Posts Tagged ‘FaceBook’

Social Media and Recruitment – The connection economy shift

Posted on: August 30th, 2013 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Finding a job has never been a simple process and finding the right person to join your company is like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately the rise of social media is making it easier for companies and candidates to court each other. Those candidates that use their online presence to ‘beef up’ their CV are benefiting from companies that have begun screening candidates social profiles before making a hiring decision. Those businesses that are communicating their business values and employment environments are benefiting as they attract higher quality candidates who are keen to join the company.

Social media offers three primary solutions to the recruitment industry.

social media and recruitment1) Headhunting

The first and most obvious shift that social media presented was that people began to profile their professional career online. This is the most prevalent on LinkedIn, which has grown to 2.2 million users in South Africa in 2013. People have taken to the internet to provide the world with a view into their professional careers.

Access to a database of online, up-to-date and well designed CV’s has now made it possible for recruiters to search for candidates online before advertising a job spec and approaching the right candidates directly.

LinkedIn has launched LinkedIn Recruiter to help business make use of the network to find the right candidates for the job. These talent services make up over 50% of the revenue that LinkedIn generates, showing that the social network is providing business with valuable and useful services in this area.

2) Personal Profiling

As people begin to profile their careers online, the competition is getting bigger for job opportunities in the marketplace. Those people with online profiles that impress recruiters and clearly communicate their value as an employee, will be those with the edge on the competition.

Social screening is the process of searching for potential candidates in social websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter  in order to qualify the candidate for a position. Social screening allows employers to find out information from candidates that is often difficult to discover through the interview process. LinkedIn recently launched new tools to add to your work history that include videos, links and documents for you to create a richer and deeper online presence and professional profile. This is important as recruiters have began rigourous “social screening” processes.  In fact a survey done by Jobvite reported that 90% of employers used social recruiting in 2012.

These discoveries can be both negative and positive.

The positive side of social screening:

  • They get a feel for the personality of the candidate
  • They can verify the qualification of the candidate
  • Creative people often use social platforms to express their creativity
  • Employers can get an idea of the communication skills of the candidate
  • Social Sites like LinkedIn can provide further recommendations for the candidate

The negative side of social screening:

  • Inappropriate photographs can raise warning flags about the personality of the candidate
  • Drug abuse could become apparent
  • Bad mouthing previous employers can show the candidates work ethic
  • Identify poor communication skills
  • The candidate may be sharing confidential business information of previous or current employers

As the competition grows with candidates profiling themselves online and recruiters expecting to socially screen candidates, it is impossible to ignore the value of building your personal profile online.

3) Business Profiling

Finally, business needs to begin the process of profiling themselves online. This is not in the sense of having a website that explains what services you offer and who your board of directors are. Business needs to leverage social media to help candidates explore what it is like to work there, what your core values are and how they can make a difference in the business.

This has become increasingly important with a younger generation who is looking for a company that has a deeper sense of purpose, and a heart for social values. These young people are looking for more than opportunity and salary, they need to know they share the same moral compass and that they can achieve the work-life balance they are searching for.

In addition to the desires of Generation Y, they search for information easily through Google and Social Networks. The important aspect to remember about profiling your business for recruitment is to focus on the networks that have the people you are looking to connect with, and that have the media channels that are the most engaging to communicate your message. Facebook is a great network to connect with people, however YouTube will help you produce video content that is search engine friendly. Twitter is another network that will go a long way to helping you share your business values and lifestyle with your followers. Recently businesses have taken to Instagram, the photo sharing network, to help them allow people a look inside the walls of their business. All of these social media platforms have the potential to attract the talent you are looking for, it is simply a case of shaping your message.

The push and pull of recruiting on social media

It is becoming more evident as social media matures in the business world that there needs to be a two way approach to recruitment. Headhunting and Social Screening help business to find the right people, whilst personal profiling and business profiling help people find the right business.

Social Media empowers Citizen Journalism

Posted on: May 29th, 2012 by admin-kablooey No Comments

After my last article about the role of social media in journalism I received an email through a friend from a journalism lecturer who shared this TED video with me.

The video is a great description of a new layer of journalism that social media has empowered. A form of journalism that places the knowledge of the crowd into the hands of responsible reporters.

This is a great example of how people can use technology in a small way to make a big difference. If enough people were to capture, record and share the happenings of a controversial event then it would be possible to bring accountability into the situation again.

Another example of how transparent our world is becoming and how shared information can be filtered through social networks to generate information from events that have already passed.

The question that sits in the back of my mind is “could a skilled social media journalist be digging deep into the social media archives of your business?”

Social Media empowers Citizen Journalism originally posted on Mike Saunders – Keynote Speaker and Social Media Coach



Does a CEO need to blog?

Posted on: November 30th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 4 Comments

If you were to take one look at the world today, it would be obvious that social media has become a very important communication tool. Ask yourself this question “can a CEO remain relevant if they are not versed in this new communication style the world has adopted?”

More and more social media is changing our consumers and our employees. This change is frightening at times, we recently discovered that younger generations have a total disregard for email communication and prefer to communicate in social and business contexts through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even older generations are warming to social media communication with 128 000 new CEO’s joining LinkedIn in South Africa alone.

In general there seems to be a mixed opinion about a CEO having a blog. Some believe it to be something they should only engage in once they have the time to manage it correctly (which may never happen) and others seem uninterested. There is a small group of blogging CEO’s who are embracing this new communication style and using it very effectively to engage with employees and customers.

Think of a blog as a place to drive company vision, address general concerns, highlight great stories about customers and to educate your employees on matters that concern your business.

Zappo’s CEO’s have also used their blog to update employees on the progress of specific projects and achievements. I would like to suggest taking a look at the CEO & COO blog for Zappo’s to see how they have successfully used it to promote and communicate the vision of the business and deal with employee concerns about business changes – especially after the Amazon buy out. This is a great example of effectively using a blog as a business leader.

Blogs can also be used to improve your personal profile by blogging on specialized topics. As a CEO of a social media agency, I use my blog to promote the internet marketing industry I work in and recently Keith Coats used the TomorrowToday’s New World of Work blog to share his directive as a “story telling” CEO. Keith’s article was key to communicating his leadership style to the TomorrowToday team as he took the reigns as CEO.

So if you are planning to start a blog as the CEO of your organisation here are a few tips:

Use you blog to lead by example

Share examples of the type of leadership and work ethic you believe makes your organisation better. Highlight great customer experiences and new product breakthroughs. Don’t be shy to give credit where it is due.

Use your blog to educate and motivate

You can’t educate and motivate each person in your organisation personally but a blog does allow you an increased chance for your employees to hear your vision straight from you. You are also able to share insight into your motivations and by passing these on they usually inspire and motivate others.

Keep your blog personal and authentic

Don’t get your PA to write this for you. It’s value is that its from you. If you are not a strong writer then write the “essence” of the article and a basic structure and let someone edit it for you.

CEO Blogging

Reply to your comments

Replying to comments this will show people you care about your readers and that the opinion you share on your blog is actually yours.

 

To find out more about how to harness social technology in you business please take a look at our presentation “Social Reinvention

20120229-183015.jpg

Social Media Bubble

Posted on: June 9th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

There is a great deal of conversation around the social media bubble at the moment. If you have not heard already, the social media bubble is a topical debate about whether social media websites like Facebook, Groupon, Linkedin and Twitter a actually worth the values that they have been estimated at. The values are outlined in this infographic.

The concern is that if they are overvalued then we may be repeating history when we experienced the technology bubble with many start-ups going bust after securing large start-up investment deals. Is this a valid concern or are we just getting into another stream of hype?

I think there is definitely going to be a “show-down” in the social media world soon. This will be the point at which social media platforms that cannot realise strong return on investment will lose their hold on the market and more importantly the investors.

Facebook for example makes most of its money from advertising and although this is a tried and tested business model it may not survive in the long run. Facebook advertising is much like billboard advertising, eventually Facebook users won’t see the adverts and this will result in lower click-through and thus lower revenue.

I believe that the best revenue models will come from innovation in the social media space and not the replica’s of traditional media and PPC/CPM technology.

I am very interested in the move the Facebook is making at the moment with the integration of Facebook places (a foursquare replica) and Facebook Deals (a Groupon replica). Creating a social platform that combines geolocation data and sales specials could be a great innovation towards a viable business model. Facebook also has the opportunity to include psychographic and demographic data into this model which is not available to Foursquare and Groupon.

Back to the bubble. The effect of the social media bubble will only be felt by those social media companies that fail to find new revenue streams that leverage their large databases of consumer data. At the end of the day this is why they are getting the investment in the first place – consumer data that is so rich it is not available in any other industry, medium or channel.

Identifying Talent In A Knowledge Economy?

Posted on: April 19th, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Identifying Talent is a top priority in any organistion today. Daniel Pink, in his TED talk on The Surprising Science of Motivation, suggests the most valuable people in a knowledge economy organizations are the people thinking about solutions to to questions we haven’t even discovered / asked yet. I’m not sure that’s possible, but it certainly describes the sort of person we should be identifying, developing and holding onto.

But how do we do that accurately in a knowledge economy? Peter Drucker weighs in with:

“Evaluating the performance of knowledge workers is an almost impossible task, as much of their work takes place inside of their heads.”

In a paper by Eoin Whelan, from the University of Limerick, titled ‘It’s Whom You Know Not What You Know: A Social Network Analysis Approach to Talent Management‘, he suggests that performance appraisals are the most commonly used mechanisms to identify A-Players, and yet evidence that points to the deficiencies of such metrics is plentiful in supply. He suggests at least two reasons:

For example, individual appraisals can lead to an over emphasis on individual performance which undermines teamwork and has the potential to create destructive internal competition (Pfeffer, 2001). Likewise, there is much evidence which confirms rater bias in performance appraisals. Employees who share similarities with their supervisor tend to receive higher ratings (Tsui et al., 2002) and are more likely to receive promotions (Wakabayashi et al.,1988). For these reasons, it has been argued that the use of such metrics are problematic when applied to the management of talented people (Makela et al., 2010, Mellahi and Collings, 2010, Gladwell, 2002).

But what if it’s not what lies inside that counts? What if talent has more to do with relationships someone has, and the position they occupy in the networks they belong to? If there is some truth to this, it would require a completely different approach and set of tools to measure and identify talent.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) would be one such tool. Wikipedia has the following to say in defining SNA:

Social networks have also been used to examine how organizations interact with each other, characterizing the many informal connections that link executives together, as well as associations and connections between individual employees at different organizations. For example, power within organizations often comes more from the degree to which an individual within a network is at the center of many relationships than actual job title. Social networks also play a key role in hiring, in business success, and in job performance.

 

 

 

Of course it’s not as simple as the above paragraph. Work needs to be done to properly understand any network you examine and the roles of the individuals within those networks. SNA allows us to understand better how a network responds to the individuals within it and visa versa.

Perhaps a useful and popular platform to illustrate this is FaceBook. When analyzing one of your connection’s (aka Friend) network you can see who has connected with them, how many people, and perhaps even get a sense of why they have made the connection? The real world is different to the digital world in this regard. We are less likely to ‘Friend’ people we don’t find useful or interesting to us in the real world. What our connections have to say about us, or the amount of energy we give or take-away from them, or whether they use us to find solutions for their projects or not does say much about who we are.

I am often astounded at the results SNA delivers when working with a team of people. I have always been surprised at how much information can be gathered from an often very simple process. I certainly think SNA is an under-utilised tool for identifying talent. It draws on the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ and gets away from the subjectivity often attached to deciding who is and isn’t talent?

It does come with risks, which is possibly why it’s not employed more often:

  • It can cut fairly deep and deliver some robust insight to individuals and the team. Courage is often needed to embark on an SNA journey.
  • It shifts control and responsibility from manager/leader to the voice of the group, and may possibly include difficult feedback for said manager/leader.

Whatever the reason it’s not used more, it’s a much needed tool in the identification of talent in any organisation.

Recruitment Trend Shifts in South Africa

Posted on: April 19th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

The recruitment industry in South Africa looks like it is on the rise for the first time in two and a half years. Human Resources South Africa reported “employment grew by 5.6% during March.”

As business slowly starts to find its feet again after a rough few years in the global economy recruiters are looking for good people to take their companies forward. “The aim and challenges of recruitment in South Africa is to put the right person, at the right place, at the right time in the organisation. By doing this the company should hopefully improve their organisational performance and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the company ” (Human Resources South Africa)

Social Media RecruitmentWhat are the trends being used that are shifting the way the recruitment industry works? There are two obvious and high impact trends that have risen out of social media and online technology that are worth looking at:

Move Towards Headhunting

Wall Street Journal makes an interesting observation that social media has made headhunting easier and cheaper. Networking websites like Linkedin have opened the door to finding people based on expertise, experience and CV. We are able to see immediate recommendations of people we are thinking about hiring and can make more comprehensive decisions about people before starting the interview process.

On a global scale we see business looking to decrease their job board subscriptions and move towards using social technology like Facebook and Linkedin to find great employees. The general consensus being that jobs boards create too many unqualified leads that waste HR time. Social Media channels however, allow recruiter to check out potential candidates before the invitation is sent. Leaving the power of selection in the hands of the recruiter and not with the job seeker.

Search Tools vs Career Portals

Search based jobs websites

Google has successfully created a search culture. When we need something we search for it – usually in Google. The same happens in recruitment. We find that candidates will turn to Google before they turn to job and career portals, simply because thats what they know.

Search works differently to portals. Portals let people browse though positions and candidates available in the network. Search allows you to scour the internet for exactly what you are looking for without bias to a particular website. This is where Indeed comes in. A South African Jobs Search Engine that searches all job sites, classified and any other source it can find to produce a search result for exactly the job you are looking for, allowing you to apply for the position of your dreams quickly and easily.

The impact of search based tools vs directory tools online to find employment may very well change the way we promote our job openings. An easy example would be that we need to start considering our the Search Engine Optimisation of every single job post and there may even be opportunity in using advertising vehicles like Google Adwords to promote top positions.

Career Portals need to integrate with social technology

Jobs.co.za have recently started using the Linkedin API allowing candidates to update their profiles directly from their Linkedin Profile. They have also opened up the possibility “or its members to register, search for jobs, create job alerts, see who’s hiring and find useful career advice all directly from the Facebook page.” (Bizcommunity) All of this social media integration is simply in aid of making it simpler and easier to recruiters to find candidates.

This level of social media integration is the only way, I believe, that Jobs and Career portals can remain relevant in the recruitment industry. Although we are not seeing these portals opening up headhunting opportunities like Linkedin, this is still a step in the right direction.

 

Short Study: Generation Y in South Africa

Posted on: March 2nd, 2011 by admin-kablooey 8 Comments

Over the last month Mike Saunders and a few associates ran a small study on Generation Y in South Africa. We interviewed 144 students with an average age of 18 years old. The gender split was 60% female and 40% male.

Generation-Y-in-South-AfricaThe findings were quite interesting and echoed many generalizations about generation Y.

In South Africa, Generation Y uses digital platforms for communication and prefer Facebook and BBM over any other communication tool. Email continues to lose its effectiveness as a communication vehicle with this generation.

Google is starting to lose search market share to Facebook as 50% of Gen Y chooses to use Facebook as a search engine over Google.

Although MXit is popular it’s loyalty is much lower (less than one hour a day) than Facebook (up to five hours per day).

When given the choice Gen Y chose the internet over magazines, their cellphone over the internet and tertiary education over their cell phone. They are also a healthy bunch of individuals choosing healthy food over junk food, restaurants over fast food and bottled water over fizzy drinks.

Click Here for a complete list of some of our findings

MTV asks students about their digital lifestyle.

Posted on: February 8th, 2011 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

MTV Online presenter Tom Thurlow went on the streets to ask students about their digital lifestyle. What mobiles are they carrying and why? Are they adopting Foursquare or Facebook Places? Do any of them still read newspapers or do they get all their news online?

Social Media in Sales

Posted on: January 19th, 2011 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Social technologies like twitter, foursquare, MXit, facebook and BBM represent the communication shift from physical to digital. Although this is becoming a well known fact most people are unsure where they stand and how this communication will affect their business.

Most business are completely reliant on strong sales teams who are well equipped with product knowledge and sales resources.
Going into the future I believe that one of those resources is a strong understanding of social media. Let’s get into why:

Social Media in Sales StrategySales is ALL about clear communication

Sales people need to clearly and precisely explain the features, benefits and virtues of a product. More than this they need to explain this in a way that is appreciated by the consumer. Social media will open you up to the communication channel that many young millennial people appreciate.

About a year ago I helped a client take their education product into the world of social media. The client experiences a revolt inside the company as people rejected the idea of ‘getting social’. The results however were outstanding.

Once the sales team was trained and equipped with the tools to communicate effectively we a launched the Facebook page. Within a few days potential students started commenting on the page with questions about the institution. We were quickly able to respond with the sales team and turned over R 250 000, 00 inside six weeks.

This success simply came from the mindset of meeting your market where they are and the tactic of getting ‘trained up!’

– Be sure to read part two of our social media in sales series.

Mobile technology influence on Social Media

Posted on: December 8th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

After the article from Barrie Bramley on the influence of the smart phone I thought it would be a good idea to show you this infographic that outlines the effect of the mobile phone on social media.

 how-are-mobile-phones-changing-social-media_50290a6e052fa

What’s your digital lifestyle?

Posted on: December 1st, 2010 by admin-kablooey 6 Comments

I am a firm believer that every person hasa certian level of digital integration in their lifestyle. The is something in almost all of us that uses the digital landscape in someway or another. This is what excites me about digital media – its different for everyone.

Each person experiences the digital landscape in their own way, from their own vantage point and with their own personal agenda. This is the Consumer 2.0 I have spoken about before. I go into this in more detail in our presentation but I wanted to share a bit of insight into a study by TNS Surveys which outlines six digital lifestyles. These are:

INFLUENCERS

The internet is an integral part of my life. I’m young and a big mobile Internet user and generally access everywhere, all of the time. I’m a blogger, a passionate social networker with many social network friends. I’m also a big online shopper, even via my mobile. I want to make sure as many people as possible hear my online voice.

COMMUNICATORS

I just love talking and expressing myself, whether that’s face to face, on a fixed line, mobile or on social networking sites, instant messaging or just emailing people. I really want to express myself in the online world in the way that I can’t in the offline one. I tend to be a smart phone user and I’m connecting online from my mobile, at home, at work or at college.

KNOWLEDGE-SEEKERS

I use the internet to gain knowledge, information and to educate myself about the world. I’m not very interested in social networking but I do want to hear from like-minded people especially to help me make purchase decisions. I’m very interested in the latest thing.

NETWORKERS

The internet is important for me to establish and maintain relationships. I have a busy life whether it’s my profession or managing the home. I use things like social networking to keep in touch with people I wouldn’t have time to otherwise. I’m a big home internet home user and I’m very open to talking to brands and looking for promotions. That said I’m not really the kind of person to voice my opinions online.

ASPIRERS

I’m looking to create a personal space online. I’m very new to the Internet and I’m accessing via mobile and internet cafes but mostly from home. I’m not doing a great deal at the moment online but I’m desperate to do more of everything, especially from a mobile device.

FUNCTIONALS

The internet is a functional tool, I don’t want to express myself online. I like emailing, checking the news, sport & weather but also online shopping. I’m really not interested in anything new (like social networking )and I am worried about data privacy and security. I am older and have been using the internet for a long time.

Which one are you?

I would love to hear your comments on which digital lifestyle most described you. Feel free to comment. Thank you

Is your company website your best business to business marketing tool?

Posted on: November 24th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Business to Business need lead generation focused websites

Business leaders, in a recent study, cited company websites as the main source of information when looking at a business to business purchase. Company websites were used more than trade magazines, search engines and social media.

The business decision makers are telling us the story that with big purchases they are definitely interested in browsing through a website to find out more about the product they are looking at purchasing. In business to business environments a company website has great potential to add to the sales leads and referrals for your sales team by ensuring that it utilises a strong lead generation strategy.

Interestingly enough, although the decision makers use company websites the most to gather information the decision maker is mainly influenced by word of mouth and social media channels. (more…)

Twitter, FaceBook and Social Media are just like a Fax Machine

Posted on: October 20th, 2010 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

The interest in Social Media in the business world is growing. And it’s growing ‘upwards’ in the organisation. I say ‘upwards’ because increasingly I’m engaged in conversations with the Gate-Keepers around whether they should our shouldn’t jump in? The weight of the conversation is still resistance and skepticism, but new conversations are emerging in new places, and this for me, is a trend I’m interested in following.

When I am asked for my opinion as to whether a business should engage in Social Media, my response has become, “Did you buy a Fax Machine?”

Often I get a puzzled look before I’m asked to elaborate. My question comes from hours and hours of thinking, conversation and reflection around what this all means for business? And a few months ago it dawned on me, that the Social Media conversation is just like the Fax Machine conversation of years ago. In fact, I’ve discovered that in some companies the decision around a Fax Machine made it to the Board Meeting!

For those that can remember, the questions and concerns were very similar:

  • We’re doing fine without a fax machine
  • Who would we fax?
  • Who would fax us?
  • What would we fax?
  • Not all of our customers and suppliers have one?
  • I can’t see how it would make a difference to the way we work?
  • It’s going to create unnecessary expense
  • Will we have to create a Fax Department?

Of course we all know how the story played itself out. Fax machines became ubiquitous. Everyone got one. The peer pressure mounted. In fact, it got a stage where if you didn’t have one, it reflected negatively on your business,

And you could tell the same story around the Cell Phone and the Web Site. The same process, the same set of questions and ultimately the Gate-Keepers relented, embraced the new form of media and communication, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In fact, for many people the fax machine has come and gone. There are many young people today who’ve never received a fax, have never sent one, and probably will never touch a fax or fax machine ever in their life.

When you spend some time reflecting on the decision process and rationale of the Fax Machine, Social Media is easy to get your mind around. It’s simply another channel through which to engage with your customers and suppliers. There’s nothing more to it than that really. Certainly it needs a different set of skills and it will, like the fax machine, change some of how you do business.

Is it necessary? Absolutely. When your customers are using it to engage, at the level we’re seeing, it’s not only necessary it’s imperative. The real challenge in my opinion is not to try and build a case for embracing Social Media, I dare you to build a case against it. I can’t think of a single business or industry that is excluded from having to ‘jump in’!

Barrie deals with the topic of Social Media in the presentation, Beyond the Hype. If you’d like to download a pdf overview of the presentation, please click here. Or you can watch Barrie speaking about technology if you click here.

What the Chilean miners’ rescue tells us about online media consumption

Posted on: October 20th, 2010 by admin-kablooey 4 Comments

Wednesday October 13th, most of the world were watching with baited breath as the rescue mission started for thirty three Chilean miners trapped about 700 meters below the ground. All thirty three men are doing well and it seems that their only cause for concern would be dealing with the new found fame.

The media is always a good reflection of how an event captures the heart of people and this was no different. In fact this event caused a few social media records to break as people watched, followed and tweeted their support for the famous miners.

Chilean Rescue almost as popular as the Obama Election

Shortly after rescue operations announced they would start the rescue the next day (5pm on Tuesday the 12th October) traffic to online news websites surged to record the 5th largest spike in global news traffic since 2005.

online media consumption

Chilean miner rescue creates 5th largest global news traffic spike

One of the largest success factors to the increase in online media consumption has been the new technologies in streaming video of the event to online viewers. Essentially allowing CNN to broadcast 4.6 million live streams of the event. In addition this translated into 82.5 million page views on the website.

What was the social media impact?

(more…)

Do we Twitter because we’re human, and are we human because we Twitter?

Posted on: August 3rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Last year I read ‘Born to Run‘. If you’re a runner, or would like to be, and haven’t read it, then do yourself a favour, it’s a goodie. At the end of the book the author suggests that Homo Sapiens made it to where we have because we’re runners. And then drops this line that I’ve not forgotten, “We run because we’re human, and we’re human because we run.” Running is part of who we all are, and we only got here because of our ability to run. We dare not stop running. It’s more than getting fat and unfit. It’s about holding onto our human-ess.

For those who’ve peeked at my writing this year, you’ll know I keep suggesting that it doesn’t matter if Twitter /FaceBook et al, lives or dies! The real question to be asking is whether it’s changing us? Changing how we engage, relate, interact, etc?

I think it’s a great perspective for companies to consider. While you’re panicking about getting into or staying out of Social Media, you better be asking whether it’s changing your customers?

Of course I don’t think Social Media has reached the kind of gravitas running has, in the context of talking about what makes us human, but I still do like thinking about the direction we’re all headed. This weekend I picked up this article from The New York Times Magazine – I Tweet, Therefore I Am. You understand why it got my attention : ) A title declaring the connection between our Humanness and Social Media. The author picks up on similar themes:

The expansion of our digital universe — Second Life, FacebookMySpace, Twitter — has shifted not only how we spend our time but also how we construct identity. For her coming book, “Alone Together,” Sherry Turkle, a professor at M.I.T., interviewed more than 400 children and parents about their use of social media and cellphones. Among young people especially she found that the self was increasingly becoming externally manufactured rather than internally developed: a series of profiles to be sculptured and refined in response to public opinion. “On Twitter or Facebook you’re trying to express something real about who you are,” she explained. “But because you’re also creating something for others’ consumption, you find yourself imagining and playing to your audience more and more. So those moments in which you’re supposed to be showing your true self become a performance. Yourpsychology becomes a performance.” Referring to “The Lonely Crowd,” the landmark description of the transformation of the American character from inner- to outer-directed, Turkle added, “Twitter is outer-directedness cubed.”

This for me is just another reflection. I don’t know where we’re headed yet? I don’t know if it’ll be good or bad for us? I don’t know if we’ll care? I do know it’s beginning to change some things. The NYT article suggests that ‘empathy’ may be a loser:

The risk of the performance culture, of the packaged self, is that it erodes the very relationships it purports to create, and alienates us from our own humanity. Consider the fate of empathy: in an analysis of 72 studies performed on nearly 14,000 college students between 1979 and 2009, researchers at the Institute for Social Research at theUniversity of Michigan found a drop in that trait, with the sharpest decline occurring since 2000. Social media may not have instigated that trend, but by encouraging self-promotion over self-awareness, they may well be accelerating it.

Let’s be careful out there. With each other and with ourselves. And perhaps, for now, don’t stop running : )

Do we Twitter because we're human, and are we human because we Twitter?

Posted on: August 3rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Last year I read ‘Born to Run‘. If you’re a runner, or would like to be, and haven’t read it, then do yourself a favour, it’s a goodie. At the end of the book the author suggests that Homo Sapiens made it to where we have because we’re runners. And then drops this line that I’ve not forgotten, “We run because we’re human, and we’re human because we run.” Running is part of who we all are, and we only got here because of our ability to run. We dare not stop running. It’s more than getting fat and unfit. It’s about holding onto our human-ess.

For those who’ve peeked at my writing this year, you’ll know I keep suggesting that it doesn’t matter if Twitter /FaceBook et al, lives or dies! The real question to be asking is whether it’s changing us? Changing how we engage, relate, interact, etc?

I think it’s a great perspective for companies to consider. While you’re panicking about getting into or staying out of Social Media, you better be asking whether it’s changing your customers?

Of course I don’t think Social Media has reached the kind of gravitas running has, in the context of talking about what makes us human, but I still do like thinking about the direction we’re all headed. This weekend I picked up this article from The New York Times Magazine – I Tweet, Therefore I Am. You understand why it got my attention : ) A title declaring the connection between our Humanness and Social Media. The author picks up on similar themes:

The expansion of our digital universe — Second Life, FacebookMySpace, Twitter — has shifted not only how we spend our time but also how we construct identity. For her coming book, “Alone Together,” Sherry Turkle, a professor at M.I.T., interviewed more than 400 children and parents about their use of social media and cellphones. Among young people especially she found that the self was increasingly becoming externally manufactured rather than internally developed: a series of profiles to be sculptured and refined in response to public opinion. “On Twitter or Facebook you’re trying to express something real about who you are,” she explained. “But because you’re also creating something for others’ consumption, you find yourself imagining and playing to your audience more and more. So those moments in which you’re supposed to be showing your true self become a performance. Yourpsychology becomes a performance.” Referring to “The Lonely Crowd,” the landmark description of the transformation of the American character from inner- to outer-directed, Turkle added, “Twitter is outer-directedness cubed.”

This for me is just another reflection. I don’t know where we’re headed yet? I don’t know if it’ll be good or bad for us? I don’t know if we’ll care? I do know it’s beginning to change some things. The NYT article suggests that ‘empathy’ may be a loser:

The risk of the performance culture, of the packaged self, is that it erodes the very relationships it purports to create, and alienates us from our own humanity. Consider the fate of empathy: in an analysis of 72 studies performed on nearly 14,000 college students between 1979 and 2009, researchers at the Institute for Social Research at theUniversity of Michigan found a drop in that trait, with the sharpest decline occurring since 2000. Social media may not have instigated that trend, but by encouraging self-promotion over self-awareness, they may well be accelerating it.

Let’s be careful out there. With each other and with ourselves. And perhaps, for now, don’t stop running : )

Simba’s inclusive social media taste strategy – clever

Posted on: July 23rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

Social media is a very new platform to play on, no matter what country you find yourself in. Certainly some have played harder, risked more and invested more money, but I’m not certain there are very many who can claim to have ‘got it right’?

From my vantage point it makes for a very very exciting ‘playground’ to watch. Lots of clever people doing some very clever things. And with all the play, we get to observe, experience and participate in the amazing and absolutely terrible : )

Simba (the South African chip/crisp company) are currently engaged in a really interesting project. They’re running a competition to invent a new flavour. And it’s not in the traditional form. They don’t have their marketing gurus working long hours to come up with their next (hopefully) big flavour. They’re using citizen you and me to do it.

This competition received over 187 000 entries and some very original and exciting flavour suggestions were put forward via SMS, MMS, mail and the website www.lekkerflavour.co.za. It stands to reason that with so many entries received that there would be duplicate flavour submissions. The majority of entries were representative of some of the foods that South Africans are fond of such as Bobotie, Oxtail, Fish & Chips, Pap & Wors, Snoek, Prawns and of course, Biltong!

Currently the competition is down to the 4 final flavours.

The top four flavours in the “What’s Your Lekker Flavour?” competition have been announced! They are Masala Steak Gatsby, Vetkoek & Polony, Snoek & Atchar and Walkie Talkie Chicken. All four flavours will go on sale at the beginning of June and will be available at all leading retailers.

And well done to ‘us’. We’ve shown that our creativity is worth every cent they’re throwing at us, and more. There’s R100 000 up for grabs to 4 lucky people who vote for the winning flavour. And here’s what the winning flavour inventor receives:

The winning flavour will see one South African receive fame and fortune in the form of R200 000 in cash, and 1% of sales of the winning flavour. This could mean that the winner will received up to R500 000 per year for as long as the flavour is on sale.

I really hope this competition succeeds for them, because it’s good for all of us. It lifts the social media profile, it’s captured the attention of at least 187 000 people who had a voice for a few seconds, it’s fun, and it hopefully opens the door to more money, energy and time being invested in developing all the possibilities social media presents.

I voted for Vetkoek and Polony, even though Walkie Talkie Chicken has my attention in terms of what might be in it?

Simba's inclusive social media taste strategy – clever

Posted on: July 23rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey 3 Comments

Social media is a very new platform to play on, no matter what country you find yourself in. Certainly some have played harder, risked more and invested more money, but I’m not certain there are very many who can claim to have ‘got it right’?

From my vantage point it makes for a very very exciting ‘playground’ to watch. Lots of clever people doing some very clever things. And with all the play, we get to observe, experience and participate in the amazing and absolutely terrible : )

Simba (the South African chip/crisp company) are currently engaged in a really interesting project. They’re running a competition to invent a new flavour. And it’s not in the traditional form. They don’t have their marketing gurus working long hours to come up with their next (hopefully) big flavour. They’re using citizen you and me to do it.

This competition received over 187 000 entries and some very original and exciting flavour suggestions were put forward via SMS, MMS, mail and the website www.lekkerflavour.co.za. It stands to reason that with so many entries received that there would be duplicate flavour submissions. The majority of entries were representative of some of the foods that South Africans are fond of such as Bobotie, Oxtail, Fish & Chips, Pap & Wors, Snoek, Prawns and of course, Biltong!

Currently the competition is down to the 4 final flavours.

The top four flavours in the “What’s Your Lekker Flavour?” competition have been announced! They are Masala Steak Gatsby, Vetkoek & Polony, Snoek & Atchar and Walkie Talkie Chicken. All four flavours will go on sale at the beginning of June and will be available at all leading retailers.

And well done to ‘us’. We’ve shown that our creativity is worth every cent they’re throwing at us, and more. There’s R100 000 up for grabs to 4 lucky people who vote for the winning flavour. And here’s what the winning flavour inventor receives:

The winning flavour will see one South African receive fame and fortune in the form of R200 000 in cash, and 1% of sales of the winning flavour. This could mean that the winner will received up to R500 000 per year for as long as the flavour is on sale.

I really hope this competition succeeds for them, because it’s good for all of us. It lifts the social media profile, it’s captured the attention of at least 187 000 people who had a voice for a few seconds, it’s fun, and it hopefully opens the door to more money, energy and time being invested in developing all the possibilities social media presents.

I voted for Vetkoek and Polony, even though Walkie Talkie Chicken has my attention in terms of what might be in it?

PODCAST – Great early interview of Mark Zuckerberg of ‘The FaceBook’

Posted on: June 3rd, 2010 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

I don’t know how I got it, but I found myself listening to a 56 minute interview of Mark Zuckerberg while driving the other day. Truth be told it took me 3 days to listen to it (wasn’t in my car long enough).

But it was a great interview. Great because, in my opinion, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t have a clue as to what he had in his hands when they first got started. The interview is in the early days, dated October 2005. In the days when it was still being called ‘The FaceBook’. How funny that sounded.

It’s one of those interviews that he’ll possibly feel a little silly about, should he listen to it today?

  • He talked about not liking the term ‘social network’ and that The FaceBook was a directory and not a social network
  • He was asked if they’d take The FaceBook to other universities (where it started) around the world. He sounded unsure as to whether the international community would be all that interested?
  • He talked about how he almost folded the project at one point because it didn’t look like it had a future.

It’s one of those interviews that reminds the mortals like me that giants like ‘The FaceBook’ didn’t necessarily start with a grand master plan. It was more about putting one foot in front of the other and taking it step by step. I found a lot of encouragement listening as I giggled along reflecting on how far ‘The FaceBook’ has come.

I’ve uploaded the interview into the TomorrowToday PodCast Feed. You can pick it up here:

  • Subscribe to the ‘TomorrowToday PodCast Feed’ on iTunes here
  • Go to the RSS feed in your browser

Social Media Platforms are taking the virtual out of reality

Posted on: May 25th, 2010 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

Often those that don’t, a few that have, and one or two that do, criticize social media platforms (Twitter, FaceBook, et al) of being a conceptual experience robbing the depth of authenticity from face-to-face relationships. In their opinion relationships on social media platforms are a far cry from the real world and are therefore best avoided.

There is some merit in these pronouncements, especially with some of the bizarre and ridiculous anecdotes that abound in these emergent spaces. We all know the one about the one guy that murdered the other guy in the real world because he stole something from him in the virtual world. And we know about the woman who divorced her husband in the real world because of his affair in the virtual world.

But what of the other stories? The counter-stories to these crazy ones? Are there any, and if there are, what do they look like? Do they have substance? Do they add value? Do they benefit us individually or corporately?  That was the journey of discovery I set myself 2 weeks ago as I thought about writing this post.

If any social media platform is going to survive it will need to impact the real world we inhabit. It cannot remain conceptual and virtual and expect to be more than just a passing fad. ChatRoulette, in my opinion, is a good example of a social media platform that will not find a place in our near future. It will be one of those places you go and visit because you’ve heard about it, and having been, will tick it off and never go back again. Unless of course it finds a way to impact the real world. At this juncture I cannot imagine how?

Mid-morning three Sunday’s ago, I received a Tweet from someone I’ve not met face-to-face. Someone I’ve not spoken to voice-to-voice. Someone I’d not ever sent a fax, e-mail or sms to. She’s someone I’ve only ever sent 140 character bursts to, via Twitter. I know she’s married, has two children, grew up in East London, and works in marketing for one of South Africa’s large financial institutions. You can learn a lot through 140 character bursts over time.

Her tweet had me digging around on Google for people who had done real things through and because of virtual relationships and interactions on one or many of the available social platforms?

I found some of the well known stories. Stories like the Kogi Korean BBQ:

The Kogi truck is now a staple of the Los Angeles area, delivering quality Korean BBQ via truck to different areas of the city daily. Owner Mark Manguera knew it would take off, but he couldn’t figure out how to let his growing customer base know where the truck would be each night. What did he end up doing? You guessed it. Twitter. He tweets the truck’s locations and times throughout the day, letting hungry customers know where to get their fix. It’s worked out splendidly. Mark and his team serve about 800 people per stop and have 22,000 Twitter followers. Twitter address: @KogiBBQ

The problem is that stories like this one have reached ‘legend status’. We look at them with a sense of awe and pass quickly by because we see them as ‘one-offs’ and ‘lucky breaks’. I needed a story closer to home. One that I could imagine myself a part of?

Welcome to the Twitter Blanket Drive. The tweep who got it rolling was @MelanieMinnaar, and her tweet was simply attempting, in her own words, to get 10 friends together for coffee to gather some blankets for people not equipped to deal with the approaching South African winter. Well, that’s where the story began. And it’s a great story. Suddenly people, all sorts of people, climbed on board.

Andre Bruton registered www.twitterblanketdrive.co.za (his initiative) and designed a website for the project. He describes himself as:

IT Geek, trouble shooter

On the 29th of May there’s a TweetUp being held in 8 different cities in South Africa. People are gathering on that evening from 18:00 to meet each other in the ‘real world’ to have a few drinks and give a few blankets to the project. Each one of those venues has been arranged by people that Melanie had nothing to do with organising. These are people that believe in the project, wanted to participate, and arranged the venues and will host the events.

If you’d like to go, there’s not criteria outside of interest in the project and to bring and donate at least one blanket on the night. You can go to the ‘official website’ and RSVP with your Twitter username. And if you’re not on Twitter you don’t need to RSVP, just pitch up and say hi.

There are traditional media partners involved in some cities, and organisations in each city who will receive the blankets and distribute them once the event is over.

I’m not sure if it’s an urban legend or not, but word (I heard) in the Twittersphere is that at least one company is donating R10 000 to the cause?

This is a great example of ‘the virtual’ meeting ‘reality’ and impacting people. In my mind it not only illustrates the value of social networks but it furthers their foothold in how we do things together as we move into the future.

I had an opportunity to interview Melanie (via Skype) about her, at that point, 2.5 week experience of the TwitterBlanketDrive (#TBD). It’s an interesting interview. Not only because you get to hear the story from the source, but because there are some interesting lessons she’s learned on the way. Lessons about a new way of doing things. Lessons about control, lack of it, and how big things can happen in an unexpected way. I guess Malcolm Gladwell would simply point us to his book, The Tipping Point? And he’d be correct. This is a great tipping point story. Made all the more interesting by the channel that was used to tip it.

To listen to the interview with Melanie Minnaar around the Twitter Blanket Drive, please follow any one of these two links

  • Click here to subscribe to the iTunes TomorrowToday PodCast Feed
  • Click here to access the interview via the TomorrowToday PodCast RSS Feed

If you’d like to download this article as a PDF to read later or share with someone via e-mail, click here.


FaceBook’s new Mobile Site – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C #Fail

Posted on: May 21st, 2010 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

Yesterday’s news on Mashable was the launch of FaceBook’s new mobile site.

The new site, 0.Facebook.com, will be available in 45 countries through 50+ mobile and wireless network operators. It is a trimmed-down version of Facebook with most of the features ofm.Facebook.com, including status updates, a newsfeed, Likes, wall posts and comments.

The ‘killer feature’ is that it’s FREE to use. That is of course if the mobile phone provider in your country has done whatever deal is necessary with FaceBook to use it.

50+ countries surely had to include South Africa. Right? I mean if there’s an African country involved, we’ve surely got to be at the top of the list. Over 1 000 000 FaceBook users in SA means FaceBook would have worked hard to get an agreement with one of the mobile phone operators in this country. And what a win for them.

Except, as you’re correctly guessing, South Africa is not on the list. The list includes Swaziland, Uganda, Rwanda, Guinea Bissau and DRC. Many of those are through MTN. But South Africa is not on the list.

Why is this?

The only answer I can come up with is because of the ridiculous amount of money that the mobile phone operators in SA are making. Yesterday I saw figures that suggested there are over 10 000 000 data subscribers in SA, so why attempt to lure them with a free service when you can milk them dry?

Am I wrong?

Personal Details – Are we opening up or locking down?

Posted on: May 17th, 2010 by admin-kablooey 1 Comment

I’ve come accross a couple of interesting articles in the last week. They’ve not all focussed exclusively on ‘privacy’, but they’ve mentioned it somewhere. What has me interested is that they’re not all saying the same thing. In fact they’re saying some very different things about the future of how much I’ll be inclined to let you know about me?

The New York Times carried an article, ‘The Tell-All Generation Learns Not To – At Least Online’. They suggest that today’s young people are showing signs of bucking the ‘tell-all’ trend we’ve seen emerge, that has us in a panic aboutwhat’s appropriate and what’s not.

The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud.

On the other end of the spectrum you have articles like, ‘Life in 2020: Your Dating History on Display and Other Faintly Disturbing Predictions‘, from FastCompany, that suggest your dating life is going to be all out there for all to see.

Imagine 10 years from now, you order a Bacon and Cheese Whopper, only for a monitor to tell you precisely how many grueling miles you’ll have to run to burn it off. Or someone just glances at your shoes and knows where you bought them. Or consider this: You walk into a bar and your entire dating history is thrown up on display. Would you run for the hills? (I sure as hell would.)

It’s going to be an interesting trend to watch. Will it be a pendulum swing? If Chat Roulette is anything to go by, we’re still swinging (excuse the pun) to ‘wide open’, but there will be lessons that are learned as we adjust. Where that adjustments settles down to, if it does at all, is going to be interesting?

I did smile at a story from Mashable, ‘48% of Parents Friend Their Kids on Facebook‘. If this stat has any truth to it, it’s little wonder today’s younger set are going into lock down mode. It’s not because of morals, or thinking about their future. It’s simply because mom and dad are watching : )

PodCast Update – The change driver of Technology from After Shock

Posted on: May 5th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

We’ve just added a new PodCast to the TomorrowToday feed.

We took an exert of Barrie Bramley, speaking at a Business Breakfast, talking about Technology, from TomorrowToday’s latest presentation called After Shock.

If you’d like to listen to this audio track please click on the following:

PodCast Update – Relationship without Investment

Posted on: April 19th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

We’ve just added a new PodCast to the TomorrowToday feed.

In February 2010, Graeme Codrington wrote an article around relationships, social networking and some change we’re seeing. This is the audio track of that article. Here’s a short exert from his introduction:

My business partner, Barrie Bramley, has come up with a fantastic phrase to describe one of the foundational principles of social networking: “Relationship without investment“.

I think he’s spot on with this. That’s why the Oxford Dictionary voted “unfriend” the word of the year for 2009. It’s easy now to become someone’s “friend” (I have over 3,000 such “friends” on Facebook and about 1,000 “followers” on Twitter). But there are no requirements for this friendship. Engage if you want to, don’t if you don’t. And if you don’t like the group you’re currently in, just start a new one, and find those people who share your precise, niche likes or dislikes.

If you’d like to listen to this audio track please click on the following:

When social media grows up… it will change everything

Posted on: March 4th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington 32 Comments

Download a copy of this article in PDF format – right click here. The contents of this article can be presented as a keynote or a workshop for your team – we call that “Beyond the Hype“. Contact our UK or South African offices to find out how.


Flattr this

PS – make sure you read the comments below this blog entry – we’re continually adding new case studies and examples, and there is some amazing stuff to see. Take your time – the future starts here.

Twitter recently hosted it’s billionth Tweet and Facebook had over 500 million users by the end of 2009, continuing its trend of doubling every nine months or so. It is difficult to continue to argue that social media is nothing more than a fad, and an increasing number of companies are starting to make use of these technologies.

But most of these companies are merely using social networks as a means to communicate (mainly with customers, but sometimes with staff as well) or to market their products and services. These are simple – and obvious – applications, and soon you’ll just be another voice in cacophony of online noise. Unfortunately, most “social media experts” focus only on these aspects of online social networking, and are overhyping the benefits and underemphasising the cultural shifts required for companies to truly benefit. They are missing a really important trend with huge implications for every organisation in every industry and sector.

The reason that social media has taken off so quickly is that it is more than a fad. It is, in fact, merely the technological expression of a values shift that has been taking place for a number of years. It will therefore be a shaping force in the world over the next decade. It might not be the answer to all your problems as many social media pundits are predicting. But it will definitely change everything, and more and more companies are starting to see the benefits it offers. A revolution awaits us.

You can hardly turn on a TV news channel or read a business magazine these days without being overwhelmed by requests to “follow my tweets”, “check out our blog” or “send us your videos”. Social media has gone mainstream. But most business users and organisations are treating it like a gimmick, and only gaining a fraction of the value they could. If they understood the true nature of what is happening, they’d know that social media is merely an expression of a deeper trend that has the potential to change everything. And they’d realise that the first companies to grasp this will have the opportunity to gain phenomenal competitive advantage in their industry. In fact, some companies have already started to do so.

Social Media 101

If you’ve missed this trend and are not sure what I’m talking about, here’s a quick primer: social media are the tools you can use to do social networking on the Internet. This involves connecting with other people, and sharing information with them digitally (yes, it’s just networking and connecting with others online). The most used tools are:

(more…)

In a Web 2.0 world, business has it’s head buried firmly in the sand

Posted on: December 10th, 2009 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

I’m curious. Curious about business’ lack of engagement with Twitter  / FaceBook / Tumblr / Google and everything else Web 2.0. I would have thought that any communication channel getting the sort of traction, focus, attention and subscription that these channels are getting, would have business engaging like a love struck teenager who’d just discovered their perfect partner?

But it’s not so. So not so. So far, the majority of my experience and observation is that business has been an extremely poor performer in these spaces. Take a look at these points from Jeffbulla’s Blog:

  1. 73 percent of Fortune 100 companies registered a total of 540 Twitter accounts.
  2. About three-quarters (76 percent) of those accounts did not post tweets very often.
  3. More than half (52 percent) were not actively engaged (This was measured by engagement metrics such as numbers of links, hashtags, references and retweets.)
  4. (more…)

In a Web 2.0 world, business has it's head buried firmly in the sand

Posted on: December 10th, 2009 by admin-kablooey 2 Comments

I’m curious. Curious about business’ lack of engagement with Twitter  / FaceBook / Tumblr / Google and everything else Web 2.0. I would have thought that any communication channel getting the sort of traction, focus, attention and subscription that these channels are getting, would have business engaging like a love struck teenager who’d just discovered their perfect partner?

But it’s not so. So not so. So far, the majority of my experience and observation is that business has been an extremely poor performer in these spaces. Take a look at these points from Jeffbulla’s Blog:

  1. 73 percent of Fortune 100 companies registered a total of 540 Twitter accounts.
  2. About three-quarters (76 percent) of those accounts did not post tweets very often.
  3. More than half (52 percent) were not actively engaged (This was measured by engagement metrics such as numbers of links, hashtags, references and retweets.)
  4. (more…)

The Twitter interview

Posted on: November 2nd, 2009 by Graeme Codrington No Comments

I was recently interviewed by a journalist on the issue of Twitter and social media, and how it might impact traditional media. It was a fairly focused interview – not broad ranging – but you might be interested in some of the thoughts that emerged.

Q1. How has Twitter changed the landscape of social networking?

A1. No, I don’t think so. Twitter is to online communication what text messages (SMSs) did to email. Because you’re only allowed 140 characters, you’re forced to be short, sharp and to the point (or, in many people’s cases: vague, confusing and silly). I think Twitter has added to an already growing trend towards social networking.

(more…)

How, when and why I Tweet and Blog

Posted on: October 16th, 2009 by Graeme Codrington 1 Comment

I’m often asked how I use social media, so I thought it might be helpful to do a quick blog about it. Not because you really care about me, but because it might help spark some thoughts about how you use social media and because it might help you get more out of this website and TomorrowToday’s other resources.

Firstly, then, this blog site. I use it as my filing cabinet for good ideas and good stuff I’ve seen. I focus on tracking trends that are shaping the new world of work, with a particular focus on demography and shifting societal values. But I’m also interested in the impact of other major forces, such as technology, institutional shifts, the environment and ethical consumption. I use this blog as a way of capturing case studies, ideas, trends and especially for writing up bits and pieces that I can later use in longer articles, white papers and books. The categories on the right hand side are linked to existing and expected frameworks (which we use as presentations or workshops with our clients).

As an author, I try and keep a discipline of writing about 200-400 words every day. Sometimes these words are rubbish – those are filed in fragmentary documents on my hard drive. Sometimes they start something that then inspires me to develop an article length entry – most recently, for example, I wrote a monster entry about Good to Great – that took nearly a week to complete. But every now and again, the 200-400 words produce a great thought – and that becomes a blog entry. My aim is one of these every other day.

Our blog has an automatic widget that then reports the new blog entry on Twitter (the feed is at @tomorrowtodayza). I wait about 30 minutes and then Retweet that auto notice using my own Twitter account (@codrington).

(more…)

Mom’s are big

Posted on: September 17th, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Every now and then I discover thoughts from marketing experts exploring the value of women between 35-55 and in this example mom’s. Their research and observations remind the marketplace of the value of the people who match the criteria of these segments, and how over-looked they are from a marketing and communication perspective. They either have incredible spending power, or massive decision rights in their world, or are inhabiting a particular channel that isn’t effectively communicating to them.

The Israeli Diamond Industry web site has an article around social media and mothers titled, ‘Mothers use FaceBook, Twitter, Blogs more than average adults’, and again suggests the retail world is missing a trick if they’re not using these platforms to speak to them.

“Retailers who aren’t engaging customers through social media could be missing the boat. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are becoming increasingly popular with moms as they search for coupons or deals and keep in touch with loved ones. The web provides efficient, convenient ways for brands to stay in front of their most loyal shoppers and attract new ones.”

I am always left wondering if these segments have been overlooked for so long is it because there isn’t an effective way to single them out, or is it because companies aren’t wired to see them. Reminds me of that quote that goes something like this, “Do we look at what we see, or do we see what we look at?”

Mom's are big

Posted on: September 17th, 2009 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Every now and then I discover thoughts from marketing experts exploring the value of women between 35-55 and in this example mom’s. Their research and observations remind the marketplace of the value of the people who match the criteria of these segments, and how over-looked they are from a marketing and communication perspective. They either have incredible spending power, or massive decision rights in their world, or are inhabiting a particular channel that isn’t effectively communicating to them.

The Israeli Diamond Industry web site has an article around social media and mothers titled, ‘Mothers use FaceBook, Twitter, Blogs more than average adults’, and again suggests the retail world is missing a trick if they’re not using these platforms to speak to them.

“Retailers who aren’t engaging customers through social media could be missing the boat. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are becoming increasingly popular with moms as they search for coupons or deals and keep in touch with loved ones. The web provides efficient, convenient ways for brands to stay in front of their most loyal shoppers and attract new ones.”

I am always left wondering if these segments have been overlooked for so long is it because there isn’t an effective way to single them out, or is it because companies aren’t wired to see them. Reminds me of that quote that goes something like this, “Do we look at what we see, or do we see what we look at?”