Four years ago I remember talking with some friends about twitter. I was adamant that it was going to be a gamechanger. Oh they did laugh…I’m not getting high and mighty, I just want to present some context to social media’s new best friend…Pinterest.
Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can ‘pin’ images on any site you like and add them to your own personalised Pinterest page. Your pinboards are self-titled and other Pinterest users can follow them – just like you can follow any other member’s pinboards.
And oh, is it addictive. At the moment it’s really succeeding with design, fashion, architecture and the like but I think, when people start to really understand how it can be personalised to every individual’s taste, it’s going to take off.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I tend to agree.
Register now and start working it out for yourselves.
After many years on twitter I’m still surprised (and sometimes confused) by new twitter abbreviations and their meaning. To help simplify things I’ve decided to note a few common terms…
RT – Retweet. Used to share another person’s tweet with your followers. Can be done with a simple click of the ‘retweet’ link under each tweet.
Reply – Under each tweet you have the option to respond to a person’s tweet. To identify the person a “@” sign and the person’s address will appear at the beginning of your response.
Favourite – If you like a tweet you can ‘favourite’ that tweet. It won’t be shared directly with your followers but the person who posted the initial tweet will be advised of your action.
HT – Heard through. Requires the user to copy and paste another person’s tweet. Often used when additional context or opinion is required.
MT – Modified tweet. Used if someone has adjusted a person’s tweet but still needs the person’s twitter address included to provide context.
Via – Similar to HT. Again context or additional comment from the sender may be added.
@ – At. The prefix to a twitter address.
Twitpic – A comment photo sharing add-on for people wishing to share photos.
# – By placing a hashtag in front of a term eg #zumwohl people can create an indexable term that others can repeat to form a ‘trend’.
Trend – For various countries across the globe twitter categorises ‘top trends’. These vary with common terms eg John Key or Richie McCaw and various irreverent hashtag terms eg #ifyouwanttodateme
#lazyweb – If you are looking for a solution to a problem, by adding #lazyweb to a tweet, you are effectively asking the twittersphere for a solution. You may be surprised at how many people are happy to help.
bit.ly/ow.ly – These are URL shortening services that help you share news of the web with your followers. They also let you track the number of people who click on your tweeted message.
This list is evolving and I would offer folks the chance to comment on more twictionary definitions but my comment spam is out of control. If you do have more, why not put them on twitter with #twictionary so others can find them.
The campaign encourages people to tweet amusing insights on the real election with the hashtag #zumwohl attached. Each day the funniest/cleverest tweet wins a bottle of said product (which is wicked btw).
The campaign was greatly assisted by using prominent tweeter and blogger Russell Brown at Publicaddress.net who hosted some simple display ads that we updated each week.
Russell also helped by being completely open about the commercial offer and advocating participation amongst his followers and readers. This subtle element made all the difference when it came to commercial businesses levering twitter as a promotional vehicle.
By being honest that this was nothing more than a promotion that “…earns Public Address a little money before Christmas…” the foundation was set for a new brand to build some exposure.
That’s a useful lesson for a new brand entering social media and one I guess Qantas wish they’d considered before today’s “hashjack”…
Last week a friend of mine tweeted that a large telecommunications company’s website was “f#&king” slow.
I didn’t think too much of it but later I went into LinkedIn and saw the tweet reappear in his updates. Suddenly swearing about a commercial entity didn’t seem so smart. LinkedIn is a professional networking service and swearing in this environment is akin to swearing in a job interview.
One click publishing is a useful advance in content management but it does pay to think about where that content will appear and what perception you’re passing on.
Be the first, be the best, be different is a catchy line that floated around a few years ago as a motivator for business success. When you think of some real world examples of this line Sony and Apple do a pretty good job. The Walkman, the iPod, the iPad have all ticked the boxes of being the first, the best and different.
By being at the forefront of innovation, Sony and Apple’s brands sit nicely with the desires and demands of people who consider themselves innovators and early adopters. These people are also at the heart of social media and popular trends so it’s no surprise that when Apple and Sony release their new products it creates such a remarkable buzz.
Problem is, there are only a small number of innovators and early adopters in the world and most of them get bored really quickly.
This is where we see ‘copycat’ manufacturers like Google and Dell waltz in, take the innovators ideas that society has liked, alter them slightly and mop up the remainder of the market with similar products sold at a considerably reduced price. That’s where the real money is made.
And this is what’s going to happen with Google’s Android. The iPhone 4 is having some speed wobbles and I just can’t help feeling that Google’s gradually building some momentum underneath the glamour and will be able to use all its arsenal of services to systematically swallow Apple’s profits.
If Google do this Apple will, of course, kick into the next big thing. I do wonder though if they’d make a better profit if they repackaged some of their products to compete with copycat brands after the buzz has settled.
Perhaps be second, learn from the best, be similar might be a better line for those that don’t mind missing out on the glamour, but in doing so minimise the risks and still make a very successful business. Just ask Trade me.
This week’s announcement from AOL that they’re likely to sell or close Bebo after paying US$850 million for it early last year did not surprise me. AOL are legendary for muddling even the best of products and for the last 12 months I’ve seen Facebook really outperform Bebo on a number of levels. And for me, a core level is advertising.
