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Comment Social Media

A week of social media fails…

Social media:  a potentially exciting new way for businesses and organisations to have conversations with their stakeholders; a way of developing a campaign or a brand with a personal touch, or potentially a way to really stick their foot in it and magnify criticism to epic levels.

Killer KitKats

This week saw two interesting social media ‘fails’. First we had Nestlé’s reaction to a greenpeace video about their use of palm oil in KitKat.  The increasing use of Palm oil has resulted in devastating destruction of rainforests and peatlands to create vast monoculture plantations. It’s a classic ecowarriors versus evil-corporation style campaign which is gaining a lot of support. Greenpeace’s opening shot is here:

I must admit, it’s a quite horrible shock advert in the usual Greenpeace style – Nestlé’s response was to get the video taken down from YouTube citing infringement of their trademarked logo.  Almost since the beginning of YouTube what usually happens when a video is taken offline,  a copy will be almost immediately uploaded again;  and Greenpeace of course used this response to generate support for their campaign, and even made the original available for supporters to upload using their own accounts.

The effect was immediate with tweets and facebook updates being bound around mentioning Nestlé’s censorship tactics – a suitably rebellious message which is popular for users of social media to repeat and pass on.

This is a classic example of the ‘Streisand effect ‘ in which an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information from the public domain has the unintended consequence of generating more publicity than if it had just been left online.

Nestlé didn’t stop there however: inevitably as their Facebook page became the source of comments and questions about their use of Palm oil, Nestlé instead responded angrily to the use of their logo as an avatar image, again resulting in yet another deluge of tweets and status updates.

The end result was Greenpeace claiming the upper hand, and Nestlé looking out of step with the campaigners and their customers.

#CashGordon – whose fail?

The other social media ‘fail’ of the past week has been the Conservative website launched to promote the message that Gordon Brown is supported by money for the Unite Union – currently supporting a strike by British Airways workers that has divided opinion. Interestingly the CashGordon  site features an unmoderated twitter stream repeating every tweet with the #cashgordon hashtag. It’s a particularly old school concept which dates from when twitter was a relatively new phenomenon, and having anyone tweet about your site was quite exciting.

The more left wing tweeters have jumped on this hashtag with a stream of abuse – many of which are too rude to put here, but which include things like:

@fusi_loving the EPIC FAIL that is #cashgordon – they cant even get a twitter feed right, what are they gonna do with the economy? lol. #toryfail

and

@lordbonkers Write something rude about the Tories, mark it#cashgordon and they post it on their own campaign site for youhttp://cash-gordon.com/

and the rather damming:

@psbook New post –> Tory ‘Cash Gordon’ campaign designed by US anti-healthcare lobbyist http://is.gd/aSFIF #cashgordon

Interestingly however the very presence of the website, and the numerous comments on the #cashgordon hashtag has had the unintended consequence of bringing the whole campaign to the attention of a much wider audience (at time of writing #cashgordon is trending in the top ten of the UK) which itself is being claimed as a success.

Update: I’ll see if I can tally up the tweets to see who can claim victory on this one

Another Update: nope, quite clear epic fail

Anatomy of a hashtag #cashgordon
Epic fail
Categories
Pete Taylor (shameless self publicity)

I claim you

I’ve been doing a bit of blog linking so here’s a post for the benefit of Technorati that I own this blog.

I’ve also discovered I can create a google profile and sell my soul completely to the company that ‘does no evil’.

57ZQX56N5ZX3

Categories
Comment Random

Shiny unhappy Tony

Tony Blair was giving evidence to the Iraq Inquiry today. He didn’t look happy.

Tony Blair looks very shiny (sweaty?) at the Iraq Inquiry today on Twitpic

Categories
Geekery Random

Local tweets for local people

The future is local it seems. Twitter has now enabled local search for trending topics including countries and cities. Although if we’re to believe Alexa.com they’re missing out India, Germany and Japan.

Not sure if it’s working out cities using IP addresses, geotagging or the user’s self declared location (in which instance we’d all be tweeting from Tehran).

screenshot of local trends search on twitter
Now including Brixton
Categories
Climate change

I for one, welcome our overlord hamster

nef (the new economics foundation, not the oven manufacturers) always seem to have a knack for coming up with slightly off-the-wall campaigns to describe their ‘hippies in suits’ think tankery.

In the past they’ve come up with creative projects to rank how happy the planet is, get us to talk about our economic feelings in a Fight Club style (without the fist-fighting) and scare the shit out of us with a big doomsday countdown clock.

Their latest project is to have a dig at the idea that perpetual growth is a good thing for the planet by using the illustration of a gigantic godzilla sized hamster:

There’s an accompanying report to go with the video ‘growth isn’t possible’ which can be downloaded as a pdf (sensibly they charge for it in dead tree format).

Categories
Pete Taylor (shameless self publicity)

(Belated) new year resolutions

Well it’s a bit late but here are my new year resolutions for 2010:

  1. Go running. Been meaning to do this one for a while. My Nike+ avatar is looking decidedly bored.
  2. Lose some weight. See point 1. No I’m not going on a diet.
  3. Write interesting blog posts more often. I’ll freely admit that I need to hone my blogging skills.
  4. Do more art. I’ve haven’t updated flickr in ages. And I have a lovely 40mm pancake lens to take pictures with.
  5. Finish more books. And blog about them. See post 3.

