4PM is the best time for a Facebook Update

TCO Labs came out with their first report on Facebook the other day it has some great findings for anyone who is looking after a Facebook Page. One of the things that was always surprising to me was the lack of industry benchmarks around Facebook Pages. Hopefully this goes some way to providing some.

So here are the highlights of the research;

The industry benchmark for the number of responses (likes and comments) to a status update is 0.15%, however what we noticed was that it changed depending on the category. Alcohol brands got the highest response with an average of 0.21% and Entertainment clost behind on 0.20%, the worst performing category was Food and Beverage which was 0.07%

The best time to go out with an update was 4-5PM however this changed depending on the product, alcohol was better with night updates 6-9PM.

You can download the report here for free from The Conscience Organisation Facebook Page.

Top 5 Australian Memes/Virals of 2010

5. Alf Stewart's Rape Dungeon

4. Crazy old man barking like a dog

3. Awkward Lean

2. Jaydos

1. Kate's Party

Industry Blogging slowing up

One thing I noticed when I was compiling the Top 50 Blogs was the lack of posts from bloggers who were on the list, I did a quick check of people who were on blogspot and had yearly post counts and amongst the bloggers, I found that there was a 40% drop in posts from 2009. This was a common theme when it came to the comments on the list as well.

I think Industry blogging in Australia is on the decline for three reasons.

Twitter is now taking away a lot of the short form of blogging, if you have a cool link that you want to share with your audience you will release it on Twitter rather than blogging it anymore.

Mumbrella and the news sites
Mumbrella, Digital Buzz Blog, B&T, AdNews and Campaign Brief are all doing an amazing job at reporting on the day to day of the digital advertising industry. I think there was a time when the digital industry probably felt like they did not have anywhere to go to hear about the latest news relating to their industry, now they do.

The Social Media hype is dying
There was a lot of hype around Social Media when it first really took precedence (late 2008- 2009) amongst the early adopters. People loved to chat about the theory and it felt like it was moving so fast. However now I feel like we have had a year or two with not much change.

Anyone else got any clues to why it is slowing up? My feeling would be that this is actually happening across the whole Australian blogosphere, does anyone has any stats on what is happening?

2010 Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs

Blog Name Pioneer Score Google Reader Alexa Score Total
1 Digital Buzz Blog 9 7 9 25
2 Mumbrella 9 5 9 23
3 Bannerblog 7 7 9 23
4 The Inspiration Room 7 6 9 22
5 Campaign Brief 7.5 5 9 21.5
6 Marketing Magazine 8 4 8 20
7 Servant of Chaos 9 4 7 20
8 B&T 6.5 4 9 19.5
9 Laurel Papworth 7 4 8 19
10 Young PR 8 3 8 19
11 Personalize Media 7.5 3 8 18.5
12 Adspace-Pioneers 8 4 6 18
13 Better Communication Results 7 5 6 18
14 Media Hunter 8 3 7 18
15 Amnesia Blog 5.5 5 7 17.5
16 Life. Then Strategy 8 3 6 17.5
17 Online Marketing Banter 8 3 6 17
18 acidlabs 8 3 6 17
19 Talking Digital 8 3 6 17
20 Consumer Psychologist 8 4 5 17
21 Brand DNA 8 4 5 17
22 Digital-Media 8 1 8 17
23 Get Shouty 8.5 3 5 16.5
24 Gold Coast Web Designers 6 3 7 16
25 Shifted Pixels 7 2 7 16
26 A perspective 8 2 6 16
27 Angus Whines 7 3 6 16
28 Dan Pankraz 8 3 5 16
29 WayCoolJnr 8 3 5 16
30 AdNews 8 0 8 16
31 Publicis Digital 7.5 3 5 15.5
32 Gourmet Ads 7 1 7 15
33 PR Warrior 8 2 5 15
34 FRANKthoughts 8 2 5 15
35 PR Disasters 7 3 5 15
36 Matthew Gain 8 1 6 15
37 Zakazukhazoo 6.5 1 7 14.5
38 EcioLab 7.5 2 5 14.5
39 Corporate Engagement 6.5 3 5 14.5
40 Dominique Hind Collective 7 2 5 14
41 Tim Longhurst 6.5 2 5 13.5
42 Pigs Don’t Fly 7.5 2 4 13.5
43 The Flasher 8.5 1 4 13.5
44 Three Billion 6 1 6 13
45 Marketing Easy 6 1 6 13
46 Who is in conrtol of your b**** 8 1 4 13
47 Sticky Ads 6.5 0 6 12.5
48 Mark Neely's Blog 7.5 1 4 12.5
49 Business of Marketing and Branding 6.5 2 4 12.5
50 CIIMS 7 1 4 12

Welcome to the 2010 Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs, I have made a few amendments since last time. I have taken out the Technorait Authority and Reactions because lately Technorati has been inconsistent. Instead of Google Page Rank, I have now gone to Google RSS Subscribers. I have also cut the list back to the Top 50 rather than the Top 164.

