Take your mark, get set…..Tweet! The social media Olympics
24Jul12

Usain Bolt. Image via telegraph.co.uk

When the Olympics start in London on Friday, 27 July they will be forever known as the social media Olympics. At the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008 any news from there may have found its way onto the Internet via blog posts and the occasional video being posted and re-posted on YouTube.

Since then the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest has changed the media landscape dramatically and this time around the impact of social media on the Olympics will be huge. In the past people may have sent text messages, e-mails or commented on forums and chat rooms about the most interesting aspects of the Olympics. Can you imagine the volume of traffic that will be going through all the social media sites as soon as an event has taken place?

As soon as Usain Bolt crosses the finishing line there will be thousands if not millions of posts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. People will be posting on Facebook to get interaction from their friends about the race. Twitter will be buzzing with all sorts of comments, jokes and anecdotes about what just took place. Pinterest will be awash with folk pinning a whole variety of photos that have been lifted from news sites all around the world.

What kind of impact do you think that the social media Olympics will have on newspapers? By the time a journalist has written their piece, the editor has chosen the relevant photos and the rest of the newspaper printed and delivered, there will be very little in the newspaper that has not already been seen, discussed and dissected by the vast majority of the civilised world. The impact of social media on the Olympics could render newspaper coverage superfluous.

Many people will be watching the Olympics not on TV but on iPads and various other mobile devices. Every single bit of news that comes out of the Olympics will spread through the social media like wildfire. It is going to be very difficult for the media to compete against the more popular social media sites. It will be interesting to see the increase in the volume of traffic that is generated by the social media Olympics.

A lot of the athletes themselves will be posting comments on Facebook and Twitter and it is here that most people will go, rather than tune into TV to see any interviews. People now expect news to be delivered immediately and are impatient. If you want to see results, comments, quotes or photos of any of the events it is most likely you will go to one of the social media sites for instant gratification.

2012 will be the first true social media Olympics. The data that emerges over the next few weeks will be telling. Take your mark, get set…..Tweet!

Infographic: The digital anatomy of the affluent male
17Jul12

These days businesses are needing to totally rethink how they reach their target customers. A great example is marketing to males. In the good old days, when traditional media was king, the easiest way to reach a male audience was to buy spots in men’s magazines or the reliable 30 second TV spot in sports programs.

These days its not so straight-forward as our attention is divided between so many mediums and the internet is beginning to dominate.

Here’s a really good infographic from the team at iProspect for those businesses looking to target the affluent male consumer. Is your marketing strategy in line with the latest online trends and statistics? (Note: this is from the USA and the geographic references apply to America only).

Last week’s tweets worth keeping
21Jun12

Here’s a selection of tweets…and more importantly the links….I’ve read or shared in the last week that are worth keeping (also a bit of an experiment in link longevity).

Digital Newcastle launches to help grow the local digital economy
19Jun12

Digital NewcastleThe rapid advancement of technology, especially online technology, presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities. Its something I am keenly aware of as I do business with a wide range of organisations whilst also trying to launch new ideas and applications into the marketplace.

I consider myself to be pretty conversant in the latest happenings in the digital world, but even I have to ask around at times or risk missing opportunities. So I can’t even imagine how the average business owner, marketing manager or government agency must feel trying to keep up with such a rapidly changing environment.

The roll-out of the National Broadband Network only increases the need for knowledge in order to understand its implications and opportunities.

What we desperately need is someone who can help connect the dots.

  • Someone neutral and knowledgeable who can point us in the right direction.
  • Someone who is talking to government agencies and knows where funding is available.
  • Someone who can help advise organisations about putting together good tenders and inviting the right people to pitch.
  • Someone passionate enough about the industry and region to identify opportunities and help them to fruition
  • Someone who can help provide training options to those who need it.

Fortunately in Newcastle we now have that someone, Gordon Whitehead aka @the_git.

And that brings me to a significant announcement. After 6 years at Sticky, Gordon is moving to a new role that has evolved from his founding of The Lunaticks. The project is called Digital Newcastle and Gordon will be doing all the above and more.

He’ll be connecting the dots between government, government agencies, local business, education, start-ups, digital agencies and services providers.

To be clear: this is a new role with a different organisation and totally independent of Sticky.