In early 2007 I began running ads for some of my clients on Bebo. This new player on the local social media scene had quite simply exploded with Kiwis aged 12-24 and I was keen to get my clients’ sites noticed here.
The journey to get ads to air was very drawn out. At that stage Bebo didn’t have anyone on the ground in NZ so I had to go all the way to Jim Scheinman, the CEO in San Francisco, to get some sort of traction on who and how we could get our ads rolling.
In the end the solution was to use Google’s Placement Targeted Network. Now I was absolutely happy with that. Using Google I could easily optimise exposure and cost. After all, a site receiving hundreds of millions of page impressions was ripe for the picking and low cost high exposure advertising was underway.
Subsequently, we had a number of really successful months running ads for our clients on Bebo until it all went to pot when Bebo enlisted TVNZ’s help as their NZ media sales partner. All of sudden a complex middleman was here using a CPM model for buying ad placements on Bebo. It just didn’t work.
So we stopped advertising on Bebo. Our clients couldn’t afford it.
Fortunately at this time another social media site called Facebook was building real momentum in New Zealand.
Facebook had learnt a thing or two about surviving online and invested in creating an ad management console that enabled people to manage their own advertising just like Google. We tried it with a few of our clients and it worked. And it still works for us every month.
Now I know we’re only ‘little old New Zealand’, but I can’t help think that that very simple decision of keeping the ad logistics simple and enabling a long tail of advertisers to fill these vast voids of ad inventory was a pointer to why Bebo is melting and Facebook is solidifying its position as the global player in social media.
Basically every Tweet I’m following at the moment is about the announcement of Pacific Fibre. This new venture “aims to connect Australia and New Zealand to the USA with a high capacity low latency fibre cable.” And what a Twitter friendly story we’ve got here.
It’s being backed by Kiwi heavyweights Sir Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan, Lance Wiggs, Mark Rushworth and Rod Drury and it appears they’ve timed their announcement just right to go gangbusters across a particularly useful crowd of thought leaders.
Bernard Hickey from Interest.co.nz tweeted an hour ago and it’s just exploded. He just told me that his initial tweet has been retweeted over a dozen times in the last hour. Looking at Datascope I can see his name’s all over things. Chris Keall from NBR is doing nicely too.
And this news is welcomed. Pacific Fibre could be something spectacular for New Zealand. As far back as I remember New Zealand’s Archilles heel with Internet business has always been our limited pipes. The opportunity is massive. It’s going to put the crawlers up Telecom – something I’m sure appeals to Sam Morgan!
I’m a little surprised that Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor aren’t in this uber-consortium too. I’d imagine large bandwidth for their large hard drives would be a real boost for their businesses.
Interesting news. And go Twitter for sharing the love so quickly.
Good luck to all involved.
Today Beyonce won the Song of the Year Grammy for “Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)”. If you haven’t heard or seen it yet, have a look. The song’s catchy and it’s quite an impressive bit of choreography mixed with a certain sex appeal. (My oldest daughter asked me why they were dancing in their undies!)
The version I watched had just received 9.6 million views on YouTube. This was the version uploaded on 13 October 2008.
Single Ladies has been around for a long time and it’s recognition today at the Grammys was possibly due more to its gradual infection into social media, or more specifically, YouTube. Here’s how it went for me…
After viewing the video I looked to the side and saw a five star rated Saturday Night Live parody of the video featuring Justin Timberlake donning a leotard. Very funny. Views – 17.9 million. Date uploaded – 18 Nov 2008. Talk about a great launch pad for a song.
Then there’s another highly rated video featuring a chap with a world-class motor thinking he’s Beyonce. Funny-ish. Views – 10.9 million. Date uploaded – 10 January 2009.
Oh and there’s a dance troupe pulling a flash mob dance to Single Ladies in London. Clever considering they do the whole thing in one take. Views – 3.5 million. Date uploaded – 20 April 2009.
And a baby watching Single Ladies on TV and dancing. Cute. Greatly assisted by Dad laughing. There are few things more infectious than laughter. Views – 8.1 million. Date uploaded – 26 January 2009.
But wait, there’s more! Now a grown male in a nappy creating a meme out of the meme of the baby dancing to Single Ladies! Ridiculous. Date uploaded – 28 September 2009. Views 868,029.
So far all the parodies I watched were by people simply trying to make others laugh. It wasn’t until June 2009 when a group actually levered “Single Ladies” to simply promote their own cause.
Enter the Jonas Brothers, a Disney produced boy band who’ve shamelessly lifted the SNL “bloke in a leotard” idea and lip synced Single Ladies to promote their next release. Now I would normally mock this but their video has been viewed 16 million times! Date uploaded – 3 June 2009.
Accepting the Jonas Brothers are already a very successful boy band in the US, it’s interesting to see that successful exposure and marketing in social media doesn’t have to be an original idea to capture people’s imagination. In fact the copying of an idea, execution, and song, with just the slightest individual interpretation, can be more popular than the original. On this wee journey alone the rip off versions have accumulated five times more exposure of Beyonce’s song than the original video.
Perhaps the Japanese were ahead of their time with Karaoke.