Wednesday, December 31, 2008

for Precision Marketing magazine Dec 08: Twitter 2009

Here's a short bit on Twitter what I wrote for Precision Marketing magazine just before the holidays. An intro to twitter; yes people, there are still those out there who do not know.

Add to that this mornings revelations that social media is actually more popular than ever, and this nugget from hitwise which clearly demonstrates it's not just a US thing.

'UK Internet visits to Twitter have increased by 631% over the last 12 months, with 485% of that growth coming this year. Twitter is more popular with Brits than Americans: last week the site’s share of UK Internet visits was 70% higher its share of visits in America. Twitter cannot yet be considered mainstream in the USA, but in the UK it’s getting there.'

Anyway, here's the piece.

As Confucious famously said; ‘It’s difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future’ however I’m going to stick my proverbial neck out and venture that 2009 is going to be the year that Twitter enters the mainstream.

For anyone reading this and asking themselves, what is Twitter?
Twitter is increasingly pulling away as the leading opt-in, permission based communication and listening platform. Google it.

Anytime anything is being said about your company, products, or services you can monitor it and, most importantly, respond instantly if appropriate. In fact you can also use the various freely available tools to track what’s being said about any thing you fancy. Your competitors for instance.

Yes, Twitter gives your opponents and critics a voice too, but that means you can listen and act.

As Twitter progresses towards it’s critical mass it’s increasingly one of the most effective research tools in your box. Simply tapping into that stream of ideas, content, links and commentary focused on your area of business your research has so much more value than traditional focus groups, for example.

Traditional focus groups only tell a portion of the story. On Twitter, groups can form and unform on an ad hoc basis, self-selected around subjects that interest them directly.

It’s no surprise that among the top 5 UK Twitter users (in terms of number of followers) are; Stephen Fry and John Cleese. The trick to adding value is simple.
Have something interesting to say.

And unless you are part of the conversation you cannot contribute therefore you don’t add any value.

The last point is of particular significance for our politicians.

The recently launched is a portal that brings together the collected tweets of several UK MP’s, including Tory leader David Cameron, following the lead of the PMs office earlier this year who launched the official Downing St twitter feed.
And, while it’s disappointing that Barack Obama stopped Twittering the second the election was over , his team saw the value of connecting directly to a fanatical group of supporters with real time updates as the campaign unfolded.

The internet is about people, not technology. Twitter is people-driven; so if your business depends upon relationships and interactions with people it’s time to take notice of Twitter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NASA 'Money' video by Shepard Fairey

Featuring Chuck D (Public Enemy) and David Byne (Talking heads) amongst others this is the tune of the week and an absolute dynamite video illustrated by artist Sheparde Fairey, of 'Obey' fame.

thanks to Clarence.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Probably the last post here before the festive break so just a note to say thanks to all who have read, commented, contributed and shared here in the last 12 months and also to all the great minds who have influenced this content in one way or another.

It just remains to say 'Feliz Navidad' to all and i'll leave you with this clip of EL Vez, the Mexican punk Elvis with his take on the Jose Feliciano Xmas classic, (spot the PiL mashup element).

El Vez was briefly signed to Alan McGee's Poptones label in the late 90s.
Can't resist another little niggle to the music 2.0 evangelists.
The success of Oasis et al gave McGee the opportunity to invest in the long tail, and give a platform to the likes of El Vez and others like the criminally overlooked Jasmine Minks.
This is where record companies still have a role, as a kind of socialist curator.

NGOTB gurus of marketing #236 - George Bernard Shaw

One of my favourite Seth-isms, recently featured in Tribes.

'Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance.... whatever it is, the forces for mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it's over.'

I repeat this to myself every day.

Another one I tell myself everyday is this nugget on creativity by George Bernard Shaw. Another heretic, who made it his life's work to challenge the status quo, aka the forces for mediocrity.

Friday, December 19, 2008


More power to the argument that 2009 is going to be the year that twitter really breaks.
Tweetminster is a service that lists all UK MP's who are using Twitter and their twitter id. Following on from the official Downing St twitter feed and social media makeover now you can find and follow your local MP (if they tweet, it's still in the early stages so low on numbers) or some of the bigger names like C*meron*spit* are also on there. Check it out at

Thursday, December 18, 2008

dave trott the hard way via persuasionism

Can I just point you to this great story by Dion Hughes from the excellent Persuasionism.

