Tag Archives: blogger

Monday Musings: The Gutenberg Effect

Morning All. Welcome to your Monday. Here are some digital nuggets to sink your little nashers into for the week of March 8th.

Kicking off with a video spotlight: How The Interenet is Changing Advertising.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This cracking little “epipheo” presents captures very succinctley something which as been nagging at my brain for a while. Something I like to call “The Gutenberg Effect“. For me the technological shifts that have truely rocked the world have always brought about a new way of thinking and with that new way, an outburst of creativity has spread like wildfire.

Looking back to creation of the printing press, what Gutenberg achieved was not only a technological shift, but a cultural one that allowed people for the first time to hold the printed word in their hands and read it for themselves. A technology that was a key driver in the cultural shift that ultimately ended up becoming The Reformation.

We have seen this process repeat throughout recent history with the creation of commercial radio springing up from the creativity of HAM radio set users in the early 20th century, and then far more recently in the boom of satellite television. Each has created a shift in the way we communicate with one another. Each has demanded something new of the sender and recipient of communication. With print it was undivided attention. With radio it became a background medium, with TV a shared collective experience.

The internet in general, but increasingly the social web provides a different form of communication. A new kind of shared experience, that is not media specific, time specific or geography specific. An experience that is neither broadcast nor narrowcast. Yet is still a shared experience, but that experience is fundamentally different, as for the first time the way in which that experience is consumed lies in the hands of the recipient, NOT the sender.

This means big things for the advertising and marketing industries. It means a change of mindset, a different thinking is required, as we can no longer control or stipulate that a communication has to be consumer OUR way. But be open to the fact that our communication will be consumed, when, where and how the recipient wants. The sooner that marketers get that this shared experience is a movable typing twittering tubing experience, not a media experience, the better.

More on that in the coming weeks…

in other news…

A fantastic dissection of HootSuite for the unitiated from my chum Gemma Went

10 Great Newbie Twitter Mistakes Made By Businesses from Mike Johansson on Social Media Today

And a great presentation from Coca-Cola on Social Media care of Robin Grant @ wearesocial

Google’s Social Circle & The Trust Network

Social search… interesting development. Or is it.  Google have been including social web results in search results for a number of months now. Google’s next development seems (as explained in the above slightly creepy and uber conservative video – count the amount of mentions of security related words) is to use the content from the social sites that you have added to your Google profile into your main web search results.

This creates some level of helpfulness in cross referencing friends, comments and answers to questions across social platforms.  Meaning that if I look up details about where to go on honeymoon I will get trip advisor, expedia and the gang, but also results from my friend Tim’s blog about where he went on holiday last week – a result that would never usually hit page 1 of a search result list. All of this is nice enough and interesting in a slightly geeky, if you’re into that stuff, kind of way.

However what is interesting is the greater trend that has prompted this technology from Google – personal networks of trust. We have known for a long time now that word-of-mouth from friends and contacts is the most trusted source of information to us. The entire public relations industry thrives on this single fact, we trust those who we know more than those who we don’t. Therefore it is logical that when I want honeymoon ideas, or where to rent a Tux for my wedding (which is in June by the way – presents welcome, gift list link to come!) I can use Social Search to check what my contacts and friends across my social circles (the Google terminology for our networks of trust) think about the topics I am searching for.

Of course this has significant ramifications for brands who interact in the social web. The default of most web users when looking for information is to jump into the lap of Google, whether looking for a good deal on a TV or life insurance, and according to HitWise “The proportion of traffic that online retailers receive from social networking websites – such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube – increased from 5.2% in March 2008 to 7.1% in March 2009.”

Brands who don’t currently interact in the social web, or have poor SEO of the content that they currently produce are going to come a-cropper if Social Search moves towards a default. Clearly, if we begin to see the opinions of our contacts displayed right alongside carefully SEO’d content and Paid Search, competition for our attention heightens, and our default will be to go with what we trust – our contacts.

Bloggers, BNP and the BBC

Frankly it was hardly suprising that most of last nights Question Time became a bit of slangging match. From the panel, to the audience to the twitterati. Nick Griffin still shocking as ever but not surprising in any way. It meandered its way in and out of homophobia (Stephen Gately), immigration (Winston Churchill) and racism (the KKK) – (all of whom will be starring in my script for a new west end musical – so watch this space!) – but what was most interesting, that of course wasn’t mentioned in the show as it was recorded a couple of hours previously – was the reaction on twitter.