If you think that you should be in the Top 50, AKA If you go to Alexa and your blog is in the top 1,000,000 and you have more than 250 RSS Subscribers please email me at julianwcole (at) gmail.com

Guest Post: The Crusaders of happiness

Nicola Swankie is an Account Director at Host and an active member of the Sydney Community Managers Meet-Up and writes the great blog Happiness we share

"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." (Zig Ziglar)
(HT to Scott Drummond for sharing this quote)

Brand communities have been around for years, Tupperware parties, Harley Davidson conventions, I believe I may have even been a member of the Spice Girls fan club somewhere back in 1990s… Even things like your favourite coffee shop or the fact you spark a conversation with another Mum at playgroup about the fact you both have the same brand of buggy.

People connect around brands they like because we enjoy finding people who like or use the same stuff as us in our lives. This stuff is part of our identities, how we view ourselves as people. So having that in common with someone else helps us connect, which is great, because as human beings connection and feeling like we belong makes us happier people.

The internet has made this all even easier.
“The internet was supposed to homogenize everyone by connecting us all, but instead what its allowed, is silos of interest.”
Seth Godin – Tribes TED talk Feb 2009

Now we’re seeing more and more brand communities emerge online. What urls are the ones you go back to time and time again? My Dad spends more time on findafishingboat.com than watching TV now. These silos of interest, have become the places in which we like to spend our time and we want to connect with the communities we find there.

“The point is you can find Ukrainian folk dancers, and connect with them, cause you wanna be connected”
Seth Godin – Tribes TED talk Feb 2009

But, communities need people to lead and facilitate them. It can happen organically, but generally there needs to be people building a sense of community around these interest points. How do you make sure your communities stay thriving and happy? Dipping back into my university Social Science books I found this definition, even though it was written in 1986 – I still found it very relevant for what is going on today.
Sense of Community - McMillan & Chavis theory (1986)
Membership includes five attributes:
▪ boundaries
▪ emotional safety
▪ a sense of belonging and identification
▪ personal investment
▪ a common symbol system
Influence works both ways: members need to feel that they have some influence in the group, and some influence by the group on its members is needed for group cohesion.
Integration and fulfillment of needs
Members feel rewarded in some way for their participation in the community.
Shared emotional connection
The "definitive element for true community" (1986, p. 14), it includes shared history and shared participation (or at least identification with the history)
My favourite barista does all of this brilliantly in his business, making me feel completely at home in his shop every time I pop by and I always leave with a smile on my face.
So taking these principles and thinking about what we like to experience in real life, who’s doing this for our online communities?

Community Managers are the people working hard in the online communities you are a part of, perhaps without you even realizing. They are the ones managing and building that sense of community, fulfilling their members needs, solving problems, answering questions and dealing with the inevitable frustrations we have too. But the thing I love the most about all the Community Managers I know? They are the most passionate people I have ever met about making people happy.

You know how you have that one friend, that no matter what’s happened they have some sort of amazing ability to see the bright and seem to thrive on helping people solve their problems? That’s them.

I am lucky enough to get to hang out with these happy people on a monthly basis at the Sydney Community Managers Meet-Up. We had our latest meet-up this week and had a pretty open discussion about just what online Community Management was all about. A multitude of areas were covered, but what came through strongly was their shared motivation in why they do what they do. Their collective desire to create emotional connections with people, not just problem solve for them, relishing the challenge to turn haters into champions, to create places of play and relaxation and overall to make and keep their communities happy.

With more people choosing to spend time in online communities, there’s a big opportunity for brands now to become something more than just a service or a product provider for their customers. Threadless are one brand who are now placing more importance on their community rather than the sale. Zappos are another famous for their community approach. Whilst this may not be realistic for every brand, I think it does demonstrate a positive shift. Yes, some brands have practicalities with their products and operational service issues that will inevitably bring negative sentiment into communities, but when problems are aired in this space with proactive people trying to solve them, done right, it can have a positive effect.

Overall, it is really exciting to see brands realising the potential they have to make a difference to people through enabling connection, and with the work of the Community Managers, make these communities a positive place to strive for happiness for the greater community, a community that includes the business too.

8th Century Homeric memes and how they affect your social media strategy

This is a guest post by Michael Goldstein, follow him on twitter at MickeyG77

In the 8th Century BC Homer’s Iliad was communicated to the public via Bardic tunes; organized so that they were particularly easy to remember and pass on. Interestingly this communication form is not dissimilar to how information is disseminated today. The only difference is that instead of rhythmic passages, today’s information is condensed into simply recalled tweets. In this post I am going to examine the advantages and disadvantages of compressing information into more palatable forms.

In Plato’s ‘Republic’, the author viciously attacks the rhythmic communication form, asserting instead that facts and information are lost through the oral tradition, whereby poetic expression becomes a fractured product of various sub-collective psyches and mores. Put simply; one orator would deliver a poem to a crowd, that crowd would then internalize that particular poet’s version of the poem and proceed to spread it, ultimately resulting in many versions of the same story travelling throughout the Greek empire. This, incidentally, is remarkably similar to the re-tweet system: one influential twitter account will be re-tweeted by many, going on to form disparate echo chambers as certain groups within the twitter community are exposed to a selection of ‘truths’ on any particular issue.

Such poetic delivery is known as mimetic form, a technique that exploits rhythm, meter and other techniques to achieve a desired affect (read: influence) from the listener. Similarly, today’s difficulty lies in the ability (or inability) to negate a tweet, the twitter form simply isn’t conducive to thorough debate and the only way to effectively argue against a tweet is to find a theoretically opposing blog post or other source and tweet that, however this will only be received by your followers not the followers of the initial tweeter. Hence a fracturing within and amongst online communities occurs.

Today we witness a return to the mimetic form. Not unlike the way in which ancient poetry was altered and modified from listener to listener due to the lack of concrete, written texts, today’s internet texts are revised from person to person as a result of remix and meme culture. Interestingly then, despite living in what has been generally dubbed the most advanced era for information intercourse to date, we find ourselves returning to archaic modes of communication!

Ironically, this seems to be the only way to rationalize the overwhelming and ever changing nature of information availability on the internet. Here is a small, simple example: two of the facebook pages that I manage have completely different ‘rules’ of engagement. For instance, one forum is appropriate to an older audience, which means that the most effective time to post is often completely different to that of the other page, which garners an audience of mainly under 18 year olds. This is because one page has socially active fans, meaning that all our engagement feedback is usually seen within an hour of posting, whereas on the less socially active page the likes and comments keep rolling in for up to 12 hours after posting. This can be attributed to the fact that the fewer friends one page has, the longer our post remains prominent on their newsfeed. So in this case it is clear that there is not one correct rule for receiving feedback, but rather two equally valid ‘truths’. Hence, differing versions of the facebook poem are equally valid and must be heard accordingly.

In the digital landscape we still work very much in cowboy territory - there are no rules. This is why mimetic forms of communication are occurring on a more frequent basis; no one is privy to any concrete, universally applicable data, and if they say they are, chances are that they are probably getting ahead of themselves due to the fact that everything is changing so quickly, and numerous digital horses run on numerous digital courses. Mimetic communication, whilst recognised in ancient times as inferior, is possibly the only way to effectively communicate digital and social media knowledge today, as there is no single objective truth, but rather many, ever changing, competing and subjective ‘truths’, that will drastically shift between user experiences. The nature of history is such that it exists in constant repetition of itself, and the role of the Homeric Bard has risen once again - so instead of searching for a single definitive answer, take everything on board, and celebrate the return of the mimetic tradition.

Best Australian video content creators of 2010

There is still a lacks of real depth to the Australian vlogging community, you could count the number of Youtubers who get over 10,000 views a month on one hand. So finding talent is a bit of a mission

However here is a group of awesome content creators getting up in 2010!

Jaydos is getting a lot of hype online at the moment, he has done some amazing videos lately

A steady performer is Alex Williamson who has a AFL comedy focus

My mate Kirk Docker from Vive Cool City just got put up for a Walkely for his piece on the Gang of 49

JerkSYD are bringing the Jerk style of dancing to Australia via the Youtubes

Six tips to nailing an internship

Here are six things I have learnt along the way on how to nail it at an internship

1. Always bring a paper and pen to everything
It is such a small thing but makes the biggest difference, if someone rocks up to a meeting without a pen and paper I automatically think they are not taking notes and are going to forget everything I say. This pisses me off.

2. Match the style guidelines
Make sure you understand the style guidelines of the brand and follow it – what is the agencies font? How do they like to display pictures in powerpoint? No one likes having to clean up a presentation after you.

3. Present in front of the boss
One of the biggest factors to you getting hired will be if the boss likes you. Presenting in front of them will help to illustrate the good work that you are doing and show why you should be hired.

4. Do not leave at 5:30
I don’t care what you do, never leave at 5:30. Personally, It shows to me that you are not working hard enough and that you are clearly not committed. People notice when you leave at 5:30PM. Staying an extra half hour will make a difference.

5. Never say no
Be a yes man, people love to be around positive people who are always willing to help with absolutely anything.

6. Ask for feedback
On every piece of work you do, ask someone to give you genuine feedback on your work. Ask the question, ‘what could I do better on this piece of work?’

Anyone got any more tips?

I have a few super smart friends who are just about to finish their degrees and are looking for internships in creative agencies (account coordinator/junior strategist positions) in Melbourne. If anyone knows of anything going, please shoot me an email julianwcole@gmail.com

Twitter Lists as Social Capital

When I did my thesis on Facebook Pyschology way back when. One of the areas I studied was the communication of Cultural Capital through Social Networks. Basically Sociologist Bourdieau came up with a theory that suggested that people were analysed on three criteria – their Social, Cultural and Economic Capital (read more here).

Social Capital is how valuable you are in terms of who you are friends with and how they can help out the person analyzing you. In terms of Social Networks, it was judged in two ways through Social Networks. First being how many friends you have and then who those friends were.

People have realized the power of this form of capital and have often tried to game it. With Twitter this has happened with a number of spammers running script so that they can inflate the number of followers they have (check the Top 100 Twitterers in Australia – you will see some questionable people in there). However one thing that helps people evaluate someones Social Capital on Twitter is lists, the number of lists that someone is in, usually gives a good indication whether they are gaming twitter or not.

Although lists seem useless to most, they do have their role in reference checkings someones Social Capital at the very least.

Smarties 8 Colours of Fun and the online narrative

One of the latest project TCO have been working on is the Smarties 8 Colours of Fun campaign. One of the most important choices was how to structure the content. It was initially going to go out as episodes following all 8 artists at once, we made two changes to this, we put out episodes following one artist and child at a time and decided to release all the content at the start of the campaign.

Twelve months ago, I would of done the opposite. However one thing I have picked up on in the last few months is that stories told over time do not work online.

R.I.P The Online Narrative

You need to give the audience everything at once. Don’t think that they will come back to look for additions to your story, even if you have them hooked (via Facebook Liking, Youtube Sub or Twitter Follower). This has been supported by the fact that there has been a high number of cross over viewers from one video to the next, this out weights the number of views that could have been brought through the number of new subscribers.

If you are not following the campaign, become a fan at Smarties Australia

All you need to know about Apple iPing

This is a guest post by TCO's Community Manager Michael Goldstein - follow his brain at @MickeyG77

Before the internet people were living in a musical dictatorship run by the Radio. Because it was the only source of new music what they decided to play was what the public heard, and eventually, bought. This is why genres were so defined and strong, because people simply didn't have other options of musical discovery.
Then the internet came and changed all that, all of a sudden we are exposed to thousands of genres, it's no wonder that most people proclaim to 'love all types of music' on their Facebook profiles.

So with a plethora of music floating around, the question of how to organise all these tunes has been largely ignored. There are a myriad of blogs claiming to host the newest music, as well as Hype Machine which is organised by 'Hype' not taste and has been criticised by musical aficianados as a fast food musical outlet.

Facebook is one of the most popular places to share new music, with news feed's littered with poor quality YouTube clips of buzzbands. Twitter too has musical links shared till kingdom come to sites such as Soundcloud. However none of these platforms offer truly integrated music sharing and purchasing options.

What is Apple Bing?

The Apple Ping is Steve Jobs' latest software innovation that catapults Itunes into the social networking world. It's almost a hybrid of Facebook, Twitter and Itunes, a social site that revolves around music.

Users will be able to show off their musical taste and get credit for their online musical finds. Music lovers will no longer rely on a random and sometimes un-reliable feed of music from a blog, but can source musical inspiration from their friends. This site has the potential to totally remove the need for FM radio as not only will people, as they do now, discover music before it hits the airwaves, but they will also be able to purchase a high quality copy of it.

Logically it makes sense, people share so much music already online, this should be a seamless, streamlined way to do what people already love doing.

But will it work?
Apple does have the assets for a successful social network, 160 million Itunes users and the status as one of the most respected brands in the world will make it easy to attract users. They are also not trying to wipe out or even directly compete with Twitter and Facebook, both of which serve separately defined purposes. Interestingly this is where Ping's biggest problem lays, whether people have the capacity for three seperate social networks, is an interesting question that time will answer. The key to the success of Ping is how seamlessly it can integrate with other social networks, it could be a question as simple as how many steps it takes to move between networks, or a more complex psychological evaluation of social networking values.

Rising Talent of Youtube

In February, I covered the rising talent on the 5 Rising Stars on Youtube Australia. When I saw the Justin Beiber cookie cutters, I also noticed a few new additions to the list.

Here is the new additions and a little on what they are doing.

6th Most Subscribed – Jayesslee (81k Subs)

Australian Korean Twins Jayesslee, sing covers and are good looking that is about it, probably helps that they are Hillsong as well – there is strong community support online for Hillsong artists.

13th Most Sub - Keshen (45k Subs)

Keshen does animated lego videos which are really high quality it is no wonder that he has such strong support. Great videos.

Dillonp23 (39k Subs)

Dillonp23 makes me think that there is a way to game subscribers because the content is pretty weak to say the least. His two latest videos have less than 9,000 views combined yet he has 39,000+ subscribers.

If you haven’t noticed they have changed the face of Youtube in the last week. It looks like they are trying to segment the content into four fields ‘Shows' (another names for channels), ‘Movies’, 'Music' and 'Videos'. This is going to have some massive effects on how videos and vloggers find their audience, so stay tuned for a post on it when I have some more time to analyse the effect.

What you need to know about Facebook 'Places' in Australia

The basics
The way it will work will be similar to other geo-locating social apps such as Foursquare where you can notify your friends of where you are via digitally 'checking in' to physical locations. The difference with Facebook is that you can also tag your friends who are with you, making Facebook Places a more social geo-app than Foursquare.

Places requires users to have Smart Phones, with only 5% of Australians accessing Social Networking site on their phones, I think we should proceed with caution in regards to the uptake of this functionality.

According to Nielsen Internet and Technology Report 2009, 43% of Australian Internet users owned an Internet capable (“3G/Smartphone”) / which can mean Nokia N95 or iPhone or Blackberry at Dec-2009. Hat tip Sam Granleese

Also as Nic Hodges points out, that number of people accessing Social Networks from phones is closer to 18% (using Nielsen latest stats as a guide). That sounds about right to me.

Businesses and Facebook
You can also integrate a Facebook Page to Places (click here for tutorial), allowing you to further spread company presence and also show how popular your company is in the real world rather than simply online.

Side Effect
One side effect is that it may take away from organic growth for Pages which has recently been going crazy for brands. The early word from the States is that the organic growth will look to decrease by half as they give more priority to Facebook Places in the Facebook Newsfeed.

Word from Facebook Australia
In terms of a launch date in this market, the word from my mate at Facebook Australia is that the US has not given them an exact date for roll out however they are working with a local Retailer to roll out an execution. My hunch is that it will be in the next month.

This post was collaboration between TCO’s Community Manager Michael Goldstein (Mickeyg77) and I. If anyone knows a launch date, please share.

The Justin Bieber Cookie Cutter

I am genuinely surprised at how easy it is to copy this formula of success that Justin Bieber has created, Cody Simpson and Jordan Jansen are two Australians who are following the exact formula of success as Bebs. Launching their careers on Youtube, uploading covers to the site, they have the same look, same style of music (Cody has even taken the next step of collaborating with a popular rap/hip hop artist Flo Rida. Even the style of video is the same.

Cody Simpson

Jordan Jansen

I thought that it would not be as easy to replicate such success, but both artist have over 60,000 subscribers on Youtube and are currently in the Top 10 Most Subbed Australian Youtubers?!?! Wow!

Forgetting the Distribution Strategy.

There has been two great pieces of online Australian created branded content that have caught my eye recently. It has got me really excited that we may be seeing a second coming for branded online content. However I am worried we may be falling into the same trap that we did 2 years ago when the first bubble burst.


Walking Tours of Melbourne

Marketers have been wary to reinvest in online content with one major problem....scale. Spending $100,000 to get a few thousand views of content is not equitable.

I think this problem is due to the creators of content not having a distribution strategy in place when they create the content. I think for projects to kill it these days they need a solid content distribution strategy that has a mix of seeding and paid media making sure that the content flies online. Aden picked up on this as well with the latest Bacradi project which was amazing content with little to no content distribution strategy.

Cannibal Trolls

According to Wikipedia 'A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response'.

E.g All the comments that lead to this....

However there is a new species of people called Cannibal Trolls. They are people who lure trolls into their trap and make them waste their time baiting who they think is an innocent victim when really they are thriving off the attention. The best example of this is Angry Ginger kid. He is very measured with his response and knows exactly what he is doing when he is provoking this response.

I think we have seen this recently on Mumbrella with Jothy Hughes with his baiting of all the usual Mumbrella commentors with his 'Guaranteed Model of Publicity'.

Clinchers in Online Video Content

I was watching 20 to 1 the other night and realized that they have a really good content format. They somehow hook you into watching the whole episode, you need to know what Number One is. The Clincher. I think that all online video content needs a clinchers. I think this is a great example of creating the clincher. I might even try this for my next update of the Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs

via Tobler1one

Computer Geeks are the future leaders

This is an amazing presentation on time, geography and the effect it has on different cultures and their outlook on life. (via Nicola Swankie)

I always thought that I wanted to live somewhere where it was Summer all year around but this makes me happy that I live in a seasonal city.

Anyway, I think this is a great presentation however I think Philip Zimbardo might go overboard when he starts talking about kids who play computer games having no social skills. There is a lot of research that suggests that playing multi player computer games such as World of Warcraft help to teach you invaluable business skills of teamwork and leadership. Just look at Stephen Gillett, CIO for Starbucks and avid WOW player.

Influencers and Splendour in the Grass

I am speaking at the Influencing Online Communities AIMIA event next Wednesday (July 28th). I am speaking about Blogger Outreach and identifying Online Influencers. I think it will be a great panel as I am also speaking with Matt Hehman from Facebook and Grace Gordon who has guest posted on here a number of times and has just been hired by Soap (who have just done a great presentation on breaking down the Facebook Myths).

