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Thoughts on digital, running rambles and photos

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My April Fools’ round-up; thoughts on organic reach; Honey Maid loves the haters and this week’s bits and bytes

Welcome to a slightly tweaked version to my bits and bytes. I realised that my weekly rant – while therapeutic for me – isn’t particularly good for finding things. Ideally, the little segments in here should be posts in and of themselves. But that would mean taking up blogging full time and, well, I love my day job a bit too much to do that. So, from now on, expect a summary at the top of each post and links to the sections in the post below to make it easier to browse.

Continue reading “My April Fools’ round-up; thoughts on organic reach; Honey Maid loves the haters and this week’s bits and bytes”

Internal brand ambassadors, gamification at work, the power of Google Maps and this week’s bits and bytes

Halloween is coming: They’re carving some pumpkins in the food centre, fancy coming along and making a Vine? Ummm… Yes! Off I went this morning to Sainsbury’s ground level food centre (yes, I love my job) and watched @BethanyJStone carve this gruesome scene of a Ghost Pumpkin eating a wee Munchkin Pumpkin.

We thought we’d have a bit of fun and encourage our followers on @SainsburysPR to tweet us a video, photo or Vine, showing us how they carve your pumpkin. Our favourite entry will walk away with a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher.

The first entries have come in already, and we’re saving them all in a spooky little Storify.

Socialise your people: A wonderful post by @anitaloomba about one of the most overlooked and underused resource in the corporate social media space: the people that work for your company. Why don’t companies empower their people to use social media for their jobs? Why block people from accessing social networks or blogs from work?

The answers take many forms: Everyone will just waste time on Facebook. They’ll give away company secrets. How can we control the message? Make sure that what’s being said is in line with company policy? But we have to protect our network’s bandwidth – what if everyone is just streaming clips from YouTube? Viruses. Hacking. Where’s my tin foil hat!

In the end they boil down to the fear of losing control. Losing control over people and over what they say.

Newsflash.

That control is gone. It started crumbling with the advent of the smartphone and continues to fall apart as people become more comfortable bringing digital into their lives because it helps them plan their lives, communicate with the people they care about – and wait for it – work more efficiently and collaboratively.

Three massively important things that you have to keep in mind when going social: training, encourage sharing, and lead by example.

Games are everywhere: While we’re on digital/social trends in the HR space, have a gander at an interview with Adam Penenberg – author of ‘Play at work: How Games inspire breakthrough thinking’ – about gamification at work and how some Fortune 500 companies are using games to engage employees.

What makes games so powerful?

“A good game gives us meaningful accomplishment, clear achievement that we don’t necessarily get from real life. In a game, you’ve beaten level four, the boss monster is dead, you have a badge, and now you have a super laser sword. Real life isn’t like that, right?”

Giving up on social ROI: An interesting story on Business Insider this week touting the death (how original) of social media ROI. Usually one of those that I ignore as click bait, but this one was shared by my friend @kaifischer who tends to not share (too much) rubbish.

The article is about a new report by BI Intelligence which shows that marketers are moving away from expressing the return on investment in social less in monetary terms and favouring metrics that speak to audience building, brand awareness, and customer relations: reach, engagement and sentiment.

I wish I was there: Buzzfeed picked posted a story about an Instagram feed powered entirely by photos taken from Google Maps. Sounds pretty mundane, but not through the eyes of graphic design student @mmeghan who scours the world for beautiful places on Google Maps.

There aren’t many places that the Google Maps cameras haven’t been…

In what essentially is a simple process, Meghan drops the wee yellow man on a location that’s been photographed, takes a screen shot, transfers the image to her phone, and uploads it to the I wish I was there Instagram, using one of the many filters.

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Interstate 10, Arizona, USA

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Meghan’s eye for photography, composition and design clearly play a factor in her eclectic mix of images.

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Antarctica

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Any airlines or travel companies looking to hire a social media manager out there listening?

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206 Rodovia MA-026, Codó, Maranhão, Brazil

A post shared by i_wish_i_was_there (@i_wish_i_was_there) on

Fight the Price: Hats off to the chaps at Co-op Electricals, who’ve come up with what I thought is an interesting twist on that old classic, a Twitter Retweet competition. Rather than just have people retweet a message to spread a message, the Co-op are allowing the number of retweets to push down the price of selected home electricals.

Twitter users are encourage to tweet something like: I’m driving down the cost of a Hotpoint Dishwasher with @thecooperative Electrical. Visit http://www.fighttheprice.co.uk to help #FightThePrice

fight the priceAs of this morning, I was tracking about 1,100 mentions of the #FightThePrice hashtag since it went live in September. From the three spikes, it looks like they’ve had three campaigns, all running for about a week – at which time they release a discount code that customers can then input on the ecommerce website and purchase the product.

FF Mark: One for typeface/design/Parallax scrolling aficionados. You’ll want a trackpad for this rather than a scroll-wheel.

Videos of the week: Last year Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space and hurtled towards the earth – breaking the sound barrier on the way. The world watched as the event was broadcast live on YouTube. Relive those bonkers 10 minutes from the perspective of Baumgartner in this epic point-of-view video just released by Red Bull.

For more than a quarter century, Saroo Brierley searched for his family before finding his way back home with the help of Google Earth.