As I mentioned during the show last night watching TV has changed dramatically when you add twitter into the mix. Some of the biggest televised events in recent months have taken on a whole new dimension when you add the live commentary of the twitterati to the mix, and the result is very interesting. From Jackson’s funeral, Obama’s inauguration to last nights BNP debacle (who co-incidental feature in part two of my musical), these events have been amplified dramatically through the help of real-time media – of which twitter has been central.

This is interesting from a number of points, firstly that of people using multiple media sources simultaneously is slowly moving into the mainstream as Alan from Broadsight’s Broadstuff blog pointed out today:

The dream of people interacting around TV programming via social networks, a key plank of Joost’s original pitch, has been shown to be valid – its just that people are using a microblogging service on standard terrestrial TV rather than herding sheeplike into the Web TV players’ own social networks

The way in which these media are now complimenting each other and providing additional functionality, as opposed to driving one or the other to the brink of extinction goes one step further to prove that we really are becoming a convergent culture, and are able to cope and adopt many different types of media, without sacrificing our time to another.

Uses of the #bbcqt tag on twitter in the run up to last night's Question Time on BBC where Nick Griffin head of the BNP was a panelist

Uses of the #bbcqt tag on twitter in the run up to last night's Question Time on BBC where Nick Griffin head of the BNP was a panelist

What is truly interesting however was the way in which twitter influenced the viewing of the programme in the first place. Last night’s programme received over 8 million viewers, more than doubling the last highest audience of 3.7 million. According to my research using Radian6 (our social media monitoring partner which we use here at Ogilvy) – the hashtag for question time – #bbcqt was used over 5000 times in the past 3 days (although the BBC reportedly say it was used 75,000 times), over half of which took place before the programme had started. The reach of these 2000+ tweets is phenomenal.

The Top 10 Tweeters who used the #bbcqt tag

The Top 10 Tweeters who used the #bbcqt tag

Looking at just the top 10 most followed twitter users who used the #tag in the past 3 days (even if they only used it once) would amount to a potential reach of nearly 250,000 followers – if you start adding up Mr Anderson’s “long tail” you begin to see the bigger picture, and how this could have some clear influence on reaching new audiences that would never usually watch the show.

The question is now, how will the BBC capitalise this in other areas? Tweeting Songs of Praise? Guess the price on Antique’s Roadshow? GPS tagged tweets during Location Location Location?

The possibilities are endless…

Social Media Jibes

A lovely little gallery of social media jibes – thanks to @hollylinda (my lovely LadyFriend) for searching these out.

Blogger Anonymous

Twitter Getaway ManNon-Tweeting TeensDirty Social Media

Thanks to Hubspot for this one!

Thanks to Hubspot for this one!

Stalkers beware

Stalkers beware

London Twestival Sells Out… Twits, Texts and Tequila

Twestival Logo

amiando – LONDON TWESTIVAL – London – Shoreditch Studios – @twestival.

So this week the first 500 tickets for the second London Twestival went on sale, and you guessed it Sold Out. (Kind of give away in the title of the post I Know but come on, you wouldn’t be reading otherwise).

Twestival London is described thus:

On 12 February 2009 100+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.

Join us by hosting a Twestival in your city, attending an event, or participating online.

The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money rais

ed from these events will go directly to supportcharity: water projects.

In September 2008, a group of Twitterers based in London UK decided to organise an event where the local Twitter community could socialize offline; meet the faces behind the avatars, enjoy some entertainment, have a few drinks and tie this in with a food drive and fundraising effort for a local homeless charity.

The bulk of the event was organized in under two weeks, via Twitter and utilized the talents and financial support of the local Twittersphere to make this happen.

Around the world similar stories started appearing of local Twitter communities coming together and taking action for a great cause. Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities were able to collaborate on an international scale, but working from a local level, it could have a spectacular impact.

By rallying together globally, under short timescales, for a single aim on the same day, the Twestival hopes to bring awareness to this global crisis.

Great stuff… All well and good. People who like a thing, get together and chat about that thing and raise some money for a great charity along the way.

