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Posts Tagged ‘community’
UPDATED – FEBRUARY 2013 – THE POSITION IS NOW CLOSED
Fancy being part of the media140 Australia team? We’re on the look out for a part-time event and community manager to help us develop our Australian community. Over the next 12 months we want to grow our presence in Sydney and Melbourne through meetups, events and other fun stuff – and we need your help!
In April 2011 we successfully produced our first ever event looking at the use of digital and social technologies in science communication hosted at the Brisbane Powerhouse. A year on we have again partnered with the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education to launch a new digital science event – sciencerewired.
media140 Scotland is our second foray into regional events, where we take the media140 roadshow across the UK to small businesses and organisations who are keen to understand more about the practical applications of social media.
Hosted by D8 Digital’s Managing Director, Mark Jennings took the event from a standing start to deliver a very successful event to over 100 participants at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow.
Our man Ande Gregson, was there to find out what stood out at the first Scottish event.
Stepping into the main Cafe area of the CCA it was immediately obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the selection of the venue. A ‘bright and airy’ glass-roofed courtyard provided an outdoor-indoors feel, with tables and soft seating dotted around the large open space. The media140 staff and volunteers looked as stylish as their surroundings and mellow music of a the @cairnquartet blended well with understated modern furnishings to create a relaxed atmosphere.
The evening was ‘designed’ be social from the outset.
Pat Kane graced the inaugural media140 London back in May 2009 and so it was fitting he open the first Scottish event. Very much on form delivering brilliant insights into ‘intimacy and extimacy‘, establishing a brand called me and the metaphysical changes that business’ have to undergo with the advent of social media.
Trey Pennington a recognised social media and marketing professional who flew in from Carolina US had an intimate and engaging presentation style, looking at the context of marketing with social media and how the value of social media can help you turn prospects into customers.
Steve Berry brought many of his experiences in social media to light with an endearing and light hearted approach, looking at his work with Ridley Scott studios and transmedia projects, storytelling and the impact that influential bloggers can have on a marketplace.
With a 15 minute break in between each speaker session it gave the participants ample time to socialise and converse, and it was clear from vibrant chatter that there was much to discuss. What made this slightly different from previous media140 events was the use of the physical space, purposely seating the participants ‘cafe style’ at four to a table, naturally creating more of an impetus for conversation.
Mark Jennings had purposely wanted participants to have the ‘ability to learn from the person sitting next to you’ as part of the event experience. The use of the CCA Cafe was a stroke of inspiration and certainly helped foster an ideal social environment for participants to share ideas ‘across a table’ creating serendipitous moments.
It was clear as the evening drew to a close that the importance of learning as much from the participants who attend social media events is just as important as the ‘takeaway’ from the speakers.
Not all the answers can be squeezed into 30 minute keynotes, it is usually the conversations with other individuals that are making the same mistakes as you, is where you may find a lot of your learnings.
The event was brilliantly produced with every detail considered and media140 would like to extend our thanks to the producer Mark Jennings at D8 Digital, the speakers Pat Kane, Trey Pennington, Steve Berry, our sponsors Inksters, BIGPartnership with special thanks to MovieCom_tv and 29 Studios, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Camerons AV, Gary Bonar photography, live blogger Kevin Gilmartin, Allan Barr, Michelle Rodger, LpC events and the media140 volunteers Debbi, Kaiza and Mary.
media140 will be returning to Scotland in the Autumn, if you would like to be part of the event as a sponsor, speaker or volunteer please get in touch at email@example.com
The first in a series of UK regional events kicked off on the 12th May in Oxford at the Jam Factory to a warm welcome from local Oxfordshire residents and businesses.
These regional events will focus on journalism, brands, advertising, media, technology, politics, the third sector and education. They are aimed at bringing together local communities, individuals and business to share their experiences, meet industry professionals and learn from case studies.
Our man Ande Gregson was there to find out what stood out at the first media140 Oxford event and managed to bag a couple of excellent interviews with the speakers.
Arriving at the Jam Factory took me longer than I had anticipated, and so it seemed for a lot of other local residents traveling to Oxford struggling through the horrendous morning traffic.
Paul Squires, the event organiser, had asked me to deliver a keynote to an intimate gathering of twenty delegates, so delivering the story of media140, from it’s inception only 12 months ago to the audience, felt very different from the previous events I had opened or hosted in Sydney, Perth, Italy or London.
Image courtesy of Ande Gregson
I have sometimes found at the larger global events that I have produced that you are sometimes inundated with the need to ‘speed network’ seeking to make as many connections as possible across as many of the delegates as you can. Meaning the conversation can sometimes be short and brief.
Whereas the Oxford event had much more of a local community feel to it, you could talk to everyone, get to know them by name, share local experiences and really focus on the practical aspects of social media in the context of running a small business.
So the intimacy of the day was a real highlight for me personally and to understand at a much more personal level what people are trying to achieve with social media and how it is driving their business goals.
Eddie Lambert presented a great case study entitled ‘Doing good through serious mischief’ illustrating how Oxfam harnessed consumer-led social media activism around the Robin Hood tax. I managed to interview Eddie about some of his thoughts around this, particularly on how social media can enable activism and how they go about engaging with bloggers.
Slide presentation (PDF 4mb)
Molly Flatt from 1000heads delivered a very animated piece on Brand Anthropomorphism offering ways to build relationships with consumers as a personal, but efficient and consistent company.
However, this did raise the an interesting question as to whether a large organisation can actually transform itself to become ‘social’ given the significant political and organisational hurdles many corporates face. A question I put to Molly during this interview:
Slide presentation (PDF 4mb)
Kristian Carter from IF Communications with ‘the changing base of reputation‘ put forward an interesting viewpoint that any brand no matter how small have the ability to create ‘culture and content’ around their products or services to support a social approach to marketing.
Although I didn’t get a chance to interview Kristian here are couple of examples he cited Amnesty International Tyranny Book, a parody of Facebook except it featured global tyrants and the Harry Potter Alliance.
Slide presentation (PDF 400k)
Image courtesy of Ande Gregson
And finally after a very enjoyable day we all received a very special pot of media140 marmalade given that we had been hosted in the old Frank Cooper Marmalade factory.
A huge thank you goes to all that attended, Paul Squires, Molly Flatt, Edward Lambert, Kristan Carter, Paul Beadle and Richer Sounds.
This is the first of many regional events that are being produced by media140 across the UK. For more information or if you would like to run your own media140 please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Courtesy of Simon Roberts – www.we-english.co.uk
Google offers newspapers more than a search engine to demonize
Ben LaMothe is a junior associate with a London public relations agency who spends his spare time concocting new ideas for old media.
He is especially interested in how real-time web technology can help save newspapers.
In his first post for #Media140 on the topic, he proposes local rags make Google their friend by utilising its new email platform, Wave.
Real-time web offers an opportunity for newspapers to regain at least part of the ground they have lost to poor planning and bad decision-making.
That newspaper readerships are plummeting is no secret, and local dailies are among the hardest hit. Audit Bureau of Circulation figures released last October showed that 379 daily US newspapers had lost 10.62 percent of their readers on average.
The advent of the Social Web has seen an explosion in new, new media agencies, clamouring to tell brands how to make the most of these shiny new marketing opportunities: just what should they be Tweeting? How best to work that Facebook fan page?
But it’s hardly rocket science, or is it? And where does this leave the traditional media agencies? Are they desperately playing catch-up or or are they quickly cottoning on? For #MKTG140, George Spencer asks whether brands actually need to employ whizzy new, stand alone boutiques to manage their presence across the rash of sometimes bewildering new web platforms.
Newly-inducted managers at NASA are reportedly made to watch the 1998 film Armageddon, noting as many scientific inaccuracies in the movie as they can spot. At least 168 technically impossible details have been identified during these screenings.
