Tag Archives: social media week

Using mobile phones in Haiti after the earthquake

10 must-see events at #SMWLDN 2015

I’m reporting live from Social Media Week London again this year – covering the official event stream from the conference HQ in Holborn. So don’t worry if you don’t have a conference pass, just follow the #SMWLDN hashtag (or @JemimaG) on Twitter. There are also loads of unofficial (and free) events happening round town.

This year’s theme is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class. The key question is how can all humans achieve more in a connected world? Fabulous question, but you might be disappointed looking down the schedule trying to find sessions that attempt to answer it. These ten get my vote:

1. Definitely Not Content Tues 15 Sept, 9am: Will Hayward spoke last year. He’s really good. This time he’s talking about the cultural significance of the social web and why why we should all aim higher than “content” marketing.
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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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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).

Social media is changing behaviour in the food industry, says top chef, Tom Aikens #SMWLDN

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There have been quite a few mentions of #foodporn during London Social Media Week – and the prize for getting in there first goes to LikeMinds for their 8.30am Monday morning session: Is Social Media Making or Breaking the Food Industry?

But beyond the usual conversations around whether or not you think food is sexy, if tweeting about your breakfast is boring, or if it’s socially acceptable to take photos of food while dining out, the stand-out point for me came from Michelin starred celebrity chef Tom Aikens:

“As a chef, you’ll rarely pick up the phone to ask other chefs ‘what are you cooking now?”, but with social media things have changed. Every day chefs are swapping stories, ides and photos. The new generation of chefs is sharing more. I’m really excited about the changes that will bring to the industry.”

Tom Aikens is clearly an early adopter and he’s pretty unusual. For example, he uses Tweetdeck while in the kitchen to identify “foodie people, bloggers, and industry people” coming into his restaurant. That way he knows who to look out for, and whether or not it might be worth popping over a complimentary glass of champagne. Tom’s got nearly 35 thousand followers on Twitter – a great role model for other chefs to follow.

Thanks Annie Mole for the very seductive photo.

Live blog of sold-out event “Fashion and Pinterest” #smwldn #smwfashpin

10:12 We are at the very cool Beyond Retro café in Dalston (top pic of Karinna Nobbs from London College of Fashion and team chatting before the event). Karinna is just introducing the panel now (bottom pic of panel left to right: Karinna, Jonathan, Sophia, Hanna, Kat and Charlotte). This is a live blog so please keep refreshing the page for updates.

Karinna: Pinterest is dominated by women, has been very much in the press since around February. Pinterest great because you can really micro-segment your audience (into style tribes for example) and really engage with niche customers.

You can look at who’s pinning you and what they’re pinning for trend prediections – is everyone pinning a colour you don’t have in your collection? Pinterest has a much higher referral rate than Facebook, Twitter etc. The average time people spend on Pinterest has been quoted as 45 – 90mins – far more than other networks. 

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Live blog of “The Elephant In The Room: Social Media in the Enterprise” #smwldn

11:10am It’s a great panel line-up here at Hub Westminster with Will McInnes (Nixon McInnes), JP Rangaswami (Salesforce), Barney O Kelly (Fresh Networks) and Tejal Patel. Chair: Michael Chiu (McKinsey). This is a live blog so please keep refreshing the page for updates.

JP: Social media is intrinsically human – satisfies a human need.

Will: We need to think more about how we can pipe social tech and more about what business will become. When I wrote my book last year a big theme is change velocity: when you look at how Netflix destroyed Blockbuster and how Amazon destroyed Waterstones and Barnes & Nobel. The faster you can orient yourself, the faster you can observe what’s going on, decide what to do, and then act – the better: an approach taken from fighter pilots. We talk about social technologies but it’s like looking at communication purely through words when 90% of communication is through body language.

Barney: The sooner businesses start thinking about the next level of social, where social can take them in terms of recruitment etc, the better.

Tejal: At Nokia, we’re thinking a lot about e-commerce, such as how do we start converting fans into sales. There’s also a big focus on ROI. We have an internal tool called socializer, developed with Dachis, which

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How British American Tobacco have been using social media (#smwldn live blog)

Next up, David Richard Hare from BAT. 

