Digital Consultant links for January 9th through January 29th

These are my links for January 9th through January 29th:

  • Twitter Ad Revenues to Soar This Year- eMarketer – Prediction of the online/social ad network in next year, which shows Twitter ads to grow from a low starting base to exceed the dying MySpace this year. Facebook remains the daddy of social advertising, with the lion's share of all spend for some time to come.
  • Top 10 Productivity Tools for Entrepreneurs – Nicely curated collection of online tools for social media, project management and client management for the budding start-up.
  • Why Is Chinese Web Design So Bad? – OK a linkbait headline, but this post from Think Vitamin talks about the different aesthetics and cultural differences as to why Chinese websites appear so '1995' and cluttered, rarely getting to the point quickly for its users. Having worked on a multi-lingual site recently, this insight is fascinating that its not just images and text but the whole navigation and approach which is distinctly different out east.
  • Filtering places – Another insightful post from Mr Pete Ashton from his The Future of Local series, this time looking at augmented reality and how layers of data align with our human instincts to filter, or add meta and meaning, to the world around us. A refreshingly human view of the potential of this curious and emerging mobile technology.
  • Seven Rules for Effective Social Networking For Artists – A good approach for independent artists to social networking, particularly disarming that the 'pin ups' of social success like Amanda Palmer should be treated with caution: establishing human relationships (and unpicking this if you're in a band) with fans is at the centre of a fan engagement approach – and being genuine.
  • How to Improve Engagement with your Webisodes – Useful diagrams and approaches for transmedia (previously known as cross platform) producers to improve engagement and blending secondary (non webisode) material and scheduling to enhance audience engagement.
  • Empowerment and Innovation – Great article from online community/social expert Pete Ashton on how blogging can (sometimes) increase the empowerment, knowledge and understanding of the blogger using example of Birmingham bloggers (disclaimer: many of these writers are old friends of mine!). Part of an excellent series of posts on 'The Future of Local' for the 'Talk About Local' project.
  • Number of global co-working spaces doubles – If, like me, you work from a range of home and client offices its refreshing to know that the amount of coworking spaces for nomadic and freelance workers has doubled from 2010 to 2011. Whilst I've often enjoyed the spontaneous encounters in co-working places many are still problematic: hard to make phone calls due to background noise, lack of easy to book private spaces etc. but no doubt competition will bring more variety to the market. Co-working Europe have a co-working conference this Nov and have published a list of European co-working spaces (no doubt incomplete – the two places I use TechHub in East London and Antenna in Nottingham both missing!) (via Freelance Advisor and Dave Harte)
  • 20 minutes on Facebook – An analysis project showed what a typical 20 minutes of activity on Facebook contained, which was multiplied to show the impact of a year of data. 1 million links and 1.85 million status updates are shared in 20 minutes (doesn't seem like that much to me, far under the volume of Twitter)
  • 17 digital marketing trends for 2011, by Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein – The last 2011 crystal ball gazing article – promise! This time a savvy UK digital marketing perspective from Econsultancy's Ashley Friedlin, including an expectation that social media is less about ROI and more something we have to do, user experience gets more touchy feely, and new ways of harnessing data.
  • Ten 10 Predictions for Digital in the Middle East, 2011 – Out in the middle east, interestingly the landscape of digital media has many similar challenges and predictions than in the west, perhaps overall reflecting UK trends from around 2008/9.
  • Internet Marketing: The 10 Biggest Mistakes Made by Artists and Creatives (and How to Fix Them) – Lateral Action's quirky but true round up of creative's internet marketing errors (including social media narcissim) equally applies to a lot of other small business sectors. Adding people without permission to your email list – keep those hands raised!
  • How Online Video Can Reach the Business Audience – More evidence to show that video is an extremely effective tool for business, with up to 65% of executive visiting a vendors website after watching a business video, and 45% puttng in a call. Compelling video definitely helps speed up the sales funnel.
  • UK’s Digital Music Boost Slowed In 2010 – In the week HMV announce the closure of 60 stores nationally, more bad news as it seems digital music sales have grown little and overall music sales are likely to have only retained in units and declined in overall turnover, when BPI's figures are announced in March.
  • Our Bets For Digital Media In 2011 – The excellent media and publishing journal paidContent:UK gaze through a crystal ball to see what's ahead for digital media in 2011 with predictions on the popularity of mobile check-ins, tablets and interactive tv.

Digital Consultant links for October 4th through October 7th

These are my links for October 4th through October 7th:

  • Social growth takes a breather – Forrester, experts in pioneering many aspects of research into measuring social media, show in their latest research update that in the US, that ‘joiners’ are the most frequent category of users and ‘inactivities’ and ‘spectators’ are on the up whilst ‘creators’ are slightly on the way down. This could be attributed to the final waves of late adopters coming online, however, the general trend of producers and creators growing seems to be flattening slightly.
  • Companies Struggle to Keep Social Media Content On-Message – Articles like this really peeve me off. Apparently three quarters of all brand social media messages are ‘off topic’, containing “opinions, personal experience, knowledge of competitors and products, and speculation.” That figures seems far too low. Surely at least 80% (if we follow my 80/20 rule: at value at least 80% of the time, sell no more than 20% of time, or less) SHOULD be off topic. Social media is a way to engage, listen, share and create a valuable space for exchange for the brand or organisation. Messages shouldn’t be totally UNbranded or totally OFFtopic for the organisation’s area of business, but equally social media is NOT an overt brand sales tool.
  • Kodak Zi8, FlipCam, iPhone, and Cybershot Horserace – Fab video for those of you interested in purchasing equipment to make online video for your business (or pleasure): Chris Caroll from Visible Gains creates a ‘horse race’ of the best consumer mini video camera formats out there and the Kodak Zi8 comes out on top (yay for Kodak!)
  • Half-a-billion users don’t mean API payola – Canonical on why open APIs mean control of audiences and power, but not necessarily profit for businesses.
  • .Ly Domains At Risk As Libyan Government Shuts Down Site Without Warning – I picked this up today from a bizarre tweet from Sir Tim Berners Lee, it appears that the popularity of link shorteners (included automatically in popular Twitter management services such as TweetDeck and HootSuite) are falling foul of the Libyan government who are censoring ‘un Sharia’ link content. Be warned! But where to trust – Is.Gd?