It doesn’t, however, to take a NASA manager to spot the howler on which the entire plot hinges. The NASA brains in Armageddon decide not to bother training their best astronauts to use drills (with which to dig a hole on the deadly asteroid, bury a nuclear warhead and blow the rocky aggressor to bits before it collides with our fair planet.) Probably way too easy for your average astronaut?
Instead, they decide that a more efficient use of the limited time before the expected apocalyptic impact is to assemble a team comprised of the world’s best drillers; train them up as astronauts, and then send them up, to do the already tricky job of landing on the cosmic body hurtling towards Earth at breakneck speed.
Unsurprisingly, nobody is especially confident of the plan; the sole purpose of Billy-Bob Thornton’s character, NASA chief Dan Truman, appears to be to emphasise just how goddamn risky the entire endeavour is. The film is peppered with shots of furrowed brows, “goddamnsonuvabitches” and similar forebodings.
NASA’s barmy Armageddon plan came to my mind more than once during the recent Media140 brands event in London when many of the presenters returned, again and again, to discussing the schism between traditional marketing agencies and the swelling crop of specialist ‘social media’ agencies.
One specific and heated topic was whether the “Social Web” per se was something which was being pushed onto clients by the agencies; and whether companies should be outsourcing their Twitter feeds, for example, to specialists. Many of the companies represented at the event, such as “We Are Social” referred to themselves pointedly as a ‘conversation agency’. Others, such as Ogilvy made no bones about being a more traditional (and by implication, broader) firm. The question I yearned to ask every time this came up was whether anyone believed that, just maybe, we’re in the process of training the oil riggers to be astronauts with these divergent approaches on offer?
During the Survivor’s Club panel, James Hart, Director of E-Commerce at ASOS was asked whether ASOS would persist with Twitter if its user-base dwindled, like so many social networking sites before it. His reaction was telling. He looked utterly perplexed. He explained: “No. We’re about being where our customers are. There wouldn’t be any point if we aren’t reaching people, it’s just a new way [of reaching people].”
I believe that this is the key to the entire revolution. We may be witnessing internal reshuffles, both at traditional agencies and at the brands themselves to better accommodate the altered landscape of the Social Web. However, the core disciplines have not changed. If you want to provide customer service on Twitter, you need to have CS teams who know how to deliver a consistent brand message and who appreciate the gravity of their task. Nothing about Twitter is different for Customer Service, except, perhaps, for the semi-public nature of the conversation?
All of which begs the question: do brands need specialised agencies to work with on their Social Web presence, when most larger agencies are already equipped to provide solutions across a broader spectrum?
As Tom Bedecarré wryly noted in his introductory keynote, of Twitter’s 40 million users, 35 million of them are social media gurus. However, I am not suggesting that We Are Social or other specialised social web agency does things any old Twitter-user could do; they tie the strands of different platforms together and have experience running campaigns across them – but these are platforms designed for humans to use. It’s not the same as producing a TV advertisement; it doesn’t require that kind of specialised knowledge and expertise.
Robin Grant, head of We Are Social, was quizzed over his concerns regarding client attitudes towards the social web; and specifically whether he felt it might be a transient phenomenon. “That’s one of our fears, both internally at We Are Social and as a member of the community. There are clients who are just interested in social media because they are chasing the new toy, and that will create a backlash.”
Much anticipation in Sydney ahead of the day two keynote, live from New York, courtesy of Skype from respected commentator Jay Rosen. Guest live blogger Paul Farrell managed to post this lively summary and analysis of what was, by any criteria, a powerful and thought-provoking speech. Oh -& the tech all worked beautifully too!
Professor of journalism at New York University Jay Rosen, delivered a powerful talk on the way that new media was transforming the news system. His main initial point was that “the audience isn’t atomized any more, it’s connected horizontally”, and his discussion painted a bright picture about the democratization of information online. The very nature of the way that Jay’s talk was conducted, via webcam, seemed to prove the essence of his point.
