Archive for April, 2009

Memo to old farts: stop trying to be trendy

That headline advice comes from Yours Truly, a 40-something Dad who likes to embarrass his kids by speaking gangster and flicking the signs innit (in my humble opinion, the most effective means of parental discipline for kids whose #1 fear is embarrassment). It’s aimed at those companies that think it’s clever to jump on the social media bandwagon without a real idea of its benefits or pitfalls.

It was clear at the recent Social Media Influence conference that there are no big new ideas this year. Twitter is heralded as a Big Thing purely on the merit of absence. I do mine Twitter occasionally – it’s a mildly interesting tool for gauging the current mood only if you take the trouble of understanding the context first (i.e. doing your research).

The above screen snap from a b3ta user demonstrates how a brand can fall flat on its arse by a poorly considered use of social media. In this case, reporting on the Budget, some twit at the Daily Telegraph (traditional demographic: retired colonels and silver haired ladies who garden in green wellies) had the bright idea of embedding unmoderated Tweets about the subject.

twittertell

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This video by one of b3ta‘s denizens is a good example of what makes YouTube so valuable. The video channel has sold much of its soul and is shackled by copyright worries, which is difficult when individuals want to use music and stock footage creatively. Sometimes, something new and interesting emerges, like this.
Referencing recent news events that dominate UK news and liberally peppered with (some admittedly less recent) web memes, it’s a wonderfully ephemeral parody of, er, everything.
Plus, it takes a welcome pop at the boringly rebellious Eminem.

The daftest Facebook spam I’ve received so far…

obamaspam
Further proof of the decline of the #1 social network, but it did make me laugh.
Opening this email reveals the message “Barack Obama (Washington, DC) has confirmed you as his fourth cousin once removed on We’re Related“, followed by a supposed Facebook link that’s oh-so-tempting.
Hobnobbing with Gordon Brown et al is obviously so boring for Obama that he has to surf social networks during G20 meetings.


Self-important bit

baby
I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.

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