However… (and please don’t come down too hard on me for this because, I personally don’t have a problem with it) Why would an online community, one that is largely made up of lots of people connected purely via the internet (at least is my @jamespoulter follow list is anything to go by) want to meet up offline and discuss… what? Exactly. Of course, a networking opportunity. Or a dating chance, or just an option for twitterholics to get out of the house. Either way. Just still seems all a little odd that the unknown little app of a year ago, a truely niché product-come-mainstream is bringing people truely together. I leave that debate to you.

As a way of closing, let me also direct your attention to the ticket facility that twestival are using – namely – amiando .


A great online ticket management/event management tool, allowing you to set up an event, sell tickets, post your purchase to Facebook using FacebookConnect. Great tool, easy to use.  So well done. Let me know if you are going. If they release more slots, then I’ll see you there, work out what all the fuss is about…

To blog or not to blog… That’s not the question

As we plunge head first into the new year, us online inhabitants will inevitable take stock of our online habits. In the same way we way up the decision to switch toothpaste brand, or washing powder, our online domains often feel like they need a shake up. If you are like me then you may be feeling nostalgic about ning, or tired of twitter, or unmoved by MovableType, and feeling the need to refresh your blogging habits. But how in the vast wilderness that is the inter-web do we make a decision where to log our thoughts, feelings and news?

Well this week some research from the good folks at Pingdom may be able to help that digital move. By using the Technorati Top 100, they weighed up which blogs used which services, and came up with some great insights…


The Top Blog Platforms

The Top Blog Platforms

I personally, as you can see use WordPress, (WordPress.com Hosted as I’m a cheapskate and refuse to pay yet more hosting fees…) However it seems I am not alone in this amongst the blogging elite, 5 of which use the service, however this sticks WordPress.com blogs way down the list.

It seems far more of the powerbloggers and tweeters of the web use self-hosted WordPress based sites, which is logical for the amount of traffic and content that they host, and due to many being liked to corporate sites. A good point from Ian @technorati illustrates this – 

“We don’t publish stats about it officially but the numbers skew even more strongly towards WordPress as you expand down the long tail. Not a diss on WordPress but I suspect the number of hosting services that support WordPress (and in general support PHP+MySQL) accounts for much of the popularity; folks will opt for whatever is easiest on their ISP arrangement.”

It seems to me that there is no bearing on how popular a blog is due to which service or platform it uses, and that i suppose is the key point. For those of us that trawl the blogosphere day in day out, we are looking for great content, ideas, passions and nuances. Things that sup rise and engage, and hopefully sometimes shock. But there definitely is something to be said for aesthetics, usability and ease on the eye. No-one wants to feel like they are having their frontal cortex gouged out with a blunt spoon just to read about another twitter application, regardless of how cute or clever it is.

Can Twittering Be Taught, or do we all end up Twats?

Around the office in the weeks preceeding Christmas, festive Twittering was running rampant. The clicking of fingers across keyboards embodying the very images of little birds chirping that would have the CEO’s at Twitter HQ salivating more than a dog in heat…

However the post Christmas-blues seems to now have the public tweetstream filled with nothing but vague resolutions and people finally waking up to the concept of tweeting, with idiotic mispelt messages, and information only useful to their mothers.

Which raises an interesting question, how in 2009 are we going to do something interesting with Twitter. As Barack Obama goes on to be President of the US this week, being the only successful user of twitter that seems to have had any significant impact outside of the Social Media Mogul world, the question seems all the more pertinent?

What are we going to do with Twitter. It seems the key issue is that to a newbie, a fledgling digital sparrow about to fly the online roost of more homely, snuggly environments of MySpace and Facebook, the whole Twitter ethos seems to stark a world.

Behind it’s cosy, cutesy image Twitter returns us a communication method much akin to SMS, one that is essential – Rude. There is something terrible offensive at the core of things that if used for a direct communication, you can only be bothered with 140 characters, let alone pick up the mobile phone from which you are most likely tweeting and call the person.

There are obvious applications for the service in the realms of internal communications. This seems obvious. If for nothing more to inform all your staff at once that there is free coffee in the bar, or that its pay day (as if they didn’t know already), surely this is worthwhile? One is yet to see this embraced fully, examples on a postcard… or maybe a carrier pigeon would be more apt?