Friday, 26 March 2010

Visualising the Interweb

Just found this nice interactive infographic of the web on the BBC, who have been running a very interesting series called Super Power. Well worth spending some time with.

Click here to go and play with the live version - explore the tabs, there's some interesting results.

From the same series I've just taken this grab, giving you a real time picture of the interweb today.  I wonder whether I'll look back at these numbers in a year's time and laugh at how small they were.

Video Trivia: Every minute an entire day's worth of content added to YouTube

Yup!  YouTube recently announced: 24 hours worth of video content is uploaded EVERY Minute.

That's 4 more hours per minute than when the last lot of figures were released 10 months ago in May 2009.


Mobile Data exceeded Voice Calls for the first time in December 2009

Says Ericsson in a report issued today.  Wow!

So if your website isn't mobile friendly, I'd be prioritising sorting that out.

If you are not taking seriously the role of mobile advertising, mobile search and mobile apps as touchpoints with your consumers then maybe now is the time to challenge your thinking. 

More and more consumers have web (not WAP) capable phones, whether they realise that that Facebook icon on the mobile desktop that they use 5 times a day means they are using the mobile web or not.  Once the handset is delivering on user experience, people naturally use their mobile more for certain things.  Don't be so late to the party that the beer has already gone from the fridge.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Chatroulette Piano man makes me smile

I posted a while back about the chatroulette phenomenon that's gained huge traction with web users over the last little while.

Watch this video of this pianist dude making up songs as he goes about the people choosing to interact with him. I bet he gets more than 29 seconds before he's "next'ed" This is the stuff I loved the web for. Honest, real, creative, makes you smile.

Nestle demonstrate lack of understanding of social media principles

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Nestle were looking for agencies to help them improve their current predominantly negative presence in the social media sphere.  I suspect that process hasn't been concluded yet, but the need for someone to help them has been heavily exacerbated this week by the Greenpeace attack on Nestle's contribution to deforestation & habitat loss via their use of palm oil in confectionery (amongst other things).

Greenpeace's marketing assaults have always been punchy, to the point and are usually very well executed. This latest campaign is no exception.Using a high production value spoof on KitKat's "have a break, have a KitKat" ads of old, and making it easy to share across a range of social spaces they've successfully done a lot to highlight an issue, that most consumers wouldn't even have considered when standing in front of the confectionery counter. And being a huge multi-national, with a mixed track record on the "act with integrity" scorecard anyway, KitKat might be the vehicle du jour, but the knock on effect across the rest of the Nestle portfolio is almost guaranteed.

So shame on Nestle for the following reactionary post on their Facebook page:

For me this is social media gold, the perfect example of how not to go about it.  It's not rocket science, tell anybody not to do something and it naturally makes them want to disobey, ask any 4 year old, and when there's a contentious issue at stake, that's been raised by someone else, and by someone who is clearly better at the social media game than you are it's not terribly smart to start acting like Big Brother. It only fans the flames. No prizes to the Nestle corporate citizen who posted this: “Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.” Ooops. Smell the coffee. This is 2010.

It's a scary world for brands who have been used to controlling the conversation for years, when all of a sudden they find they aren't in control anymore, and their organisational structure inhibits their ability to react with the speed and agility of the connected consumer.

That said, reading the Nestle Facebook page comments this morning, there was a healthy mix of good cop bad cop comments from consumers in reaction to some of the recent Nestle palm oil supplier decision announcements. And that's the point.  On the whole the internet is a self-policing state.  Yes, there are levels of government filtering in some parts of the world, hence the Google v Chinese Government shenanigans this week, but on the whole, the consumer is a smart beast, capable of evaluating and making their own decisions.  What's important to one consumer may be less important to another, but they will still form their own judgements, share them and choose what they listen to / take notice of.

Brands need to learn how to operate on more sociable terms.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A picture can tell a 1000 words

I was working in Lebanon last week with a great group of people from across the Arabian Peninsular.

Most of them were keen smokers (to say the least) and the smoke in restaurants was a bit of a culture shock to me (especially as a non-smoker) having lived in a "you can only smoke outside" world for years now.

However, let's compare and contrast the approach to health warnings on cigarettes:  Here's an image of my Dad's pack of cigarettes he'd recently bought in Spain, and one from one of my new Egyptian buddies. 

You don't need to read Spanish or Arabic to work out one has a rather stronger impact than the other.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Nice touches within search results from Google

I've been a fan of the Leicester Tigers Rugby team for years. I just ran a generic team name search because I wanted to check when they were next playing and got this result, immediately telling me what I was looking for without even having to click again.  Nice touch Google.   

Given the rugby ball icon, it's not really a "news" result so now I just need to find out how they did that. Curious.

