Archive for July, 2008

Web 2.0 Buzzwords #1 – Stalkr

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 by Rob Brown

Stalkr – (pronounced stalker) a person that you don’t know who tries to Facebook you or become your friend on MySpace or indeed on any social network.   The term also apples to someone you may know a bit who decides to relentlessly pursue a more active online discourse than you would like.  Would also apply to someone you are not following who frequently talks @ you on Twitter.  Essentially a  stalker in the 2.0 style of Flickr, Tumblr etc.   

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

If I only had a brain…

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 by Jon Clements

Before you say “get him and his Ivy league education”, my dealings with Harvard amount to its weekly 10-minute podcast, which doesn’t really qualify me as an alumni.

However, the latest edition of the Harvard Business Ideacast (sign up through iTunes)  – concerning the internet, the brain and the future of business – is an interesting take on brain/internet similarities. Without boring you with neurons, the most practical element is how the best content online acts like our most enriching memories: they keep coming up time and time again. Hence, creating web-based material that really stands you apart from competitors in your field – tends to get recognised more often by search engine algorithms, particularly Google. 

Brainy stuff, huh?

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

To Cheer You Up – Christian The Lion!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 by Mark Hanson

Totally off-topic but its raining in Manchester today and this will cheer you up, especially if like me you’re an animal lover!

Two guys raised a lion in captivity in London in the 1960s. They then released him into the wild in Africa. A few years later they went to see if they could find him and whether he would recognise them.

He did and then introduced them to his wife and kids! The video is currently building up views on YT.

I guess if I had to bring it back on-topic I’d say it teaches us that humans sometimes way over-complicate communications. Animals keep it real:)  

Media Future#2 – Why Do Regional Journalists Not Make It To Nationals?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 by Mark Hanson

 

According to a national news editor ….”We no longer see the regional newspapers as a source for staff. We find that training graduates ourselves produces better journalists.” (Hat tip Joanna Geary)

That means even less incentive to slave away on a regional paper to earn peanuts. It also says a lot about the future of national newspapers where door-stepping and grassroots investigation are becoming less part of the job, exactly the sort of things that regional journalism is a great training ground for.

Does this mean that journalism will have a North/South divide, where only those folk living within the M25 with generous parents who can afford to sub them their rent and student loan repayments can afford to work the odd night shift at a national to get a foot in the door?

I suppose the City of London journalism course will become even more highly prized as its much easier to build contacts and be a dogsbody for a national.

Sunday Telegraph Push-Polling?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Mark Hanson

More poll gloom for Gordon B! Sunday Telegraph commissoned the research, which showed Labour facing meltdown in its marginal seats, and splashed on it this week.

But hang on, who was the polling outfit chosen for this important execrcise in voter sentiment? None other than Aussie outfit, Textor Crosby, recently criticised in Australia for push-polling, i.e. using the guise of a poll to spread propaganda.

Run by Mark Textor and Lynton Crosby, they are better known as campaign managers for right-wing candidates in Australia, New Zealand and over here in the guise of Micheal Howard (2005) and Boris Johnson (2008).

Hmmmm…..

IS THERE ONE AT YOUR COMPANY?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Jon Clements

 

It’s official: the job of handling conversations online is a REAL JOB!

Social media guru, Jeremiah Owyang has started a list showing the emergence of people filling the roles of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers in the larger corporations.

And ok, it may look US and tech industry-centric now, but the Web knows no geographical boundaries (erm, well maybe China) and the conversations about you and your business can be happening online anytime, anywhere.

The trick is knowing a) they’re out there and b) how to handle it.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

How Cool is Cuil?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Rob Brown

Cuil, pronounced ‘cool’, was launched yesterday as a new challenger to Google.  The credentials were good, big money backing and a number of ex-Google staffers on the team.  Despite, or perhaps because of the barrage of publicity, the launch has been widely regarded as a flop.  Why? Because the volume of coverage generated such a volume of traffic that the site couldn’t cope.  It ran slowly and some of the search results were surprising.   

