Archive for June, 2009
June 26th, 2009
It’s Friday again, so here are my favourite web 2.0 tools and sites of the week.
1. My.alltop Alltop has been around for quite some time now, but the introduction of MyAlltop enables you to create a â€œpersonal, online magazine rackâ€ of your favorite websites and blogs. You can create a collection from over 32,000 information source. They also provide a custom URL so that you can share your masterpiece with others.
2. imsdb Stands for the Internet Script movie data base. Most films seem to be on here, so pick your film and rehearse your quotes!
3. Pictaculous. This great tool allows you to upload an image and then gives you a suggested colour pallet based on the uploaded image.
4. Tiny petition. This very simple to use Twitter tool allows you the create and start petitions. Great if you want to get visibility on an issue quickly.
5. Visitor contact. Create slick contact forms for your site . The customisable sticky contact button will match the theme of your website to become a part of it. Your visitors are now a single click away from you. The form allows visitors to contact you with a single click via Twitter, maps, skype, and more.
More of the same next week.
June 19th, 2009
Here is this week round up of five fabulous web tools.
1.Topsy- Is a search engine power by Tweets. The results show you some nice information on the search term, such as who has Tweeted about it.
2. Tweet Grid - Pick the size of your Twitter grid and add a keyword search in each section, great if your looking after a number of brands.
3. Twitalyzer – Very useful Twitter tool used to measures such things as infuence.
4.Limmz – Many search engines in one, place your search term in the area and then pick a more tailored search engine to search with.
5. Snap Stream – A search engine that Graphs mentions of any word on national U.S. television from station such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC and CNN.
More of the same next week.
June 12th, 2009
It’s that time of the week again! – Here are my favourite web 2.0 tools of the week.
1.Google squared lets you square a search term, what i mean by square is present information on the search term in a grid. The searches work better if you are looking to get multiple answers. Check out the example for Roller Coaster.
2. Feed Stats brings you visualisations of a user’s FriendFeed activity. Just enter any FriendFeed user’s nickname and see their posting behavior.
3. TiltShift Generator is a very cool online app for editing images, it has some very nice effects including the ability to blur out the image – Recommended.
4. Obsurvey allows you to create surveys using the obsurvey tool. When you have created your survey, you are given a link to a webpage (a URL). You can send this link in an email to the targets that you want to answer your survey. View an example
5. Tiny chat allows you to create your own chat room and invite people through one simple link. You can also embed your chat room on your blog and in myspace. Tiny Chat can also be used to host video conferences with your participants.
More of the same next week.
June 5th, 2009
Me again, your five on Friday sub. Your usual Five on Friday host will be back next week, but until then let’s take a look at this week’s selection.
First off, we have:
1. Photoxpress – If, like me, you use images to spice up your posts and comments, this free photo finding tool will come in very useful. It’s a quality image bank providing you with a vast and legal image library for both personal and professional use.
2. Almost.at -This tool allows you to follow people at real world events in realtime. Simply choose an event from the list provided and track the conversations and pictures. Content will be displayed in realtime but you can pause as required. Currently in beta but a very nice idea.
3. Moogo – The time when you had to shell out thousands of pounds for a website has long since passed, and yes this isn’t the only option to get a free website, but it’s easy to use, quick and offers some nice features such as web stores, blogs, photo albums and mobile pages. It’s aimed at small companies, associations and individuals, so give it a go, even if it’s just for an event or service that you are launching.
4. TypingWeb – Embarrassed about your typing speed? Still only use two fingers to bash out your documents? Come on, everyone would like to type a bit faster and this app could be the help you’ve been looking for. It’s a free online typing tutor for typists of all ages and skills.
5. AlmostMeet – This is a very useful service for collaborative group meetings, allowing everyone to talk and see each other, using peer-to-peer technology, which also enables visibility of participant’s desktops, whiteboards and file sharing. And of course, it’s free!
June 1st, 2009
Be warned this post contains a PR-based rant, not a new one, but a valid one, and one that has been raised by many others in the past. Well now it’s my turn, and I’m afraid it comes from recent experience.
So what is the problem? And how does it devalue PR? Well it’s very difficult to be more literal about devaluing PR than actually offering the service at a massively discounted price for the sole purpose of taking a client from another agency, or for the purpose of having the client on your roster in an attempt to win additional business.
This is far from a new issue, it’s been a problem for at least the last 11 years that I’ve been in PR and I suspect it goes back much further. I’ve seen it happen before, and I’ve known agencies that have done it, but let me make it clear; I think it is wrong on so many levels.
Why? Well, without wishing to repeat myself, IT DEVALUES PR. How can you say a service is worth X one day and the next it’s worth next to nothing? It also demotivates teams and makes them feel worthless. I’ve been on such a team in the past and don’t underestimate the effect this can have, there’s nothing worse than working hard to service a client that has zero respect for your agency/team and knows that when things pick up they’re off. It’s also disrespectful to our peers. Sure, in the bad old days we were all supposed to hate each other, while secretly trying to see if we might get paid more by moving to a rival agency, but haven’t we moved past that, at least to some degree? I really thought so.
So, when a client came to me recently and said; “Look, there’s no easy way of saying this, and it’s nothing to do with you guys or the campaign, but I’ve been made an offer I can’t refuse and I’m under pressure to take it. You know how it is in the current climate,” it was difficult to take.
Obviously I asked the client to tell me about it so that I could at least understand the situation and see if there was something that could be done. Then the bolt from the blue, the other agencies’ ridiculous deal smacks you in the face.
To cut a long story short, that’s it, end of discussion. Alright there may have been a few more discussions, I’m not making it that easy, but fundamentally that’s it.
So where does that leave us? Well, as far as I know the agency might actually be decent, I don’t know as I haven’t had any experience of them, and I’m sure they have their reasons, but I don’t think I would agree with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing this to â€˜out’ the agency or the client, I’m not going to mention either, and I’m not doing this because I’m bitter. I’m doing this because it’s so short sighted and damaging to us all.
Can this even be a viable new business tactic? I’m struggling to see the pay off. I think we’re all agreed that PR, as an industry, needs to wake up to a whole host of challenges, and the last thing we need is to be destroyed from the inside. Have we really been demoted to scrabbling around fighting each other for an ever decreasing pool of clients?
Isn’t it time we stepped up and took responsibility for our actions and stopped shooting ourselves in the foot when the going gets tough? Sure, you can say it’s just business, or it’s the client’s choice and I’d agree, at least in terms of it being the client’s choice. But how can it be â€˜just business’, when my point is there’s no â€˜business’ to be had if you’re going to quote crazy prices. What do we think will happen when the agency eventually wants to put the fee up, try justifying that.