Category Archives: Social Media

User Generated: You can’t buy this

Modern Warfare: Frozen Crossing (A Modern Warfare Tribute)

Apology for the video skewing the CSS. But it’s the smallest one. And it’s awesome!

This is a fantastic piece of user-generated content.  It is driven with passion and enthusiasm – and I think this is what many agencies and clients are after.  But this didn’t happen over night, nor even in three months. And maybe that’s a little harder to explain to both parties alike.  Kotaku have more details about this particular build.

BUT: This video, even though it’s brilliant and had over 1.5 million views at the time of this post – is still really only of interest to the community that already exists around Modern Warfare.  Although, by increasing game-awareness (coined!) it can lead to increase in sales of this game with other gamers who have now viewed the video on Kotaku and YouTube.

Driving UGC

So what are some of the elements you need to drive UGC? Well firstly it has to start with an exceptional product or service or an aspirational brand (e.g. Canon, Apple etc) and secondly having assets give away the tools and assets you use for your product or service to allow them to be mashed-up (remember the “level creators” of the old first-person shooters?).  Thirdly, and what I think is really key here is about an engaged community.

And yes, once again we find ourselves looking at ‘social media’ with key elements of content & community.

The community behind Call of Duty was founded in 2003 with the release of the first edition of the game. Since then it has built on:

  • system and game updates via customer feedback
  • developing strong brand affinity amongst gamers (comps etc)
  • constantly providing products and limited merchandise for hardcore players (fueling passion – night vision goggles ;)

Is your agency prepared to stick it out for 7 years? Is your brand ready to take on a community for 7 years? Fuck it: are your staff going to be around for 7 years?

Because your community just might be ready.

Who owns social content

Lego police shot by regolare

Social Media Club Sydney Presents

Last night, Social Media Club Sydney (SMCSYD) held our first event (#smcsyd) for 2010 – Who owns social content.  Not only is this becoming business critical for agencies, brands and creatives alike – but content, and more specifically branded content, which is my new love interest for 2010.

It was also my first gig as MC.

What really set this event apart in my mind, was the practical and comprehensive nature of the legal topics which most of us consider a very grey area.  We were fortunate to have Professor Brian Fitzgerald and Stephen von Muester presenting their perspectives on how digital media affected by:

The crowd was still and the mood still – because we were all learning more than we’d ever had before.  Stephen and Brian were clear, concise and very practical about the points they were delivering.

The Outtakes

For me, the biggest learning curve was having someone explain the 6 creative commons licences, and how to determine ownership in such a practical way for digital. As I summed up on the night, for creatives, agencies and brands alike the following needs to be remembered:

  • Planning is critical: plan for the worst, hope for the best
  • Social networks control their spaces: if you’re using Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo!7, they all have their own T&Cs and waivers around rights to content – read them, know them and keep up to date with them
  • When creating your own content: know your business model and the implications of your creations
  • Setting expectations and agreements with creatives, clients and agencies is key
  • Read up and understand Creative Commons

My favourite outtake was probably to not think of copyright as always about restriction, but rather look for the opportunities for both businesses and creatives alike.

Thanks everyone for coming – and thank you all for your nice comments! Was a lot of fun.

Presentations from the evening

Dotti: Social Media Goodness

Social Media Site by Dotti

Community, User Generated Content, Business Outcomes

Bit of a social media wet dream here: Dotti have turned their site into a functional community engine. Where you can:

  • Submit your own design for a chance to have it made: thereby Dotti position themselves as a vehicle or facilitator of value and opportunity for their community
  • Vote and comment on other designs: again, enabling peer recognition (a driver of community)
  • Dotti then have the opportunity to see what local designers and non-designers want in their clothing

The whole site is very clean and is easy to navigate with plenty of pretty features.  I think the site, through their blog, could have some large SEO holes filled, to drive even more community.

Social Media Sharing by Dotti

In conclusion, Dotti have balanced the key elements of social media to drive business outcomes:

  • Engaged Community
  • Usability
  • User Generated Content
  • Facilitator of value and opportunity
  • Driving business outcomes: brand awareness, affinity, market research and business learning

Thanks to Michael Watkins who shared this on Facebook with me.

Social Media: Ask Yourself

Disel - Be Stupid

Three things to ask yourself before social

  1. What and who makes you the expert in your field?
  2. Why do you drive the most passion? The most influence? How?
  3. What is the real value your giving your customer, community or audience?

The fuel to the social media engine is in there. But remember where you’re driving: success.

Please note that picture from the Diesel: Be Stupid campaign has nothing really do with this.

5 Practical Tips for Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages and Advertising

Advice for setting-up Facebook pages

Feel free to use these tips for your internal teams – or better yet,  your agency or consultant – as a checklist.  Take particular note around community planning.  Feel free to leave your own comments or Facebook Fan Pages examples below.

Continue reading

Published: Age of Conversation 3

Age of Conversation 3 Book Cover

Introduction to the authors and thinkers of social media 2010

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a part of this new book Age of Conversation 3 – a previous two which I’ve considered very much social media and digital content bibles.  Lead by  Drew and my hero and good friend Gavin Heaton (AKA servantofchaos), who are also the curators and lead contributors to the book.

Massive shoutout and congrats to fellow authors and friends: Karalee, Katie Chatters, Katie H, JC, Craig Wilson, Gorden Whitehead, and Tip.

Continue reading

The New Online Communities

Building Branded Communities

It seems brands and their agencies are finally catching up with what I consider to be the most practical and valuable forms of social media.  Furthermore, there appears to be clear business outcomes defining these.  It’s also being driven by my two favourite pieces: Search And Social Media, while making people happy :)

Besides offering really valuable information to visitors, there’s a bigger picture to consider: if all their SEO is done correctly, then these become not online valuable resources for existing customers, but also the wider searches on Google etc. Another key example about how search and social media and coming closer and closer (in addition to today’s announcement regarding Google Starts Indexing Facebook Pages Updates)

The new Blackmores site is aiming to be the biggest online community in Australia dedicated to natural health.  Simple, clean design, and built into a strong Blackmores framework.  As always, would be interested to know what the KPIs will be around ROI and awareness etc. All very measurable.   Strong online community, strong SEO foundation leading to bigger, more targeted audiences delivering better outcomes.

Huggies was also launched – bring mums and bubs all the resources they need. It was also noted in Mark Pollard’s tweet about the importance of SEO. Again – two key factors, strong online community with a solid search foundation. Larger, targeted audiences delivering business outcomes.

So in case you missed it:

  • Build valuable online communities with good content and easy, clean community tools
  • Support it with strong SEO to maximise efforts
  • Get better business outcomes, and make people happy.

Now following you on Twitter!

Do all roads lead to porn?

While it was noted last year that social networking has taken over porn as the number one activity on the web (Hitwise), it seems porn is still catching up.  Guess I’ll stick to this for a while then. ;)

Interestingly, one of the most search-driven articles on this blog is – an article that attracts attention from particularly blunt search queries.  Or maybe that’s not so interesting? Seeing that even augmented-reality is meant to end up here (according to Ash Ringrose).

Who cares, this still nothing like seeing this particular tweet:

The Colour

Aussie Culture in Pictures

I really believe that image sharing is a beautiful thing.  There’s a few people I know who share this passion of when you see an amazing picture, you can’t wait to to show it those around you.

The Colour is a user submitted collection of Australian images and photos.  Much like FFFFOUND but with a clear focus: Australia.

It’s a beautiful representation of the imagery that surrounds us.  Not about the imagery we think should surround us.  Sure, I’m all about flora and fauna and big red rocks in the middle of even bigger red planes, but I don’t mind the odd piece of esoteric creativity either.  A balanced blend for anyone who appreciates the image.

Sign me up.

(P.S. Great to see both Twitter and Facebook logins. Makes it so easy. Go, go, social.)

2009: digital, social and life


Social Media: Year in Review for 2009

  1. Social Media is about sharing experiences and stories and not always the individual
  2. Communities and the people around us, define who we think we are
  3. It’s not about technology, it’s about people: blended with comms, marketing, research and story
  4. Business outcomes are paramount, measurement is key, communication/community are core
  5. Make it meaningful: Man Week was an amazing experience to share something like that with everyone.

What I’m proud of

Massive props to the digital kids

My favourite blog posts