DigiEx

digital, agencies, life, and other stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

The spotlight grabbing squirrel – yet another “Meme” for our times?

Posted by Lee on August 19, 2009

– or marmot, or was that a gopher?

OK, it’s so ‘last week’ now, but we are all the way down in New Zealand, and I only just noticed it. The following picture first appeared on the National Geographic’s site in the Photo section, and soon after it captured the imagination of the world, taking the blogosphere and global media by storm. <-I can’t believe I just wrote that.

squirrel-portrait-banff-swAccording to Melissa Brandt, this is what happened, “My husband and I were exploring Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park-Canada when we stopped for a timed picture of the two of us. We had our camera set up on some rocks and were getting ready to take the picture when this curious little ground squirrel appeared, became intriqued with the sound of the focusing camera and popped right into our shot! A once in a lifetime moment! We were laughing about this little guy for days!!”

There are numerous arguments and debates popping up as to whether the original pic had been photoshopped or not, and even some very serious discussion on the taxomy of said ‘rodentis’h creature – is it a squirrel or gopher? Boing Boing has some hilarious and heated comments posted under their item on the little rascal.

However, it doesn’t end there. The photo-crashing squirrel is now popping up everywhere…….

squirrel_leaning_tower

For even more of this furry frivolity (and if you really don’t have anything better to to do), check out Buzzfeed where you can see more of the little bugger than you could ever want in a whole lifetime.

So, it looks like the squirrel is this month’s ‘Susan Boyle‘ and wins the global internet sensation, ‘Meme of the Moment’ Award.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns up on it’s own syndicated TV show called “Squirrel’s got Talent” singing a duet with Ms Susan Boyle!

Posted in Blogs, Entertainment, Social media, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

First, a silly, disgruntled employee on Facebook, next a potential employer

Posted by Lee on August 17, 2009

………. on an online employment site.
Last week, we had the case of the stupid employee and Facebook, but now we have a candidate for the ‘Best, and Most Motivating Job Ad Award’ – and the role is for a ‘Skilled Part-Time Office Administrator’

Originally spotted and tweeted by @MrsLPikon, it has now been highly re-tweeted around NZ in the last couple of days.

logo_seeknz_subpageThis is a genuine advertisement on Seek New Zealand (and just in case the job ad is removed by the time you read this), here are some motivational excerpts from advertisement, written by the MD of the Accounting firm that’s searching for the perfect job applicant:

‘Personality Wise I’m looking for;
Someone who loves details. i.e charging clients the right amount, entering addresses into the database correctly, having the right name on a letter. You want make basic mistakes because you’ll do a quality job.’
Hmmmm…….. ‘you want make basic mistakes’ – a test for an applicant perhaps?


‘Someone who can take a project and just “get it done”. I don’t want to hear about the problems and issues and reasons that come up. I simply want the results agreed upon to be completed on schedule and to spec, no excuses. Let me repeat that point – no excuses. Either something is done or it isn’t, there is no “I tried”, “I’m waiting to hear back from someone”, “I sent them an e-mail…”, or “I don’t think it’s possible.” Either it’s done or it isn’t.’

Aha……. He wants a graduate of the world famous ‘No mistakes, No excuses, No tolerance’ School of Management

‘Someone who always say “Good Morning!” and leaves their personal life at home. When you’re here, you’re here and no matter what happened before you walked in the door you’re “present” when you’re in the office. Upbeat personality is key.’
What this means is ‘Only Happy Robots Need Apply’

A dynamic person who can switch projects and focus with ease, and can easily multi-task between various projects. Things change (including my mind at times!) and this should be both expected and anticipated!
What do you mean, you’re not clairvoyant?!

This guy is extremely precise because he goes on to say:

I am NOT looking for:
– A 9-3 punch card “Hey, I got done what I could today but I gotta jet” kind of person
– Someone who comes in and thinks “Hmmm… what should I do today?” (Hint before you leave you should already know what you’re doing the next day)
– Someone who likes to yap with co-workers while or instead of working
– A deadpan personality

The last 2 comments are a bit of an oxymoron, as he wants a person who doesn’t talk to other staff members, but they must have an outgoing personality.

OK, any takers? Is this the best part-time role you’ve ever seen?
Go on, you know you want to work there really, don’t you?

On a more serious note, and to give the writer of this ad the benefit of the doubt, we are in the middle of a recession, and there are far too many applicants out there for every role – perhaps he has written this as a ‘filter’ so only the keenest candidates will apply. The trouble is, he may only be left with the most desperate ones – not the best criteria by which to employ someone! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Trends, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Internet, Marketing, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

User or Customer – the same difference?

Posted by Lee on August 13, 2009

Photo 14We all hate examples of poor customer service, whether before, during or after we’ve made a purchase.
Who can blame us for being intolerant of service failures – I mean, if we pay good money for something, it should work shouldn’t it?

But here’s the thing – what about those services that have become like oxygen for our digital lives?
Twitter, Facebook, Skype, WordPress and any other number of free online tools, communities and services fuel our insatiable thirst to stay connected, and they’re free. Surely as reasonable human beings, we make allowances for service failures from these suppliers, because we don’t even pay to use them?

Wrong – it’s counter intuitive, but we’re so addicted to our minute-by-minute, social networking ‘fix’, we seem less tolerant when these services fail, than when a paid for product or service lets us down.
You don’t agree?
Well, just look at the backlash and outrage after a Twitter failure, or Facebook outages – what about your reaction to the poor quality video call the time you Skyped an overseas friend? Our intolerance goes beyond our reaction to service failure, it extends to our reaction when these providers to attempt to monetise the environments they provide through other means, like advertising – how dare they?

What does all this mean? Have we forgotten that these services are free, or have we moved into a new societal model where ‘users’ have the same expectations as paying customers, and we expect the things we choose to ‘use’ to work as well, if not better than those we buy? Are we all just becoming unreasonable or is it that we believe that the time we invest using these tools is payment enough?

What if Twitter charged everyone with an account, a nominal fee of say, $2.00 per month?
They’d certainly receive a direct income from us allowing them to upgrade and maintain their online service.
We’d also be legitimate customers, so would that make us even more demanding and intolerant, or would we all just leave in droves and find a new free thing?

Posted in Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Media For Dummies, or think before you act!

Posted by Lee on August 10, 2009

facebook follyI’ve just been emailed this Facebook item, and by now it’s probably bouncing around all corners of our networked world.

Is it genuine? Who knows, but either way it’s another timely reminder to those people who seem to use their social media accounts as a broadcast ‘Dear Diary’.

Firstly, employment agencies and potential employers now routinely search online to find out more about a prospective employee – they can gain some great insights from various social media streams into the person behind his or her glowing CV.

Next, once you’ve acquired ‘friends’, at least make sure you’re aware of the potential consequences of your actions if you say something negative about them in your ‘stream of consciousness’, especially if those ‘friends’ you’ve accepted into your social networking life also happen to be your your boss or superiors.

Thirdly – even if those you insult are not signed up as your friends and you think you’re telling others behind their back, remember that things can have a funny way of getting back to those you don’t want to know – especially with so many readily available ‘cut & paste’ tools around.

Finally, use some common sense, and if you aren’t willing to say something to someone’s face – don’t say it online, well at least not if your name and account clearly identifies you. That applies equally to divulging that you’re a stoner, regularly drink and drive, covet somebody else’s partner, or have questionable exotic sexual preferences etc.

We may live in a world where we like to think our privacy is protected, but all of that stands for nothing if you choose to advertise all your innermost needs, wants, desires and other secrets to the wwworld!

For what it’s worth, in this example, I thought her boss was very clear in his reply, and showed remarkable restraint 🙂

Posted in Blogs, Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Education, Entertainment, Internet, Social media, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

What the f**k is social media – one year on

Posted by Lee on August 5, 2009

In September last year I put a link to a terrific presentation called “What the f**k is social media” and I made the point that while a great ‘primer’ for social media, with the speed things are changing, it would soon be out of date.

