The Social Network: a defamatory revisionist fantasy

20 Oct



Jessie Eisenberg in The Social Network

Old media sets the entry bar high.

To partake in, say, the Hollywood film industry, you’ll need equipment – cameras, mobile cabins, mirrors with lights around the edges and hotdogs.

You’ll need an international film production and distribution company – like, say, Columbia Pictures – as well as publicists, runners, voice coaches and drivers.

You’ll need very famous, very highly-paid, very pampered stars. People like, say, Justin Timberlake.

How it must irk those accomplished and immaculately-connected producers, directors, script writers and actors that anyone can now do this sort of thing for the price of a laptop, a camcorder and a tank of petrol. Continue reading

Can we save local newspapers?

13 Oct

Can we save local newspapers?

I’m not going to answer that question.

Yet.

But politicians of all persuasions are certainly queuing up to tell us that we should try.

The demise of the local rag would be a tragedy, they say. We’d be losing a pillar of local democracy, they tell us. “My best mate’s a media baron, who’s going to help me stay in power,” they often add. Hang on, that last bit’s not right.

Meanwhile consumers of media are changing their habits at a frightening pace, largely at the expense of the Press.

I’m researching a blog for the near future on whether we should be concerned about the fact most local newspapers are haemmorhaging readers.

I want to know what, if anything, can be done about it and whether we should do anything about it.

If you’ve read your local paper and you’ve got a single idea about how it could adapt to the internet age – how it could improve so you’d be more inclined to buy it (or keep buying it) – I’d be really interested in your views

I’ve put some questions below to  prompt you but please feel free to rap freestyle, either in the comments section at the bottom of this post or by emailing me privately at michaeltaggart[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk (I’ve written it like that to stop evil web spam robots taking my family hostage). Continue reading

Using Twitter ‘favourites’ as a testimonials page

9 Oct

Michael Taggart in the bath this morning

A Eureka moment came to me this morning as I was fiddling around with my Twitter ‘favourites’ in perplexed bafflement – wondering why on Earth anyone would ever want to ‘favourite’ any tweets.

“Of course! Businesses can use Twitter favourites as a testimonials page,” I exclaimed, simultaneously applauding and reaching round to pat myself on the back.

Except, a few minutes into marveling at the simplistic beauty of my discovery, Google told me that businesses were already doing it the world over. That pesky Google!

Ah well, there goes the Nobel Prize for Social Media. But it’s clearly an idea people like so I’ll share it anyway:

What I’m saying is that businesses and brands should look through their mentions on Twitter and ‘favourite’ the ones that speak highly of them, recommend them or praise them. Why? Because you can link to your ‘favourites’ page from, say, your website and replace your old-style testimonials page with the new Twitter link, calling it “What They Say” or “Testimonials” or something similar. Continue reading

Why the new Twitter is a load of old Twit

29 Sep

UPDATE +++ UPDATE +++ UPDATE

Check out the end of this blog for a thoughtful response from John Furnari of  bigMETHOD, a California digital marketing agency.

I wasn’t going to talk about Twitter’s new web layout but, not for the first time, the thought of McDonald’s made me want to ramble angrily until someone told me everything would be okay.

“What’s McDonald’s got to do with the price of fillet o fish?” you’re asking.

Well, the link is that the burger chain’s head of social media, Rick Wion, was evangelising about the new look Twitter at the, ahem, Tweekend.

Rick’s the guy who claimed Ronald’s recent Foursquare promotion increased customers by 33% across America. (Seem like a lot? It’s equivalent to seven million people – or seven times the actual number of active Foursquare users worldwide….hey, hang on!) Continue reading

Two blogs that prove there are no blogging rules

24 Sep

Marketing legend Seth Godin

Anyone who says there’s a rule book for good blogging is just plain wrong.

Two nuggets of pure gold from two pioneers of social media this week showed how utterly old-fashioned that idea is.

Both shared big and inspiring thoughts with their readers, yet there was a gaping chasm in their formats.

Step forward Seth Godin and Chris Brogan, whose postings this week – when juxtaposed side-by-side – show that even the most basic assumptions about blogging cannot be assumed. Continue reading

The most important ROI blog this year

21 Sep

Hours after blogging on social media return on investment (R.O.I.) last week, one of the most important blogs any of us have read on that topic popped into glorious existence.

Marketer Olivier Blanchard, who I mentioned in that blog, made a blistering attack on a story that had been doing the rounds on Mashable about McDonalds.  (*Pats himself on the back for precience but curses the relative inadequacy of his own offerings*)

I’ll post a link to Olivier’s blog in a second – but heres a VERY quick summary:

STEP 1: McDonald’s ‘social media director’ Rick Wion claims a Foursquare promotion by the burger chain increased footfall across America by 33%.

STEP 2: Mashable runs the story (allegedly) without questioning the improbable claim.

STEP 3: Olivier delivers a devastating wake up call to one of the world’s biggest, most famous brands. The searing anger at what he clearly views as an affront to his trade is palpable.

STEP 4. McDonald’s whimpers quietly

Anyway, I won’t spoil your fun – read the post, the update below it and, if you’ve got 10 more minutes, it’s well worth reading the lively debate below in the comments. I promise you’ll learn something.

If you’re not interested by all this social media blah, read the post anyway because it’s bloody entertaining.

And if you’re interested in the R.O.I. of social media, print it, frame it and put it on your office wall.

Here’s the link again – just in case you missed it. And here it is again – to make doubly sure you read it.

Enjoy!

The ROI of social media

16 Sep

All over the world, corporate bean counters are wielding their scythes and salami-slicers as they settle down to plan next year’s budgets.

“Whooops, there goes the fleet of company cars – how careless of me! Oh dear, now I’ve fumbled the training programme, the PR agency and the company secretary. Butter fingers!”

At the same time, hapless marketers are begging their cantankerous CEOs for resources for social media programmes.

In the board rooms high above Wall Street and the City of London, something resembling the famous scene from Oliver Twist must be playing out many times a day.

“More? You want MORE?!?” Continue reading

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