I think i’ll stick with four five for the time being – and will get my robot butler to revisit these (after parking my flying car) in 2011.

Categories
Geekery Random

Genius christmas twitter campaign

Came across this on twitter this morning:

http://charity.further.co.uk/

By tweeting:

Tweeting this message gets 10p donated to The Children’s Society charity http://bit.ly/4PcaKP #furthercharity

your profile picture then appears on the page and the Christmas tree totalizer counts up the donations. There’s the option to top up your donation as well – although I’d be interested to find out how many tweeps actually do this. It’s always good to see twitter being used for things other than talking about Tiger Woods.

Give a tweet this Christmas
Give a tweet this Christmas
Categories
Work stuff

A few videos…

1) Don’t Undermine Bangladesh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWCvB7_hl6s

Last year a campaigner based in Bangladesh contacted me on facebook in regard to a proposed open cast mine in Phulbari, Bangladesh. A UK based company GCM were attempting to get permission to build a mine that would displace 30,000 people and destroy the water supply of a further million.

I was able to very rapidly put together a video, based on footage of GCM’s offices, stock footage of an open cast coal mine and a video that had been made by the campaigners in Bangladesh. The original Bangladesh video titled ‘the blood soaked banner of Phulbari’ and was too long for the standard youtube format of less than 10 minutes, so by re-cutting highlights from this film with WDM’s material made the video more suitable for our audience.

We ran a series of online actions using the video and were successful in getting Barclays Bank to sell their shares in the project, and Gareth Thomas (minister at BERR and DFID) withdraw UK government support for the project. This was the most popular online action WDM has ever carried out.

I think the video would have been improved with footage of the campaigner doing a piece to camera – by experimenting with different video formats I’ve found that an appeal made directly to the viewer makes for the most effective response rate to an appeal or campaign ask.

2) Question to Gordon Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXl_ydgTKrc

This is a very simple video shot on a tiny video camera with a question to Gordon Brown asking what he was doing to fight poverty at an upcoming G20 conference. At the time Downing Street were using YouTube for people to submit questions, with a vote to decide on the videos for Gordon Brown to answer. By emailing our supporters the voting link for our video we were able to ‘game’ the vote in our favour, and you can see in the responses to this video a direct video message from Gordon Brown.

Emailing our supporters with an alternate action to the normal petitions or email actions helped improve the response rate, and being able to reply to our supporters with a direct response from the Prime Minister proved a popular way of promoting WDM as an organisation having an impact on politics in the UK.

If I was to do something like this again I think the video would have sounded better comming from a supporter or local WDM group member as opposed to staff, I think also the sound would have been greatly impoved with a better camera / microphone setup.

Categories
Comment Geekery Pete Taylor (shameless self publicity)

The power of a tweet…(but annoyingly I’m the only one that will ever know)

An interesting thing happened to me a few evenings ago. I was at one of the iTunes festival gigs in the roundhouse, which featured the eclectic line-up of Mumford and Sons (yawn), the Temper Trap (not bad) and Stephen Fry (yes, that Stephen Fry).

Stephen Fry was there in a warm-up capacity presumably because of his oft-voiced love of the iPhone which he uses to disseminate musings that range from being trapped in lifts, to jogging in New York. However, perhaps rather embarrasingly for Apple, Mr Fry decided to use his spot at the iTunes festival to have a go at the practices of the big music companies in aggressively pursuing illegal downloaders and filesharers.

my business – the film business, the television business, the music business – is doing the wrong thing

He spoke out against the ludicrous advert that compares downloading to pinching a handbag or stealing a car. He even fessed up to having bit-torrented a TV show – although covered himself by stating that he had already bought it on iTunes, and for some slightly unusual bandwidth reasons was unable to download it in the normal way.

Now this was all very interesting – and wildly popular with the crowd, however it seemed a little at odds to me. At the bottom of the pdf ticket I’d printed off to turn up at the gig was stated:

*You are not permitted to make audio or audiovisual recordings of the event

So when asked for a bit of feedback I tweeted the following:

listening to @stephenfry slagging off drm at itunes – where i’d get thrown out if caught filming him !

Which got slightly paraphrased when he read it on stage. Stephen Fry’s response was that everyone there was filming and photographing and tweeting – and that his speech would probably turn up on YouTube before the evening was out.

Sadly my fifteen minutes of twitter fame (quoted by the great Mr Fry – crikey!) went unnoticed to everyone but me. It even managed to get a blog on the bbc.

Maybe one day my shameless-self-publicity engine won’t let me down!

For more twitter excitement you can follow me at @kimondo

And yes, Stephen Fry did turn up on YouTube:

Stephen Fry talking at iTunes Live

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Random

Kimondo moves to WordPress

Hello,

I’ve now moved my blog to wordpress rather than drupal as a bit of an experiment!

I’ve moved my two most popular posts over from the old site, but hopefully will be blogging a bit more frequently.