15.54: BAT had ‘ten years of failure’ with online communities. It was difficult to get people to engage with the tools. 

We tried five platforms over ten years. There were too many barriers to communication: people forgot their passwords, changed jobs etc.

In 2005 we tried a workshop called ChangeNet. We realised our approach was wrong again: we were concentrating on the technology too much. At the workshop, people began to build relationships, they are now able to interact virtually as friends. Adding this human direction was a big step for us. It was partly because we (the online engagement team) moved from IT to HR.

CommunityBuilder was a tool that showed employees how to get people engaged with their projects. 

In 2006, we put a World Cup Forum up. Immediately became the most visited place on our intranet. It didn’t take up too much of people’s time but helped break down barriers within the organisation. There was a big spike in activity during the world cup.

In 2007, we set up a Management Trainee Community. Now one of the most active communities: people set up weekend social activities together etc.

Tom, our Change and Communications Manager (Global Operations and IT), came to us in 2004 and said he wanted to try blogging. It took about 3 attempts but in the end we developed something ourselves in Lotus Notes – gave him an area within his site where he could blog. He linked his everyday blog very well to the business world and business strategy, and others followed.

One new blogger was particularly suspicious of social media, but she’s a marketer and she realised that when you get your stories in front of people, that’s what engages them. She’s now one of our most prominent bloggers.

One colleague started blogging about how the organisation needed to open up, eg use Facebook and YouTube and had around 8,000 page views per blog post. Now BAT is considering his proposals.

BlogCentral (BAT’s internal blog network – given same name as IBM’s) monthly users started out at around 400, grew to around 2,500 by April 2010. 

16.13: I was pushing for a Facebook like internal network for years. We had an internal directory (called Connect – also ‘stolen’ from IBM). When Twitter arrived it seemed the time was right to something that combined the three (profiles/social networks with updates with real-time connections). In 2008 we built Connect: went live in July 2008. We’ve linked it to Active Directory, we’ve linked it to SAP.

Suddenly we’ve got this global directory, this huge network. You go in and see activity updates first thing in the morning. 25,000 registered users (everyone who uses the intranet has to sign up to it).

16.20: opens up for questions.

Question: the user experience people want is actually very different from what IT departments inevitably provide.

Question: what happens when people leave?

Andy (from IBM): I might retain info from corporate related groups on external networks. For example, people leave company but still show up on its facebook page. IBM has set up an alumni network as a way of engaging with formal employees.

Richard: that’s a problem with Yammer: you can’t throw people off it.

Comment: where next? Are there plans to go down the 2.0 course? 

Richard: when we released Connect, we asked people what they’d like to see. We don’t really have a high level strategy.

Question: it seems a big role for us as internal communicators is focusing on coaching management on how to communicate?

16.36: yes!

16.37 onto next speaker – see new post.

10 questions

1. How relevant is Metcalfe’s Law to social networks?

2. If we apply modern neoevolutionary principles rather than C19th, deterministic ones, accidents and free will have an important part to play in social evolution. Does social media enable these and, if so, does social media therefore enable social evolution?

3. How instrumental is social media in creating less hierarchical organisations?

4. How are social tools changing our behaviour, if at all?

5. What is the long-term impact of the type of self-organisation identified by Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody? (We can blog on WordPress, customize our Myspace page, set up a community on Ning…)

6. Are we seeing a new type of hero emerge and, if so, what does that signify? Craig Newmark, Lauren Luke, Barack Obama and (our local hero in London) Lloyd Davis – all these people built businesses/ careers by building a community first.

7. As various factors (environmental, social, political) push for an end to the consumer age, does social media have a role to play in bringing other values to the fore (or does it simply accentuate consumerist values?!

8. How realistic is Jamais Cascio’s idea of the participatory panopticon – can we attempt to control surveillance through sousveillance? Does the Twitter/ Carter Ruck/ Trafigura episode prove we’ve turned a page, or simply that the censors will pay more attention to Twitter next time round?

9. What do we think of the UK Conservative Party’s attempts to embrace the social web? David Cameron has talked about storing NHS records on Google, his advisor Steve Hilton (partner of Google’s Rachel Whetstone) has coined the phrase post-bureaucratic age, former New Labour new media advisors like MySociety’s Tom Steinberg have swapped sides…?

10. We could argue that the many-to-many structure of social networks enables a ‘long tail’ of human opinion to be heard. But can any diverse, ‘bottom-upness’ be sustained, or will it be back to ‘business as usual’ once the Web 2.0 dust has settled? Can the durable Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) ever truly be inversed?

 

Tweetup lowdown

It was great to see a fab bunch of people turn out for the Monkeys Tweetup last Friday as part of London Social Media Week. The Drunken Monkey did us proud with decent Dim Sum and beer. And the weather was unseasonably gorgeous, enabling a hearty group of us to brave the 40 minute walk from Tuttle Club in Kings Cross to deepest darkest Shoreditch, with only a handful getting *lost* on the way.

The idea behind the Tweetup was to have an informal discussion around one of the themes of Monkeys with Typewriters: the ‘anthropology’ of social media – its impact on people, society and culture.

In true swot style, I’d prepared ten open-ended questions or pointers for debate the night before. But the acoustics were dire and at first there were far too many people – around 25 or so – to have a single, structured, conversation.

So I started off posting the questions on Twitter so that people could chat in small groups. Hmmm. That was sort of successful. Then – luckily – the free bar ran out. Random people politely made their excuses and left. The dedicated hardcore remained!

I’d love to post the lively, convoluted discussion that commenced. Unfortunately my note-taking was non-existent and it being a Friday afternoon, the weekend and toddler have intervened and it’s only now (Weds) that I’m trying to recall exactly what happened.

A few points stuck in my mind: Nic Butler made a lovely one all about (cultural) memes – social networks accelerate communication and therefore social development/ evolution. Re changing values, Alison Wheeler said it used to be the haves and the have nots, now we’re seeing people relate in terms of the dos and the do nots. Love that!

Keri Hudson said she felt people around her age (20) are much more into sharing everything than previous generations (partly as a result of social tools). There was one Angry Young Man who made some great acerbic observations but left (Angrily) before I got his name.

My fave humourous exchange was between FJ van Wingerde and Patrick Hadfield:

FJ: All these CCTV cameras have ruined public sex!

Patrick: But surely they’ve enhanced public sex?

He he.

Great big thanks to everyone who came along. And a special thanks to those above, plus Anke HolstDocumentally, Ben Walker, James Governor, Bill Reyn and the others whose names I didn’t get, for staying long after the free beer had gone. And last but not least Kat McMann for brightening my day after a long time no see!

A walk on the wild side

It’s tough getting decent work done on a Friday, so what better way to spend the last day of Social Media Week hanging out with interesting people: collaborating, networking, drinking, eating, philosophizing or whatever else takes your fancy?

Tuttle Club will be taking place from 10am – midday at The Centre for Creative Collaboration near Kings Cross. If you’ve never been, you really should: this week will be a good ‘un. Lloyd Davis, Tuttle’s lovely founder, is now working as Social Artist in Residence at the CCC, and I’m sure he’ll be talking a bit about that new role, as well as doing his usual – meeting and greeting the Tuttle newbies and generally ensuring everyone who attends has a good time and at least one cup of decent coffee.

Whether you fancy a bite of lunch after Tuttle or whether you’ve worked hard all morning and reckon it’s time for a break,  on Friday afternoon, from 1pm – 4 (ish), there’ll be a Monkeys Tweetup at The Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch. With free beer for the early birds. And delicious Dim Sum for everyone who wants it.  The aim is to chat about the anthropology of social media: I see this as a kind of holistic look at the long-term social and cultural impact of social media (if any!), but please bring your own ideas and input.

Linking the two events, a 40 minute walk through the wondrous zone that is (or was?) Silicon Roundabout. [Update: just saw this Wired article indicating that Silicon Roundabout is very much alive and kicking] Why tube it when you can take your time and marvel at the myriad offices of so many tech start-ups? Last FM, Poke, IDEO, Moo, Trampoline, Dopplr and many more have all made their homes between Goswell Road and Brick Lane. Maybe some of these brilliant people will even join us for a drink :)