Well, the authors of that presentation, Espresso, obviously agreed, and have released “What the f**k is social media: one year later”. Excellent, and just take a look at some of the updated statistics!

Posted in Consumer Trends, Internet, Marketing, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Facebook – how are they using your pics?

Posted by Lee on July 26, 2009

facebooklogoI’m not naive and totally understand that Facebook and other social networking sites need to be able to find ways to monetise the millions of eyeballs, engagement (and server space) they’ve accumulated, but I think they’re in danger of betraying the trust millions of users have placed in them.

Apparently, Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures alongside their ads, without your express permission.

Facebook could easily make the effort to properly inform each and every one of their registered users about any changes they intend making to the terms of service. Yes, I accept that you can opt out of this change if you actually know about it, and once you do, it is easy to do – however, many users will be oblivious to this change – not good enough Facebook!

So, unless you’re happy with Facebook using your own personal pics in this way (not just on your behalf, but also your family and friends in your pics), you may want to exercise your rights to ‘opt out’ and preserve your privacy. Here’s how:

Log in to your Facebook account.

Click on “Settings” up at the top where you see the “Logout” link.

Select “Privacy”.

Then select “News Feed and Wall”.

Next, select the tab that reads “Facebook Ads”.

In the drop down box, select “No One”.

Save your changes.

There, all done!

Do it now, and you may want to let your friends know as well.

Posted in Cogitating, Education, Internet, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter in business – walking the line between following and stalking.

Posted by Lee on July 9, 2009

GaryTaxaliFun-thumb-300x362-5338

Let’s face it; anyone worth their salt in the marketing communications industry (agency side) will monitor the social media activity generated by, or around their clients or business prospects.
There’s nothing wrong with that. We do it all the time for our clients as it can help to provide a ‘finger on the pulse’ view of what people are saying about them, and an opportunity to sort out any customer service issues, real or perceived.
However, this afternoon I witnessed a something quite strange, and it made me a little uncomfortable.

An agency was trying to get attention of  @prospect via twitter.
Various members of said agency had got onto twitter and sent a series of tweets to a potential new business prospect in the telco category.
The tweets amounted to a tweet-by-tweet sales pitch handed on from one @agencyperson to the next, all sent to the @prospect in a continuous burst.

So why did the agency use this approach? Good question.
I guess they thought it was original.
I guess they thought that it would demonstrate that they knew how to use twitter, and it would impress @prospect.
Maybe it was just cheaper than picking up the phone?
It wasn’t exactly confidential as anyone monitoring @prospect’s twitter account could watch the approach unfold.
It also meant that @prospect could look at the agency tweeps profiles and see how ‘twitteractive’ @agency really are.
Would an approach such as this really impress @prospect?
I don’t know – it may be flattering I guess, however it could just as easily be viewed as a bit creepy and borderline.

A smart tactic?  Maybe. Clever? Personally, I don’t think so.
I acknowledge that these tweets weren’t direct messages, and some might feel that it just constitutes another form of public advertising.  However as most businesses set their their company name  as a search feed to monitor and respond to customer issues, it was inevitable that the @agency tweets were going to clog up @prospect’s feed.  If this approach had been used to target a specific consumer, what are the potential privacy implications?
How would a potential business client feel about receiving a ‘concentrated blast’ of emails or phone calls from various members of a hopeful sales company? Probably pissed off and a bit violated – and we know that no reputable business would sanction their employees using such behaviour.
I guess what makes me uncomfortable in this digital era, is that it’s such a fine line between targeted marketing communications tactics, and ‘stalking / spamming’ a prospect.
When are we crossing that line?

Note: the picure in this blog entry is entitled ‘Fun’ by the brilliant illustrator / artist, Gary Taxali.

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Cogitating, Internet, Marketing, Sales promotion, Social media, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The power of tribes Vs the mass market

Posted by Lee on June 25, 2009

A few months old now, but Seth Godin‘s terrific video presentation from Ted Talks explains how the power of tribes and the Internet change everything we know about advertising, media and “one to many” communications.

