Digital Consultant links for May 31st through June 6th

These are my links for May 31st through June 6th:

  • Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 2 – Social Networks – Virginie Berger with some useful advice and stats on the potential for promoting music on social networks, and some tips to be more successful (like apparently adding 'video' to your video title is a winning tactic).
  • Public Enemy’s New Sellaband Target – Fan funding – getting your 'fans' to pre-pay for your material to fund its production costs – is a great new innovation in the music industry (I recently fan-funded the new Thomas Truax album and received my pre-release download of it today), but this reflection on the difficulties established group Public Enemy have had meeting their targets suggests fan funding may not yet be a mature enough funding mechanism to replace the role (particularly in sales and marketing) of the music industry.
  • The State of Online Video – A new report from the Pew survey of American life showing 7/10 adults are watching video online, with a large rise in humourous, eduactional, TV and film and political videos, with an increase in user-created content.
  • Experiments in delinkification – Nicholas Carr, academic and author of 'Is Google Making Us Stupid?', on why hyperlinking in text may be a distraction from the idea you are conveying, and an experiment with putting links after the text like footnotes in a book. I agree partly with this idea, but actually there's another issue (that newspapers and even some credible online publications like Mashable) that hyperlinking encourages users to leave your site rather than 'stickiness' of moving to elsewhere on your site. It's an interesting balance that needs to be struck between providing context and value to what you write, and making sure the hyperlink doesn't detract from either the flow of your idea or the user journey on your website.
  • Content is everything, so just do it – This is something that has bothered me for a while: the 'signal vs noise' ratio that we all have to be producing LOTS of content (status updates, links on Twitter, blog articles) in the drive for attention and search engine indexes. Of course this is a nonsense, you should write what is good, when you can (I ususally recommend to clients some sort of minimum commitment per month of types of content e.g. status updates, video, news article depending on the needs they identify). Ideas are good, volume is bad.

Today’s Digital Consultant Links for October 29th

These are my links for October 29th from 12:20 to 12:52:

  • Story – the conference – Mat Locke, the commissioner at Channel 4 education, is organising an 'unconference' on storytelling in spring 2010 (just for fun not as a C4 thing) to join together people from a range of disciplines to look at new ways of storytelling. All those in say 'aye'…
  • Finding Funding for your Creative Project – The founder of Gigbeth music festival and all round music education guru Clare Edwards gives her top tips on seeking funding – it's actually not that different to working with clients: getting to know funders and understanding their needs, raise awareness before you ask for cash, but overall to have a kick-ass project you believe in. Although Clare's advice is geared towards the arts and cultural sector, there's quite a few lessons here that are applicable to those seeking public funding in the business and digital sector.
  • 10 ways to measure social media success – As social media increasingly acts as a hybrid between marketing, PR and customer service, this intelligent piece by Econsultancy looks at ways of measuring success and return on investment – with some useful advice on matching the 'hard' numbers (e.g. page views) with metrics around retention and engagement.
  • Social media: the best and worst of 2009 – Tech Crunch's round up of the good (Obama, Zappos, Skittles) and bad (Habitat, Ryanair and – strangely again – Skittles) uses of social media in 2009. Sadly only big brands are making headlines here, which furthers my research into music showing that its mainly 'old' and 'big' media that get rich and noticed online.

Digital Consultant links for October 26th through October 27th

These are my links for October 26th through October 27th:

  • Does Twitter really cost UK businesses £1.38bn? – Econsultancy's intelligent take on the Morse report suggesting social media is costing the economy £1.34 in a 'productivity black hole'. They suggest clearer guidelines need to be put in place governing the use of social media at work to ensure the productive/useful aspects can be taken better advantage of.
  • Kiva: A Cautionary Tale for Social Entrepreneurs? – Oh dear – Kiva, the social/morally good lending platform for individuals to make mico-payment lending to entrepreneurs in developing nations has struck a flat note. Despite selling itself on transparency, the platform is now lending to USA lenders and transactions are actually not peer-to-peer as claimed but administrated and decided on by a holding company. The rule: if you sell yourself to the social media sphere on transparency, don't cry when the milk turns sour.

Digital Consultant links for October 23rd through October 26th

These are my links for October 23rd through October 26th:

  • Social Games: How The Big Three Make Millions – Article on Synga, Playfish and Playdom – how they've raised revenue and are valued, but there's a dark side: much income is from 'lead generation' rather than direct subscriptions from players. I wonder if, like many casual games aps, social gaming will become an activity that can only survive in a free-to-play ad-funded model.
  • 5 Small Businesses Successfully Using Social Media – Still proving limited ROI from these examples, but Mashable show 5 smaller businesses making inventive use of social media to grow audiences and sales. I particularly like the Tweeting Korean Naco truck in Los Angeles.

Today’s Digital Consultant Links for October 19th

These are my links for October 19th from 09:20 to 15:28:

  • Just 11% of Brits pay for online content – Bad news for online content makers/publishers: only 1 in 10 Brits is paying for any online media (including music), a trend that has worsened from the recession, with users seeking out free online content to replace spend on traditional media (e.g. magazines). But without online advertising increases, this is a vicious cycle – how long can producers sustain the free lunch?
  • Music Week – Pirate Party founder meets fiery reception – Wow, looks like there was some hot discussion going on at the In The City music convention in Manchester this week. The attitude from the music creators against the libertarian Pirate Party (anti copyright campaigners) suitably extreme: “You talked about the middle ages but if this were the middle ages I would burn you at the stake.” Touche.
  • Digital marketing in the Midlands: have we got what it takes to become a leading part of the sector? – Very interesting commentary by Clarity Marketing on whether the Midlands (in this instance essentially talking about Birmingham) has the right structure, investment and advocacy to be a leader in digital media. The discussion on the strengths of Birmingham's social media activities and how that relates, or not, to commercial agency activity is very interesting.
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