Tag Archives: web 2.0

Instagr.am

A while back I waxed lyrical about a fantastic Photography iPhone App named Hipstamatic, which I use almost daily and used extensively on my recent trip to Cambodia. Well I’ve just stumbled across another App named Instragram (a mash up of Instant and Telegram).

Unlike Hipstamatic which adds the effects to your photo as you take it (you have to wait as it does it, which can be frustrating as you may miss another photo opportunity) Instagram can add the effects after you’ve taken the photo, so you can use the built in iPhone camera app then add the effects afterwards. This is a very handy feature which I wish Hipstamatic would allow, or at least release another app that did this.

Anyway this is about Instagram, they’ve only been going three months and they’ve got over a million users already, impressive I hear you say, but what’s also impressive is that the App is FREE!! So you have nothing to lose by downloading it and trying it out for yourself.

But the thing that really sets Instagram apart (and something I think Hipstamatic should learn from), is the online community built right into the App… Instagram’s not just about taking cool photos and storing them for later, it’s about sharing your cool photos with your friends and the wider community right now, either on Instagram’s own network or on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, Posterous or Tumblr.

I’ve only been playing with Instagram for less than an hour, but it looks like fun, I admit it’s effects don’t appear as wild and as experimental as they are in Hipstamatic, but maybe that’s a good thing, depending on your way of doing things and the look you want to achieve.

http://instagr.am

Homeless Guy with Golden Voice

I saw this video on Phil’s Unionversity website yesterday and was blown away by this guys voice, the voice just doesn’t go with what you’re seeing, he’s amazing! Drugs and alcohol have taken their toll on his life and he’s fallen on hard times, but the social web has shown it’s a force for good again, as within a day or so of this video being posted on YouTube, it’s received almost 10million views and has lead to radio stations fighting over him, we’ll undoubtedly see or hear more from Ted Williams in the near future. The second video is an interview with him on the Early Show, warning, it will choke you up, but do watch it.

Did You Know, Shift Happens

As I’m a bit of a closet statistics junkie & as these videos have been bouncing around the web for the past 2-3 years, I thought I’d compile a post with some of the best.

Did You Know? 3.0 (Official Video) -2009 Edition

Did You Know 4.0

Did You Know 4.0 (Convergence)

The Social Media Revolution Fad

Did You Know 2.0 (SHIFT 2008 Edit)

Associated Media vs Social Media

I don’t think the term “Social Media” is applicable anymore, fair enough it evolved from the early online community sites, but the term now encompasses virtually all manner of web 2.0, blogs, data aggregation services etc, most of which have nothing to do with being social, so it’s much more than a way to connect and send messages and hence be social with your friends.

Plus there’s the so called “Social Media Expert”, but ask yourself, how can someone say they’re an expert in something that is so vast and is evolving and changing so rapidly that it’s almost impossible to keep up. To be a SME is a paradox “The more I know, the more I realise I know nothing”

So I prefer to talk around associated media, or associated connections, as I see the real future of the “Social Media Revolution” will be the leveraging of connections, and not merely connecting you to your friends and what they’re saying but to your “combined” wealth of information, utilising smart connections, connections that are associated to you and what you’re looking for… so rather than you looking for information, it finds you, now that’s a revolution worth talking about!

Comic Strip of a Social Media Expert

The Social Media Revolution Fad

As I’ve re-quoted before “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital“ Aaron Levenstein

This video makes compelling reading/watching, but read between the lines, there’s more to this than meets the eye, major changes are unfolding in the social media environment, information/data/ID aggregation is becoming the new hot potato, the shift is about linking you to the stuff you want to know in a transparent & convenient way.

For more info & a list of quotes & stats go to the socialnomics blog

Also check out a brilliant and ballsy presentation by Marta Kagan entitled What the F**K is Social Media: One Year Later

Also note Marta doesn’t use the that annoying Social Media Expert moniker, she calls herself a Bonafide Marketing Genius, now that’s a great job title! (as long as you live up to it of course, although reading her blog, it looks like she does)

Wave Goodbye to Closed Networks

Google said they’d have something interesting to demo at the Google IO Dev Conference, oh boy they weren’t kidding… Hello to Google Waves!

