Friday, January 20, 2012

a war we have to win

On the off chance that even just one person who may read this is not up to speed with the implications of SOPA and PIPA, and has not been exposed to the clip above; if you are that person then please spend 15mins at some point to watch this video shot during the week at the TED offices.

Clay Shirky explains the real effects and the threat of the proposed legislation.

Of course, the details of the shutting down - and arrest of key staff - of file sharing service Megaupload, by US agents earlier today gives a clear indication of why this is an international issue, not simply US legislation.

'None of the defendants are American citizens, and the site was mainly operated from Hong Kong. But the U.S. government was able to go after them — without SOPA or PIPA in place — because Megaupload used Internet hosting service providers located in Virginia, processed payments using U.S.-based Paypal, and worked with an online advertiser based in California.'

There's also an opinion piece written by Shirky in The Guardian to read from which the below is an excerpt.

'...the law would apply not just to actual copyright violations (the nominal goal of the law) but to any site that was "facilitating the activities" of copyright infringement, a term nowhere defined but vague enough to include mentioning the existence of such sites, which is enough to make them findable. Like a fast-spreading virus, the proposed censorship moves outwards from the domain name system, to include any source of public web content in the US.

If the phrase "any source of public web content" seems like a dry detail, substitute the name of your favourite web publisher: you. The US is, for the moment at least, the world's premier host of sites that support user-generated material – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Wikipedia, Reddit, on and on. And under the proposed law, every one of those sites would have to take steps to prevent publishers, which is to say people, which is to say you, from helping anyone find out about the existence of sites the US media firms don't like. And since the law doesn't require a private company to provide any advance notice before the blacklisting, these sites will be forced to spy on their users, in advance and all the time, to make sure you are not talking about sites media firms in the US do not want you to talk about, even if you are not a US citizen.

Sopa and Pipa are, quite simply, an attempt to create a privatised form of international censorship, and because the censorship would have to be nearly total to be effective, they would have a profound and chilling effect on any form of public conversation among ordinary citizens. It would render the internet a place where the only content to be seen or heard or read is produced by professionals, with the rest of use relegated to the role of pure consumption.'

can you count, suckers?

Anything that kicks off it's pitch with Cyrus from the Gramercy Riffs, gets my vote.

Part of the Make It Count campaign — Life is a sport. Make it count - the NikeFuelband is a Nike+ extension, a rubber bracelet worn on the wrist during exercise and sports activities to measure 'steps, calories, time & Fuel metric'.

It syncs with your iphone and also integrates with social flavour of the month Path, to journal your daily activity.

HT The Kaiser

Thursday, January 19, 2012

unique talking point

While I'm not a data geek by any stretch a couple of things were interesting about some of the top line data that emerged around the Golden Globes TV coverage in the US and it’s impact on brand mentions within social networks.

Firstly, in spectacle terms, the NFL match between Giants and Packers pipped the Globes as number one socialtv (sic) show on Sunday with over 1.5m social mentions by circa 950,000 unique authors.

The Globes came number 2 with 1.1m mentions from a smaller but more active group of 492,000 unique chatterers.

Twitter activity is said to have peaked at 6,162 tweets-per-second.

In terms of ‘traditional’ ratings again the 'football' was way ahead the Globes, which only picked up at 8pm once the match was over.

Fox: NFC Playoffs - Giants vs Packers (40.1 million viewers, 14.3 rating among adults 18-49)
NBC: Golden Globes red carpet (7.4 million, 1.9)
NBC: The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (16.8 million, 5.0)
Fox: Football overrun/The Simpsons (15.7 million, 6.8)

And AdAge reports that check-ins on GetGlue tripled vs last year, though the Globes ended up 4th, behind Nikita, Big Bang Theory and Fringe for the week.

Globes check-ins would most likely be real-time rather than shifted, it should be noted.

So in the Globes chatter...

Top 5 brands in social mentions – with the top contextual mentions within:

1. Prada – 42% ( predominatly Zooey Deschanel’s dress)
2. Dior – 22% (Charlize Theron 34%, Milla Kunis29%)
3. Gucci – 15% (Jessica Alba 23%]and Salma Hayek 36%)
4. Vera Wang – 4% (Sofia Vergara 55% Naya Rivera 36%)
5. Marchesa – 3% (Lea Michele 62%)

Versace will probably be be disappointed that they didn’t chart despite dressing Angelina Jolie.

Interestingly among the top ‘linear’ sponsors Loreal and Swarovski (and others ) also did not get so much as a peep in terms of buzz/wom despite the famous ‘goodie’ bags and buying 30second spots that started at $400,000 a pop, and upwards from there.

Perhaps a case of 'because you're (not) worth it'.

One could infer that from the unique talking point perspective, being on the red carpet and integral to the content was the smarter media spend?

Check the AdAge article and follow the links around.

Also a fuller analysis from Lost Remote.

needle: fan sourcing sales

In theory, Needle would be about taking customer advocacy to the next level, by partly 'fan-sourcing' both the sales and customer service platforms for online businesses.

Needle claims to be able to tap into an existing fan base, train it up to be able to sell your product or service, and then allows them to do it online from wherever they are.

They say:

'Customers want to know how your product applies to them. They want their questions answered live by an expert who speaks their language, and whose suggestions they can trust. Trained experts on the Needle platform engage customers by asking qualifying, relevant questions, such as "How will you be using this product?" and "What kind of other accessories do you already wear?" A Needle chat offers the equivalent of having a personal shopper giving real-time reviews and recommendations to your customers based on rich, interactive dialogues.'

I'm inclined to file this in the same drawer as alternative customer service channel Insidr, which we featured in December, and indicative of a genuine trend developing.

Another one to keep an eye on.

via Springwise.

Friday, January 13, 2012

flogging a dead horse

This is so much post of the week, and even an early contender for post of the year, that I am simply going to quote it in it's entirity.

From the always wise, and now slimline, Jonathan MacDonald who's recent weight-loss success has also apparent side effect of further sharpening his, already incisive wit and insight...

Tribal wisdom of Dakota Indians: when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, your best strategy is to dismount.

However, in business and in Government, more advanced strategies are often employed such as:

Buying a stronger (and more expensive) whip.

Changing riders.

Appointing a committee to study the horse.

Arranging trips to other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

Reclassifying the horse as living-impaired.

Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

Harnessing several dead horses together to increase efficiency.

Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horses performance.

Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horses performance.

Declaring that the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than some live horses.

Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

…and of course:

Promoting dead horse to a supervisory position.

construire une architecture de l'impossible #vaccinesvideo

I missed this at the end of last year, but it's such a nice simple idea that it's worth a mention, even if I'm late to the party.

Fans of the Vaccines were asked to tag their Instagram photos taken at the summer music festivals with #vaccinesvideo, the pics were then sucked into the site and then edited together with some band footage to produce the video for their song 'Wetsuit'.

And a top tune it is too, by the way.

Apart from the fact that it's a terrific execution of viral 101 - the fans will share the video with their friends because THEY ARE IN IT, it also tickled my current obsession with situationist ideas, and drew me back to this nugget on ceativity from artist/author/provocateur Jamie Reid.

'...the challenge to the modern artist is not just to create, but to use what has already been created. This would seem to be a reduction or a narrowing of the scope of modern art, but it isn't. To find a way of using what has already been created - and there is a lot of all kinds of things that have been and continue to be created by this wasteful society - to say something that is really new, you have to widen your field of awareness to the point that you can see what is NOT being done, and what COULD BE done, with these creations'

Top marks to Anomaly London for another construire une architecture de l'impossible...

It's up for a One Show Award too, so best of luck.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

a 'viral' masterclass from the bbc #bowie

Contrary to misinformation peddled by many self annointed social media experts there is no 'formula' for viral video success, however there are some recipes that will give a piece of compelling content the very best chance of being spread.

The previously long-lost clip below of Bowie and the Spiders doing 'Jean Genie' on Top of The Pops from 1973 being case in point.

In simple terms the clip contains the main elements the originator needed to ensure at least some spreadability.

1 - It's a piece of content that groups of people with a shared interest want to see, but have not previously had the opportunity to do so.

2 - The provider of the piece of content was, initially, the single source of the content.

3 - The back story to the piece of content was interesting enough to be part of the idea.

So it goes that retired 69 year old ex-BBC cameraman John Henshall had retained a copy of the footage he shot using his own designed Telefex Fisheye lens, while the BBC had wiped the original tapes from 1973 (as was their unfortunate habit back in the day - many hundreds of hours of BBC archive stuff is gone forever).

Henshall found the tapes in a proverbial shoebox in the attic and presented the lost gem to the BBC at the tail end of last year. It was broadcast on Wednesday December 22nd on BBC2, this being the first time it was available to view since the original Top Of The Pops show in 73.

The lessons are clear.

1. Identify the groups of people who are most likely to want to hear/see/spread the idea.

2. Figure out if this is the kind of information these groups are gagging for.

3. Find out what the groups already have and whether the new information plugs a gap that needs filling.

4. If you can answer all of the above get it out there and watch the groups do the heavy lifting.

Notice the use of 'groups' plural. A point to note is that there is not one-single instance of the clip on YouTube, there are several.

The clip was ripped and posted online by many different Bowie fans, each initially serving a small group of other connected fans in the first instance. The clip was then shared from small group to small group via various blogs and Facebook updates and tweets.

Understanding the structure, connectedness and actual needs of the networks in which you want to plant ideas is much more important than looking for individual so-called influencers to repeat a story.

Anway here's Bowie, Mick and the Spiders walking on snow white, in full fisheye glory.