Thursday, 31 July 2008

Has Barack Obama Slipped Myspace or Google A Few $$ ?

For years and years (well since 2006 so a year and a year really), I have been trying to figure out how to get one's Myspace page to the top of the Google rankings. Think about it. If I could get my band's page to appear when ever anyone types in the search query 'myspace' i'd get hundreds of page views a day.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that Lilly Allen came up particularly high in the Google rankings when 'Myspace' was typed in. This I can understand as she was made famous by Myspace (so the legend goes) and so her large following, length of time on the social networking site, blog history etc etc all count towards a raised ranking.

Imagine my surprise then, when I type in 'Myspace' to Google and Barack Obama, 46, appears as number two in the list. How has this happened? What did he do? In my humble and admittedly slightly bitter opinion this is a travesty. Social networking is about the people. It's about us small people, connecting to make something bigger. Facebook groups protesting against oil prices, Myspace fans building up bands to catch the attention of record companies.

This is why I was so annoyed to see the future president (perhaps) of the USA have his name appear on my screen when I all I wanted was to listen to a local band.

Barack, I'm sure you're a nice chap and you have some fine policies but please don't appear on my screen with your below the line, subliminal advertising.

thank you

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Wrapmail...seems like a good idea?

According to over 2.3 billion email messages are sent every day. Thats 2 million emails a second which is a fair few clicks on the send button.

An industrious and clever type in California's silicon valley has created WrapMail. This ingenious device effectively 'wraps' any outbound email with information about the sender's company. A bit like popping a brochure in to an envelope when you send a letter or quote off by snail mail.

Click thoughs can then be measured in real time and you are able to monitor which ads have been most effective.

Plus points: Free advertising, viral every time email is forwarded, good click through stats,

Bad points: Unsolicited ads, may appear slightly spammy and put off potential customers.

See what others think at techcrunch

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Experiment: Google Image Search

I have an occured to me that when searching Google Images for a photo or picture, I then click through to the site from which the image originates. The way I decide which picture to click on if there are several options is by choosing the one with the best pixel size.

So, if I put lots of high resolution photo's in this blog entry, I should see a rise in visitor numbers. Hopefully they (you if this has worked) will find this interesting.

Here goes: (P.s don't hate me, blogging purists its just an experiment!)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Wot! Judge Jules is Rick Steins Nephew??

Totally unrelated to anything but I just saw a video where Judge Jules says that Rick Stein is his uncle. How completely and utterly random.

Apparantly the Judge worked in Rick's seaside restaurant for a summer, hated it and they fell out for a long while.

Have a look here

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Failure to commit Facebook suicide

The walls are closing in, the pressure's getting too much...Get me out of here! Facebook's just a website, right? I've closed down e-mail addresses and changed my phone number before so how hard can it be to unregister from a social networking site.

IMPOSSIBLE! Thats what it is. Just like my send phobia (constant reading emails over and over again before sending), I couldn't bring myself to do it. The only people I have any real contact with on Facebook are my 'real life' friends anyway so who cares about the others. It's more than that through. It is a name that has become so intrinsically linked to daily life that to not have a Facebook account would be like not having a head. Well not quite but you get the idea.

We go and watch a band and where do we look and laugh at the photos the next day? Facebook. Arranging a Stag Do? Send the invites out on Facebook. Without Facebook I would not be able to air my innermost thoughts and feelings concerning what I had for dinner via my status page.

Verdict: I will keep my Facebook to continue it's use as a social tool and calendar but I willl try to avoid plunging in to the deep depths of Facebookism that involves staring for hours at photos of people you don't know doing things you'd never do with people that you only vaguely know.

Right i'm off to check my Facebook.....doh!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Measuring Social Media

Here I just thought I would share some ideas and observations on measuring social media

Social media helps us to communicate and share more easily.

The key is in not just analysing stats but behaviour as well. Measure peoples thoughts, ideas, opinions, suggestions, feedback. Social media is inherently measurable in that by being talked about in a written dialogue and recorded online, marketers can subsequently analyse what had been said (good, bad and neutral). Statistics such as Google analytics can tell us numbers and figures but not feelings.

In order to ensure consistent and non biased results, it is recommended that a third party is used for all measurement. This is the case in many other industries and adds integrity to the results of any social media campaign.

Planned measurement is most effective:

Before campaign is introduced those involved must ask the question...’What are we going to do?’

· Set clear and realistic KPI’s
· Measure these KPI’s against industry benchmarks or other similar campaigns
· Have KPI’s been reached?

Study online users by observing online conversations and being aware of who is in the conversation, where (website/blog address) it is taking place, and how many people are taking part. BE SPECIFIC about what you want to achieve from social media...if you don’t know what you want, how can you know when you’ve got it?!

More specific methods of tracking social media are:

· Google Alerts
· Use bookmarking sites URL history (who bookmarked you)
· Then contact the influential bloggers to start a conversation.

Referrals from influential bloggers and other social media users hold greater value and are trusted.

For example...Upon the release of a new model, Toyota identified ‘leading’ (daily page views/number of subscribers) bloggers. They then invited them to a pre launch show with freebies and test drives and made them feel special. These ‘influencers’ then went on to give warm reviews in their blogs thus creating positive brand and product empathy and creating a buzz online.

What to do with measurements?

Use measurements to feedback in to product design and customer service. Constantly changing and updating.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

How below the line is digital?

Before I worked in digital, I never realised the extent to which we are influenced whilst browsing the internet. I always understood that whilst watching TV or listening to tinpot local radio there are adverts but in an obvious way (above the line). Then this whole slightly seditious world was opened up.

So I want to get a good deal on a nice little cottage in Devon for a week. Here is how often I am advertised at online:

1) Obviously go straight to Google which presents me with 242,000 search results. Here I class this as 2 different ads (paid search and organic) but will only include the piad search ones so +11 ads

2) Click through on the top organic listing and website loads. 9 Google Content ads. 1x banner ad and 1 skyscraper.

3) Click on a cottage that looks nice. 4 further Google content network ads and 1x banner

So there we have it. I was advertised at 27 times in 3 clicks and 5 minutes.
Sorry maybe a pointless blog and yes I know advertising is neccesary to sustain many sites...

Friday, 18 July 2008

Wow is what I said when I saw this

This is awesome. someday computer games will be like this. Designed by Immersive Media, this is Flash video is fully interactive through 360 degrees.

It's like you are actually in the bar or underneath the snowboarders when they jump. Incredible. Slightly in the style of the film 'Being John Malcovitvch' (or however you spell it!) it is almost voyeuristic in the sense that you are in control of where the virtual head looks.

Take a look and have an interactive play here (and I bet you say WOW at least once!).

If it doesn't work which it never seems to then follow this link to watch it

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Online brand management reputational risk blah blah

Currently working on a project to create an application to monitor social media for positive and negative comments regarding a certain well known brand in the UK.

This has become more and more complicated we delve deeper and deeper in to the squelchy quagmire that is social media. A major problem is that many of the bookmarking sites have a strong bias towards American blogs/bookmarks/sites and so are less relevant to us Brits.

As a result of my research I found a great article which breaks down the differing types (and reasons for doing) online brand awareness. Read it here

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


I found this curiosity on the Internet World website. It searches over loads of relevant blogs and then presents the most frequently appearing words. It updates daily so you can see what everyone is talking about in almost real time.