The Video below is 1.5hrs long, but it’s worth a look, as this will change everything. I’ve been harping on for ages about data aggregation & building open platforms without walls, with API’s for developers & third parties to leverage & integrate with (just like our plans for no paper & ID Gator), well Google have just stepped up to the plate with all their might and done just that… it all works in standard HTML5 & it’s all Open Source Code!!!!

Email, wiki’s, instant messaging, realtime inline document collaboration & creation, blogs, image & rich media sharing, polling, mobile and other stuff I’ve forgotten to mention can all be handled & integrated by Waves.

The way you use Twitter, Facebook, MSN, Skype, Blogs etc is about to change forever, no more proprietary software, no having to log into a specific system to access & update your data, connect & interact with colleagues etc Waves passes all that and allows you to do it from whatever system you want.

Want to connect with everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, AOL, Google, MSN etc without logging into Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, AOL, Google, MSN etc, with Waves you’ll be able to do that.

Why is this so powerful & something that the likes of Facebook should be concerned about? Well you’ll be able to get all the interation of Facebook & connect to all your friends, without ever logging directly into Facebook again! So you never look at their main revenue stream, their adverts! I was writing a blog a few days ago (didn’t get round to fininshing it), where I was saying that Facebook’s biggest threat isn’t from someone like Myspace, Twitter or Google… it will be from the parasites, the small third parties that feed off & leverage it’s systems, these guys can easily create revenue streams that Facebook can’t (or is missing), Google has just made that job easier with Google Waves.

So why would Facebook (or those like Facebook) integrate Waves? Simply put, they will have no choice, the users will want it (see an old post for what I mean)… already Facebook has opened it’s walled garden with Facebook Connect, if Waves could take hold & it’s protocol become the de facto way to collaborate, they’d have no choice but to open up & integrate it… it will be interesting to see if Google actually push this, or like so many of their ideas, invest loads of time in developing the initial idea, then let it stagnate and die… which is a great shame, as it’s only the likes of a giant like Google that could take on the likes of Facebook… which is something they should be bear in mind in reverse, as Facebook continues to amass it’s user base, it will become a force to be reckoned with in Google’s market space, “Search”, for as Amazon has proven, it’s personal recommendations that lead us in purchasing decisions, if Facebook taps into our friends recommendations and “likes”, then we’ll start our searching in Facebook, not Google. A possible future with a Facebook and Bing alliance could cause Google reasons to be concerned.

more info from
wave.google.com
code.google.com/apis/wave (very techie!)
waveprotocol.org

Standard Blog Icon

As they say the great things about standards, is that there’s so many to choose from ; )

With the prevalence of blogging you’d think someone would have come up with a standard icon for blogs by now, well apparently not.

A few months ago I was mulling over the idea that there isn’t a universally recognised, standard blog icon, but I got side tracked by god knows what & forgot all about it until a couple of weeks ago when I found the scribbles in my notepad.

So I opened up illustrator and about 15mins later the icon above popped out. OK, I admit I’ve not created a new standard per se, that takes time, but who knows, in years to come maybe everyone will be using it. As nearly all blogs have the RSS feed option and that’s how a lot of people read them, I’ve based the icon on the standard RSS feed icon.

In any case, here it is, it’s free, it’s yours to own, no restrictions. If you think it’s really cool and you want to let me know, then fine, use the Facebook page link, but in all honestly, if you think it’s that good I’d prefer you told everyone else, go to www.theblogicon.com, link to the Facebook page, link to the Twitter page, I’m really not after the glory, I simply want to see a standard blog icon in use.

So please pass it on, you can even edit & tweak it, even call it you own, for all I care (although if you do want to credit me, then remember to use Bernd’s inspired by icon), I just want to see a standard icon in use, I’m not after the glory, just usability.

Click here for a .zip containing the icon in various sizes in PNG & GIF formats, plus the original Photoshop & Illustrator vector file just click the logo above.

blog-icon-200

UPDATE:
to clarify, the blog icon is registered at Creative Commons as Attribution-ShareAlike http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/
ie anyone can use it, modify it, pass it on etc, but they must do so with the same rights, ie they shouldn’t charge anyone for it or add any restrictions

you should follow me on twitter here

Seth Godin London Session

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Seth Godin presentation in London, produced by Mark Muggeridge of Evil Genius. I first heard of the event on Triiibes when Mark announced he’d been in discussions with Seth about putting on an event. Having been involved in live events myself for almost 20 years, I offered Mark my assistance in case he needed another pair of hands, which he gratefully accepted. On the day the whole thing ran like clock work, so I wasn’t really required, but I completely lucked out, as I got to spend all morning talking to Seth in the green room while he prepared his presentation & signed some books. Of course, Seth was on good form & inspirational as always.

