How is my blogging going?

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and she was giving me a little bit of constructive criticism on my blog (she told me that a lot of the time, I have too many videos that she doesn't watch them and if she cannot see to the end of the post she doesn't not read it).

This is invaluable feedback, so I was just wondering what you guys enjoy about my blog? What annoys you about it? How could I make it better?

Owning Creativity - Guest Post from Oscar Nicholson

Guest post from Oscar Nicholson, who runs a film production company, but whose professional life began in biochemistry and is a subject off never completing a Masters in Intellectual Property Law. Creative Commons may be one more reason he’ll never finish his Masters.

Innovation is not its own reward. Like musos of the present, the Cro Magnon man drumming a beat on the skin of a cave ostrich drawn taught between the ribcage of a sabre-toothed orangutan also performed for tribal esteem and the promise of poon tang. Without reward, innovators are less inclined to share their ideas or go to the trouble of realizing them. Without reward, the human propensity for innovation alone might only now have us tentatively climbing down from the trees.

Every development in the framework supporting intellectual property has been driven by new commercial and social forces arising out of historical epochs. Cultures continually seek ways to encourage creativity by protecting creator’s work and income. The file sharing nirvana of the internet is now provoking a massive paradigm shift in the dynamics and economy of creativity. To look forward, we need to look back...

3000 BC
The shekel, a unit of currency and weight, replaces bartering and gift economy as the first known system of money in Assyria with the advent of the Bronze Age

3200 BC
Marks are used by tradesmen to identify their work in Mesopotamia and Assyria, the first known instance of individuals establishing authorship over work. Connect the history bullet points; the first introduction of a monetary system coincides with the first use of marks. The sell-out artist is born.

50 BC
Roman sword-makers use trademarks to identify their product for export to customers throughout the expansive Roman empire.

Johannes Gutenburg builds the first movable type printer, accelerating the dissemination of knowledge. The Renaissance proliferated in print and the subsequent Scientific Revolution got to a cracking start with the widespread publication of Copernicus’ On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in 1543.

Exclusive rights to a process for manufacturing coloured glass are granted by the Catholic Church to John Ulytman. A monopoly on stained glass supply to the cathedrals of Europe made him a very wealthy man.

Venice passes a patent statute, building on the craftsmens guilds’ guidelines, establishing creativity as a commodity protected by the state and instituting fundamental tenets of present patent rights. Already a powerful trading state, the statute attracted foreign investment and development to Venice. Some guy called Galileo files a few patents

The propagation of printing brings widespread unauthorized reprinting of works, leading the Kingdom of Great Britain to pass the Statute of Anne, the first copyright law.

Western nations sign the Paris Treaty, the first unilateral agreement for harmonizing intellectual property rights internationally. It is now one of the most widely adopted international treaties, presently administered by the WIPO, an agency of the U.N.

Alan Turing demonstrates the first working mechanical computer, humbly named the “Turing Machine”, by validating algorithms still theoretical at the time. The following year George Stibitz built the first electronic computer utilizing relay controlled binary circuits capable of arithmetic. In the same year, Claude Shannon’s seminal MIT Masters thesis A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits heralds the Information Age. The first generation of computer geeks involuntarily chortle in utero.

IBM commercially releases the first floppy disk, enabling transfer and propagation of digital information. Phallocentric humour ensue.

The Xerox Alto is released, the first PC available commercially. Although only 1000 were sold, both Apple and Windows based systems subsequently derived from what was the first desktop with a mouse, graphical user interface and network capabilities.

ASCII pr0n, pornography illustrated with 98 text characters, is distributed over the fledgling internet by those impatient for the bandwidth to handle images of real porn with women not made of hashes with zeroes for nipples. This is believed to be some of the first online file sharing for recreational purposes.

After development of the internet in the 60's by the US military and refinement thereafter by the education community, the World Wide Web becomes widely, publicly and easily accessible with Netscape‘s release of the first commercial web browser.

With the popularity of Navigator, Netscape releases the SSL encryption protocol to secure transfer of data, preventing tampering and eavesdropping. As SSL was free, it is believed development was funded by online porn entrepreneurs.

Napster brings file sharing to the masses. Having founded their careers on outlaw appeal, Dr Dre and Metallica now turn to the law to stop piracy of their music. Will the ironies never end?

Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford University and a prominent figure in the free software movement, founds Creative Commons. Dissatisfied with rigid “all rights reserved” copyright laws, he devises a system of licenses for authors to define the rights in their works that they reserve and waive.

All of us infringe copyright simply by using a computer, every installed program or opened web browser copies information to a computer. You are infringing Julian’s proprietary copyright just by reading his blog. IP laws have either had to adapt, which they tend to do slowly due to corporate interests, or turn a blind eye to these innumerable infringements.

Lawrence Lessig‘s book Free Culture criticizes outdated IP laws and the political influence of corporate interests, where profits take precedence over a free exchange of ideas. Lawrence Lessig unsuccessfully challenged the constitutional validity of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (I’m serious, being married to Cher is akin to joining the dark side), a statute allowing the extension of copyright protection for works falling under old copyright law. Disney was a strong opponent to the repeal of this statute, as their early groundbreaking animation would now be public domain otherwise. Uncle Walt would do backflips in his grave if anyone mashed up Steamboat Willy with gangsta rap.

Its pretty obvious by now that vehemently maintaining copyright only benefits lawyers. Record companies made a fatal mistake wasting money on file-sharing lawsuits when they should have bought Napster and developed models for online music sales. A mash up of Steamboat Willy would bring the outmoded Disney icon into the 21st century for free. Sesame Street’s Bert & Ernie rock even harder since they started rapping in this mash up.

It is also increasingly apparent that embracing free culture is a profitable business model. Radiohead released In Rainbows online independently of a record company. They may have been inspired by the pre-Assyrian gift economy; fans made whatever donation they thought appropriate for the album. In a market where music piracy is rife, Radiohead permit users to download an album for 10 cents and they predominantly pay full album price! Trent Reznor releases Ghosts with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license and tops Amazon’s album sales for 2008.

Some corporations are already embracing aspects of the free culture movement, probably without even knowing it. The marketing potential for user generated content has not gone unnoticed by savvy online strategists. Doritos received 2000 submissions to their You Make It, We Play It competition, that’s a lot of free content bearing their brand. But nowhere in the terms and conditions or competition rules does it mention permissions for use of the Doritos trademark protected by Trademarks Law, Copyright Law, Section 53 of the Australian Trade Practices Act 1974 and the common law of Passing Off. So Doritos are inviting users to infringe their IP and then turn a blind eye to it?

Should corporations be more flexible by Creative Commons licensing some of their IP, giving users free reign to mash up content and getting free branding in the bargain? Online goodwill is increasingly important to corporate public relations and as the social media folks reading this will better articulate, conversation is preferable to simply being spoken to like a self-important buffoon. Despite recently getting on the Hulu bandwagon, Disney has copped a lot of flak for being a copyright curmudgeon. They could have turned that public scrutiny into love by being a little more generous with their IP. The Disney corporation may have created and distributed content, but its public enthusiasm that made it a cultural phenomenon.

There is still considerable debate about the changes forced upon intellectual property laws and enforcement. Andrew Keen is a vociferous proponent of traditional IP and critic of the cultural damage caused by widespread online IP infringements resulting from what he describes as the “Cult of the Amateur”. He calls Lawrence Lessig an "intellectual property communist", although unfortunately not while being interviewed on The Colbert Report:-
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Andrew Keen
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

Have I missed any milestones in the history of creative dynamics? Can anyone suggest ways of compromising existing IP with the free culture movement? Does anyone have any interesting anecdotes regarding IP or Creative Commons?

3 interesting brand extensions from America

I am currently on a road trip with my father down Route 66. I do not think you ever switch off your marketing/advertising brain. One thing I have noticed is some interesting brand extensions;

1. Burger King Potato Chips which I found in a petrol station

2. National Geographic owning the Grand Canyon Visitor Centre and IMAX theatre in the Grand Canyon

3. Southeby's getting into real estate

Australia's Best Example of Social Media Marketing - Wolrd Nomads

World Nomads is Australia's best example of a company that understands the power of social media to the overall business.

They have recently launched Round 2 of Van-Tastic (video explains comp, Thumbrella has a full write up). This is only the tip of the iceberg for what they do on the social web, read this great post by the General Manager of World Nomads Chris Noble, on the importance of Social Media and how they are using it as a company.

