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Sun, sea and digital

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The last two days I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend Meetdraw Presents: Silicon Beach – a great event in Bournemouth with a long list of fantastic and inspiring speakers, lovely tea, mini cupcakes, beachfront balcony lunches and networking opportunities with some charming like-minded digital fans. Oh, and not forgetting the added bonus of a free bar in Aruba on Wednesday evening!

A key thing was said towards the beginning that is important to remember – no one knows everything and no one ever will. Particularly with digital and things like social media, changes are constantly happening and everyone is constantly learning and different things will work for different brands all the time. Nicole Yershon of Ogilvy Digital Labs talked of the importance of building partnerships and good relationships. Admitting that you can’t do everything is key to then go on and form some great partnerships and deliver amazing work. The moment that an individual or company feels that they know everything, is the moment things can start to go downhill!

And that was great, because that’s why I was there – to learn. And I have definitely learnt a lot! The speakers all had wonderfully interesting and inspiring stories and examples to show, leaving my head buzzing with excitement, inspiration and ideas. It’s all still continuing to sink in and digest but I wanted to share some of the key things I have taken from this ‘digital innovation and storytelling’ themed conference and networking event.

Digital is becoming less of an ‘add-on’ – the campaign model has changed in marketing, advertising and public relations, needing to be fully immersed in digital from the very beginning. However another interesting point was made – those of us who live, breathe and work in digital are still in a ‘digital bubble’ (as put by Nicole Yershon) so it can be difficult to ‘convince’ people that digital really is, not just the way forward, but the now! Although having a Facebook page or a Twitter account might not be for every business, the technology is there to be utilised in many different ways that can work well for most organisations.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s Michael McClary highlighted that new technology is not equal to creative innovation. Just using new technology isn’t ‘innovative’, what makes it innovative is creatively making use of the technology that’s out there. Some facts and figures were given by Mike Malone of Grape Digital (in this great video) who made it clear how important it is for brands to be present on Facebook – because that’s where people are! And it’s also a good idea to keep as much as you can on your Facebook page rather than sending people elsewhere because people don’t want to leave their ‘chat’ conversations…. good thinking!

Some of what has been said and discussed over the past few days I was already aware of, or caused ‘of course that makes sense!’ moments, but it has definitely brought these things to the forefront of my attention. Light was also shed on some new great tools that I’m really looking forward to making use of! There are some exciting things to come, and who really knows how technology is going to evolve? But what’s important for the time being is creatively and innovatively using what is out there for us now.


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?

A glance at Google+

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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:

What happens on the Internet in 60 seconds?

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Facebook Obsessed?

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Just a few Facebook facts and stats, via Mashable.

So what is it about Facebook, and other social networks, that make them so popular? And in some cases, addictive?

Back to the grind… back to the blog

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I realise I have been a very poor communications and social media -loving person recently for completely neglecting this blog for such a long time.

In case I have been missed, I was blogging over at Whizzkid’s Words as a part of my work placement. It’s a kind of daily diary during my time there, with links to articles I’d written and various other bits I was involved with.

Anyway, I’ve now well and truly begun the last step of this stage of my life – the dreaded Final Year. And it’s hit. Hard.

Sooo, of course I need something to procrastinate with… Hiiii! That’s why I’m here! (Just… half… kidding!)

But really, I’m actually finding the units I’ve chosen to take really interesting, so definitely expect me to share some gems here! I’m also researching a lot about social media and it’s use for public relations – this is the main subject area of The Dreaded ‘D’ Word (dissertation for all you stress-free types) I will shortly be beginning to write.

I think that blogging about some of my interesting findings (and I promise they’ll be interesting… to someone…) may help me with my own thought process and taking it all in – it feels a lot less like ‘work’!

Right.. back to reading for me! (:

Twitter: Why do we use it?

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If you choose ‘Other’, please elaborate in a comment on the blog post : ) thank you!

I’ve been a member of Twitter for quite a while now – long enough to manage 1,788 tweets.

My tweets mainly consist of random blurts of useless information, how I’m feeling, what I’m up to etcetc. However I like to use Twitter to share interesting links, news and blogs.

The famous Twitter 'fail whale'

My following list is at 140… I try to keep it fairly low so I can actually keep up (I always have at least 5 new tweets every couple of minutes ÜberTwitter refreshes on the BlackBerry! – It can be fairly time consuming to go get up-to-date when I haven’t checked it for a few hours!)

The list of those I follow consists of friends, randomers – around Bournemouth and elsewhere, celebrities, big bloggers and a fair few within the marketing, PR and social media industries.

I think I’d say my own main use of Twitter is to keep up with current affairs, general news but mainly within the media world – the world in which I’m aiming for a career.