But one topic of discussion that proved to be hard to swallow for the audience as they tweeted away was on the topic on filtering, and how “we have to get much better at creating intelligent filters” for information distribution across social media platforms. As soon as the word “filters” was thrown around, the bloggers in the audience collectively raised their hackles.
Jay went on to say that “we can build filters that are much more personalized”, and this tied into one of his other ideas that “transparency is the new objectivity”. New media is credible because of its honesty, and Jay says this is how people gain audiences and responses.
But what are the implications of this? What will happen when filters become more sophisticated and the ways that people view information with social media changes? It seems that this could have some potentially disastrous impacts for the democratization of information on the web.
Have Twitter’s 140 character constraints made us any more concise? Surely it has made us think harder about the words we use to convey our meaning in such limited length? For charities, endeavouring to convey their personalities as well as raise their profiles via Twitter, the exact choice of words with which to tweet has become vitally important.
For #charitytuesday this week, JustGiving.com’s Charity Champion, Jonathan Waddingham casts his expert eye over some of the charities tweeting for their causes and identifies just what it is that makes for convincing content.
The real-time web. Where videos, pictures and words are shared in an instant; transmitted around the world and back. Stories are told and re-told; shared with friends, social networks, professional networks, spammers and bots alike. And they all, ultimately, rest on one thing – words.
A picture may show the devastating effects of a tsunami, or a video show you a well being drilled in Africa that you helped to fund, but no-one will see them unless you tell them about it and to tell people about it, you need to use words.
This is where I believe Twitter has started to change the way so many people communicate. Have we become more concise due to the 140 character constraints? Quite probably. But more importantly: we are all content writers now. Everyone who has a Twitter account is a producer of content.
At the moment, Twitter is only a medium for sharing words. Yes, you can share links to photos, videos, recordings, anything, but sharing a link to them alone isn’t guaranteed to get people to click.
We have had blogs for years now and people have talked to each other in social networks and on forums, but never in the quite same format and constrained focus on words as on Twitter.
As my professional (and personal) interest is in looking at how charities can use the web, I follow a lot of charity accounts on Twitter. Some are good, some are bad – not all Twitter accounts are equal. But if you look closely at a charity’s Twitter stream, you can soon see the ones which really consider the content of their tweets and who craft sentences that make best use of the medium’s constraints. You can also tell a lot about an organisation from their tone of voice – and where better to get a tone of voice across than on Twitter?
If you look at the websites for brands such as Innocent Drinks or Green Thing, you get an immediate impression of what sort of organisation they are, just by reading the words they use. It’s exactly the same, only magnified to a much larger extent, on Twitter.
So let’s take a look at a few random charity tweets:
“Well done to all of our runners who took part in Run to the Beat yesterday. Photos now on Flickr http://is.gd/3KGHx”
What is the Meningitis Research Foundation saying in those 140 characters? Clearly, that it values its supporters and thanks them for their efforts. They have photos, so they must have been there, and they want to share the experience with people who couldn’t be there. It’s inclusive and thankful.
And how’s this for a friendly tone of voice from the Citizenship Foundation:
“Oh dear, our website front page is having style issues. Please bear with us while we resolve the issue. Thank you :-)”
Every website has issues every now and then – but this isn’t a tweet that “apologises for the inconvenience caused”. It’s human, and you can empathise.
But being human doesn’t mean that a charity has to sound fake, or not mention the cause it exists to support. I love the simplicity of what Kidney Research UK said here:
“Hope everyone is having a good Friday and looking forward to the weekend, hope you’re drinking lots of water to keep those kidneys healthy!”
Riyaad Minty, Head of Social Media at Al Jazeera was the next keynote speaker, and delivered a case study about reporting on the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza. His insights into the professional practice of journalism and how social media was used is a fascinating insight into the way social media can be used effectively in conflict reporting.
