Category Archives: Social Media

Mobile gets social media on the move

Everyone is doing it. Apart from me.

Everyday I log into Facebook from my “mobile” desk of a Dell Inspiron, it seems I see another five of my friends have added one of the 461 facebook applications for iphone.

iphone_home

Even the most technophobe of mates, as soon as he or she gets an iphone, is adding the handy little app that lets them update their facebook statuses or check their messages whilst on the move.

Indeed the stats speak for themselves: mobile social media usage shot up last year by 152%, with the UK having the largest penetration in the market with 9%.

And it would seem that it is the popularity of the iPhone 3G (every man and his dog seemed to have bought one for Christmas), as well as the blackberry and Nokia N series phones that has really spurred the growth in mobile social media usage.

Or has it?

Could it be that the public’s obsession with social networking and micro-blogging sites like Twitter has fuelled the sale of mobiles (cel phones to our American cousins) with advanced internet access?

It will be interesting to see if the now established recession puts a dent in both sales of 3g mobiles and the latest form of mobile communication.

Now I just have to work out how I’m going to afford an iPhone…

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President 2.Obama

We all knew that this administration was going to be technologically more advanced than previous terms when Barrack Obama won the 2008 election to become the 44th President of the United States of America.

Not only did the Democrats stunningly over achieve with online donations, enabling them to out spend the Republicans out of the water, we also got the first presidential candidate to embrace social media.

His campaign team used @BarrackObama, as well as facebook, youtube and myspace to reach an audience of potential voters and doners that traditionally could have been ignored by past campaigns. Obama has also become the first President to use email and amazingly kept his blackberry, although will be restricted in its use to a small group of select Whitehouse staffers.

By using social media, email marketing and clever media buys Obama was able to enthuse and mobilize the youth vote that proved incredibly important on November 5th.

Finally it seems, we have a web 2.0 international leader: President 2.Obama.

President Obama and his team will be using technology in an unprecedented way to reach out to the nation and beyond.

As Kevin Merrit, CEO of Blist shows in this excellent Washington Post/Tech Crunch post, the presidency has listed communication, transparency and participation as being their watchwords for their first term and as such are utilizing every channel possible to get their messages accross to the people.

So from his first Weekly Address as President on Youtube (see above), to the setting up of recovery.gov, and the first ever Presidential blog on whitehouse.gov, the US presidency has fully embraced the idea that you can no longer rely on tv and radio to reach your voters. They realise the importance of transparency in an age where anyone can look at public records, google a politicians past claims and promises or just vent on what they hate about a government with the click of a mouse.

So, if you’re not already why not join President Obama’s other 144,000 twitter followers, or the 4,422,962 registered supporters on Facebook.

Can Obama revolutionise the Whitehouse as we know it? Yes he can! (Sorry, couldn’t help it…)

UPDATE: If you want to read a great post on how exactly Obama should be using Twitter, check out Mashable for some great analysis and an extensive list of politicians who use Twitter and how they use it. I would definitely agree that whilst it’s great that Obama is on Twitter and that the Whitehouse uses it, just twittering about policy announcements is not going to get them far. They need to start turning the personal on before they turn the followers off. Remember we are a fickle bunch!!

If you liked this post then tweet it:

RT @siburgess79 President 2.Obama  http://ad.vu/m9pz

Mainstream media sources embrace Twitter and Facebook

Not only is Twitter truly a global phenomenon, it has, along with Facebook, transcended the barriers of on and offline by becoming a major source for “serious” news stories from traditional news sources, such as The Times and the Guardian.

Mumbai

No one can doubt the power Twitter had in the crisis in Mumbai last year with live updates from those on the ground not bound by the compromises made by press and tv (see Garza if you want an example). Journalists were able to use these live updates to give a sense of what was happening when it was too dangerous to be on the ground.

A further example was reported in the Times last year, when software engineer Mike Wilson tweeted his experiences immediately after running out of a burning plane crash in Denver.