Digital Consultant links for July 12th through July 14th

These are my links for July 12th through July 14th:

  • What makes the perfect Transmedia Producer? – In-depth discussion on the types of skills and approaches which are working in transmedia. It's heavily led to the Alternative Reality Game (ARG) producers rather than wider producer of entertainment media for new platforms.
  • Social media monitoring: time to say ‘sod it’? – Thought piece on why moderating – and interrupting – Joe Public's conversations in social media may not be a great idea. I think it depends on what you do – people often Tweet about brands because they want help/ response, and certainly being responsive on your own profiles is critical. Joining in wider conversations (e.g. forums or general discussion) will depend on how useful a contribution you can make to the discussion. This may favour technology/product suppliers more than consumer goods and services.
  • UK online video stats: Youngsters favour C4 and ITV over BBC – Blimey: how online video has grown. 2010 sees 5.5 Billion online vdieo viewed each month in the UK, with BBC, ITV and BlinkX as fastest growing properties. Interestingly, the desirable youn 'uns (16-24 year olds) are preferring ITV and Channel to BBC properities.
  • Concept Feedback | Free Concept Reviews for Marketers, Designers and Developers – Here's an interesting 'concept' – this website is a community of designers which lets you upload your concepts for design, websites and print and get feedback from other community members. Offer enough feedback and it's free, or pay a small fee. A great way to get feedback within a community wider than your own organisation, but in a closed setting.
  • Cultivated Play: Farmville – Intelligent article by A. J Patrick Liszkiewicz on why Farmville defines many of the rules of being a good game, but creates social capital through effectively a peer pressure to be kind to your friends (& Farmville neighbours). I'm wondering in anyone in the gaming/digital industry actually like Farmville – no evidence yet, but no denying simple, formulaic social gaming is a major global phenomena. (hat tip: Pete Ashton).

Digital Consultant links for June 27th through July 12th

These are my links for June 27th through July 12th:

  • Communities Dominate Brands: Everything you ever wanted to know about mobile, but were afraid to ask – An incredibly in-depth article on the past and future of mobile communications, with lots of key facts on world-wide trends, smartphone usage and how mobile is used by different audiences. SMS is still the dominant use of the device globally, with MMS predicted to be the next major area fo use/revenue "MMS alone is bigger than the global music industry"
  • Webinar: The Science of Facebook Marketing – Fascinating study into the psychology and statistic of how men & women are using Facebook, what subjects are popular and how to engage – speak plainly and simply on Facebook!
  • Everything you need to know about the internet – A great philosphical, historical mini-essay all about the internet – past, present future. I like the description of Web 2.0 as 'small pieces, loosely joined' and of course the mini-rant on reforming copyright – it needs to be done, but of course it won't.
  • NESTA – Creative Business Mentor Network – New call out for creative business in UK (must be trading 3 years with turnover £250K +) to be supported by an awesome collection of high level CEO mentors.
  • How The World’s Online Ad Sales Stack Up – Infographic IAB stats on global ad spending, showing the greatest spend (but a decrease) in USA, with UK as next largest market (4Bn Euro spend – making Britain 10 x the spend of Sweden). Does that mean the UK has the greatest innovation in online advertising?

Digital Consultant links for June 18th through June 23rd

These are my links for June 18th through June 23rd:

  • Social Media Playbook – A little 101, but some useful up-to-date stats on the latest hip and happening social media networks, and some tips as to how to use them well for business in this E-Book. I disagree with some of their frequency guidelines: this should depend on the quality of content you have and the level of engagement of your audience.
  • New training courses I’m delivering: Creating Online Video for Web and Personal Branding – I've recently started to develop and deliver e-marketing training courses for Derby's Creative Exchange, a professional media training centre at University of Derby. I'm really excited about these new courses which are really expanding the reach of e-marketing to new practical and strategy elements. The first two courses are on Creating Online Video for the Web (29 June) and Personal Branding (30 June). Both are free to Derby city residents, and cost £25 if you're not.
  • The future of social/E-Mail Integration – E-Marketer research on businesses linking their social media to email campaigns, and vice versa. Seems very few are doing it (which seems like a no brainer to me) but more are going to step up their integration. I always say to clients: don't throw baby out with the bathwater: email marketing is still the highest conversion, highest sharing of 'social' media and best way to build in a long term opt-in customer base.
  • Margaret Gould Stewart: How YouTube thinks about copyright – Video from the Iconic TED conference series on how YouTube's technology allow rights holders to register tracks and when matches in the system are detected (including music in the background and mashups) the rights holder can decide if they wish to allow their film & music work to be used in its new context, presenting a new twist on copyright in the digital age.
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