Back in the mid 1990s I used to go to an all night (weekend?) party called Coalesce. There were lots of nice people and loads of deeply meaningful conversations. And ridiculous ones. About life, the universe and everything. There was probably a bit of chemical enhancement going on. Twenty years on, tech entrepreneur turned curator Herb Kim has done something quite amazing. He’s channelled that essence of nineties rave into a conference.
Thinking Digital is a heady mix of music, lights, optimism, existential conversations and meaningful coincidences. A homespun feast of analogue humanity meets digital possibility. The conference is now in its eighth year and it’s a celebration of the polymath. The speakers are all great connectors – communicators who can explain quantum physics or data visualisation with ease. They entertain with complexity.
You don’t have to be clever, you just have to be up for it.
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.” Continue reading →
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.
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. Continue reading →
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). Continue reading →
I’ve got a soft spot for Spain. I lived there for two years. The language is easy, the food’s great, the sun (nearly) always shines and the people are friendly. They’ve also got a healthy attitude to work, with the siesta (aka three hour lunch break) still common in the middle of the day.
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. Continue reading →
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.
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. Continue reading →
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.
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
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: