Tag Archives: YouTube

Thinking Digital livestream

Thinking Digital 17: it’s all about live video

Last week I was up North for Thinking Digital’s tenth birthday. This was the tenth year that Thinking Digital has been held in Newcastle, although the actual conference is well into its teens. There have been Thinking Digital spin-offs in Manchester and London. I’ve lost count of how many TDCs I’ve been to. Each one has been amazing.

The big news for me this time was live video. From Christian Payne’s fantastic video 101 workshop to Dan Biddle’s talk to the whole event being streamed on Facebook Live and host venue The Sage tweeting with Periscope, live was the flavour of the day.

I used to work in live TV: it’s exciting, anything can happen, and you don’t have to edit. Now that immediacy is available across social media. Yes – YouTube and Snapchat have been around for years but it’s only really with the global roll-out of Facebook Live last year (and accompanying hard sell) that live video has been pushed into the mainstream.

Here are five things I learned about live video at TDC17: Continue reading

Women's March Antarctica

Resistance is fertile. Especially on social media

Last week, a single tweet from the Antarctic gained 9 thousand retweets in just a few days. Data scientist Linda Zunas organised an Antarctica march on Saturday 21 January as part of the global Women’s March.

Zunas’ tweet shows a photo of her colleagues on board their expedition ship, preparing for the march.  Each of them holds a placard with a message: “Men for the earth”, “Save the planet”, “Seals for science” or “Penguins for peace”.

Zunas’ photo neatly sums up the diversity of voices that the Women’s March came to represent. It was a phenomenal protest, spreading across 7 continents and attracting more than 2 million people (some estimates say 4.8 million). And it was all started by an Hawaiian grandmother who posted an idea on Facebook back in November 2016.
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Are brands ready for Instagram Stories

Are brands ready for Instagram Stories?

Social media consultants used to talk about the difference between “broadcasting” and “listening”. You don’t hear that so much any more. One of the reasons Twitter isn’t the fun it used to be is the reversion to broadcast across so many profiles. (Combined with the rise of trolling – which makes Twitter like a party full of bores and bullies. And who wants that?)

One reason brands broadcast is because they can’t actually “listen”. Not in the true sense of the word. You can have all the monitoring systems you want, all the data gathering, all the analytics, but you can still completely miss the point.

Like puzzled parents trying to chime in with their kids’ conversations, or the proverbial dad on the dancefloor, many brands may need to face up to the harsh reality that they can never really be cool. At least, not that cool.  Not achingly hip, blink and it’s over, cool.

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Say hello to social – or wave goodbye to your top talent

Freedom by Thorsten Becker
Does your boss ban Facebook? Is YouTube access blocked from your office? Do colleagues look nervous when you mention Twitter? If so, chances are your employer is a large corporate or public sector organisation with deeply-ingrained concerns about productivity and time-wasting. Many large companies (and the more traditional smaller enterprises) have a myriad of communications restrictions in place.

IT departments nearly always cite security and legal issues as justification for this draconian behaviour. A few years back I heard a talk by the head of social media at a leading US retail bank. He referred to legal, compliance, fraud and security as the “four horsemen of the apocalypse”. It’s difficult for ordinary employees to argue, he said, when confronted with effective corporate death as an alternative.

So what about startups – are they cool with social and other new technologies? Well, yes, they generally are. They’re digital natives, aren’t they? It’s hardly surprising that a recent survey by online recruitment platform Tyba found 68 per cent of people working in big companies said they’d move to a smaller startup if they had the chance…and bad IT was cited as a key reason by 27 per cent of respondents.
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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).

AAB animation: sneak preview

Here is a frame from the animation we’ve been working on for AAB’s new social media arm, AAB Engage. We’ve some great talent contributing to the film and I’m *very* excited about it. To be screening on YouTube very shortly…!