I tried an acid test.  I searched for ‘Cuil’ in Google.  A news story on the launch appeared at number 1 and the site itself was at number two.  I then searched for ‘Cuil’ in Cuil; no such luck.  Towns and villages in Sligo, French cuisine, Lochaber, scenic sights in Scotland and even some Gaelic results but no search engine came up and it was definitely lacking in ‘Cuil’.   

Have a look at another search engine called Scour.  It launched very recently with far less of a fanfare but it’s interesting because it aggregates searches from other engines; Google, Yahoo and MSN.  It is also the first social media search engine because it allows users to rate searches which should improve its functionality over time.  Now search for  ‘Scour’ in Cuil and it comes in at number one!  What’s more is Scour actually pays registered users for every search they carry out.  Now my money’s on that. 

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

On Holiday It’s Polite To Tip

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Mark Hanson

 

The sun has shined in the UK for at least two days, so I thought I would post on a holiday theme!

Spotted something that fits the bill on Edelman Authenticities. Con Frantzeskos refers to a recent Greek holiday where the tour guides etc, instead of passing the hat round for loose change at the end, asked for people to post on TripAdvisor about their experiences.

They strike me as more savvy than the average multi-national!

Con describes the rationale perfectly….

The groups that provided services and tours concluded our experiences with a request for a review on TripAdvisor.com or a mention on travel forums.

The only way these businesses can build awareness and trust is via the referrals of their users. In the old days, the primary means would have been travel media – a “pray for space”, rare option.

Now, it seems to be TripAdvisor – a democratised, trust building information source where anyone can review and rank their travel experiences, and anyone can find the reviews easily.

Media Future#1 – Andrew Marr and a Nifty New TV Channel

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 by Mark Hanson

 

There’s always stacks of comment on blogs like this one re how the media is changing and traditional journalism is on the way out. I don’t always agree but anyhow you don’t need a reheat of that debate.

Every now and then there’s interesting developments that are worth noting. I love Andrew Marr. Great series on the History of Modern Britain and anyone that wants a great analysis of the media should read his book, My Trade.

He gives an interview in the Independent about journalism in the noughties and raises some interesting points:

“In the end, does it really matter if newspapers physically disappear? Probably not: the world is always changing. But does it matter if organisations independent enough and rich enough to employ journalists to do their job disappear? Yes, that matters hugely; it affects the whole of life and society.”

“The business of funding digging journalists is important to encourage. It cannot be replaced by bloggers who don’t have access to politicians, who don’t have easy access to official documents, who aren’t able to buttonhole people in power,” he says. “I’m a great believer in the direct quote in quotation marks and the hard fact. In the blogging world there is a vast, swirling typhoon of comment, grandly called analysis. A reporting journalist is someone who is paid to spend lots of time asking questions, reading, going back again. Anyone can produce words but you need a system which pays journalists to spend time to find stuff out.”

“We’ve had huge numbers of stories about the extent to which Gordon Brown is depressed, gloomy, not sleeping. We have had lots of analysis of David Cameron’s media strategy and style, all of which is interesting and important up to a point – but I worry how much is being slipped through in terms of policy changes.”

Policy stories are “a bit tougher, a bit drier and duller”, admits Marr. “Yet, they shape everything around us: the speed we are driving, what we are driving and how many emissions we are putting in. Politics ruins a lot of lives, and it makes a lot of lives much better. We need to keep fighting for and defending the space to allow proper discussions of all of that.”

Something that might cheer Andrew up!  Former TV and film director, Robert Greenwald, has set up a site that produces short videos, within the 24 hour news-cycle, that raise attention to a liberal issue, largely to counter the Fox News agenda. They are well made with sound production values and tend to attract huge numbers via YouTube.

Old media adapting to the new habits by modifying the product as opposed to broadcasting the same product via new channels. Here is their work.

Media Values?

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 by Mark Hanson

Hat tip: Sadie Smith