The audio of the presentation is available here plus as a transcript

Also here’s an archive of a webcast I did with Seth last September

Photo by Claes Gellerbrink

seth-godin-by-claes-gellerbrink-6677-low

The Dalai Lama on Twitter… Nope, just a case of Brand Jacking

Within 24hrs of announcing his Twitter account, the Dalai Lama has amassed 13,450 followers… Surely that must have set a new Twitter record!

Why choose Twitter: “His Holiness thought it was prudent to make his office open and assessable to a more youth and technologically advancing audience.” So now there really is no excuses for anyone saying they can’t be bothered or don’t get Twitter!

BUT AU CONTRAIRE: This is a fake profile that was pulled by Twitter yesterday, click here for more info. Reminds me of the Exxon Mobil Corp Branding Jacking case I wrote about in my You Don’t Know Jack post. All the more reason for the Dalia Lama to have an ID Gator account!

Twitter vs Facebook

defacebook

Here‘s an terrific post asking the question, “Twitter vs Facebook: Should you choose one?”

I recommend reading the whole post, plus some of the comments make interesting reading as well, here’s the posts conclusion: In the end, both Twitter and Facebook are simply communication tools; both will continue to evolve and morph as users find new ways to extract value and either network may or may become a long term winner in the rapidly evolving social networking space. Ultimately, the fact remains to be seen whether either application has a profitable, scalable and sustainable business model or whether the exit strategy is simply to be acquired.

As we learned in the search space, consolidation will eventually prevail. Unless they can find a way to turn all those eyeballs into profits, social networks will lose relevance. It does seem obvious that the venture capitalists are betting they will not only continue to enjoy tremendous growth but will also successfully monetize all that traffic.

But, will either Twitter or Facebook become the next Google or will they fade into the rear view mirror of technological and social evolution?

What the F*ck Man… I want doughnuts

I first heard about the Christian Bale hissy fit on Phil’s Unionversity blog, but here’s a couple of inventive alternatives, the doughnuts one is brilliantly done.

While amusing for those not involved, these clips aren’t one offs, I’ve worked on numerous film sets and know enough people within the industry to know these are a common occurrence (Kinski). So what gives these prima donna’s the right to behave in this way, belittling fellow professionals around them, what other profession would let them get away with it, not many.

Is such a tantrum ever OK? “Yes, but I think you have to weigh the talent against the tantrum,” says Winston Fletcher, author of Tantrums and Talent – How to Get the Best From Creative People. “What is unacceptable is when a person without much talent punches above their weight.” Emine Saner Guardian

Unfortunately I doubt this will have any affect on Bale’s reputation, if anything he’s probably lapping up the media attention, as would anyone with such an overblown ego, plus, who knows, this may have been a shrewd move by the movie producers to get air play & discussions going on the social web about their forthcoming release? If so, then the media & blogosphere has simply played into the hands of Bale & the movie producers!

Oh and if you haven’t heard these before, there’s plenty of expletives!
Original Audio

Doughnuts

Christian Bale vs Bill O’Reilly Hissy Fits

Lily Tomlin

David O Russell / Lily Tomlin

David O Russell / Lily Tomlin Spoof

Trust Me, I’m a Blogger

While taking a break from my hectic morning schedule of making myself a cup of tea & finding some clean socks to wear I thought I’d check in and see what little bread crumbs my fellow Twits had left for me. Sure enough there were plenty, but one from Jaculynn stood out more than most “For big hearts. Please help. http://is.gd/eKbo Please retweet.” so I followed the link.

Glad I did, here’s a quick synopsis, a guy named David Armano, was asking for help, not for himself, but for a friend, a young woman named Daniela & her three children, whom were staying at his house, as she was going through a separation from her abusive husband. He was asking for $5,000, so Daniela could get her own place for her family and didn’t have to worry about a deposit or rent for a little while. David wasn’t asking for big donations, just whatever you could spare during these hard times, any amount would help & if you couldn’t donate directly then at least pass on the message.

Within 4hrs of posting the request on his blog & Twitter, he’d not only reached his target, he’d doubled it!! I think it’s safe to say that he was blown away by this, but what it shows is how much his followers & readers respect him.

