Archive for September, 2007
September 28th, 2007
A step-by-step guide to how businesses should be
thinking about blogging in the era of social media.
click here to play in quick time, or right click to save as.
September 27th, 2007
However, with perseverance and help from recognised bloggers, see Shane’s first and fourth point, we began to be recognised, and although we still have plenty to do, our confidence has grown.
So, for all those starting out and looking for help, you could do much worse than reviewing the thread on the Authority Blogger Forum, the original source of Shane’s post, and then getting stuck in.
In the spirit of sharing, and on a related subject, I’ve added a few pieces of advice to those starting out:
1. Understand the environment - Although you shouldn’t procrastinate needlessly before starting to blog, do make sure you understand blog etiquette in terms of writing style and the basic dos and don’ts.
2. Find your niche - Content isn’t just important - it’s everything, so make sure your chosen subject matter is a passion, or at least a subject you are enthusiastic about, otherwise blogging will quickly become a pain rather than a pleasure.
3. Persevere – Having said all that, you will make mistakes. You will find yourself shouting and getting no response and you will find posting a pain at some point or other. Don’t worry, keep learning and keep going!
September 26th, 2007
The Liberate Media blog is exactly one year old this week. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun in the blogosphere!
This morning I’ve come across this great Technorati-based applet, created by Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities Weblog, which calculates in seconds the perceived value of your blog. It claims to use the same link to dollar ratio as the AOL-Weblogs Inc deal.
So the Liberate Media blog has reached four figures in a year, which is a good start. It took a bit of trial and error before we hit on what our editorial focus was going to be, but we hope that you are now finding it a good read. If you have any feedback, good or bad, we’d love to hear!
September 25th, 2007
Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) is a non-profit Burmese media organisation that is striving to provide uncensored and impartial news reports to its country. Channel 4 News has profiled it on this evening’s programme for the instrumental role that it’s playing, amid heavily controlled state television that is refusing to show footage of the protests.
I felt compelled to give the organisation a mention here, not only because of the good it’s doing, but also because of its technical creativity.
The TV channel is broadcast by satellite from Norway, but has 30 to 40 undercover journalists on the ground in Burma. While the Burmese regime is threatening to shut down mobile networks, DVB is continuing to deliver video footage and images to citizens. This is citizen journalism in its most powerful form.
Those wishing to pledge their support to the Burmese protests can do so here.
September 24th, 2007
Free that is with advertising, a maximum of six advertising messages a day, and there is a limit to the free minutes – 217 free texts and 43 minutes of talktime every month. Then, when the free allocation runs out, the phone turns into an Orange pay-as-you-go tariff of 10p a text and 15p a minute calls.
That low amount of free talktime may be the big sticking point, but still, Blyk phones could become the ‘must have’ accessory for students if the comms are handled well.
Blyk bills itself as both a: ’new mobile network for 16 â€“ 24s thatâ€™s funded by advertising’. As well as: a ‘new media channel for advertisers’. The advantage for advertisers being that it offers direct access to the all important 16-24 year old segment, as well as the opportunity to gather data on each user when they sign up, and through ongoing monitoring.
The company has already signed up 45 brands including McDonald’s, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Boots, NatWest, MasterCard and L’Oreal who are just busting to reach this important demographic.
It’s an interesting idea, and could form the blue print for any number of similar add-funded services if successful. As with all new launches the ‘buzz’ will be critical, and if Blyk can be positioned as a desirable object, rather than just a free phone, I think it could catch on. However, running a mobile network on ad revenue alone seems like a tall order.
Oh, and if you’re hoping to get hold of a Blyk phone it seems you maybe out of luck, unless you’re a first year student. Blyk is invitation only and will be distributed in Fresher’s Week packs at 30 UK universities and events aimed at the age group.
MediaGuardian has the full story.
September 21st, 2007
The NY Times has today published its first ever video ‘Letter to the Editor’.
Filmmaker Charles Ferguson sent the newspaper a video rebuttal to an opinion piece that L. Paul Bremer III (former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq) wrote about disbanding the Iraqi army.
The 10-minute video letter is a shining example of how newspapers should be embracing UGC content. As far as I’m aware, the use of video for this purpose is a global first. It’s worth a watch.
September 20th, 2007
It seems subscription models for US online publishers are dropping like Chelsea managers at the moment..sorry I couldn’t resist!