Dion recounts his early efforts at getting a job in advertising as a youngster and an encounter with ad legend Dave Trott.

It's a charming story, and be sure to read the comments as Trott himself responds.
Anyone familiar with his writing will be aware of it's poetic structure, he even applies it to blog comments.

As i said, a heart-warming nice wee story.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

twitter, google reader, rss conundrum

Posted this over at last night.
It occurred to me the other day that i tend to read the blog posts from those i follow on twitter - who 'tweet' new articles via twitterfeed or suchlike - more often than the others in my google reader (which i check once or twice a week at the most).

Wouldn’t be good if there was a twitterfeed - that i can control - that tweets me selected blogs - from my reader - as they happen?
This would save a lot of dicking about between twitter desktop client and browser/feed widget.
Yeah, this kinda happens with friendfeed but I don’t control that - I'm not necessarily friends with most of the authors in my rss reader , whereas with a custom google reader feed into twitter, spec’d by me... is that bit more personal.

Or maybe this functionality already exists? Any thoughts?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Music 2.0 debunked brilliantly

My beef with the so-called music 2.0 evangelists has always been that they focus on business models and distribution rather than the actual CONTENT.

Yeah, Radiohead and NIN have uncovered some interesting TACTICS but what about the actual music? What are they saying about anything?

Same goes for the numerous Myspace careerist popsters.
Lots of nifty marketing but where's the cultural significance ie punk, acid house, hip hop.

Check out the second half this rant from lefsetz letter, which sums it up perfectly.

'We don’t have a theft problem. We’ve got a MUSIC problem.'

'Don’t tell me it’s the same as it always was. It was different in the sixties and seventies. Sure, we wanted to go to the gig to hang out, but we NEEDED to hear the music. We NEEDED to be closer to the geniuses who made it. We felt it was us versus them, the act and its audience versus the system. Whereas now the acts ARE PART OF THE SYSTEM!'

thanks to jmac and dan

TiVO do Dominos Pizza

My friends at TiVO NY tell me they have set up and launched another seamless web and tv integration like the Amazon partnership i reported on a few months back.
Now the custom Domino's pizza utility, that has been popular online, can also be accessed via TV for TiVO customers.
The Domino's app allows you to log in with your web id, there's also no messy account management on tv as you can pay cash when the pizza arrives. Keeps it simple.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Music Industry Manifesto

Perhaps the definitive statement of the punk diy philosophy was made manifest this diagram*, from a Stranglers fanzine, showing three chord shapes on a guitar, and these words:

“This is a chord, this is another, this is a third - NOW FORM A BAND.”

For the fanzine producers a magic marker, scissors and a Xerox machine were your tools and the network of punk gigs in pub back rooms and youth clubs was the distribution network.

A nation of spotty youth, given the tools and the spark to create something of their own, followed those instructions and a movement was born.
You may even say it was a community of purpose.

The tendrels of punk reached out – from the bottom-up – beyond just music into fashion, art, literature, film even ballet.

Is this starting to sound familiar?
And is this the 21st century (slightly longer) version of the three chord manifesto

The Music Industry Manifesto

1. Music will always continue, but the parasitical 20th Century music industry is dead.

2. Music does not rely on technology or distribution. It simply requires people. It did not begin with vinyl, the CD, the electric guitar or the synthesizer.

3. If piracy is able to damage your ivory castles, you should seek to understand it and learn from it. Piracy is the most effective distribution.

4. You will never win the war on privacy, because the pirates have a belief, and you are protecting a business.

5. People will only pay for what they want to pay for. Get used to it.

6. Artists and fanatics run the show - if you are in neither camp you’re fucked.

7. DRM’s only function is to limit the spread of music and to irritate the very people you should be pleasing - your audience.

8. I’ve paid for the tape, the vinyl, the CD and the MP3 - if I ever pay again, I’ll pay for the rights to the content in whatever format is appropriate for the rest of my lifetime, not for something limited to one format.

