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A world without Twitter…

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It’s no secret that I have a lot of love for Twitter. Particularly these past few days, with people tweeting from all over about the riots spreading across the country, I find the microblogging social networking site pretty addictive.

ANYWAY. I just came across the following amusing infographic ‘A world without Twitter’ created a few months back by HubSpot and wanted to share it:

Dramatic as it may sound, but I often think of how different my life might be without Twitter…

It was on Twitter where Cre8ive Wisdom’s Neil and I first got in contact about me joining the team for a work experience placement last year. Through Cre8ive Wisdom, I met a man who got me in contact with a landlady looking for a tenant in her brand new flat – when we were looking for somewhere to live. And now, after finishing my university degree, I am back working for Cre8ive Wisdom full time… My career started from Twitter!

I’ve also ‘met’ some very lovely & helpful people on Twitter who I probably wouldn’t know existed if it wasn’t for my random following and tweeting! The very lovely followers of mine helped me get a huge number of respondents for my dissertation survey, which gave me a great, robust bed of research for the study, helping for me to gain a First! Also among these followers of mine are some lovely locals who helped out by coming along & participating to focus groups for this research.

It’s strange to think how different things could be if it wasn’t for this social media platform… that’s the (social) butterfly effect I guess!

I hope it’s not just me, anyway…! Is there anything in your life now that would be different without Twitter? What do you think a world without Twitter would be?

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A glance at Google+

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Originally posted on cre8ivewisdom.co.uk

I’ll be honest, after the epic failure of Google Buzz, I didn’t have high hopes when I first heard about Google’s new attempt at a social networking site. However, Google have been working on the elements for Google+ for a long time – unlike the thoughtless rush to jump on the social media bandwagon which was Buzz. There are the sceptics who feel that ‘Plus’ won’t add anything new to the world of SNSs, who believe that the platforms they use are enough (or too much) already. Who needs another Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin and the rest…? Well, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it! Google+ has the potential to replace all of these social networks, pulling together the much-loved news feed of Facebook, the real-time updates of Twitter, the networking approach of LinkedIn and many snazzy new features! But can we really see people ditching Facebook, especially those who have only just been tempted there.

After hearing and reading more and more about Google’s new venture into the world of SNSs I became more and more interested and almost desperate for an invite. Luckily, it wasn’t long until one of my Twitter acquaintances (Twacquaintances?) managed to share a message with me from Google+ containing that golden ticket – a link to join the back of the growing Google+ train! The ‘by invitation only’ slow roll-out approach is perhaps a bit ‘old school’, and frustrating for those who want to get stuck in straight away – I feel that it might put people off joining if they are unable to straight away, which is disappointing. A social networking site only works if there are enough people active to network socially with each other!

On the other hand, it seems to be working pretty well at creating a buzz (no pun intended) for them. People were and are asking around existing social networks in order to receive invites to join – myself included. When the tables turned and I held the key for others to join, my @mention stream & DMs were going crazy with people after a way in! As long as it isn’t too long until the doors are opened to everyone, this could work well with keeping people excited as waves of new members become active.

Because of the limitations to signing up, the word that sticks out to me is ‘potential’. Google+ has the potential to be huge. The features on it are great, and there are loads. If there’s one thing that separates this platform to anything else, it’s the ability and ease to choose which circles you share different things with different people. This means that you can easily keep your work and play separate on the same site.

The +1 button which is beginning to appear all over the web works much like an external Facebook ‘like’ button and is great for recommending webpages and articles with Google+ as a hub. By clicking the +1 next to search results, for example, it creates a list of pages you recommend on your Google+ profile (demonstrated here). This is probably the key feature that I have picked up as having potential for usefulness for brands and marketers, for the time being, anyway.

While my overall initial opinion of Google+ is positive, it’s difficult to enjoy it to its full advantage until a decent amount of people in my social circles join it…. so I can add them to my virtual Google circles and start sharing links, photos, videos – sharing the experience  with them. When Google opens the floodgates for all, I hope that many people will join and make Google+ the great network it has the potential to be!

 

You can add me to your circles & start sharing things with me at: gplus.to/lilyjay

Generation M(mmmm… burgers)

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This is a post I wrote at work for the Cre8ive Wisdom blog, drawing together some recent marketing news with my knowledge of hyper attention collected while studying in my final year of University.

View the original post here

It is commonly agreed that the attention span of Generation M, or the Internet Generation, is generally pretty short. The Internet and digital technology is blamed for this – the move away from getting stuck into a good book to flicking between browser tabs, windows and mobile apps. This is known as ‘hyper attention’, which Hayles describes in relation to ‘deep attention’. A generation that has been brought up with digital technology and online media tends to prefer receiving information through multiple streams, becoming easily bored and distracted by long pieces of writing and less able to focus on single tasks.

Most new marketing, advertising and PR campaigns focus on short, sharp bursts in order to capture audiences’ attention enough to quickly blurt out all the information before attention is lost once again. When it comes to text, short, snappy copy is far more preferable than lengthy articles – no matter how well it’s written, people don’t want, or don’t have time, to read. This is particularly the case with the rise in popularity and use of mobile digital technology and smaller screens. As described on Mashable: “If web copy is skimming the cream off the top of the milk, mobile copy is skimming cream off of the cream”.

Mobile smartphones in particular have very small screens and it is important that marketing copy is optimised for this. 300 words on a computer screen or an A4 page may not look like much – but on a phone that can be a lot of tedious scrolling! People tend not to ‘get stuck in’ to reading, or watching, things on their mobile phones. A lot of the time that people spend using their mobile phone is while they are doing something else, where there are even more distractions. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I find it second nature to pick up my phone and have a browse while standing in a queue, waiting for a friend or walking to a shop, for example. At any minute it’ll be my turn to order, my friend will turn up or I’ll get to the shop and my phone will be locked and put away in a pocket or handbag. Mobile marketing copy needs to be shorter and sweeter to suit our distractive and hyper-attentioned lifestyles.
So keeping someone’s attention for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour is out of the question, right? Not when there’s a free burger involved, apparently.

Burger King has turned the tables with their new marketing strategy which, instead of trying to satisfy our hyper attention spans, encourages people to stare at a TV screen for ‘long’ periods of time. TV – where an advert lasts seconds and we’re used to watching soaps with their snappy, attention-keeping, interwoven scenes. Subscribers of the US satellite service DirecTV can flick over to channel 111, watching a spinning Whopper burger for 5 minutes to be told which button on their remote control to press in order to be sent a voucher for a free Whopper. A further 10 minutes and the patient person can get two burgers… A full half an hour wins the ‘lucky’ (and probably very bored/hungry) person deservedly (?) gets three free Whopper vouchers.

While I’m not sure I could sit and watch a burger for five minutes – let alone half an hour – without feeling tortured through hunger or just incredibly bored, the campaign is doing very well. And while long, tedious, adverts or articles requiring time and attention often don’t work, innovative does work and Burger King are #winning on this occasion!

Does removing brand visuals remove brand identity? … and does this remove desire?

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Reading about Australia’s plans for ‘colourless’ cigarette packets recently got me thinking about the use of colour and how important it is in branding. Colour choices used by brands and in visual marketing is a decision that isn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be taken lightly. Studies of semiotics and semantics show how visual symbols, such as colours, are used in attempts to signify and prompt particular attitudes and associations. There are many common connotations of colours within cultures and societies which brands might want to encourage, or avoid, associations with. For example, many people might think feminine, loving and caring when visuals involve pale shades of pink, or crazy, fun and energetic when it’s a bright yellow.  However, because a lot of connotations are drawn subconsciously, it is impossible to anticipate the associations that each and every individual will make between certain colours and the brand. Therefore it is vital to attempt to predict all possible connotations when choosing colour schemes during the creation of brand identities….

[continue reading my ‘words of wisdom’ here]

Introducing Communications Whizzkid!

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So today was the first day of my six-week work experience placement at Cre8ive Wisdom. Honestly, I was a little bit nervous! But Neil, Wendy and Steph are all really friendly and made me feel very welcome : )

This morning I wrote a press release about me joining the team and attempted to gain more followers for the recruitment agency Bond Williams’ twitter account. I also started putting together some ideas for a new sleep story for clients Leggett and Platt. Along with various bits and bobs I’ll be assisting the team with, I’ve been given my own personal six-week project which I’ll be getting stuck into!

To become a true member of the team I needed to have a ‘CW’ name, so I’m now known as the  Communications Whizzkid… and I have my very own company email address!

At midday, I took a break with Steph and walked along the seafront in the sunshine to Boscombe Pier and back. It was lovely but I made a mistake wearing shoes I haven’t worn for a long while and now have huge blisters on both my little toes! : (

In the afternoon the Cre8ive Wisdom team took a stroll down to the seafront again to take some individual and team photos. As much as I dislike my photo taken, it was a bit of a giggle, and nice to be out in the gorgeous weather again!

After my first full-time day for a long time, I am completely knackered – but looking forward to the next six weeks! : )