I am also very excited to be speaking at Splendour in the Grass (best speaking gig ever!). I will be speaking on the Privacy and Social Media panel, in particular the effect it has on getting a job and bosses Facebook Stalking. If you have any good stories or pearls of wisdoms on Privacy and Social Media feel free to share.

Top 10 4Chan Memes

I am writing a piece on 4Chan for my old University Newspaper Esperanto at the moment and I made a list of the top 4Chan Memes. I find 4Chan really interesting check out the TED Talk with owner of 4Chan moot.

1. LOLCats

2. Sending Justin Bieber to North Korea via an online vote

3. Introduced the world to Tay Zonday - Chocolate Rain

4. RickRolling – 4Chan created the meme of RickRolling people

5. Tracked down a cat abuser who was posting videos to Youtube.

6. Time’s Most Influential People of All Time – 4Chan have hacked the public online vote for the last four years and put their leader Moot (creator of 4Chan) before the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela for the last 5 years.

7. Hoaxed a story about Steve Jobs having a heart attack, the story got all the way to CNN and it sent Apples share price free falling for 24 hours.

8. Helped Zach “the wheelchair bound lady magnet” to win a contest to be a guest host on Oprah’s show.

9. Pedobear making it into a Polish Newspaper

10. Longcat is Lonnnnnggggg

Animated GIFs the most engaging form of content on the web

Animated GIFs are small animation based on successively displayed images.

In my opinion the most engaging form of content on the web because

- they are short fast snippets means they get straight to the point

- they're looped which means that you are hit with the joke over and over again.

- they are also eye catching as they are animated without the user even having to do anything on the page.

In the meme dungeons of the Internet (4Chan and other forum boards), GIFS are prevalent. However they never really get critical cross over into the mainstream Internet as they lack the important ingredients;

- hard to replicate or create,

- Facebook currently doesn’t allow this type of file for good reason to, if you remember all those heinous designed Myspace Pages, most of them were GIF.

However it is good to see BrownCardigan and The Vine Best of the Interweb are pushing these out there.

2 years of grafting (time capsule)

It is coming up to two years of full time work for me. I have learnt a lot in this short amount of time. I think I am going to answer the following four questions every 2 years (or for as long as this blog lasts).

What are the biggest learnings from the last 2 years?

It is all about the people around you, if you have a good team you are going to be able to do amazing things.

Social Media Disconnect
There is a massive disconnect between why people initially get sucked into Social Media and what it actually is. The Social Media Disciples (I used to be one of them) who blindly believe that Social Media is the answer and the new form of marketing are living in La La Land.

Some hard bitter truth pills;
Blogger Outreach is a lot of hard work for not a big return
There are no solid Social Media Monitoring tools for Australia
Twitter is a waste of resource for 95% of companies

Best campaign you have seen?

I think the Toohey’s Extra Dry Birds vs Humans was amazing in terms of the launch, I think it definitely lifted the bar in terms of Digital Outreach. I was amazed it didn’t pick up more Awards.

What agencies are capturing your attention?

I have always had massive respect for Naked and Droga. I love the way that One Green Bean and Host work into each other, they always seems to come up with great ideas. I am interested to see what MediaCom do with their full house of superstars. If I were to start my career the other agencies that would be high on the list would be Holler, Three Drunk Monkeys, SOAP, and BMF. Overseas – CP+B, Undercurrent, R/GA, Barbarian, Goodby, W+K

What do I want to be doing in 2 years?

The latest campaign that I have done for Boost Mobile, I have been the creative lead on the project. I have loved every minute of this it. The ability to come up with the ideas and then lay out the whole plan and channels is definitely something that really interests me. I guess I could see myself as a Creative Director for Engagement Campaigns.

I think online content (especially video) is going to have a revival in this market. I definitely feel that there is a real opportunity for a company/individual to step up and own the online video content space in Australia, I am really going to concentrate on making TCO the go to company in this space.

The Twitter Backchannel and Limbic Resonance

I saw this great presentation from Cannes by Kevin Slavin on the Limbic Residence and its impact on consuming media.

Slavin created the MTV backchannel (a social game - read more here)

Limbic resonance suggest that the meaning of an object is not just made up of our own interpretation of that object but in part what other people think of it. We look at other people’s reactions to that object to help form our meaning.

In his presentation Kevin states that the limbic resonance has a major impact on how we consume media. He suggests it dates back to the inclusion of the laughing track in television shows, they helped to fake the ‘people around you’ environment. However he goes onto suggest that this could be the power of social media in particular the back channel of Twitter, which can help amplify peoples interests in show and make it feel like they are watching it with a bigger audience.

Personally I know this was the case with Survivor for me this year (miss u). I think more shows should be embracing the back channel one of the better ones at the moment would be QandA which promote the #qanda hastag in program and they also have a great engaging site.