A spooky bit of baking magic from Sainsbury’s with this how-to video for a spooky Halloween pumpkin cake. If you think you’re up to the challenge, you can find the full list of ingredients and instructions on the Live Well for Less site.

And finally: Fullscreen Mario (only works on Google Chrome)

Twitter biogs, TV ratings, storms; and this week’s bits and bytes

Quiz time: How many Sainsbury’s basics blurbs can you match up with the product they describe? As you’d expect, Lee, Sainsbury’s basics brand manager, scored a perfect 10/10. I scored a respectable 7/10. More of a by Sainsbury’s shopper, me (HT @G3Bowden).

Not enough?

How about testing your knowledge of Ikea and black metal bands in this brilliant (and genuinely hard) ‘Ikea or Death‘ quiz (HT @a_little_wine).

The future of journalism: Katharine Viner, deputy editor of the Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, gave the AN Smith lecture in Melbourne this week. Her speech about journalism in the age of the open web is an absolute must read. And no, there isn’t a TL;DR version of this one.

Remember Mr Cake? You know, the chap that resigned from his job at the Stansted Border Force via a ‘resignation cake‘ in order to pursue his passion for baking and cake decorating. Well, he did go on to launch his own business and now he’s up for a Smarta 100 award for Best us of Marketing. Go on. You know you want to vote for him.

The Twitter bio – a postmodern art form: The key to Twitter is all about compressing your thought, insight or story into 140 characters. It’s a skill that – much like everything else – you learn through practice. The more you tweet, the better you get. But what many people don’t spend as much time on is their 160 character Twitter biography – along with the profile photo and background, the bit that let’s people know what you’re all about.

The New York Times takes a look at the art of the Twitter bio, from @HillaryClinton “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” to @TomHanks‘ “I’m that actor in some of the movies you liked and some you didn’t. Sometimes I’m in pretty good shape, other times I’m not. Hey, you gotta live, you know?” – the article looks at pitfalls and cliches to avoid.

While we’re on short form content, here’s a great slideshare by @GinnyRedish about writing for the small screen. It’s well and good to think about responsive design for websites – but what does that mean for content?

Twitter is not real life (well, TV): An interesting bit of data published by Twitter and Nielsen this week shows that the most popular shows in terms of TV ratings and the amount of Tweets they generated do not correlate at all. as the Wall Street Journal points out, it shows that Twitter’s user base “has a very different makeup than the mass-market TV-viewing audience that marketers spend tens of billions of dollars each year to reach. Twitter’s 49.2 million U.S. users generally skew younger and are disproportionately in cities, for example, according to marketers and media analysts.” The full report is out on Monday.

Social is the new coffee-break: Many brands and companies have moved chunks of their budget from traditional marketing channels to digital and social channels. Nothing new there. At the same time, many corporate networks block access to the same social network. The schizophrenic relationship between a select group of individuals who have access to social and are creating beautiful content and social campaigns and with those who don’t have access from their work computer has always struck me as particularly bizarre. Why put all that effort into building a social media following around your brand if you won’t allow your own people to look at it?

Andrew Keen pulls together 5 reasons not to ban social media in the office. And what do you know – they all make sense!

  • It’s self-defeating – everyone has a smart phone, so they’re doing it anyway
  • Banning something that excels at undermining traditional hierarchies? Yeah, right.
  • It’s today’s version of the water cooler
  • Multitasking actually makes us more creative
  • Social media makes us more productive because it opens up our minds

Bullet Journal: For the past two weeks I’ve been using a note taking system devised by @rydercarroll called ‘Bullet Journal‘. Described as an analogue note taking system for a digital world, I thought the video was really well done and the system works perfectly to capture all those wee actions and events that make up my disjointed and disruptive day where I get pulled from meeting to tweet to discussion to blog post – all in the same hour.

I’ve moved away entirely from Evernote and my iPad and now only use this ‘old school’ system and I love it. There’s something to be said about that great satisfaction of ticking things off a to do list, but also for the elegance of how the Bullet Journal system also allows you to build specific pages for projects or collections, track events on a day to day or monthly basis. And all you need is a notebook.

The Twitterstorm: Hats off to BuzzFeed UK for pulling together their post on the 29 stages of a Twitterstorm – based on the recent kerfuffle around online retailer Price Hound selling a rather ill advised kids fancy dress costume.

From initial discovery, anger, confusion, boycott, petition, satire, trending on Twitter, the media catching up, politicians getting involved, social media expert analysis to the official apology – all in the space of a few hours – the post takes us through (HT @G3Bowden).

Scarlett Johansson Falling Down: A year ago, Scarlett Johansson was photographed falling down while filming in Glasgow for the sci-fic flick Under the Skin. It’s taken the Internet a year, but the resulting photoshop meme is rather worth the wait. Knowyourmeme looks at how it happened (the meme, not the fall).

Videos of the week: How do you promote a remake of the classic horror flick Carrie? By creating a telekinetic coffee shop surprise and scaring the pants off of some unsuspecting customers – all while amassing over 30 million YouTube views in four days.

Downside – the mobile app that will get you talking to your friends again.

And finally: The Penis Beaker that brought Mumsnet to its knees.

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