I like: Air New Zealand v. Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons is an iconic fitness instructor that you will have come across if you’ve spent any time watching American TV. I was reminded of my friend Heather Clarke who introduced me to Richard Simmons when we sat next to each other in adjacent cubicles at The Weber Group Europe, then based in Covent Garden.

It is one of a series of creative marketing videos that Air New Zealand has created over the past few years, allowing the airline to hit well above its brand weight.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Microsoft’s Mundie: Tablets may not last, future of desktops is “the room” | VentureBeat – but this doesn’t work that well for much of the world where rooms are small: New York, Europe, east Asia

Youth Insight Tools | Enovate – China Youth Insights

Microsoft Co-Founder Hits Out at Gates – WSJ.com – this comes off worse than Jennifer Edstrom’s Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside. (Yes, Jennifer Edstrom is the daughter of Pam Edstrom of Waggener Edstrom: Microsoft’s agency-of-record). It will be interesting to see how it is spun. Must-read material though, I’ve got my copy pre-ordered from Amazon.com

Did Samsung fake Tab video testimonials? | Econsultancy – oh dear

BitTorrent Case Judge Is a Former RIAA Lobbyist and Pirate Chaser | TorrentFreak – interesting example of potential judicial bias

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Google’s recipe for recipes – interesting effect that means people are more focused on ‘eating to live’ rather than ‘living to eat’

Smithsonian Folkways – I love the vinyl collection that they have from Pete Seeger to jazz standards

Gome: the civil war is over | FT.com – more focus on a growth strategy rather than operational optimisation

9 Tools That Help Us Drive Higher Quality Traffic – good set of SEO tools to kick things off

Barbie In China. Retail Lessons To Be Learned. : China Law Blog : China Law for Business – it seems crazy that Mattel went in with no strategy for retail

Tricking Color with Fake Locations Makes the App So Much Better – interesting early adopter reaction

Face-To-Face Still Trumps Social Media for Product Recommendations – face-to-face is social media; the mistake is defining social media in terms of channels rather than relationships

Indochino Raises $4 Million in Capital to Fund Men’s Custom Apparel Site | AllThingsD

Elop Fights Nokia Traditions in Race to Ship Microsoft Phone – Bloomberg – looks like Elop is profile-building a la like a senior executive at Microsoft. Classic storytelling CEO on a quest beset with challenges

British Airways — 75 years in Hong Kong – really nice simple contest from British Airways

New Google Analytics Interface – iCrossing – something to keep an eye out for

Asiajin » Kinect Driven “Ghost in the Shell” Cyberspace – OMG I think I’d have died and gone to heaven

Asiajin » Weekly Comics Shonen Jump Makes One Issue Free Online By Quake – smart idea to make a virtue out of adversity. Due to the fact that the north makes a lot of paper and distribution networks are stretched this makes a lot of sense and willl build goodwill

» The ruthless application of common sense sixtysecondview: Sixty second interviews from pr, media and politics – interesting presentation by David Brain

Hong Kong Hustle » Sucked into Lane Crawford’s orbit! – really interesting insight into the way Lane Crawford has rebranded itself

MediaShift . 13 Principles for How Media Companies Should Use Data | PBS

TRIM Enabler Increases Solid State Drive Performance in OS X

Media convergence or media industry implosion

Up until the early 20th century; music was published from places like Tin Pan Alley. When wax cylinders and records came along record labels sprang up alongside publishers. The late 19th and 20th centuries also saw other parts of the media industry spring up: magazine publishers, the expansion of book publishers with the paper back and widespread literacy, movie industry and later associated home video and games publishers.

This also drove a massive expansion in content from adult entertainment to manga and animated films. However now, there seems to be a media singularity starting to form where the growth in content generated by different types of media companies are coming out with offerings that stray into each other’s territories.
I believe that this singularity is different to previous transmedia products:

  • Book and game adaptions of films (Star Wars and Star Trek universes)
  • Film adaptions of books and games (comic books are borrowed from heavily in Hollywood at the moment)
  • Recording artists becoming television and film celebrities (The Monkees, The Jackson 5, The Beatles, S-Club 7, The Osmonds, Johnny Cash etc)
  • Talent shows finding recording stars (Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor, American Idol)

The reason why I think that this time things are different is because the outcomes themselves blur the lines of what the products are. The closest that we’ve seen to this  previously was the aborted CD-ROM business. I was struck by the CD-ROM analogy when I heard Gerd Leonhard and others talk about the future of book publishing at Olswang.

Since that has happened movie studio Warner Brothers has experimented packaging up a move as an application and EMI Music’s work with Swedish House Mafia has been particularly noteworthy with their Until One iPad application which is part recording, part book, part social community, part video a la DVD media and has an interactive application to allow you to play with the track elements.

This singularity has a number of implications:

  • At the moment media companies complain that piracy has destroyed their businesses. Now there are various reasons why this an untruthful assumption; but one aspect of particular relevance is that is particularly pertinent is the inelastic nature of consumer’s entertainment budgets that has had to cater for mobile phone bills, satellite TV, internet connections, books, music and movies. The singularity paves the way for a market where the media companies can fight and devour each other in the marketplace a la a Ray Harryhausen monster movie
  • Creating these new applications is out of the skillsets of the talent that these companies sign up: the authors and artists – it provides an additional layer of cost and complexity which is likely to affect profitability. It means that small record labels and publishers wouldn’t be able to compete, but also means that media companies may look vulnerable to technology companies eager to expand into their markets. The converged applications usually have a social aspect in them which means that media companies are responsible for user privacy and moderation
  • Even the very definition of what the media is will be an issue from a legal and regulatory point-of-view. For instance in the UK, books have enjoyed freedom from value-added tax, but when does a book stop becoming a book?

More information

Second toughest in the infants

Smartphones is still an immature sector with the constant evolution of interfaces and form factors proof of this. IDC has come out and made the bold claim that Microsoft will be the second largest smartphone OS by 2015 on the back of the Nokia deal. Of course this depends on Nokia managing to keep their business together and managing to funnel the bulk of its Symbian user base on to the Windows Phone platform.  If Nokia does pull this off, communications will have a major part to play in terms of quelling customer dissonance and turning developers away from rival platforms.

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week

Paul Saffo on a coming global turbulence

Venturebeat has an interesting interview with futurist Paul Saffo on how technology, economics and social effects will cause a ‘great turbulence in the coming next few years.

Why this post isn’t about social media

I was chatting with Jed Hallam the other day and one of the things that came up was the reaction that some people have to my posts. Unlike many people in the digital space I try not to blog about social media and PR all the time. There are a number of reasons why this is the case:

  • Social media and PR exist in a wider context of economic, societal and technological change; I’ve always intended that my posts did the same
  • A lot of the time, people have said it better elsewhere, its more about pointing to their efforts and explaining why theirs is particularly good
  • I’ve never had a laser focus in terms of my interests, it meant that revision for exams is my own personal hell; but it also means that I get inspiration for ideas from completely disparate places
  • Sometimes I get home from work and talking shop about social media is as about as welcome as a barbed-wire suppository (not very welcome in my case)
  • Because too much of the talk about social media focuses on the media rather than understanding the people pushing the buttons and does more to confuse and instill fear into the establishment than foster best practice
  • Building on the previous point about a lot of the focus on social media; I find the consumer insights and behaviour changes most interesting. What happens when the technology hits culture, and why does it take different routes in different countries?

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Music Sales Shed Another $1.4 Billion As Digital Growth Flattens Out | paidContent – maybe its the product?

James gosling joins google- The Inquirer – the Java father at Google. This will be interesting

Sina Corp, Large Chinese Portal, Drops Google As Search Provider – interesting that they’ve built their own search engine

What Larry Page Really Needs To Do Is Return Google To Its Startup Roots – carve out some of the organisation / process bloat

The iPod has changed the way we listen to music. And the way we respond to it. – By Nikil Saval – Slate Magazine – cocooning 2.0

Mark Suster On Why He’s “Very Long Twitter”, What Silicon Valley Is “Hypocritical” About And Much More

RIM: The inmates have taken over the asylum | Monday Note

Accelsor Web Site Prototype App is Like Adobe Dreamweaver in the Cloud | Drake Martinet | Voices | AllThingsD

Where to Meet Women | The Art of Manliness – I just wish that social had the same kind of behavioural insight running some of the camapaigns that friend me etc that this article has

The NYT Pay Plan’s Most Dangerous Foe: Perception | mocoNews – what about PR?

Newzbin2 Uses TOR To Kill Domain Blocking Before It Even Happens | TorrentFreak – this could get interesting. Could the use of Tor constitute suspicious activity under the Digital Economy Act?

Asiajin » Wiki Covering 11 Countries: Digital Media Across Asia

24h Coca-Cola + Maroon 5 Crowdsourcing Gig | Digital Buzz Blog – interesting feedback, not sure how engaged the audience was

Optimizing a Screen for Mobile Use (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)

Tweriod – Get to know when your Twitter followers are online the most. – Twitter campaign planning tool

Digital Pharma: Social media boost for Pfizer anti-counterfeits campaign | InPharm – smart move, similar to the way Poke London have reinvigorated previous campaigns for Orange (like Spot The Bull)

RIP-V.Com – Montreal-based vinyl pressing plant. Makes sense when vinyl sales went up by 50 per cent last year in the US

Social search debate

Put together by iSpy Marketing. I find this fascinating given the work that I was involved with at Yahoo! six years ago where social search was considered as a way that could provide a blue water strategy to compete with Google’s dominance in algorithmic search.

I have been surprised at how little things have moved on from that time in many ways.

HT to Chinwag.

TalkTalk email marketing in silos

So once upon a time I went with a small business ISP that seemed to give good service. It was originally recommended to me by the IT guys that used to look after an old agency that I worked at. They used the ISP to provide home connectivity to remote workers for a hedge fund. I signed on and have been with the business since 2003/4. When I moved house in November 2004, I rearranged my connection with them.

The ISP was first bought out by Tiscali, which was then bought out by Carphone Warehouse and put into it’s Opal Telecom business. This was then re-branded as TalkTalk Business. I have unlimited download and a theoretical maximum download speed of 8Mbits/s.

Since I’ve gone to TalkTalk, they keep emailing me on a regular basis trying to put me on a new tariff. I’m not particularly willing to do:

  • I’m out of contract, I only need to give a month’s notice, I’m not thinking about moving but I like the flexibility
  • I never get anywhere near 8Mbits/s anyway
  • Any new tariff is likely to include download limits, this would be an issue. A couple of films from iTunes, Skype calls, email, blogging, some geekery, RSS feed reading, watching movies on BBC iPlayer and a couple of Apple software updates would probably be enough to blow the ceiling
  • If I wanted to bundle my voice and broadband providers I would have done already

So this is an email they sent me last week:
talktalk retardation JPG
In the middle of it, is a box to allow me to Check your speed and see how fast you can go… I clicked the link and got web page upon putting in my telephone number and postcode
TalkTalk retardation
So the LLU service the number is transferred to is theirs, which they should have known given that this site was linked to in an email entitled Important: you are on an outdated package. I flagged this up with TalkTalk on Twitter and they said that they had their IT people looking into it.

Eventually they came back to me and explained that it was down to the fact that they hadn’t integrated my ISP’s infrastructure completely into the TalkTalk Business infrastructure despite the branding. What really surprised me however was getting the same mailer again, a week later. So there seems to be a silo between marketing and their technical people.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Useful Bookmarklets for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch Browser

I Believe in Advertising | Durex Performa: Extra Time – genius idea

Z-410: How ZFS is slowly making its way to Mac OS X

In Silicon Valley, a Lack of Engineers – NYTimes.com – what’s changed is the amount of engineers looking to do their own start-up

Mighty Fine T-Shirts – graphic novel inspired t-shirts

Are Content Curators the power behind social media influence? – interesting research here about curation

Snuff Trax For Japan | whatpeopleplay.com – Laurient Garnier does drum and bass

Researchers Make First Plastic Processor – flexible circuits in clothing

PR agency of the future: stop projecting and evolve | A smidge of what I fancy – Peter Hay on the PRCA debate

virtualeconomics: Well that about wraps it up for offline cameras – interesting take on Color

Larry Page already cracking the whip at Google, a week before he takes the reins | VentureBeat – Google Health being left to Microsoft?

Disco – free group SMS texting

Matrix – Search – really handy for flights

Real-Time Human Pose Recognition in Parts from a Single Depth Image – Microsoft Research – or how Kinect works

International Trade Commission Rules that Apple did not Infringe Nokia patents | AllThingsD – that’s Nokia’s sue our way back to relevance strategy blown then

Sun finally shines under Oracle | FT.com – shows that Jonathan Schwartz was probably a better CEO at Sun than most people give him credit for

I Always Wondered | Very nearly ADD. – genius site, beautifully designed

Did file-sharing cause recording industry collapse? Economists say no – decline in entertainment budgets of households

London Blogger Tutorials for Spring and Summer 2011 – interesting that Westfield is running this

J-P Teti (The iPad is 99% more open than any other computer) – This morning a 15 yr old explained to me RIM’s ASP and this afternoon a 14 yr old explained to me iPad positioning

danah boyd | apophenia » The Politics of Queering Anything – the marginalization of various voices under the guise of inclusion.

Mobile habits evolve in Hong Kong: Warc.com – men earlier adopters

Transmedia and play by Henry Jenkins | 跨媒体和孩子们的游戏

Henry Jenkins talks about the convergence of media storytelling with child-play. It kind of fits in with some ideas I have been having about the way that different aspects of the media sector are converging on each other.

I like: Mitsukoshi

Step out of the hustle and bustle of London’s Lower Regent Street into Mitsukoshi, is like stepping into a little enclave of Japanese ordered peace and calm. The store is part quality souvenir store where Japanese tourists can pick up Cath Kidston, Mulberry and Burberry  in more pleasant surroundings.
Mitsukoshi since 1673!
There is also an ANA airline travel desk, Japanese tour organisers and a Japanese book and gift shop on the lower ground floor which is why I like it so much.

Once all the retail therapy is out of the way it has one of London’s best restaurants in the basement. Just visiting Mitsukoshi is a cathartic experience, conversely even the most gentrified aspects of London seem barbarous in comparison.

Mitsukoshi (U.K.) Ltd
14-20 Lower Regent Street, London SW1Y 4PH

More information at their UK website; the restaurant has its own website here.

Interesting findings from Yahoo! Research on shareable content | 研究项目的成果:使网上内容有趣

Given that Yahoo! is moving to be much more about the content it makes sense that they are doing this kind of research into what makes stuff shareable.

No surprises is that great content works and that’s where you should put your effort behind.  Middling content needs to have its game upped and people will share things a whole lot easier if you optimise it for them. Interesting that publishing frequency doesn’t have much of an impact, despite what publishers have believed. The first 24 hours are critical in terms of sharing. As a rough rule of thumb one Facebook like is equal to 100 page views.

How, why, best and future are power words for shareable content. More information here – Yury Lifshits. Ediscope: Social Analytics for Online News. Yahoo! Labs, Tech. Report No. YL-2010-008 (PDF document).

Yury created this infographic from his research:
Like Log study infographic

Links of the day | 在网上找到

McKinsey & Company – Report – Urban world: Mapping the economic power of cities – March 2011 – growth driven by mid-sized developing world cities

RSA won’t talk? Assume SecurID is broken • The Register – whoah big impact for everyone from banks to governments

BBC – dot.Rory: The social bubble – why? I use flickr and still can’t see the point of Instagram

Groupon: when in doubt, blame your agency! | Econsultancy – CP+B came off worse than they should have on this

iPad® meet WordPress – great touch compatiable plug-in

EU admits deep impact cyberattack in run-up to key summit • The Register – Microsoft Exchange servers compromised

The speed of light could turn the middle of the ocean into a stock-trading center – its about high-frequency trading

Spring Cleaning – Gadgets You Can Get Rid Of – NYTimes.com – genius

No Clear Consensus Among Chinese Designers On “China Style” « Jing Daily

Analyst Invites You to a Good, Old-Fashioned PlayBook Burning | AllThingsD – harsh reaction to RIM’s Playbook

Deleting a Facebook Account | AllThingsD – interesting that this popped up in Mossberg’s reader’s Q&A section as its a good zeitgeist meter of US mainstream consumer technology adoption

Asiajin » Indonesia: Exploring Potentials Of Mobile & Tech In The 2nd Largest FB Population

How to Fix your Shaky Videos with YouTube Video Editor – brilliant

Webicina iPhone App: Feedback « ScienceRoll – interesting collection of resources for physicians

Luxury evolves in China: Warc.com – some good insights

100 Domains On Movie and Music Industry Website Blocking Wishlist | TorrentFreak – interesting how this may be perceived as a Great Britannic firewall and could affect foreign policy and commercial considerations

The hyper-fragmented world of music — Exclusive Nielsen white paper | MIDEMBlog – I need to get around to reading this

LinkedIn Hits the 100 Million Mark – it’s also about the quality

sparrow – The New Mail for Mac – very clean design

Is the Golden Age of the Internet over? – Sense Worldwide – probably the most depressing post I have read in a while

Corkboard.me – Shareable sticky notes web-app. – nice but useless

That was quick: Four lines of code is all it takes for The New York Times’ paywall to come tumbling down » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism – a touch of Javascript. Am sure that this will be fixed

Drunk On Licensing Fees And Patents, Microsoft Has Become A Joke – ok so the patents maybe spurious, but what is being done to set up a more equitable system? Interesting to see my old agency Waggener Edstrom getting name-dropped at the end

Biggest brands: Top 100 online advertisers 2011 | Marketing magazine – really interesting stuff around FMCG brands