I’ll be signing on as a sponsor of Digital Newcastle and I encourage other agencies to sign on as well. Collectively we’ll all benefit from this initiative and it will only be truly effective if the right dots are being connected.

I’d like to congratulate to Gordon on this exciting new role. Already he has garnered considerable support from local government and business groups, and I urge all Newcastle and Hunter businesses and agencies to support him so he can help the entire region flourish in this burgeoning digital economy.

 

Which are the best social media sites for SEO? [Infographic]
18Jun12

How Social Media Activity Impacts Organic Search Rankings

Can social media activity impact organic search rankings? We often hear that it can but this recent study set out to prove it with a simple test. Tasty Placement in Austin, Texas ran the study then designed this nice infographic to hep make sense of the current relationships between social media activity and search engine optimisation.

Note: US data only.

Read the rest of this entry »

The winners and losers in the digital economy
15Jun12

A few weeks ago I posted that no industry was immune to the rapid pace of change in our modern interconnected society. I strongly believe that some current industries will be turned upside down by the arrival on the National Broadband Network and borderless labour.

Now a new report by IBISworld’s Phil Ruthven, A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050, lists the winners and losers of what it calls “the new utility” – ubiquitous high-speed broadband.

Ruthven says Australia must shift from exporting its natural resources to exporting so-called “developed resources” – health, education, tourism and business services, and identifies seven broad industry sectors that will benefit from this “hyper digital era”.

The main beneficiaries appear to be government and public safety programs such as emergency and disaster response services, followed by online retail and the mining industry.

However, Ruthven also says that of 509 industries in Australia, 15 – nearly all in traditional media, publishing and broadcasting – are likely to disappear unless they can reinvent themselves.

The industries he identifies as facing “extinction” include: book, magazine and newspaper publishing and retailing; radio and television broadcasting; reproduction of recorded media; and film processing.

Its a trend we’ve seen for the last 15 years. If the medium is easily digitalised then the industry is at risk. It started with music, then moved onto books and movie and TV downloads. Its one of the reasons Fairfax is trying to cut costs and job losses are an unfortunate symptom of these changes.

A recent presentation by Mary Meeker which explained the “re-imagination of everything” is a great pointer to what has happened and who will be affected going forward.

The report says that traditional retailing will decline in the coming decades and much wholesale trade may also disappear.

Mr Ruthven says that Australia has been slow to adopt high-speed broadband and benefit from the digital economy, and the major obstacle is scepticism.

“Because I think there’s been so many naysayers out there suggesting we don’t need it, which is it a bit like saying ‘dirt roads were quite adequate 50 years ago, who needs a sealed road and a four-lane highway?’” says Ruthven.

The report also predicts that one in four people will be working from home at least part-time by 2050, something that futurist Mark Pesce elaborated on.

“The idea of employment, as in a job that lasts for more than a few days or a few weeks, is going to be this very weird term by 2050. Our grandkids will go up to us and say, ‘You had a job and you did it for years at a time?’”, says Pesce.

“That much connectivity in the economy creates this enormous capability for fluidity, and so jobs are going to start to become gigs and those are going to start to become tasks, and eventually we’re all just going to be doing a little bit here and a little bit there and it may not be until we get up in the morning and check the smartphone that we’re going to be knowing what we’re going to be doing that day.”

Pesce feels that the employment market of 2050 is “going to look a lot more like eBay then it does like Seek.”

 

All are expected to be replaced by their online or digital equivalents.

 

Tweets worth keeping
14Jun12

The Twitter stream flows pretty quickly and sometimes its hard to find the good information amongst the banter before it disappears from view. Here’s a selection of tweets…and more importantly the links….I’ve read or shared in the last week that are worth keeping (also a bit of an experiment in link longevity).

  • Not using Twitter could be more dangerous to your business than using it ever will be. Here are 8 benefits ow.ly/bvQWF — Dynamic Business (@DynamicBusiness) June 12, 2012
  • Think things are stuffed? Here are 5 peeps who’ve taken the idea of bettering society into their own hands su.pr/24g5lp#fastbreak — Gavin Heaton (@servantofchaos) June 6, 2012
  • Latest social network world map: Facebook now #1 in 126 out of 137 countries tnw.co/KomAxR   -  Ross Dawson (@rossdawson) June 11, 2012

2012 Internet trends and the re-imagination of everything
6Jun12

Want more evidence that no industry is immune from the current pace of change? Then this post is chock full of examples.