Brand (left) and Ross

Brand (left) and Ross

@wossy

On a more superficial level, @wossy, Jonathan Ross’s twitter feed, has been regularly quoted in newspaper articles about the Sachs-gate scandal with Russell Brand that broke at the tail end of 2008.

With more and more celebraties using Twitter as a way of updating fans and commenting on gossip, the news media is able to get unfiltered (to an extent) insights into their thinking.

Facebook too is now embraced by mainstream media (in what must amount to a certain extent to a cynical way of engaging with an audience bigger than any they can expect) and utilized in traditional or semi-traditional coverage. The most recent case in point was the CNN Inauguration coverage with a constant stream of facebook updates by its side through out its intirety.

I’m sure that this is a trend that is not likely to slow down, especially as it is more and more difficult to attract mass audiences like the ones Twitter and Facebook now reach. More improtantly, it will be interesting to see if the relatively recent acceptance of Twitter by the mainstream media has a knock-on effect in encouraging more people to become Tweeple.

London tweets more than any other…

So according to The Times, London is the city that tweets more than any other.

The UK newspaper’s blog Tech Central received Google analytics data that show that London makes up 2% of all twitter traffic.

Come on London, I knew you had it in you!

So where are you when you tweet? Personally I live in Mexico City and it didn’t even rank in the top ten.

Still, with the boom in internet usage and blogging accross Latin America I’ll be interested to see whether any other Latin capitals make the list this time next year. Here’s the top ten according to Tech Central:

1. London
2. New York
3. San Francisco
4. Sao Paulo
5. Chicago
6. Seattle
7. Shibuya
8. Toronto
9. Brooklyn
10. West Hollywood

Simon Burgess, meet Simon Burgess

Whilst the rest of the sane world was facing reality in the new year, last week I was on a quest. My mission? To meet myself.

What had started off as a mother’s mis-typing of my email address some two years ago has led to one of the most bizarre afternoons of my youngish life.

Just before Christmas, I received a Linkedin request from my namesake, Simon Burgess. Nothing weird in that you may think. After all, one of the first things you do when you join a social network is look yourself up, right?

The narcissism doesn’t stop there. Type your name into Google and you can have a great afternoon discovering what those fortunate enough to find themselves with your name look like, do, think etc. Some of my alter egos are an economist at the University of Bristol, a Labour parlimentary candidate, and “the flamboyant managing director of British Insurance”.

Furthermore try typing in your name as a url. proMotion (www.simonburgess.com) is written by Simon Burgess, the creative director at Canadian agency Elemental Motion Media. We get all over the world.

Anyway, back to the story…

So even though connecting with namesakes on social networks is not unusual, this request was different from the beginning.

Firstly, the mistaken identity situation.

Dear Simon,

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Only because you have the same name as me, I get emails in my gmail account for you (though these have stopped now)…

It turns out that Simon and I have almost exactly the same email address. In fact they are different by one keystroke. One tiny but rather significant letter. Pretty much as soon as I got a gmail account Simon Burgess (we’ll call him SB Senior) started getting my emails. Mainly from my mum. Being a nice chap SB Senior emailed my mum to let her know of her mistake, and thought nothing of it. Being a complete techno-nitwit my mum kept sending emails. As did various random people from Mexico City.

Whilst obviously annoying, I like to think that this tom foolery piqued SB Senior’s interest. So he did a search for me on LinkedIn and had a little look at my profile.

This is me on linked in. (You can connect with me if you like. Especially if you are called Simon Burgess.)

And this is where things got weird.

…and most weirdly of all (I told you) I worked at centaur at precision marketing from 90-91!

Now for those of you not so familiar with the classic UK Direct Marketing magazine, Precision Marketing, this may not seem like such a coincidence. It could happen to anyone. Except that this is a tiny trade magazine, we both worked there for our first jobs going into media sales, and worked there exactly ten years apart, SB Senior starting in ’90 whilst I began my slightly longer tenure in 2000. Furthermore, with Simon working in digital media, and this being the way my career has gone, our paths had to cross at some point.