4 social media tactics that club promoters use on Facebook

I think nightclub promoters were one of the first groups of people to really get Facebook and how to make it work to benefit them. It is always good to watch how they are communicating with their fans. The following are four things that I would ensure I did if I was setting up a club night.

1. Set up as groups
It always surprised me that you could never set up events from Pages and invite all the members. For this reason it is better for promoters and club nights to set up a group so they can send out a mass invitation to all of their followers/fans.

2. Give away a sample
Halfway Crooks puts on a hip hop night in Sydney, in the lead up to their night they give away a free online mix of hip hop, a great way of getting back in contact with your attendees.

3. Latch onto a bigger brand
Some cunning promoters in Melbourne have set up Party Club for all of the universities in Melbourne. They are then running events which look like official parties off the back end of them.

4. Photos afterwards
Quite simple, but adding photos afterwards and tagging people in those photos works well for gaining attention for club nights.

Good content is not always good content

There is a big difference between watching a piece of content on television and online (Youtube for this case in point). Therefore you must make content for the medium, content producers must understand the difference.

The two differences are the mindframe of the audience and the context of the content.

Mindframe of the audience
Your audience is active when they are online, when they are watching television they are quite happy to sit on a couch for 60 minutes and not do anything except light a bewg and watch CSI.

However online they have many more distractions and they're not used to watching content for longer than 3 minutes. One of the leading online content creators in this country 'Community Channel' has worked to decrease the time of her videos realsing the audience has less time to watch.

Context of the content
Content is also placed in two different environments, online it has a title and description of what is happening in the video, there is also related content sitting there waiting to distract you. It would be the equivalent of watching television on a screen that lets you see what is on all the other channels at once. I do not know many people who watch television like this.

Some examples of Good Content which is not always good content

The Wire – would you watch this online for an hour NO, would you sit back on the couch and watch the whole of season 3 on a Sunday afternoon, YES
Would you watch this online? YES would you watch it in show for 30 minutes of similar footage? According to Australia probably not, until Funniest Home Videos it would be safe to assume that this Australians do not always want to see this type of content on television.

Thanks three billion for making me pen my thoughts

The Algorithm of a Meme

The last post I talked about the different components of a meme (Stimulus, Conductor and Pushers).

Pick Up of a Meme = (Amount of influence of conductor and pushers) + (the relevance of the idea to the individual)

The chance to be influenced by the meme is ditacted by two components – how influential the conductor and pushers are to you and your network and the strength of the stimulus.

For instance, I automatically latched onto the idea of The Awkward Lean and was a massive fan, my friends has also become pushers of the idea.

JTL – the idea was not as strong but the people pushing the idea had been on a lot of past memes that were good so I gave it an opportunity.

For more good meme related reading check out Kripy's post on A meme with a difference

The Internet is ripe for the memes

So there have been a few micro-memes popping up over the past week that I have noticed.

1. Yeah_lad – A Twitter account that is set up to imitate the lads of the western suburbs of Sydney.
2. The Awkward Lean – A tumblr picking up on the insight of girls who awkwardly lean their body or head in photos
3. Ask JTL – One guy who will answer any question, with straight down the line answers

A meme needs three important components to be created and nurtured.

Stimulus – An idea that is remixed with a common theme tying all the pieces of content together.

Conductor – The conductor is the person who controls the idea who can help dictate the direction of the meme.

Pushers – Are the support networks to the conductor who help to promote the idea through their network to help get the idea/meme out there.

I think subconsciously, people understand their roles in helping to push memes and making sure that they get the best opportunity to flourish.

In my opinion, Twitter is better at pushing memes because updating your network with a tweet about memes can be done more than once whereas on Facebook people would be less inclined to update their community more than once about a meme.

The 5 best flash mobs of all time

Being less than 10 years old a lot of people are suggesting flash mobs are dead but after the weekend it is evident that there is still a chance to go bigger and better.

5. Valentines Day Pillow fight
One of the earliest flash mobs recorded to Youtube back in 2006 in San Francisco.

4. The T Mobile Dance
The first brand to nail a Flash Mob, it is also one of the most successful viral videos on Youtube at the moment

3. Improv Everywhere
This put the group Improv Everywhere on the map, it was also one of the first flash mobs to get real mainstream success in early 2008, it now has over 21 million views

2. Black Eyed Peas and Oprah
The biggest flash mob of 2010, they added another layer by including a band in BEP. It is amazing the sheer size of this dance.

1. Eurovision 2010
Marek pointed me in the direction of this video on the weekend. My jaw dropped as I thought about the amount of pre-production that would of have gone into creating this.

The remote audience

Something that I didn’t think much about before I began at TCO was the remote audience. The remote audience are the people who do not attend an event but view the event through media at a later stage. An important part of event amplification.

One of the best examples I saw of this was Diet Coke's Real Woman. It was before my time at TCO. They were tasked with filming the Rosemount Fashion Week for Diet Coke, instead of just filming the event they chose to create a story out of the event - 'Real Woman (watch the 2min video here)'. They found a girl of the street and made her into a catwalk model for one day. A more compelling story for the remote audience.

