the original client website www.petrofac.com and the latest offending site www.leadoil.eu.pn (yes, it’s not the first time) which is nothing to do with them … oh … click at your own risk!

Petrofac homepage

Petrofac homepage - as designed by View

Leadoil homepage - as stolen by ???

Leadoil homepage - as stolen by ???

What can be done to avoid it?

This hits to the heart of the online copyright debate, because indeed what can be done? Well, the good news is that offenders are in breach of numerous copyright laws in almost every region of the world. So some things that you can do:

  • Do a whois to find out which ISP hosts the site and send them a letter letting them know of the offence. They should take the site down fairly quickly.
  • Monitor your site regularly. There are free services like Copyscape which will attempt to locate copies of your site.
  • Take your site down!! Ok, it’s not really a suggestion – but clearly information in the public domain is going to be susceptible to plagiarism – plain and simple.

There are technologies that will make it more difficult for the offenders to copy your site (e.g. which disable the ability to right click your website pages to ‘view source’ or ‘save images’), but they are by no fool-proof.  In fact, many of these technologies obscure (hide) your website’s HTML using JavaScript code – which basically is only a minor nuisance for someone looking to copy your content, but a major nuisance to you websites SEO and accessibility (making it practically impossible to view by those with visual impairments / using browsing aids).

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] I just came across these guys Mind Valley after installing some of their educational  iPad apps for my young kids. After reading through their site, it turns out that they actually have some pretty strong (and inspiring) visions about how to grow their start-up business, with a big focus on getting the right talent.

Most interestingly, they don’t accept standard CV’s, rather they take online applications via video interviews. They ask candidates to upload their ‘cover letter’ by video to YouTube.

Fascinating stuff! Not sure how this would / could work for bigger corporates (I can also see this raising all sorts of other issues) but it definitely demonstrates a novel and different way to make online recruitment more interesting!

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] Will the iPad revolutionise Corporate Reports? I’ve been playing around with the iPad for a few weeks now – still failing to enjoy it as much as the Apple adverts would have you believe. But after reading The Times, Time magazine on it  I do think that perhaps they could open up a new way for Annual Reports to be presented.

I know that Next Fifteen have recently launched their iPhone AR as an example of what can be done, but it’s limited and frankly fairly poor when you consider the possibilities that the iPad would allow with it’s big screen – CEO videos, interactive charts and tools.

Wonder who will be first!!

iPad - game changing?