Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Skywrite reveals “The Science of Friendship”…

July 12, 2010

Friends are good, m'kay

Deep underneath the Soho Hotel in central London, Skywrite recently gathered a cabal of the most knowledgeable people in social media to discuss “The Science of Friendship”.

Skywrite’s MD Emma Hazan was joined by a panel of experts that featured sociologist Dr Vince Miller from the University of Kent, Neil Phillips from Distribeauty and David MacDonald from L’Oreal.  The panel considered the online habits of consumers and whether or not online recommendations through social media sites are listened to or ignored.

Interestingly, the research showed a distinction between how men and women responded to social media recommendations. 75% of women were likely to follow up the recommendation of a product from a social media source, with only 50% of men doing the same. However, men were much more likely to convert a recommendation into a purchase, with 31% buying the product compared with only 17% of women.

For those naughty people that couldn’t attend, Skywrite’s whitepaper on “The Science of Friendship” can be downloaded here.

Can social media organise real life events?

May 8, 2009
I was watching The Gadget Show on Channel 5 the other day. One of the features on this particular episode was pitting site du jour Twitter up against long standing fave Facebook, and sought to answer which was the best tool to use to organise an event.
On a personal level, I use Twitter to keep up to date with journalists and other PRs I respect, as well as finding out daily news as and when it happens. I use Facebook for staying in touch with my friends and family who I don’t get to see very often.
Bradbury rallies the troops...

Bradbury rallies the troops...

But is it realistic to use social media to organise real life, actual events? I’d like to tentatively suggest no – for the following reasons:

  1. Lack of RSVPs – if you’re a hardcore party planner such as myself, you want to know exact numbers. Although Facebook says when friend have “confirmed to be attending”, and sites likes Twtvite are popping up on Twitter, there’s just not the same effort involved as actually replying to an RVSP.
  2. Lack of commitment – sure, you say you’re coming, but if you actually turn up or not is a whole different kettle of fish.
  3. Reliability – things can go wrong on sites – the wrong date or time can be posted and go unmissed, thus ruining the entire event! I’ve been there, done that but didn’t even get the T-shirt.

Of course there have been very successful events via social networks – this year’s Twestival is just one example. And we can hardly forget about the ‘the biggest water fight’ organised by Facebook in Leeds last year – which was promptly shut down by police.

Speaking to my friend Mike (@litmanlive), he had this to say about the Gadget Show event:

What fascinated me about this was over 200 people attended on the Twitter side vs a small handful in support of Facebook. 200+ people who read one of @jasonbradbury’s tweets online and made a pledge to attend an event offline during their lunch hour for which they knew very little about. The on and offline worlds transcended into one and it was actually quite exciting to be a part of. Do I think social media can be used for greater good? Without a doubt. Meaningful, thought provoking and engaging communications ala this, twestival, the digital red nose online recently for comic relief or any of the whole host of meetups, tweetups, or anything it seems that ends in -ups = WIN. 

So there we have it. A self confessed geek (his words, not mine) who thinks social media can organise real life events. And as for me – I think it’s a good starting point, but I’ll need a little more convincing.

What do web trends and subway maps have in common?

April 9, 2009

Answer: Quite a lot if you live in Japan. Some clever people at Information Architects have mapped the most popular web trends of 2009 onto the Tokyo tube system map. Each rail line represents a topic – for example there is an Advertising Line, Entertainment Line and a News Line – whereas each station represents a particular trend, which could be a brand, person or internet meme.

But what’s really clever is that each web trend correlates to the characteristics of each real-life station. For example, if this was a map of the London Underground we might see YouTube represented as Liverpool Street, due its large traffic and association with flash-mob videos.  Similarly, Old Street might be Twitter due to the large population of social media types based in Shoreditch.


Obviously these subtleties will make more sense to those living in Japan but it’s an impressive piece of work none-the-less, and they’ve picked up quite a bit of coverage off the back of it too. Click here for a high-res version of the map.

As Maxim and Arena close down, online reigns supreme

April 2, 2009


The news that the June issue of Maxim will be their last one in print is another blow to the media industry. With Arena recently closing too this is a powerful indicator that there is likely to be more bad news on the horizon this year.  If advertisers continue to cut their budgets the traditional media that has been relied on for so long to seed messages and ideas will not be able to survive.  Now, more than ever, brands need to be turning to the online world to reach their audience – targeting editorial websites, effectively engaging with relevant and influential bloggers or creating campaigns that target consumers through social media. This may mean getting out of the old comfort zone and learning entirely new skills.


The ones that jump in without researching these avenues first or gaining any insight into best practice have been, and will continue to be, the ones that get burned. And this burn doesn’t fade. The power of the online world is such that your mistakes are permanently etched into the web for all to see, leaving you with a lasting scar.  Ironically, the lesson here is that nothing changes – whether it’s traditional or social media, as always, it is the companies that take the time to understand their audience, and the channels they are using to target that audience, that will see the best results.  They’ll be the ones that sail through campaign after campaign not just unscathed, but in good health.


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