So is this amazing success all down to blogs, twitter & social networks? absolutely not… it’s entirely down to David, and his skill in utilising the technologies to gain trust. He’s been writing his blog for 3 years & he’s amassed 8,000 followers on Twitter, but it’s taken him a long time & a lot of effort, but the payback has been worthwhile, as I’m sure 2009 is looking a much better place for Daniela & her family right now.

And this is all because David decided to make a difference and channel the trust he’s built to good use, or as Amie eloquently puts it in her comment to David’s thank you video “Absolutely incredible – not only have you helped a family in need, but you’ve proven again how powerful it is when just one person stands up to say, I will make a difference. You have. Imagine what else is possible”

exactly!

UPDATE:
Here’s a great blog article by Scott Drummond that expands upon what I said above, so get working on your Relationship Bank Balance! (that’s such a great analogy)

Your Identity Matters!

There are those that label a personal domain name as a vanity domain, but I disagree… having a personalised number plate is vanity, owning a personalised URL is foresight… what’s the difference? I’ll give you an example. In an interview, a young woman of 16 said, I want to more famous than Persil Automatic, that young woman was Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham. There’s no doubting that she’s accomplished her goal… but what’s interesting is that she could have compared herself to “Madonna” or another well known musician, but she didn’t, she chose a washing detergent!?! I could go into this more, but I won’t as Jeremy Bullmore does such a brilliant job at explaining why here.

So coming back to my point, Victoria Beckham knew from a pretty young age how important her image, identity & brand were to her, and she set out to establish it. Now take a look at your own online fingerprint, are you really in control of it. You’re spread across the net on Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, Twitter, Google, Blogger, Plaxo, YouTube, TypePad, Hi5, Yahoo, Bebo, Slideshare, Vimeo, EyeJot, WordPress… I could go on, but you get the picture. Isn’t it about time you consolidated all of your online identity, isn’t it time you made sure no one was pretending to be you!? Yeah it happens everyday, normally to someone famous, but it can happen to you just as easily,  a jilted ex, mates having a bit of a laugh etc

I registered my own name as a domain about 10 years ago, as things change, but my name won’t, my online identity is about me not the company(s) I work at or own, over the years I’ve owned 10 companies, merged & sold 5, each time my emails, contact numbers etc have changed, but my own personal website has always been a constant. But there’s more to it than that, I’ve been helping companies build & protect their digital brands for years, but it’s time individuals wake up to the fact that they need to protect & build their online Brand too. What does your Facebook profile say about you, photos of you with a permanent marker pen moustache drawn on you face as you lay drunk in a heap on New Years Eve? Or your boyfriend posts a video of you in your underwear while you work out on your “Wii Fit.” These may all appear as harmless bits of fun now, but they could be very embarrassing in the future when job interviews or promotions come up.

If you’re in the business of dealing with your clients Brand, Marketing, PR etc then what happens when they type your name into Google, if you can’t demonstrate that you can get yourself to the top of search engines, or more importantly, protect your own identity online, then how do you expect your client to trust you to do the same for them?

So coming back to personalised domains, for an individual Web 2.0 is all about making connections, creating relationships & building trust, and I see the next shift (call it web 2.5 / 3.0 if you want) will be centred around the “individual” aggregating their numerous networks, thus allowing them to leverage the trusted connections they’ve invested so much effort in building. So how better to do that, than to put your own name to it!

Think about it, Your Identity Matters!

Time for Facebook to Face the Facts

Nick Burcher added a post on his blog about Facebook Usage Statistics for 2008 which made me think about something I mentioned a few weeks ago, as I noticed within Facebook’s top 21 only India & Hong Kong appear for the whole of Asia! Where’s China, Japan, Indonesia etc?

Nick’s stats are interesting, but they’re bikini statistics, nice to look at but they’re not revealing everything you may want to see!? So let’s add some population data & look at these figures a little closer, 32.7% of Canadians use Facebook, the largest country population % worldwide, closely followed by Denmark, but look at the other end of spectrum, only 1.3% of Mexicans use it, while 0.1% of Indians!!! Also, you hear all the time about how big Facebook is, and that everyone’s using it? Well actually no, as only 2.1% of the world’s population are on Facebook, so there’s still a pretty big slice of the pie out there for the taking. NB: it’s worth noting that Facebook ranks very low in Asia with other social networks being far more popular (I don’t have the stats to hand but I shall post them in the next day or so).