Hot on the heels of the New York Times, which decided to end its Times-Select subscription service earlier this week, Rupert Murdoch has suggested that The Wall Street Journal, unique as the only major US newspaper to charge for access to its web site, will soon follow suit.
Of course Mr Murdoch is a central character in both cases, but this change could spell the beginning of the end for those that cling to the subscription model.
So why the change? Well, as confirmed by the man himself – ‘making the site free will help boost readership and revenues’, simple really.
Does this mean that subscription models for online news publishers are self-defeating – an argument that has raged for sometime? Well not necessarily, it’s the environment that has changed. Search engines can deliver huge amounts of traffic to the leading news-driven publishers, only to be batted back by demands for subscription. This slows growth, as the vast majority refuse to pay, and ultimately means the publishers are confined to their subscribers, missing out on all other revenue opportunities.
Now that newspapers are beginning the realise that online growth opportunities begin with free content, which swells traffic figures and attracts advertisers, we could see more publishers dropping the subscription model and putting their faith in traffic delivered by search engines.
Will it happen? Are the news sites leading the way? Time will tell, but where Mr Murdoch leads the others tend to follow.
Full story on Media Guardian.
September 19th, 2007
E-commerce blog Get Elastic has a useful round-up of 110 ways in which retailers (mainly US) are engaging with their online audiences. If offers a good snapshot of where the retail industry is investing in social media, and the creativity is in some cases very impressive.
As you’d expect, MySpace remains the most popular social media platform, but Facebook and YouTube are quickly catching-up.
If you have time to click-through to some of the examples, it’s really worth a look.
Here is Victoria Secret’s Facebook group PINK:
And here is Adidas’ YouTube video explaining how its Second Life environment works:
September 17th, 2007
At first glance, the story is that Microsoft has unveiled an own-label wine. Yes, you did read that right, an own-label wine. It’s called Blue Monster Reserve, and it’s exclusively for Microsoft employees and partners, as well as members of “Friends of Blue Monster” Facebook group, but that really isn’t the point, although the clue is in the Facebook group reference.
This is the brain child of Hugh Macleod and winery Stormhoek, and has been designed to promote innovation inside Microsoft, and of course Stormhoek!
You’ve undoubtedly heard of Hugh Macleod, either as a cartoonist – that’s his handywork on the label, as a web 2.0 strategist, or blogger…this is part of what he had to say in his post overviewing the launch which can be quaffed in full – here.
‘Personally, I like this idea because it directly connects to a lot of different things I’m interested in. “Social Objects”, Microsoft, cartoons, Stormhoek, Marketing 2.0, corporate-reinvention, geek dinners etc etc.’
Social Objects, (or Object Centered Sociality) is where it started getting interesting for me. The term, as Hugh points out, can be tracked back to Jyri Zengestrom. The basic idea is that a collection of people need something to talk about, otherwise they just mingle around, get bored and leave. The theory has been translated to online communities and how they may fail because that ‘object’ is either missing, unsuitable or uninteresting.
This goes against the theory that social networks are just made up of people, and argues that in fact social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object. It’s a fascinating subject, and this campaign should form the basis for a good case study on the theory.
Hugh also overviews the five key principles of building a useful service around social objects in an earlier post.
Apparently the tagline; â€œMicrosoft â€“ change the world or go homeâ€, has now been adopted by some Microsoft employees and fans as a symbol of the companyâ€™s innovation. Judging by the discussion this has already caused, the message and therefore object, is focusing attention.
I’ll be following Blue Monster’s progress with interest.
September 14th, 2007
It seems madness to be turning down a golden opportunity to engage better with your online network, but GCap has done just that.
NMA reports today that the radio network has decided against launching a social network as part of the major investment strategy in its One Network. Apparently GCap felt money would be better spent on its core proposition.
To quote directly from Ed Dorrell’s article, Tom Laidlaw, new media director of GCap comments:
“We thought about developing a social network to go on these sites and it was tempting, but we decided against it…Everyone is doing it and we doubted people would go on a social network on a radio station as opposed to others.”
I think Laidlaw might be eating his words in a few months time.
GCap is right to not want to jump on any bandwaggon, but strategically speaking, launching a social network could have been a great move for the UK’s largest commercial radio company.