His discussion did not just focus on Twitter, but other online tools like Ushudhi as well, which was used to create maps about the conflict areas in real time. Al Jazeera created ‘Your Media’ when the offensive began, which allowed for people to contribute their own stories directly to the site, and according to Riyaad worked effectively for a few days until the Israeli military clamped down on communications.
The war was also micro reported via the Twitter account @AJGaza. Al Jazeera also permits creative commons for all their raw footage, to allow democratic access to their footage. Looking at all of these new ways of engaging with new media meant that this talk was as much a case study of Al Jazeera itself as it was of reporting in Gaza.
Listening to Riyaad, it’s not hard to see why Al Jazeera is one of the most credible and engaging news organizations on the planet. As Riyaad says, “its about trust, and openness within your organization”. With people like Riyaad leading the way in engaging with social media, it shows how the old professional practice of journalism can be combined with these technologies, to provide us with a comprehensive vision of events going on around the world.
But Riyaad also gave a warning about social media and that “ at the end of the day it’s a technology, and it’s a tool”. This was a welcome caution about the supposedly revolutionary nature of these online tools. Its not the tools that define what journalism is, it’s the ever-present desire to expose the truth and hold the powerful to account.
Poor old misguided, misunderstood Celebrity Tweeters! Somehow they just can’t get it right – as we have seen time and again over the last 10 days. They are “too boring”; they don’t reply to @s and won’t follow back so you could at least bombard them with DMs. It’s enough to make you weep tears of sympathy for the likes of Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus, who have – possibly sensibly – withdrawn prematurely – from the Twitter fray.
Following on from Alison Gow’s timely and thoughtful piece earlier this week on #frygate, Twitter rudeness and the Green Ink Brigade, Henry Elliss, head of Social Media at Tamar.com, gives his own – characteristically candid and at times vociferious – perspective on how the latest bout of over-analysis of Tweet minutiae and a rash of didactic “This is how to use Twitter” posts, are, in his opinion, rather missing the wood for the trees. The opinions expressed below, as in our regular #IMHO140 rubric, are very much our esteemed guest’s own.
I’ve seen a number of blog posts and numerous tweets recently that have criticised celebrities for not interacting with their fans enough. One made the comparison that celebrities are subject to the same rules on Twitter as big brands are, concluding with the war-cry: “If you aren’t going to use Twitter properly, don’t bother!”
I completely disagree with this point of view; should it spread, it is likely to make Twitter a very boring place to be… Let me tell you why.
I doubt I’m too different from a lot of Twitter users, in that I use Twitter to follow (and interact with) a variety of different types of people. First up, and one of the main reasons I use Twitter, is the people I follow within and around the industry I work in. Having access to the opinions, musings and sometime ranting of my peers makes me a much more efficient being – I no longer have to pore through 50 different blog feeds each day. Instead, I can rely on folk like @DarenBBC and @RandFish to let me know what the latest news is within Social Media and Search – the two channels in which I work.
Secondly, I use Twitter as a tool to follow people I admire and whose work I enjoy – and not just within my own industry. I follow comedians (because they make me laugh), actors and actresses (because I like their work), musicians (whose music I enjoy), journalists (because I respect their opinion) and even a few members of my family (well, you have to really, don’t you?!)
Thirdly, I follow a select number of brands with whom I feel some association. There are charities which are close to my heart, companies I admire or connect with, and some that I just follow because they entertain me. I follow magazines, newspapers, TV shows, a couple of political parties and a few more consumer-y brands.
These three very different groups of people make my Twitter experience a very enlivened one – I know a lot of people don’t enjoy “mixing business with pleasure”, but I happen to think it makes life more fun. But I have very different expectations from each and I’m increasingly becoming frustrated with the plethora of people who insist there are “rules” that these groups need to follow. Here’s a few of the most common “rules” people cite, and why I think they are sometimes very wrong:
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