Archive for October, 2007
October 30th, 2007
As promised, photographic evidence of Liberate Media‘s first birthday celebrations last week. We take full responsibility for the alcohol-induced state of our guests! Please take a look through the gallery in your leisure..
October 29th, 2007
It’s been a busy but very rewarding year for Liberate Media, and an evening of shenanigans was definitely called for!
On Thursday we celebrated our first birthday at Bar Red in Soho with an eclectic mix of clients, industry contacts and journalists – all who’ve shown us incredible support from day one.
Guests included Arjo Ghosh from Spannerworks, Marty Carroll from Foviance, James Booth (founder of Tangozebra), Justin Pearse, Danielle Long and Alex Farber from NMA, Jane Wakefield from BBC Technology Online, Neil McGuiness from Creative, Paula Byrne and Eugene Lacey from Pushbutton.tv …and the list goes on.
With further business growth on the cards, we’re optimistic that 2008 will be just as exciting for us. We’re proud that our client portfolio has been built entirely through word-of-mouth, and pleased with the positive reaction that we’ve received to the small consultancy approach.
Throughout this week we’ll be sharing multimedia coverage of the party with you, and a videocast offering our insights into what the future holds for the UK PR industry as a whole. So please keep watching and reading!
Wendy & Lloyd
October 25th, 2007
Microsoft has paid $240m (Â£117m) for a 1.6% stake in Facebook. This may seem like a mighty price for such a small stake, but it is important for two reasons.
1. Microsoft has beaten Google to the punch, securing a stake in the fastest growing social network in the world, as confirmed by ComScore’s figures below:
2. Microsoft, which already provides banner advertising on Facebook US, has now secured long term international advertising access to one of the largest (50 million active users) social networks, becoming the exclusive third-party advertising platform partner for Facebook.
It is important to remember that as social networks become increasingly popular, many people are using their accounts as their door way to the web. Microsoft recognises that if its advertisers have access to these user’s through their web gateway – then the opportunities to sell are enormous. Furthermore, thanks to the user information provided through Facebook profiles, advertising can be targeted more precisely than most other online advertising channels.
Google knows this better than most and its charge to monopolise the online ad sector has taken a significant hit with this announcement. Although I don’t think they will be unduly concerned due to their considerable headstart in the sector.
This deal also answers one of the hottest valuation questions on the web today. How much is Facebook worth? The answer: $15 billion or Â£7.3bn…currently. This is why Facebook turned down Yahoo!’s $1 billion bid last year.
Not bad for a social networking site that started in a university dorm room less than four years ago, and hasn’t broken even yet.
The BBC has the full story.
October 23rd, 2007
Barely a day goes by without my RSS feeds for Sky News, BBC News, The Telegraph etc leading on a story about Madeleine McCann…and I think it’s fair to say this has been the case for the past three months.
The story is a PR phenomenon, and the traditional news organisations have gone for it hook line and sinker. But I wanted to see if the same was true of the blogosphere.
The below graph shows the number of blog posts on Technorati mentioning ‘madeleine mccann’ over the past 30 days, and the figures are clearly beginning to dip in comparison to the number of journalist stories on the subject. Google News reports more than 4,500 articles on the issue over the past month.
There is an obvious obsession with the story, among journalists and bloggers alike, but it seems the blogosphere has tired of the story a little more quickly than traditional news outlets.
Could it be that the blogosphere is realising that a very different ‘stickiness factor’ applies to blogs, than to tabloid newspapers or online news channels? It could well explain why the blogosphere has moved on more quickly from the Madeleine McCann story, in order to keep readership.
October 18th, 2007
If youâ€™re a regular reader of our blog youâ€™ll know that itâ€™s been a hectic but successful first year for Liberate Media.
The PR and digital media industry is evolving at an exciting pace, and from day one it has been our focus to keep Liberate Media at the forefront of this change.
As a result, weâ€™re currently looking to expand, and have a number of opportunities to grow the services we currently offer, both in terms of PR and the wider realm of digital communications. Weâ€™re looking for experienced communicators to join our senior team, and although a background in PR would prepare you well for a role with Liberate Media, weâ€™re also eager to hear from applicants with other digital media and communications backgrounds.
So, if you like the look of the blog and consider us an interesting company to watch, and think you could bring an exciting new dimension to Liberate Media, then please get in contact. Weâ€™d love to hear from you.
October 17th, 2007
The research is US-focused, but the findings seem equally applicable to the UK market, and is very encouraging for digital communications consultancies like ourselves.
“59 percent of respondents reported that social media performance in 2007 met or exceeded their marketing objectives, boosting future spending expectations — with 31 percent planning to spend significantly more on social media applications in 2008.”
Full findings here.
October 12th, 2007
I’m in the process of moving house at the minute and one of the many tasks I need to take care of is to set up my new broadband connection. This has put the ongoing broadband speed saga into real perspective for me and I’m getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress.
Fear not though, this post isn’t going to be an aimless rant, it does have some relevance.
The whole saga has taken a step closer to some sort of public resolution, or at least further naming and shaming, this week with Ofcom entering the fray.
After Stephen Timms threatened action from the government last month, with a date for the intervention summit still to be named, now Ofcom has written to the UK’s top six broadband providers asking why they fail to provide the connection speeds that they so often flout in the media.
Hurrah! Some action at last! While we’re at it can we also ask about the extortionate pricing and rubbish service? Okay, one thing at a time Gofton.
In PR terms the broadband providers need some much needed positivity around them at the moment, and it simply isn’t happening. Why? Because instead of coming up with a new strategy to deal with the issue at hand they are continuing to follow a trend of ignorance. Ignoring the major issue and trying to distract the consumer with shiny new offers of anything other than the actual performance we are paying for.
According to Rick Wray’s article on Technology Guardian yesterday, O2 is going to take a different approach with the launch of its broadband service next week by…get this…testing a customer’s line before they sign up to estimate the likely speed they will be able to receive, and then placing them on a relevant package. What’s this? Actually testing before promising, surely this is buffoonery of the highest order!
But no…there’s more…O2 will then test the line again a month later.
Simple, transparent, obvious. Hopefully O2 have shown the way forward. Smart communications!
And another thing…
October 11th, 2007
In his own words, “Itâ€™s an event that will present the best articles, interviews, debates, case studies, and essays on how social media continues to change the Public Relations and Communications theory and practice, its relationships with other disciplines, and our roles as practitioners, students, and teachers.”
Without having been involved in the first, early details indicate that this is looking like a very worthwhile event. Liberate Media will definitely be showing its support!
October 9th, 2007
It’s been a busy day in the world of Google. First of all, news reached us this morning that Google shares have risen above the $600 mark for the first time. Not bad considering Google’s stock launched at $85 a share in 2004.
Then came the news that Google will be allowing websites in its ad network (AdSense) to embed videos from some YouTube content creators. This offers Google a new source of ad revenue, which will of course need to be shared with the content creators and sites that embed them.
However, the news that interested me the most broke this afternoon, when Google announced that it had acquired the Finland-based SMS and microblogging service Jaiku, competitor to the better known Twitter.
This is another telling move, proving the all-encompassing Google development arm is now focusing on mobile and social networking…and everything in between. Mike Butcher at TechCrunch has the full story.
Interestingly, Steve Rubel is giving Twitter 45 days to be sold, and he thinks Yahoo! will be the most likely suitor.
Oh and while i’m doing a Google news rundown, I should also mention that Google and IBM are partnering on a university project to provide data centres holding 1,600 computers that students will be able to use to learn cloud computing.
Or as Eric Schmidt put it: “In order to most effectively serve the long-term interests of our users, it is imperative that students are adequately equipped to harness the potential of modern computing systems and for researchers to be able to innovate ways to address emerging problems.”
Now the weather…
October 8th, 2007
According to reports, the social network is planning to integrate with iTunes enabling users to buy music through the Apple store, as well as offering special profiles and widgets for bands wishing to promote their music and tour dates within the Facebook interface.
However, according to NME.com, counter-rumours are claiming that Facebook is infact planning to launch a competitor to iTunes.
Music has always been a great differentiator for MySpace, and Facebook has a big challenge ahead if it wishes to seriously compete in this space.
However, should it prove successful at securing an exclusive album launch, along the lines of the Radiohead initiative last week, then the tables could turn more quickly than we think.
I’ll keep my ear to the ground and let you know if I hear more!