9. Let’s face it..artists can make more money if middle-men are not involved

10. Look - we all know you’re pissed about you’re expense bill no longer being approved but please stop taking it out on the rest of us

11. The people of the world want to share what they love. If you stand in the way there is only one outcome. Rebellion

12. People embrace what they create. We all want to take part. It’s no longer your industry, its ours. Sure that hurts…

13. Just become a concert promoter. Live music will never end. Rip-off, insular and selfish business models already have. Sorry

14. People will pay for what they want to. If you create something of value to people, people will pay for it

15. People will not longer automatically pay for something that YOU think is valuable

16. Resistance is futile. However powerful your connections are, the people of the world will find a way around it

17. Every time you sue, you nail an even heavier nail in your OWN coffin. Think about it…

18. The people of the world love music as much as they always have - not less - its just they have seen behind the curtain now

19. Artists love fans and will get paid by them for products and services the fans adore. Get out the way and let it happen

20. Copyright is a byproduct of the business model for content creation and distribution. It’s not the reason for content creation

21. The case studies of artists making more money from not using your regime will never stop - only increase. Listen up

22. It makes no difference how connected you are to the government. Artists and fans out-number you and always will

23. All the time you spend wining about protecting music you could spend working out ways to help the new world mature

24. If you really wanna get rich, concentrate on facilitating fanatical advocacy. There is no ceiling of value to that

25. People can only truly be of financial benefit to you if they are free. Confined humans have no long-term monetary benefit

*Pedants corner: The drawing is often attributed to, but never actually appearted in, Sniffin Glue fanzine.
It’s actually first appeared in another fanzine ‘Sideburns’ and was reproduced in Stranglers fanzine ‘ Strangled’ during 1977. I was even moved to edit the Sniffin’ Glue wikipedia page to this effect.

The Music industry Manifesto courtesy of Jonathan MacDonald

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the three stooges...

one of those intellectual comedy days on twitter, mainly thanks to @johndodds and @marcus_brown, plus the influence of @zeroinfluencer (even in absentia).

cant decide if this is phish or just foul...

If this email is for real and from HBOS it's a massive FAIL.
click and it should enlarge.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Borders social marketing 'strategy'...

Book retailers Borders announce a social marketing strategy.

From the Precision Marketing:
'A three month campaign, aims to build a network of brand-supportive influential bloggers on book and lifestyle communities across social networks, incentivising them through discount offers as well as access to exclusive content.'

3 month campaign?
'brand-supportive influential bloggers' what about brand supportive anyone?

Further on theres some guff about 'structured viral marketing campaigns' and 'brand presence across the social networking arena'

Lets see what happens.

Portable Social Graphs

This is a nice pres from Razorfish, explains the Facebook connect thing very well. Portable data and and all that.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

post-messaging: value creation versus value subtraction

This is a great article by Jay Rosen around the marketing-in-a-post-messaging-world theme. This is a better articulated version of stuff i'm saying every day.

'But now being a bulk message sender via the media is like the guy in the street trying to get you to take a handbill. He may have motivation for delivering the message, you have none to take it.
They are the people formerly known as the audience. And they do not want your message.'

Success in the new web, and the world for that matter, for brands is now increasingly dependent on their culture, philosophy and values, as ultimately the networked world will enforce total transparency of business practices.

As you and I, the people formerly known as consumers, gain more and more control of our experience and data, we pull down the shutters on brands and marketing that assumptions on what we want, based on demographics and generations instead of actually asking - and even more importantly, listening to and acting upon our answers.

To paraphrase David's Power of the Network:
'As we become the connections and the way the connections are made we are reconnecting with our human selves and accordingly what we are demanding from brands is more human interaction.'

A new marketing about doing things for people, being good. Helping them get to where they want to go. Creating real value. The Lotus Economy - 'thinking in straight lines, digitally or otherwise, will keep you going round in circles.'

Ive been banging on about the language of advertising for a bit here. About replacing words like audience, targeting, consumer, campaign etc with personalisation, relevance, transparency, authenticity, humanity.

There's a lot of us thinking the same way.

found via david cushman and gapingvoid.
pic from Reuters.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

NGOTB gurus of marketing No235 #oscarwildeday

Here's one of my favourite Wilde-isms in recognition of @stephenfrys #oscarwildeday.