Friday, 12 March 2010

YouTube throw a Googley for the cricket

I just noticed that YouTube have done a Google again and changed their logo to one featuring a cricket bat to coincide with the current Indian cricket match series.

Nice touch of current affairs.

Following the link takes you off to a hub that will aggregate matches, results etc etc, and for me is another nice example of how video content on the web is breaking down barriers between screens.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Bing's season of goodwill...

I'm a big fan of Bing as a decision making engine. I like the daily images, the way it works, and particularly the image search.

Whilst Bing have somewhere in the region of 10% share of the US market, I read somewhere recently that in the UK, that figure is still only 3%, but that they are planning a big offensive soon.

Maybe it's entirely co-incidental, (but the marketing cynic in me says probably not), but I've noticed in the last week 2 interesting Bing initiatives:

1) Bing are giving away virtual currency "Farm Cash" for Farmville players on Facebook if you join their fan page. With a gazillion players of Farmville in the world, this has already added tons of Fans to Bing's Facebook page.   I  read this great article on the Bing / Farmville Fan initiative so I'll just point you over there rather than recap, but to put it in context, on Monday they had 100k fans, by Tuesday, 400k and today it stands at 593k. Nice.  Let's hope they do something useful with us all. I am running a crusade against using pure fan numbers as a measure of success on Facebok pages at the minute. So naive. So shortsighted. Grrrr.

2) They are giving 5p to UK Charity Sport Relief / Comic Relief for every 10 searches made under an initiative called "Give with Bing", and provide you with a little downloadable app / counter to keep track of the contributions you are making.

So as I've written about before recently regarding the Hula Hoops Sport Relief initiative, hooking up with a charity is a great way to make people think well of your brand, and in this case it's unlikely to actually cost Bing a lot either:

I did a little maths:  With the average UK search user performing 148 searches a month (according to a Comscore report from November 09), if you switched entirely to using Bing for a month, they'd have to give a not hugely generous 74p to the charity. And if they only have 3% of the search market right now in the UK that's not going to break the bank.
That said if it's that easy to make the world a better place get yourself over to Bing right now and download the counter. No excuses now!

Nice initiatives on both counts, but I'd give them more points if they actually made their Give with Bing site work in Firefox. No excuses for that these days.

50 ways to leave your (antique) internet browser

Fair play to the YouTube team for their sense of humour today.

I have to suffer Internet Explorer 6, ancient, antique, security leakier than a teabag, web browser for certain systems for work (why, oh, why, is an entirely other question), but perhaps the bell tolls? According to this message I just got displayed,  from Saturday 13th March YouTube are no longer going to be supporting IE6. Yay!

We are all so used to using the amazing resource that YouTube is for such a broad range of things, I can only hope that this spurs a few IT people into action.

Meanwhile I'm using the opportunity to continue my attempt to convince my colleagues to shift to Firefox.  Go on, see the light, sooo much better than IE!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Simple but genius App from Tesco Clubcard

Loyalty cards:
We all end up carrying a few of them around, or signing up for them and then not carrying them around.  I've usually got an assortment with me (usually the cardboard variety) and inevitably because they take up too much space in my wallet,  not got the more substantial plastic ones with me when I want them, as just happened to me in Waterstones book shop at lunchtime.  Dammit. But it prompted me to write this post having discovered a very handy Tesco app last Friday.

Tesco: a ubiquitous supermarket, but they have a great loyalty progamme which I imagine most UK households probably belong to.  Way back when I first joined  their loyalty programme (which must be well over 10 years ago) they gave me a plastic Tesco Clubcard loyalty card I had to carry in my wallet.
 Then someone got smart (or went to America where drugstore chain CVS had been using the key tag format loyalty card for years) and brought the key tag format idea over here.  Good thinking, it's not often you go to Tesco without your keys.

Or is it!?  On several occasions recently I've popped into the Tesco Express near the office, having only dashed out to grab lunch, armed only with my phone, and my wallet. So several times I've missed the opportunity to earn Clubcard points, and as we all know, points mean prizes (in Tesco's case cashback vouchers). Grrr.

But once again, Tesco have covered that base, and delivered a simple but useful iPhone app.


'Cos I'm never likely to be out without either my keys or my phone, so all bases covered.  Takes up no space, and it's always on hand.

Every loyalty programme should have one.

The staff in Waterstones looked a bit baffled when I suggested it but I'm hoping they have a decent buzz monitoring programme in place and are paying attention. I'd happily give their app desktop space on my mobile.

Are you working on a brand, where such a simple app could be really useful to your consumers?

Monday, 1 March 2010

Another state of the interweb video..

But it doesn't below to the Did You Know series and it doesn't have FatBoySlim's Right Here, Right Now sound track (thankfully) so I'll share it for variety of perspective.

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from Jesse Thomas on Vimeo.