Another good example is Dr.Pepper's Chatroulette Cheerleader - (Zac has a good post on short term activity too)

Have you seen any other good examples of content for a remote experience?

Event Amplification Online - Case Study - Alienware Clan Challenge

So one of the projects that I have worked on recently is the Dell Alienware Clan Challenge. It is a great example of taking an offline event which has a rich experience for a small number people and using online to help amplify it to the masses.

The Conscience Organisation and MediaCom Sydney organised and ran the Alienware Clan Challenge 2010 which saw the best Australian Call of Duty players congregate in Sydney to battle it out.

Off the back of this we created a highlights reel of the event. We put a content distribution strategy in place and had a great result of getting the video to the third most viewed clip in Australia (April 29th) and most viewed Australian Gaming video (Daily and Weekly). It has currently had over 60,000 views and is increasing by the day.

Why you need to be following Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber and his management team are some of the smartest people going around at the moment.

Justin started out posting dozens of homemade videos on YouTube in 2007, he racked up over 10,000,000 views doing covers of famous artist. This was purely from word of mouth. He then got signed by Usher and Island Records and has become the biggest thing to hit teens since Twilight. via Wikipedia

Hypebot wrote this amazing post on why Justin Bieber is so big.

Basically he sipping on the Lil Wayne syrup of – ‘Release more songs, more often.’ He has been in the eye of teenage girls for the last year releasing new material every month, be it a new song or video. He never turns off.

A couple of the other points of interest from the article, about Justin's songs, such as:

• Short Intros - the longest intro to one of his songs is 14 seconds, but "One Time" is only 7 seconds before it gets to the meat of the song. Always a good thing if you want to your song to chart.
• Chord Changes - There's not a lot of changes in his songs but according to Frank, they happen when it counts - at around the 2 minute mark. This is just about the time that a bridge would enter, so it makes sense. Good songs tend to have a bridge.
• Repetition - If you want to chart, repeat the title over and over. In fact, in his hit "One Time," Bieber repeats the title 32 times in the song and the word "one" another 17. via Bobby

Endorsed by the established

One of the other things that has stood out for me is his alignment with established artists. He has collaborated with Ludacris, Usher, Taylor Swift, Sean Kingston, Nick Cannon, Drake, P.Diddy, Wyclef Jean, Asher Roth and gets the endorsement from The Game?!!?

Hidden Talents
The boy can Rap
On Sunrise the other day and rapped Ludacris’ whole verse, this is a rapper who has been rapping for 20 years and Bieber puts it down with no trouble.

For April Fools Justin Bieber took over Funny or Die and renamed it Bieber or Die, I was genuinely surprised I thought he was going to be average but he is actually quite funny.

Who cares if he is a one hit wonder? He has absolutely nailed it, with this one album. This boy is pretty much owning at the game of life and I take my hat off to him.

Kate's Party - Meme jumping for money

You may have got a Facebook invite to Kate’s birthday over the weekend.

According to ericritic

‘What was supposed to turn out to be a small birthday party for a woman named Kate at her small apartment is turning out to be an event of the century. That’s because over 60,000 (as of this writing) random Facebook users have taken it upon themselves to invite themselves to Kate’s party.

The event’s description now reads:


Tons of groups are forming related to Kate’s birthday party, including: Which Turban should I wear to Kate’s party?, Who needs a ride to Kate’s party?, and best of all: Who in the hell is Kate?

Meme Jumping
I think it is interesting the people that jump on the back of these memes and try to make some quick money of them. Kate’s Party is a good example of this. The model is simple, catch the trend, secure the most SEO friendly URL, publish a little bit of relevant content and set up the advertising on the site.

The new 4Channers?
Facebook users are getting a better understanding of the platform now and with this knowledge they are better able to play pranks and have a laugh. Expect to see more of these style memes start to pop up. It is very 4chan-esque.

Update: I have it on good word from Asher Moses that David Thorne of 27b/6 fame (Spider Drawing and Dear Neighbour) is behind this prank. Amazing!

The effect of ‘fan’ to ‘like’ on Facebook Ads

Which one of the following three is an ad for a Facebook Page?

It is near impossible to figure out which is an ad for a Page or an external website.

If you are running Facebook ads prepare to see a decrease in action rate (how many people become a fan without clicking through to the site). The action rate accounts for about 70% of your fan growth, with the rest coming from people who check out the site and then fan or get an update in their newsfeed.
I can understand why Facebook did this because they realized the language is not right, you do not become a fan of KFC, you become a fan of a Sportsteam, you like KFC. However calling it a ‘like’ which is the same as the rest of the external ads on the site seriously effects the amount of people who will click on those ads or the direct fan action that we used to see.

I have got some live campaigns running at the moment, so I will let you know if I see an effect.

R.I.P Become a fan ads