Lesson for aspiring NZ sports stars – along with practising your craft, spare some time to pay attention in English classes and when you get into a rep team, start blogging.
I’ve come up with this theory after seeing the rocket rise of NZ bowler Iain O’Brien whose single performance of substance this season has gained undue attention – mostly because he complements his cricketing fortunes with a nicely written blog detailing what’s going down within the team.
This sort of PR/personal expression is a fascinating one for a relatively high profile NZ sportsperson and the columnists love it! The angry Chris Rattue and mellow Jonathan Millmow both dedicated their columns yesterday to Mr O’Brien and praised his openness.
Alongside his bowling talents, O’Brien’s blog is giving an additional edge to the “Iain O’Brien” brand and it appears to be influencing his popularity and potential fortunes enormously.
More please, Iain.
Last night I read The Listener’s annual power list illustrating various Kiwis who hold considerable influence in society. Unlike previous years when they’ve simply had a list of the 50 most powerful people in the land, they chose to run a set of categories of prominent individuals under groupings like Politics and Maoridom.
I love this sort of filtering so whizzed through the people looking for the Internet or Technology category. Unfortunately no such category exists. In fact, of all the 50 odd people they profile, none of them are directly involved in the Internet. Good grief.
So, in no particular order, here’s my list of the top 5 Kiwi web gurus who I think hold considerable influence on New Zealanders.
1. Sam Morgan – Even from the back room Sam still holds the cards underlying a number of new web ventures that infiltrate many Kiwis’ daily lives. His legacy, Trade me, is still the biggest site in NZ and when he speaks his friends at Fairfax will always print his word as gospel.
2. Russell Brown – A notable blogger, his legion at PublicAddress creates undue influence across a wide range of cultural interest groups and topics. Russell’s wider work in TV and as a commentator also adds to his sway of influence. I like the irony that he used to be on Powerlist’s judges’ panel too!
3. David Farrar – Despite not really liking KiwiBlog’s political leanings, David’s blogline popularity has lead to it becoming a first point for political journalists and ordinary Kiwis. That David starts each day at 4am by reading all the papers and blogs available may be the reason. If you doubt his influence, try googling “Electoral Finances Act” or “Helen Clark” or “John Key” and you’ll see KiwiBlog right up there on Page 1. You can’t underestimate the power of that feature.
4. Bernard Hickey – Earlier this year Bernard joined David Chaston at interest.co.nz and quickly set about offering NZ media and the average punter a daily media commentary on what their data meant in the real world. Throw in a global credit crisis and this journo-turned-new media professional has become the go to guy for economic trend quotes. Throw in Bernhard’s blog on Stuff and we’re talking about a chap who has remarkable influence on Kiwi thinking.
5. Richard MacManus – As the creator and editor of ReadWriteWeb I find it hard to leave Richard out of the top 5. I’m not entirely convinced his influence is directly connected to New Zealanders but I do respect the success of his commentary and progress of Web 2.0 and its following across the globe.
So there are five. It’s a starter for ten…
At Webstock this year Twitter was a memorable feature. Its popularity had really stepped up a gear from the first Webstock. However while most people at the conference were aware of Twitter this year, few had spent much time tweeting. The semi voyeuristic element made most of us reluctant to really start investing time or attention to it.
But like all things web 2.0, Twitter’s gradual rollout is really starting to gain momentum in my little bubble of bloggers and colleagues and I’m really starting to enjoy it.
I’m now getting useful tips and witty comments from a wide range of people – some of whom I only know by reputation – but who appear happy enough to share their lives with me. Or are they?
For some people there seems to be mixed strands of comments which makes me wonder what they’re trying to achieve with their tweets. Some folks are straight up promoting links to their blogs or websites. Others are just waffling. Now I’m ok with either angle but when you mix these up and get professional tweets interlaced with personal comments it seems a bit odd.
In more established social media environments I like the way LinkedIn has a clear professional demarcation vs Facebook which is largely mates sharing whatever.
Twitter still has to carve that balance. But if you’re thinking about using Twitter, here are some points to consider.
What are you trying to achieve? Are you posting tweets to build exposure of your brand or drive visits to your website/blog or simply chatting with your friends? It’s vital to get this worked out up front as it will help you determine your tweet content and other elements that make up your Twitter brand.
What’s your image? A shot of you? A caricature or a silly photo? A tiny logo? What you choose will matter when your face appears alongside dozens of others and people are looking for new tweetlines to follow.
What’s your handle? Your real name or your company brand or a mix? It is possible to mix this up with alt tags providing your personal name while your handle/nickname remains something else.
Who do you follow and who follows you? Again, your brand by association is a small but influential element.
Of course you can wing it if you like, but having thought about these points in advance won’t hurt.