Personality Power - Guest Post Nathan Bush

This is a guest post from Nathan Bush from the blog Another Advertising Wanker and Social Media Strategist for DP Dialogue.

Do you think that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would have been the 90's cartoon sensation if they looked like this...

instead of this...

Of course they wouldn't have. Turtles don't have much personality (and I've never seen them skateboard) but these ones did. Whether it was Leonardo as the strong leader, Michaelangelo as the cool slacker, Donatello as the intelligent problem solver or Raphael as the aggressive bad boy - everyone had a favourite turtle they could relate to and aspire to be like. They transformed turtles from boring water creatures to gnarly crime fighters.

Personality is very important in socail media communication as well.

I'm sure you're across it - you've got your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts set up. You've used this to reach your costomers and initiate the dialogue. You've reached a decent number of followers, friends and fans. However, it's not good enough to be one of your consumers 500 friends on Facebook, one of 2,000 followed on Twitter or one of 20 videos viewed per day. You need to be one of the important ones.

We all do it. There are those people we are reluctantly Facebook friends with but hide their updates from our feeds, skim their blogs but never feel compelled to comment and follow their tweets but filter their updates on Tweetdeck. It's going to be personality which elevates you to the VIP group in their social media circles and ensure that the communities you've become involved in get involved with you!

Red Bull uses Facebook and Twitter particularly well to create the extreme, gusty and active Red Bull personality. They post extreme sport pics and vids. They use words like 'sick', 'rockin' and 'killing it'. They talk to and about celebrities with similar personalities. They use minimal punctuation and write off the cuff. And occasionally they plug their product. It makes the Red Bull brand feel real and as close to a real person as a product can get. If you're in this scene, Red Bull will be seen as a peer and an information source in the same category as Shaun White or your yearly snowboarding buddy.

But personality ain't easy. This is especially true for a brand who has got marketers, writers, developers, designers and CEO's coming together to sound like the one identity. While personality should come naturally, it is important that all contributors in the team have a clear understanding on who the brand is. If the brand was a person how would they talk? Who would they talk to? What would they do on the weekend? What is their favourite drink? Who are they shagging? How often do they call their mother? Bring the brand as close to a real person as you can and put it all out there.

After all, if they can do it with turtles, I'm sure you can do it with your brand. Cowabunga!

Turtle photo courtesy of Arrr! on Flickr

Films/Movies using Social Media Marketing: 12 examples

I am currently working on the Footprint Films film My Year Without Sex, this involved me researching a lot of films using Social Media. The following is a list of films who have used social media to promote their film.

1. Cloverfield

An Alternate Reality Game of sorts, which created fake Japanese companies, fake vloggers and fake news sources. For the full story go here.

2. Monsters vs. Aliens
Created a nice Facebook Page, with a widget that you can now install on pages so that you can buy movie tickets from the Facebook Page (only US).

3. Fast and Furious
Created a Facebook Sponsored Event Invitation for the release of the film.

4. High Voltage
They got famous Youtuber Lisa Nova, Makemebad35, Dave Days, Shay Carl, Olga Kay, KassemG and xgobobeanx to create content about the film. Makemebad35 created a parody

Lisa Nova created Hot Action Star video related to the video

5. Two fists, one heart
To promote the release of the film, writer of the movieRai Fazio gives 4 Youtube tutorials on 'How to throw a punch'

6. Last Ride
Director of the film Glendyn Ivin kept a Production diary (blog) of the filming of the film. They have also got a google maps page showing the journey the main characters took.

7. He's just not that into you
The men of 'He's just not into you' movie created a un-warning telling men of the Top Ten Chick Flick Cliches that you will not see in He's just not that into you.

8. Hulk
Marvel set up a Flickr stream for the launch of this film.

9. 14. Four Eyed Monster
Arin Crumley and Susan Buice built awareness for their feature “Four Eyed Monsters” through a series of video podcasts.

10. Harry Potter Widget
Harry Potter created a quiz game widget similar to Good Luck Chuck one

11. Myspace Black Curtain
Although not a movie they have provided a number of films direct pre screenings with their fans.

12. Iraq for Sale
In 10 days Robert Greenwald attracted $385,000 in contributions for his documentary “Iraq for Sale” via internet donations.

