Passion trumps content strategy


What’s your content strategy?

If you Google it, you’ll find a million articles telling you about optimisation, engagement and discipline. You’ll read how content strategy is as important to social media as UX is to design, or how it makes sense to manage content as an asset, with a quantifiable ROI.

You can look at where your customers are hanging out online and what they’re reading and viewing. You can look at what your competitors were doing and what type of content is working (or not) for them. You can look at trending conversations and upcoming campaigns. You can data scrape everything, set yourself up with monitoring tools and apply your KPIs.

But at the end of all that, if you don’t feel you “own” your tweets, updates, videos and blog posts – if they’re not coming from the heart – you might as well go back to the drawing board…
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The positive network effect of truly great friends

Ring around the beach by Patrick
I’m talking to some Year 12 pupils on Monday and I’m thinking of using this as my main point: the world is your oyster – it’s down to you. But the number one most important thing in your life is to make the right friends.

What do you think? Will I sound too much like their mother?
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Live blog: Coffee with Chi Onwurah MP #TDC14

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I’m live blogging Thinking Digital’s early morning coffee with Chi Onwurah (left) – the Labour MP for Newcastle currently leading the Digital Government Review. The session is chaired by Dr Joanna Berry (right), Director of Engagement at Newcastle University Business School. We’re about to start – please keep refreshing the page for updates. [And please also note: the conversation is paraphrased not direct verbatim].

7.50am: Thinking Digital founder Herb Kim kicks off: thank you everyone for coming despite the rain and early start, and possibly a few beverages after lunch yesterday [...] Let me start by introducing Dr Joanna Berry, director of Engagement at Newcastle business school. Great to welcome her on stage for the first time.
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Live blog: How Github Makes Working Remotely Not Suck #Devslovebacon

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I’m live blogging one of the morning keynotes at this year’s Devs Love Bacon conference. Coby Chapple of online developers’ forum, Github, is talking about Remote by Default: How Github Makes Working Remotely Not Suck.

As you may well know, I’m not a developer. I don’t even come near being one. But Mint CEO Cameron Price told me about Github a few years ago, and I’m interested in the way it works as a remote platform for its community: it’s a flexible working thing, and that all feeds into my interest in how technology enables us to work differently, the way we want to (see the Beach with Wifi blog for some examples).
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5 ways to use social media for crisis management

So maybe it’s no surprise that call centres in Spain have a better reputation than ours when it comes to customer service. Cheer and good humour? The Spanish do it naturally (unlike in the UK where training seems to be needed). Local cultural nuances are important in customer services – especially now that social tools are increasingly being employed.
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Spying on your kids online is not the answer – my piece for Vodafone’s Digital Parenting Guide

Vodafone Digital Parenting No3 p9Big thanks to Alison McClintock and Sunday Publishing for asking me to write a piece on kids using social media for Vodafone Digital Parenting – my article’s on p.9 of the latest edition (download full PDF). There’s loads of other useful stuff covering everything from online bullying and stranger danger to interviews with Jamal Edwards and six digital media moguls under the age of 21. So, this guide is inspirational and practical at the same time. If you’ve any friends worried about the effects of digital media on their kids (and mainstream media does its best to hype up the issue), please help spread the word and pass this link on.

Swearing as a PR strategy: how big and clever is it?

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So BrewDog, the craft beer brewery, has responded to latest criticism from the Portman Group in typical form: “I would like to issue a formal apology to the Portman Group for not giving a shit about today’s ruling”, said James Watt, BrewDog’s co-founder. “Indeed, we are sorry for never giving a shit about anything the Portman Group has to say.”

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Eleven random facts: my Liebster Award (part II)

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A couple of weeks ago I got nominated for a Liebster Award. Cue fireworks – although the picture above has nothing at all to do with me receiving the Liebster Award; it’s just a nice one I found going back through my Flickr – which is a good thing to do as a starting point if you ever get asked to list random facts about yourself.

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The revolution will not be televised…but it will be brought to you by #Techmums

Techmums T3[This post was originally published on the Techmums blog.]

I just got back from two amazing days at Google Campus – training to be a #Techmums trainer.

In case you haven’t heard or read about it yet, #Techmums is a new initiative from Dr Sue Black (the mum of 4, computer scientist and self-proclaimed “cheeky geek” who’s become a bit of a household name after saving Bletchley Park from demolition a couple of years ago).

Sue wanted to do something to help change the image of computer science in the UK, and she decided to start with mums – because they’re key to children’s safe and savvy use of technology, but all too often know little about computing.

After running a successful pilot in Tower Hamlets last summer, Sue and her team raised enough funding to roll out the #Techmums programme to other schools in the South East.

To deliver the programme – which consists of five x two hour modules taught over five weeks – at schools around Greater London and beyond, Techmums has recruited a new team of trainers: this week’s training course was the first opportunity for us all to get together.
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From shorthand to live-blogging: my Liebster Award (part I)

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Thanks so much to the fabulous Events Northern for nominating me for a Liebster Award. The Liebster award is a peer-to-peer award passed around the blogging community. And there’s nothing like a bit of appreciation from your peers – Events Northern, you rock!

Here’s how the Liebster Award works:

Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog
- Display the award “badge” on your blog
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
- List 11 random facts about yourself
- Nominate up to 11 bloggers and let them know you have nominated them
- Set 11 questions for the bloggers you have nominated
- Post a comment on the blog post of the person that nominated you so they can read the post

So, first off, here are my answers to Events Northern’s questions:

1. When and why did you start blogging? I started blogging in 2005 when I was commissioned to write Monkeys with Typewriters. The thought of writing 80,000 words terrified me so I had the idea of interviewing people and writing up each one in a blog post. The blog posts became the first draft of my book.
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