Last time I was in San Francisco I attended the Web 2.0 Summit featuring many of the web-tech industry’s biggest names. One of the best presentations was by Mary Meeker, at the time an analyst for Morgan Stanley. Mary is so good at reading the trends and industry directions that she was then poached by leading Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. In short, when Mary speaks the industry listens.

Mary has just published her 2012 Internet Trends Report and it makes for interesting reading.

But what I’d really like to share are the slides from 29-86 which cover the way technology has re-imagined so many industries in recent times. As Mary says, these are still early days, we’re still in Spring training.

The presentation also covers:

  • Global Internet usage
  • Mobile usage
  • Mobile device evolution
  • Mobile monetization transition
  • Platform firehoses
  • The trend of “re-imagination” of almost everything (no industry is immune)
  • The economy
  • US consumer sentiment
  • The tech “bubble”

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The 10 main reasons people unfollow you on Twitter [Infographic]
4Jun12

Ever wondered why your Twitter follower count goes up and down? Want to get a feel for what works and what annoys people on Twitter?

Then you might find this infographic useful. Its the 10 main reasons people unfollow you on Twitter and it was created by fellow Age of Conversation author Douglas Karr and his team at DK New Media.

Thanks to Douglas for sharing it.

Read the rest of this entry »

No industry is immune to the current pace of change
31May12

Why pizza eating hackers may be your biggest threat…and opportunity

I was speaking at a conference earlier this week and opened my presentation with the warning that unless businesses started adapting to the rapid pace of change in communications and technology they will be left behind. Every industry will be affected. Those who think they’re immune are kidding themselves.

My presentation followed an economic update by a leading economist who didn’t paint a very rosy picture for the next few years. Whilst Australia has managed to remain relatively unscathed by economic chaos around the world up til now, this may be about to change. With Greece and the European Union on the brink and Australian personal debt at levels much higher than the rest of the world, consumer confidence has dried up. We’re not spending and the strain is beginning to show on the economy.

This will only increase the hunger for more cost effective ways for consumers to shop and for businesses to perform. It will hasten the move to more efficient technological solutions and out-sourcing of talent.

Look no further than this week’s announcement by Fairfax that they intend to move editorial production of their regional papers to New Zealand. A favourable exchange rate and modern technology make this possible and will save Fairfax millions in wages.

Its terrible news for local papers and the employees who will lose their jobs, but its also as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow. Ever since the Internet took away the “rivers of gold” that classified listing generated for newspapers the industry has been in decline. This was always going to happen eventually.

Its an era of change and no industry is immune.

In my presentation I showed a timeline of the big tech innovations of the last 15 years. These all contribute heavily to the way we now shop, consume media, research, conduct business and entertain ourselves:

  • Google – founded 1997
  • iTunes – launched 2001
  • Facebook – founded 2004
  • YouTube – launched 2005
  • Twitter – launched 2006
  • iPhone – launched 2007
  • 5 Free to Air TV Channels in 2009
  • 16 FTA channels today
  • Then there’s Google TV and Apple TV trying to break through

…and the National Broadband Network is now rolling out….

The last 15 years have been the tip of the iceberg, more radical change is coming and every industry will be affected.

Any business that isn’t looking to move their marketing from outbound to inbound, their IT from in-house to the cloud, reconsidering human resources, or radically revising their whole business model is crazy.

Don’t be surprised when some upstart comes along with a leaner, meaner business model to interrupt your industry. There are thousands on young punks with laptops, pizza and energy drinks currently plotting your downfall. Maybe you should be hiring them instead.

It has happened to the advertising and marketing industries. It happened in a big way in the music industry. It has happened to print media. Radio is in the firing line. Television is trying to adapt quickly. Look at the travel industry…its almost entirely online now.

I had a customer tell me this week that it won’t happen in his industry because the product is big and hard to ship and assemble plus personal service is still key. I disagree. Change is already well under way. In 10 years his industry will look totally different. Probably 5 years.

The pace of change is only going to increase and a tough economy will actually help those who adapt to leaner, more efficient models. Those people will emerge as the new market leaders whilst those who resisted change will be gone…or out on their feet.