Peter Broderick has a great article on the role of social media in film distribution. He also provided the examples for Iraq for Sale and Four Eyed Monster.

Tropic Thunder also had a great blog/vlog Rain Of Madness that stayed in character with the style of the film. (via Damien)

Local candy horror film Prey got a number of bloggers along to a pre screening of the film, read a review from Melbourne bloggers Mayorettes (via Taboo Group)

The Death of Hollywood- Guest Post Zac Martin

This is a guest post from Zac Martin at Pigs Don't Fly.

I think my readers are starting to get over the number of deaths I've predicted recently. Television is the big one, but newspapers, magazines, home phones, Gen X and books have all made my hit list. So when Juju kindly asked me to write a guest post I jumped at the chance to vent another death without annoying my usual audience.

This week, it's the cinema we'll be writing a eulogy for.

The first fatal sign was Dr Horrible, an online and highly successful series I wrote about last July. And now the wound that won't stop bleeding is The Hunt for Gollum. With a budget of just £3,000 and a lot of volunteers and hard work, a team of independent directors have created a 38 minute prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy that could be mistaken for Peter Jackson's work. Well worth half and hour of your time, even if you're not a Lord of the Rings geek.

It was released exclusively online this week for free with the intent of being a movie "by fans for fans" and therefore is completely not for profit. However if it weren't for the legal issues and it was their intention, monetising it would not have been a problem.

This is UGC at its greatest. Independent, low budget, entertaining content produced at a level on par with the terrible Wolverine movie I watched at the cinema last night.

RIP Hollywood.

Your Fans - Guest Blog Post Brent Quincy Buchanan

Guest post from Brent Quincy Buchanan who used to work at Warner Music, signed Children Collide, Ladyhawke and The Galvatrons. Now runs his own company called The Grindhouse working with bands to help them build online communities.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s bands knew the importance of connecting with their fans. They set up fan clubs which was a way to keep connected with their fan base and make more money from them in the process. So why is it that 60 years later that every artist and label isn’t an expert on fan connection. Too lazy? Can’t see the ROI? Blame the 80’s and 90’s when the money was flowing. You didn’t have to work as hard to see results. I am truly blown away by the fact the major labels and a lot of bands these days don’t understand the basic principle of fan connection or if they do don’t do very much about it. Without that connection you have nothing. Well you have something but a twinkle in your eye and a collection of great songs isn’t going to buy you all that shit you want and don’t really need is it?

Trent Reznor gets it. Radiohead gets it. Lilly Allen…now she gets it. Her site is amazing. If I was a hard core Lilly fan I could go visit her site everyday and feel apart of what she is doing. She’s even doing treasure hunts on Twitter for tickets. Lilly Allen first week of release went to number one in a bunch of territories. Granted there were a few reasons why this happened, PR, Marketing, good songs but one important factor was that she had her core fans mobilsed. She had been interacting with them during the whole recording process so when the record dropped they all went out there and purchased it week of release (even with a whole lot downloading it for free).

Bottom line is artists need to connect with their fans. Let them feel apart of it. I don’t mean to be the bearer or bad news here but kids don’t buy cds anymore, were you not keeping up? Although they are still quite happy to pay to see a show or buy a bands hoodie, these kids want exclusivity and access. The beauty of the internet is that you can accommodate this with relative ease. So if you’re in a band or working for a label. Pull your finger out. Stop complaining about the industry being fucked and connect with you fans properly. Your fans are your customers. Rant over.

Volunteering Unplugged - My 1st Social Media Project

Back in August 2008, Naked Communications got the green light for the first Social Media project for Seek Volunteer that I would be a part of. Volunteering Unplugged was based on the insight that, bloggers were intrinsically giving people, giving up there time to publish information for others, these were the same traits that were associated with volunteering.

With this insight, came the idea for Volunteering Unplugged, a place where people could share their stories about volunteering.

Thank you to the following bloggers for being involved in the project, this would not of gone ahead without their involvement;
Life in Mono , Firebug Theme , Miss McMuffin , Autumn Leaves , Violet , Sheila’s Wonderings , The life of an Audit Diva , Servant of Chaos , Corporate Engagement , Wonderwebby , Consumer Psychologist , Imaginif

A special thanks to Dave from NuffNang Australia, Olivia Whitty, Naomi Barson and the Seek Volunteer Team.

