Digital Consultant links for May 18th through May 21st

These are my links for May 18th through May 21st:

  • How Starbucks Engages Millions of Facebook Fans – A massive high street international brand, Starbucks have also been extremely successful at adopting the social media space. In this video interview, their head of Digital Strategy talks about how they have a 'listen first' tactic, and make use of video and special offers to bring people into stores.
  • Nestle learns its social media lesson the hard way – More examples of how social media is shortening the gap of opportunity, particularly for campaigners, to speed up direct action, in this case against environment-destroying suppliers. As one person notes in the comments, Nestle are lucky this didn't happen in the 80s during the powdered milk for Africa scandal. Another example of how individuals can use social media for collective action. The real lesson here for brands: get smarter, quicker. The campaigners (in this case Greenpeace) are many steps ahead of you.
  • The top seven Facebook tools for publishers – A neat little summary of the main tools in your arsenal as a publisher/business website to connect your content and audiences with Facebook.
  • Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I’m In – Peter Serafinowicz – British comic Peter Serfaniowicz, one of the top Brits on Twitter, writes a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece on Gizmodo about why, as a professional writer, actor and content producer, he still on occassion chooses to file-share. And it all comes back down to that old chestnut: convenience. Until the UK market place can accommodate for those with far-ranging tastes (he cites the bizarre example of how Jungle Book is unavailable on iTunes, and pop music promos have been locked down from embedding (i.e. sharing amongst fan sites). It's a brave post, and certainly reflect my own usage of legal and illegal sources of accessing content (in my case the vast amount of what I seek is unavailable commercially, because it doesn't make commercial sense to release obscure, historic film and music content). Until the legal market can provide 'better than free' access and service (without complex territorial restrictions) P2P remains the marketplace of choice for many media consumers.

Today’s Digital Consultant Links for March 7th

These are my links for March 7th from 10:51 to 11:12:

  • Google ‘personalizes’ one in five searches – The future of SEO is a moveable space: Google are continuing to 'personalise' results of users – if you're logged into your Google account you can 'star' results you find interesting to appear top of the tree next time, and searches will vary depending on previous user habits. Non logged-in users will get some specific results depending on their geographic location. The future will be more sentient search based on previous habits ('evolutionary search') which tallies more with the referral trends of social media – eventually the two will become interlinked. Ths makes SEO a dying art. All hail the relevant non-commercial search!
  • The Hunt For The Dope: Mike Masnick Responds – Another interesting discussion over at The Cynical Musician where Mike Masnick from TechDirt (who formulate the 'engagement with fans plus reason to buy' formula for independent music sales) has responded to the idea of those who chose to buy music, when they could get it for free, are the 'big dope'. Once again, the new music evangelists misunderstand the economics of actually how you can make money, if 99% of your 'fans' won't pay the answer is evident. The debate is raging as to whether 'freeloaders' are like people who listen to music on radio but don't buy, and our sampling with view to purchasing – or are just freeloaders. I think the reality is somewhere in between: you need to open your music up to 'sampling' but in a controlled environment, making it easier to buy something great from you in return.
  • Advertising on Facebook Strikes Some as Off-Key – What happens when you open up the world's biggest website to uncensored advertising? A lot of near misses and off key advertising, like the newly engaging ladies being flooded with adverts for diamond rings, dresses, wedding organisers. Facebook ads, through the low cost entry point, like Google Pay-Per-Click, are a revolution in business advertising due to the specificity and reach – no other platform allows you to target people based on their exact age, location and interests. But without the rigorous systems of Google, allowing adverts to be 'disapproved' by members rather than pre-approved by experts, means that quality and relevance can be low. This puts trust in advertising on social networks, already very low for established brands, in even more jeopardy. There's also a question of whether users are feeling their privacy is under threat from this type of advertising.

Digital Consultant links for December 4th through December 7th

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

  • Global Web Index – Interesting research of 32,000 global internet users showing their levels of participation in web 2.0 digital content creation. Users in China are far more 'engaged' as creators than Europe, and UK/US very 'unengaged' compared to Brazil, Russia, China, India and other parts of Europe.
  • More Research To Back The Notion That Streaming Kills Piracy – Well, doesn't kill as such, but the popularity of services like Spotify and Hulu in US have dampened peer-to-peer downloads – the question is how streaming can now be monetized.

Digital Consultant links for November 2nd through November 3rd

These are my links for November 2nd through November 3rd:

  • Constant Transformation Is the New Normal – Piece by disruptive innovation expert Scott Anthony on how 'business as usual' ain't coming back: you need to be customer-focused, adaptable to change and have distinct, autonomous spaces for innovation.
  • Lord Mandelson sets date for blocking filesharers’ internet connections – In full: the timetable and approach for UK government to impose the "three strikes and your offline" policy to tackle file-sharing; which, interestingly, WASN'T a recommendation of Lord Carter's Digital Britain report from this year.
  • A fistful of (internet) dollars – The Guardian have produced this useful round up showing the size of the digital industries (music, TV, film, games, publishing) in 2000 compared to now, and how they are siddling with Lord Mandelson and the government on the issues around downloading and regulation.
  • To Be a Better Leader, Give Up Authority – Prof Vlatka Hlupic believes that in complex trading environments in knowledge industries, the leader who delegates more control to their workers can see improved levels of innovation and results. Command and control models are broke.
  • Expansive English Game Development Hub Discussed – The long-running 'games centre of excellence' proposal seems to be zoning in on becoming a reality, with a research, training and testing facility mooted to be established in MediaCity in Salford – which could put the noses out of joint in Liverpool, where most of the North West games industry are based.

Today’s Digital Consultant Links for November 2nd

These are my links for November 2nd from 09:17 to 12:36:

  • User-generated video to broadcast on Dublin streets this Christmas – Here's an example of web culture traversing to mainstream culture: Zozzy TV will allow people to "streetcast": broadcast their 30 sec films on a screen in Dublin's major shopping streets (interspersed with adverts, presumably). One to bring to other shopping districts?
  • Major console games maker mulls a move from UK to Ireland – Scotland is losing its status as a producer of quality games as more developer threaten to leave to exploit tax breaks in other nations. This time Realtime Worlds threaten to move to Dublin – not known as a centre for games as yet but it's certainly developing the infrastructure for a digital production economy.
  • Report claims illegal downloaders buy more music – A report by lefty-think-thank Demos, paid for by Virgin Media, claims downloaders spend 50% (£33) more on music each year, and would download more if prices reduced to 45p a track. I'd question this research generally though: Virgin have lots to gain from a decrease in peer-to-peer traffic clogging up their network, and it's based on what people say they would do rather than proving behaviour and outcomes.
  • 12 Essential Plugins that Extend WordPress as a CMS – If you're a web developer working with clients to develop websites built on the awesome, free WordPress system, these plug-ins are great for increasing the editorial rights, changing images and adding custom forms amongst other things.
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