Tag Archives: Social Media

What does social media make-up look like?

I just stumbled across this very cool social media process chart from Damien Basile via Steffen Konrath (@stkonrath).

Social Media Process v. 1.0

It definitely sums up a lot of my social media make-up although there are a couple of things I don’t use that I’ll endeavour to try out.

For example, to my shame, I am yet to get to grips with FriendFeed, Pixelpipe or Spotify (which come to think about it isn’t on this chart).

So thanks to Damien for giving me the push to investigate some new social networks and apps. I hope he does another in a years time – I’m sure the social media landscape will have turned around another 360 degrees by then!

There’s life Jim, but not as we know it…

Having moved back to the UK from Mexico, my wife and I decided to move to Cheltenham instead of return to live and work in London.

Although massive fans of the big city we’d pretty much had enough of hectic, polluted megapolises after living in Mexico City (population c. 25 million) for four years.

So here we are. Having moved back in June we have finally readjusted (although not to the cold) and are now looking at our future here.

Having worked in media, both on and offline, I am looking to move into the digital world in the South West, but have always wondered:

Is there (digital) life outside the M25?

Many would have it that there isn’t. When I informed friends who work in the industry (and are based in London) that, shock horror, I was considering moving here, they were almost aghast.

What? Online? In the south west?

This was said time and time again, so much so that I really began to believe that I couldn’t possibly entertain the notion of a decent career outside the capital.

After really very little effort or research I could see straight away that this was very short-sighted.

According to The Top 100 South West Creative Companies 2009, the top ten digital agencies had a combined annual turnover of £32,361,714. The number one dagency, Sift, netted just over £7 million.

Of these 10, eight are based in Bristol, suggesting that my quest for work may be focussed there, but the fact that there are ten in my view is very healthy.

In terms of media owners the obvious company to mention is Future, based in Bath, and publisher of titles such as totalfilm.com and metalhammer.co.uk. With presence in both the UK and globally, Future is increasing it’s digital arm every year and tops the South West’s top publishing company list.

Finally, there seem to be healthy communities of people here (admit it, we’re geeks) who want to explore the possibilities of digital and social media in the South West. In Bristol, Brrism (Bristol Social Media) holds monthly meet up’s to talk shop, whilst I shall be heading off to Chelteham’s DigiTalks tonight (I’ll post to give my feedback).  What with various tweeps looking at starting up a Cheltenham-based Social Media Cafe, things look pretty healthy here.

I’m confident that digital life does not end at the M25, but would love to hear from you if you are a social media consultant, if you have your own digital agency or are pushing the boundaries in digital publishing. I’d love to promote you (and then maybe one of you can give me a job 😉 ).

Alternatively if you run or attend a social media community in the South West (or anywhere outside London really) it would be great to promote you too. It’s a regional love-in!

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

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!

How soon is too soon?

So having finally published my first post after a few abortive attempts, I’ve received some great feedback. And yet something a good friend said has been nagging at me:

dude I don’t want to dampen your spirits but I’d wait a bit until you have a few posts before hawking the blog to everyone (friendly advice)

I guess I got pretty over-excited about writing my first blog and wanted as many people to have a look as possible.

But maybe he has a point? If I went to another blog or website and there was only one article/post on it I’d probably think it wasn’t worth going back as they’d seem pretty unproductive. And what if I never have anything to say of interest again? That would be pretty embarrasing not to metion eternally recorded in the mists of the tinterweb.

I’m thinking that maybe you have to “earn your stripes” as a blogger before it’s okay to promote your thoughts to other people. But I have no idea of the etiquette. Is it 5 posts, 10 posts, 100 posts before you have the critical mass for mass (okay so 10 people) consumption?

What do you think? How soon is too soon?

P.S I’ve realised that my blogging voice is starting to sound a little Sex In The City

In 140 characters or less, explain the meaning of life

I’m worried.

I woke up this morning at about 4.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I realised – and this is something that has been gradually dawning on me – that I have started to think in 140 characters or less.

Since starting on twitter almost exactly one month ago, (and becoming ever more of a geek, according to my wife) I can’t help thinking about all things in my life in terms of the 140 characters of the twitter update. It’s a worry, especially when the Chinese government has officially recognised the new disease of internet addiction. I guess this was probably preceded by my obsession with starting every sentence with “Simon is…” after two years of facebook, not to mention constant attempts to make my Gmail chat status witty and urbane.

And yet I’m sitting here writing this, my first blog post (oh oh, another obsession in the making) and I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not a problem at all. How often do you receive a sales email that goes on for two pages that you delete after 2 sentences? How much advertising copy is so drawn out as to bore the pants off you?

In my opinion, Twitter not only keeps you plugged into the thought processes of people you respect in your industry, interest group, whatever, but it teaches you to be concise and to the point. It forces you into writing short, sharp and clever copy to impress your peers and attract new followers. And I don’t think that’s too bad a thing at all.