Deciding to meet up for post Christmas drinks was a slightly daunting and exciting prospect. I was fully prepared to ditch the drinks after half an hour for a “meeting” if it turned out that actually not all Simon Burgesses were as amazing as me (had to say it) but luckily it turns out we’re all (at least two of us anyway) good lads. We ended up boring our fellow drinkers (Simon´s brother on one hand and his boss on the other) with our amazement at how weird the whole situation was, and then went on to have a ridiculously drunken pub crawl to celebrate the sheer Burgessness of it all.

So all in all I guess why I’m telling this tale, apart from outlining the random set of coincidences that went to bring it all together, is to say that social media, and I guess the internet in general, can have very surprising but rewarding results in “real life”. I know Dave Gorman got there first and told his version in a much more witty way but I don’t care cos I think it’s a great story and will be dining out on it for years to come.

Go on, do it yourself, meet yourself. It’ll be worth it even if it’s just so that you can tell someone a story like this.

Oh yeah, and Simon Burgess’s wife has the same name as mine. Now that is weird.

NB We’re gonna start a club so if you’re an SB get in touch

Continuing with my online video obsession…

So if you’re looking for a good list of free video sharing sites, check out the Friday Traffic Rpt  from Jack Humphrey including well known sites such as Youtube and Google Video, to lesser known sites (at least to me) such as Famster, and CastPost.

As Jack says:

Video marketing is surpassing article marketing for “newness” but also effectiveness of the link building and direct traffic it generates.

This is certainly a list we’ll be checking out as we look to ramp up creating video channels for www.insidemex.com videos. I’ll let you know what our experiences are like as we begin to use each one.

A beginner blogs about beginning a blog

So what did 2008 teach you?

Don’t drink ten pints and eat a curry and expect to feel well the next day? Never expect an English sports team to live up to its potential? Tequila and milk doesn’t mix? Too much turkey leads to major flatulence?

I painfully and depressingly learned all of the above and more, but today I’d like to reflect on beginning this blog at the end of last year and what I’d have done differently. So here are my top ten dos and don’ts as a beginner blogger:

  1. Do start a blog. In this new age of digital media, if you don’t have a presence online you may as well not exist. All forms of social media allow you to develop your personal brand (a term I kind of hate) and give you control of how potential friends, employers and customers see you and your service
  2. Don’t start it until you have an idea of what you’re going to blog about.
  3. Do promote your blog on twitter, facebook, etc Don’t get someone with thousands of followers on twitter to promote your blog until it is really ready and has some kind of substance. It puts pressure on you to try and come up with clever/witty posts when what you really need to do is develop a voice and work out what you actually want to say.
  4. Do read other people’s blogs as much as possible. Work out what works and what doesn’t work and apply what you learn to your own writing.
  5. Do Comment, comment, comment. You need to show people what you think and why you think it and why it would be worth them reading your blog. By commenting on blogs that cover the same or similar subjects to your intended blog, you’ll be targeting the right audience.
  6. Do find a niche so that you can target a specific audience but…
  7. …don’t write about something you think you should be writing about write about what excites you, motivates you, something you’re passionate about.
  8. Do be passionate about what you want to write!!! Motivation is key with blogging. It takes a huge amount of commitment to write a blog and things like travel, work, girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands/kids can really get in the way! You have to really want to do it and understand that it is a commitment. As I have learned, a blog without posts is not a good blog.
  9. Do Listen to your peers, ask their advice but don’t be afraid to reject it if you don’t agree with it. The beauty of blogging and microblogging (twitter) is that you get to do what you want the way you want to with out having to stick to a whole bunch of rules and regulations designed by others.
  10. Having said that, Do make sure that you follow some conventions/unwritten rules. There are people who have been blogging and micro-blogging since the dawn of (blogging) time and know what works/doesn’t work and can be of great help. Don’t forget to check out www.problogger.net. Darren Rowse really knows what he’s on about and has advice about everything from beginning a blog to making a living from blogging.

If you have any other advice for others just starting out in the blogging world, it would be great to hear your thoughts. Oh and finally, Happy New Year!