So why the disparity, is it to do with a technology divide, certainly not, we’re talking the likes of Japan & Korea here, who are light years ahead when it comes to technology uptake. No I think it’s something a bit simpler than that, language. I’ve asked Japanese friends before about Facebook and they’ve told me that it’s translation & implementation of Japanese sucks. I don’t know about India, but I’m sure the same is true for there. But in India there’s another issue, access to Facebook… the number of PC users is dwarfed by the number of Mobile phone users and Facebook’s mobile phone implementation isn’t great, so it’s not being used. So while Facebook’s position in the social network scene may appear dominant in the west, in the east it’s non-existent!

facebook-statistics

Now here’s another interesting set of statistics courtesy of Twitterlocal which shows how Tokyo dominates the Twitter leader board when it comes to city statistics, with a 25% lead over second place New York! No real surprise, as this is what you probably expect from the technology mecca of the world, but why Twitter & not Facebook? Well it comes back to my point earlier, Twitter’s Kanji implementation is good, but equally important, there’s no issue with ease of use, it works simply via SMS or smart phone. So once Twitter takes hold in India and they work out a way for users to register without needing an email address or access to the web, they’ll be no stopping it! Look and learn Facebook!

twitter-local-stats

How many SMS messages will be sent on New Years Eve 2008/9

On New Years Eve 2008, an estimated 43 billion SMS messages where sent globally! Which was up 30% on 2007, but the rise wasn’t evenly spread… Portugal tripled and The Netherlands doubled. Developing nations are by far the fastest expanding mobile markets, India’s 220 million mobile subscribers sent over a billion, a 300% rise on daily norms, but the Phllippines outshone everyone, with 1.4 billion SMS’s from a subscriber base of only 50 million!

When it comes to SMS messaging the USA ranks very low, when mobile users were asked whether they have or would send a “Happy New Year” text message, all countries except the USA showed an increase:
U.S.A. 35%; France 85%; Germany 88%; Spain 90%; Italy 92%

For an example of how amazing all this electronic communication can look, have a look at this gorgeous visualisation of the SMS messages sent on New Years Eve in Amsterdam

By Aaron Koblin (check out his site there’s some cool stuff on there!)
and his vimeo page

As our time has become very precious and much more of a commodity to be valued, more & more of us are moving away from paper based communication during the festive season, brevity is king, but even voice calls only showed a moderate increase (guess they take too long and you can only speak to one person at  a time), electronic communication via email, SMS & the likes of Twitter have increased dramatically, so it will be interesting to see how the mobile networks & Twitter cope in the next few hours… I hope Twitter have their fail whale primed and ready to go : )

So just in case I thought I’d get in early and wish you all a fantastic 2009!

It’s Hammer Time: The Comcast Way

If ever you needed evidence that web 2.0 is reversing the balance of power into the hands of the consumer, then check out these videos and the www.comcastmustdie.com website. I’ve posted previously how the tide is changing & how companies need to be in there engaging with their customers and protecting their brands, companies ignoring this strategy do so at their peril.

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Networking or Not Working
Make Your Business Viral, Not Just Your Campaigns
Can Stephen Fry kill a gadget?

Faceparty: A different approach to customer service

I was just reading a post “Jaw Droppers of 2008 – What they’d rather you forgot” on The Register where they recap the most embarasing moments from the past 12 months. The bit about an online community I’d never heard of before named Faceparty, and how they dealt out their customer service is priceless and a must read.

Social Network attacks own customers
Customer service has yet to hit Web 2.0, where you have to answer your own technical questions, wading through forums or sending emails to people in “support” who never reply. “Maverick” social networking site Faceparty went a step further, though, by rounding on users who dared to expect it deliver on its promises – in this case, free tools. Faceparty threatened to terminate accounts of “every single twat who moaned about their friggin’ free cool tools”. “Listen this is our HOBBY, not our business,” Faceparty said, helpfully reminding everyone it’s a “free fucking site” and not to expect anything.

Faceparty’s current homepage has a video on it that pretty well sums up their feelings for those that had the audancy to complain. (WARNING: Faceparty’s site & the homepage video are rated 18 & over. It’s a sexually explicit & rather alternative site, so if you’re easily offended or shocked, then please don’t go there!)