Category Archives: Events

Uber puts digital first

Why digital transformation is a must for every business

Game-changing companies Airbnb and Uber don’t own anything other than their online communities – and the data those communities generate. But Airbnb and Uber are worth billions. And they’ve blown traditional business models out of the water in the sectors in which they operate.

This was the key point made by digital expert Dion Hinchcliffe at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in London recently: “I hear people say ‘Oh, we’re not a technology company, so we’re not riding the technology wave’,” said Hinchcliffe. “But that’s no longer an excuse!”

“Whatever your sector, your business model is under threat from digital,” said David Terrar, the summit producer. “We’re seeing three massive trends happening at once: cloud, social and mobile. The unprecedented access to data, connectivity and the speed at which new products and services can be delivered mean goal posts are shifting fast.”
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My top 10 events for London Social Media Week 2014 #SMWLDN

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Next week is London Social Media Week. The fifth sixth time the event has taken place in London, and the first time founder Toby Daniels’ company, Crowdcentric, has been running the show directly. For previous events, Sam Michel’s Chinwag was in charge. I’ve live-blogged pretty much every time, and it’s been interesting to see the event grown in size and stature year on year.

Inevitably, the event has become more focused and commercial over the years. Like social media itself, it’s growing up. There are good and bad sides to that. People may gripe about inflated ticket prices and a monochrome agenda – but it’s more just the sheer size of the event that’s off-putting. If you look through this year’s agenda, there are plenty of gems to be found.

Here’s my top ten:

1. The Psychology of Persuasive Marketing Videos And How To Get People To Watch Them, 23 September, 10.30am: the fabulous Nathalie Nahai (The Web Psychologist) is always informative and entertaining.

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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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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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Live blog: 7 tips for great social video #SMM13

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I’m live blogging key talks from Social Media Marketing 2013. Finally today, it’s Barney Worfolk-Smith from Unruly Media, talking about social video. Hoping for some great insights. Keep refreshing this page for updates.

Unruly Media have produced the viral video chart since 2006 and Barney kicks off by talking about what they’ve learnt. The bottom line is, you can buy a view, you can’t buy a share. We don’t tend to use the word viral because that suggests randomness, which is pretty pointless if you’re a marketer. We prefer the term “social” video. Shares are currency in the social economy.

Unruly Media is founded by academics and we thought it important to have some scientific data-driven research to back up the findings of our chart, so we took six years of data and used it to publish Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing. The book’s seven tips for success:

1. Make it emotional. Videos that elicit a strong emotional response are twice as likely to be shared.

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Live blog: Yorkshire Tea’s “Tea on the Train” campaign #SMM13

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Next up, Dom Dwight, Head of Communications Development for Yorkshire Tea (pictured above with cricketer Michael Vaughan), talking about Yorkshire Tea’s fabulous campaign from April this year: Tea on the Train. Keep refreshing the page for updates.

Dom: The everyday black tea market is shrinking. Lack of pro-active interest in tea…but huge “latent” loyalty. Young people aren’t drinking too much tea, they drink some “normal” tea, and a lot of other stuff. The only way we can grow is by looking at people drinking Tetleys or PG Tips and convince them they’re drinking the wrong thing.

People tend to be fiercely loyal to their tea brand without knowing why. Often it’s because it’s what their mum drank. In this age of fragmented media, there’s not one way to reach everybody. We’re not a big multinational like Unilever, so from our perspective, the fragmented media side is an amazing advantage.

Earlier this year, we wanted to look at a way to disrupt what we call the “tea trance” – this latent loyalty. We came up with a party on a train. Not just any train – the Orient Express – and not just any party. We wanted to captivate the

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Live blog: Doug Kessler on “cutting the crap” from content marketing #SMM13

I’ll be live bloggging some of the key talks from The Social Media Marketing Conference in London today. Please keep refreshing the page for updates.

Doug Kessler is a B2B marketer, and he starts of by reminding us that content marketing started off as a business to business thing – then the consumer marketers got hold of it. Now everybody’s doing it. And as content marketing goes mainstream it stops conferring advantage.

Content marketing is becoming increasingly about “home run pieces” – the stuff that really resonates with your target audience. You want to give your audience goodies over time. And you want to throw a few “home runs” in there. You want to get onto a home run path. Building a great content brand.

Why hit home runs?

1. They earn disproportionate goodies.
2. They improve the performance of all other content
3. They create engagement through shares
4. They give you shot at overcoming the biggest obstacle: inertia

Clearly there’s no formula for producing home runs – but you can create the right conditions to produce it. Here are some tips:

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Freedom and passion are driving the future of video, says YouTube’s Kevin Mathers #SMWLDN

“Video is how everyone sees the world’, says YouTube UK MD, Kevin Mathers, speaking at London Social Media Week.

It’s our natural affinity with the medium – ease of use and comprehension – combined with rapidly improving download speeds, that has been behind the phenomenal growth of online video platforms, such as YouTube, in the past few years.

UK online video consumption now exceeds one billion visits a month and accounts for at least five per cent of all UK internet usage.

Kevin sees two trends driving video growth in the immediate future:

1. Freedom – the freedom to consume, and the freedom to produce.
2. Passion – we are seeing an abundance in video production: the more there is, the more we have to decide what we want to watch. For this reason, we only consume the things we’re really passionate about.

“4G is going to change the way we view video”, says Kevin. “3G is a bit like dial-up used to be. Commuters in Seoul today don’t wonder if they’re going to be able to watch a video on their way to work – they know they can. Soon, we [the UK] will be in that space too.

“We can all upload video today. That lowers the bar to entry – creativity can explode – there is complete freedom, and huge amounts of video online. YouTube is growing by 100% yearly in terms of minutes watched. There’s just too much out there.

“YouTube’s a big city like London: tens of small villages grouped round different interests. People are much more engaged with the video they’re watching. They’re in an alpha state not beta state: the fact that you’re choosing to watch [a video], means the power is with you. And also with the producers – it’s all encased in an all-consuming passion, driven by real fans. That’s different from the way video has been consumed in the past.”

YouTube rolled out its first original content channels in the UK last year – Fashtag (pictured above) is one of my favourites. Slickly produced, highly targeted and relevant, it represents the shape of things to come.

For Kevin’s full talk, watch The Future of Video livestream, produced by The Social Partners for London Social Media Week. (He’s the fourth speaker in).