The Genie is out of the bottle and it’s too late to try and put it back again.

Embrace change, form or join a movement, or die!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in Advertising, Brand Experience, Consumer Trends, Economy, Education, Internet, Marketing, Social media, Society, Technology, Web tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

So, Twitter’s now mainstream – Time Magazine covers it

Posted by Lee on June 5, 2009

time_logoIt’s taken a while, but it looks like Twitter is now a bona fide, mainstream phenomenon, because this month, Time Magazine’s cover story is all about Twitter.

Well done to Twitter, and let’s hope this isn’t a sign that the Twubble is about to burst as early adopters ‘jump ship’ to look for the next cool, edgy, big thing. Probably not this time, because recent research shows that Twitter has (with the exception of ‘Celeb Followers’), got where it is without a lot of support from either Gen Y or the Millenials, probably the most fickle of all groups. No, Twitter has become the SM tool of choice of Gen X and Boomers.

It has become invaluable to users as an ‘interest and link resource’ – once you’ve found key people to follow ( based upon your own interests), you can post and read tweets, and send  interesting links to each other and the group. In effect, these fellow Tweeps become part of your ‘global hive research brain’. The  power of global micro-bloggers in real time!

Anyway, check out the Time article.

Posted in Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Internet, Mobile, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The start of our ‘Winter of Discontent’? NZ circa 2009

Posted by Lee on May 18, 2009

Down here in Wellington, it’s cold, wet and windy – the usual conditions heralding the approach of Winter. However, this year it feels a lot chillier. Signs of the ‘R’ word are appearing everywhere – take a walk down the streets and we seem to be in the middle of a perpetual ‘sale season’, with shop windows everywhere yelling out to us with ’50 – 80% off everything in store’ and ‘2 for one offers’ – it all feels a little desperate.

For the moment, the cafes are still doing a roaring trade, but there’s little escape from the fear of  ‘R’ for the patrons of the coffee shops. As they sit there, sipping on their lattes and reading the newspapers, on nearly every page there are tales of economic woe. A couple of months ago, these stories would have been restricted to the business section of the dailies, but now they have spread across to the national news section as the economic woes of the world are no longer just  ‘Where did my investment go?’ or “Damn it, my shares have dropped again”, but now there’s  a torrent of ‘R’ words stories – Recession, Redundancies, and Real Kiwis losing Real jobs in Real communities – and if not mine, then very similar to mine.

Turning up my collar against the wind and the rain,  I decided to pick up a sandwich for lunch and came upon another sight that really added to my gloomy winter feeling. There on Lambton Quay, the ‘retail mile’ of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, were a group of people handing out leaflets and selling cakes.LWR Cake Bake

Lane Walker Rudkin, the iconic Kiwi clothing manufacturer is closing down and had just announced that 186 workers were being made redundant. Apparently, the workers may see their last wage payments, but there is no guarantee that they will get any redundancy payment or holiday pay. Sure, in times like these redundancies are going to happen, but it seems that yet again, the employer is not doing the right thing by their staff – this is an issue I’ve written about before. Surely as a minimum,  the staff’s outstanding holiday pay is an entitlement – an entitlement the company must have known about when the noose started to tighten.

So, were these ex-workers striking? Hardly, as that would be pretty pointless – no, instead they had set up a cake stall to to help the workers help each other out.

This may not be a big deal in other countries, but in NZ, it’s all quite unusual. However, what’s changed since earlier recessions and industrial unrest is the use of social media. In no time at all, The NDU (National distribution Union) who are acting with these ex-workers, have just launched a Facebook Group, “Bake a cake for Lane Walker Rudkin Workers”

I accept that these are the signs of the times, and maybe this is going to be our winter of discontent, and that’s a reality, just as long as employers continue to try and do the right thing by their employees, even while making the tough decisions.

By the way, if you come across these guys and their cake stand – take a moment to stop, put your hand in your pocket and buy a piece of cake. It’s delicious, and just be thankful that it isn’t you that’s been driven to doing this.

Posted in Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Economy, Social media, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »