Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gay for Fey

Absolutely loved this hour long Q&A with Tina Fey at Google. Wonderful to see a funny, articulate and ambitious woman achieve so much well-deserved success.

And some sound advice on picking who you work with: "Never work with someone you wouldn't want to bump into outside the bathroom at 3 o'clock in the morning". Fact.

Monday, April 25, 2011

David Armano - Media isn't Social

These days, not many YouTube videos are worth 16 minutes your time, but TED talks are always something special and this TEDx one is no exception. From how to avoid becoming an asshole online, to some pretty sweet and simple graphics on social media, Armano makes some good points.

One part which particularly resonated with me, was his chart on Planning and Improvising. As in life, successful brand strategy in today's world is based on both the ability to PLAN and the freedom to IMPROVISE. Setting guidelines for look, feel, tone of voice, messaging and so on are all vital for the core of a brand, but so too are the more flexible elements which allows the company to respond in real time to its environment.

Right now, social media is one way brands - and the people responsible for marketing them - are able to bring this flexibility to life. But, as Armano goes on to say, "Social media is this hot thing right now. Marketers tend to [go after the new thing] without fully understanding it and doing their homework, or really digesting what's changing." Finding ways to spot and integrate the new and the next, is just as important as being on top of what's hot now.

For a whole treasure trove of charts, graphs and continuums, check out Armano's Flickr set here.

And thanks to Mills at ustwo for Showyou-ing me this vid and disrupting my breakfast!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Just happened! *Puts on game face*

20 Reasons...

Been thoroughly enjoying everyone's feedback to my "20 reasons not to date a digital strategist". Some very funny responses, including a few people who thought they were all very good reasons to date a strategist! Well, we try!

A couple more reasons have been added to the post, so have scroll and check them out. Meantime, thanks to @joesafiend for sending this Twitpic over today - very funny!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

20 Reasons Not To Date A Digital Strategist

In response to 50 Reasons Not To Date a Graphic Designer...


1. They won’t date you unless you are followed by someone who follows them
2. They only want to eat at places with Foursquare specials
3. They will live tweet your date. Even the third one!
4. They will start a Tumblr about your relationship, with supporting Twitter feed
5. They will try to send you naughty pics via Photoswap
6. They will introduce you to their friends via Hashable
7. Their idea of a gift is to get you in on the Beta of a new app
8. Their idea of sending flowers is to take a picture of some on Instagram and @ you
9. If you make a joke they will LOL
10. When you have sex they imagine Pete Cashmore
11. They saw the new viral video two weeks ago
12. If they had to choose between saving you or their iPhone from a burning building...
13. They crowdsource where you should go on holiday
14. They have no idea what’s going on in Libya, but will send you 5 videos of cats talking before breakfast
15. They dream in 140 characters or less
16. They still won’t let you shop in Gap because of the whole logo thing
17. They judge the seriousness of the relationship based on the number of platforms you are connected on
18. SXSW is just a chance for them to catch up with everyone they’ve ever slept with
19. When you don’t update your status on Facebook for more than a day they assume you are dead
20. When they #ff people, you only find out later they were Furiously F*cking them

.... 21. They call themselves "Digital Strategists"
.... 22. According to Mashable, "Active Twitter Users Have Shorter Relationships".

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let me Showyou

Most of the time when people ask me what I do in my job everyday, my response is "I blog and I tweet". It's simpler than going into some in-depth explanation about brand strategy, and is far more effective in alienating people who do "real" jobs like saving lives and changing the world. As my friend used to say "It's PR, not ER".

Anyway, an app I did the brand strategy for launched yesterday, so I can finally reveal what I get up to during the week. Showyou is an app for the iPhone and iPad which gives people the fun of serendipitously discovering and sharing new videos via their social graph. The Twitter buzz today has described it as "Flipboard for videos".

You can check out the full case study for the project by clicking HERE.

It's still quite a new arena, but I'm really enjoying working on app brands for several reasons. Firstly, the clients are usually from a tech/digital background so they are well tuned in to the "moving world" and up for taking risks. Secondly, stand alone app companies are generally quite small, if not in start-up mode so you are working directly with the founders. It's their baby, they're really excited and you all want to get the best out of a branding exercise. And finally, app brands by their very nature give you room to think right up to the edge, if not off it. Living on a smart phone or tablet, apps can come to life visually, sonically, gesturally and socially - all amazing opportunities to create ownable, branded assets.

Showyou is an absolutely fabulous app. The designer on the team, Marian, and I spent practically a whole weekend passing the iPad between us, drifting through the 'infinite grid' of Showyou videos. I'm thrilled I got to be a part of how it came to life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Game Changing

I recently read that the Starbucks Mobile Card app has had over 3 million users, making Starbucks "the nation’s largest mobile payment network". Not Amex, not Visa, not Bank of America. Starbucks.

I also read that Google has set aside $100 million to pay for original programming across ten YouTube channels. Fox, CBS, HBO, ABC... looks like you're going to have a new network to contend with - one with in excess of 2 billion viewers per day. That's more than double the prime time viewing figures of all of the major U.S networks combined.

Ten years ago Nokia wouldn't have dreamt that their biggest competitor would be a computer brand. Just as a hundred years ago, Nokia couldn't have imagined moving from making rubber galoshes to mobile phones.

Brands know that competitors emerge from the most unlikely of places and, with today's incredible pace of change, they are doing it faster and harder. It seems if you don't own the platform, the device, or sell caffeinated drinks to Americans, then no industry is safe.

Monday, April 04, 2011

I saw the best minds of my generation...

Picked up O - The Oprah Magazine at the airport this weekend. It's the poetry issue - Oprah shares her private journals, and there's "words that soothe, ideas that delight". For the most part, it's not a bad read. It's poetry lite or poetry for dummies, and I'm all for getting people into poetry at any level. But just when I started to think this could really impress me, I get to "Eight poets accessorized with snippets of their own verse - celebrate freedom of expression". One up-and-coming young poet has this byline:

"By day, Whited is the communications director for Schools That Can, an educational nonprofit; by night, she's working on publishing her first book of poems. "I write a lot about questioning the boundaries of self," she says. "I like experimenting with new things." Case in point: this suede miniskirt, shorter than Whited would normally wear but comfortably balanced by a long-sleeved oxford and cotton sweater."

I'm sure a pink suede miniskirt is precisely what Stephanie Ann Whited has in mind when writes. It's such a shame that Oprah couldn't get to the end of an issue without commercialising the heart out of it. And, without getting all feminist on ya, it points again to a greater issue with publishing. As women, magazines only offer us reasons to hate ourselves and feel ugly, unfit, unhealthy, poor and bereft of Jennifer Aniston's upper arms.

Wired and Fast Company (the other mags I picked up), however, are packed with men's advertising insinuating I am an interloper to these publications, yet they always leave me inspired and excited. You don't see 10 page spreads of "Tech's Hottest App Developers Programme Pool Side in 2011's hottest swim trends"!

Can't now decide if that's a good or bad thing. There's my feminism argument out of the window.