I am currently in the States driving Route 66 with my dad, Social Media is about being involved in the conversation that is happening at the moment. Unfortunately I will be offline at this critical time. So to all my readers if you have a blog and have volunteered please take 5 minutes to share your story at Volunteer Unplugged if you do not have a that much time, a tweet about the project would be awesome, I promise the first round of drinks are on me when I get back.

4chan the anomaly of the internet

Read full thread here

The 4chan community is one of the most interesting group of people you will ever come across online. They all contribute to a community board under the name 'anonymous', no one has an identity, no social hierarchy.

The interesting thing about them is that they all work together for a greater good or bad.

The following is thread 'OMG A FALLING WEEVIL' is amazing. They all work together to tell a story and all acknowledge the different parts of the story. Please read the story before reading on. The thread follows the following structure.

1st Movement
Desperate to save the weevil

The Anonymous shows a photo of it dead

2nd movement
Anonymous all start mourning the loss

Another Anonymous states that the Weevil is god

3rd Movement
Weevil is god.

This type of co-ordination with no social hierarchy is unheard of online. Anyone know of any other examples like this?

4chan also recently hacked The Times Online Poll another good read.

MasterChef - Digital Campaign 2.6 out of 5

The following is a new series of blog posts where I am going to be analysing the brands digital communication for the social web.

I will start with the Network 10 reality TV cooking show MasterChef

Finding the show - Google (1/5)

So you have just watched the show you go online type in 'MasterChef' or 'MasterChef Australia', searching for the site MasterChef Official site is no where to be found. There should of been an SEO/PPC campaign implemented. Using Google Insights you can see the rise in interest in the show. All these searches are now being missed by the main site.

Edit: I think they have been getting into my heads because they now have a Google Advertising/PPC in place for the keywords.

Mainsite (4/5)
The site is actual quite good when you get to it, simple layout, alot of rich content, including behind the scenes footage, catch up television and they have a forum which is humming along with a good numbers of guests. Everything you would expect from a reality show site.

Youtube (1/5)

I would think that Network Ten would have at least sunk $15,000 into this Youtube Advertising deal. You think the least they could of done was named the channel something else instead of 'TenMarketing'?!?!?!

Masterchef fan 'Wingscancer' has been uploading all the episodes onto his Youtube account, this probably could of been done by Masterchef official page.

Facebook Page (3/5)

It looks like they have a fan page, they have actually been quite smart to link up the conversation going between the forum with status updates to the Facebook page. This keeps the conversation going and is also a good way to update people of upcoming episodes.

Bloggers (4/5)

There was a number of cooking bloggers talking about the show (Foodchaser) and the auditions (Grab Your Fork). Host, Sarah Wilson also did an interview with fashion blogger Girl With A Satchel. MasterChef has also been getting a fair bit of coverage in the Number 1 Australian Television blog TV Tonight with over 10 posts on the show and also Reality Ravings

Bonus - Twitter:

It would be great if they had a twitter stream going onto the main site. As there is a great back channel going on behind this show. Or even just the insights to one of the contestants, they already have Brent Parker Jones and Linda Kowalski who are in the final 20 and is on twitter. They also have an unofficial Twitter channel MasterChefAus, you would hope that they are relaying important information to them. Is this a missed opportunity?

There are some limitations with this analysis, without knowing everything they are doing and what they're goals are? What do you think of this as a concept for blog posts? What information do you think I should include/I have missed in looking at Digital Campaigns?

Facebook Pages vs. Groups

What should you choose when deciding between a Facebook Page or Group?

Facebook recently made an upgrade to their system that will affect your decision to make a Page or Group;

- Facebook Pages now allow for the admin to create status updates which feed into peoples mini feeds.

- Facebook Groups cannot

-Page admins can now invite Facebook friends to join the group.

- Facebook Groups cannot (now with the upgrade you can, Thanks Zac for pointing this one out)

- Page Admins can now include more tabs (applications) to their page to personalise the experience

- Facebook Groups cannot

- Page Admins now have great Analytics into how many people are visiting and interacting with the page

-Facebook Groups do not

R.I.P Facebook Groups May 2009.

Facebook have also improved their advertising model you can now advertise Sponsored Events or Sponsored Videos in users Highlights section. You need a minimum media spend of $10,000AUD for this though.