Unicef Sweden Christmas Ad

Speaks for itself

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ESPN – Born into it

The latest in ESPN’s “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” series, show a couple of blokes tell the viewer how different their lives would be had they been born in the part of Manchester where the other’s team is rooted. Probably not such a great idea given how tense the match seemed to be!

Ireland’s Digital Future

I was delighted to be one of the people asked to submit a few words into IMJ talking about Ireland’s Digital Future in their recent Digital Issue. For what its worth – here’s what I had to say! DigitalEd

Ireland has no digital future. Or at least its future isn’t one that should be expressed in these terms. We need to redefine our view of digital and stop thinking single-mindedly about it. Instead we need to think about what we want to do and let the digital technology get us there. Lofty and idealistic? Maybe, but as long as we continue to differentiate we stop allowing ourselves to break free from what has confined us to date.

Organizations in all industries have fallen victim to complacency, politics, in-fighting, analysis-paralysis, risk-aversion, and bureaucracy that stops them doing this. It happened to HMV, who were ideally placed to allow the technology to take them places that would have seen them thrive, they didn’t and they suffered. Argos are struggling to get their heads around it and they too are suffering. Meanwhile the likes of Teléfonica are embracing it and are almost attacking their own business model with the launch of the VoIP service TU Me. Digital is at the core for businesses like these, it’s so close to the core the lines are blurred between online and offline to the extent that its now non-line.

This is what we have done at Dialogue, we opened our doors to a new breed of “digital natives” and gave them the freedom to introduce their digital DNA into the agency. For them digital is just an extension of themselves, for example, they embrace beta launches, where they test, simplify, test and simplify some more – and yes all of this is in the public domain. This allows us be a lot more agile, with campaigns almost having a start-up mentality. Without this approach most of us are doomed to clumsily translate conventional ideas into a digital format. This is bringing us to really interesting places where data, it’s not sexy I know, but it allows us to create work with our clients that delivers hyper-relevant content to people. Content that adds value to their lives, makes lives more interesting, easier, faster, smarter, more connected (or maybe less connected), more enjoyable. We have to stop allowing the digital tail wag the dog and instead look to see how we can use it to enhance experiences.

Digital needs to touch everything we do, when we get to that point then there is no need for a digital strategy, it is truly embedded and there is just a strategy. This is Ireland’s (digital) future.

Are we tweeting blindly?

I love twitter and have been tweeting for 4 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 3 hours, 54 minutes, 40 seconds (according to http://howlonghaveyoubeentweeting.com/). It has become an incredible resource for me, I pick up so much, have built relationships online (some people I have been lucky enough to meet offline). I would say that I will still suggest to our clients that we use it….but

I was at a DMI event this morning and when Stephen McIntyre (who seems like a really smart guy) was asked about how many active users were on twitter he said that the twitter policy was not to divide twitter users by region. The only exception they have made was the UK.

This scares me!

The last time I heard figures (and they were guesstimates) about users was a few years ago and the guesses were that there were 200,000 users in Ireland and 10% were active. That’s 20,000 people! If we assume that number has doubled and active users have doubled we are at 80,000 people – a decent number but not critical mass by any stretch.

As a guy who developed a strategy and trained 100 people in a telco on how to use twitter for their business I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bath water, but it does make you wonder are we tweeting blindly – with no real clue of what numbers are really engaged. Yes you can use social monitoring tools to look at who is talking about you etc…but you have to wonder why twitter aren’t being open about their numbers?

So what does all this mean?

Well like I said, I wouldn’t suggest ditch twitter – but maybe you need to work out if its right for you (now). Maybe a place to start is looking at your category – What competitors are up there? what are they up to? what levels of engagement are they experiencing? Perhaps it’s going to make sense for a certain part of your business (customer care – just by the way twitter suggest you dont say you are there 9-5 you should be there 24/7).

I think companies need to look at what twitter is doing for their business against the resources they are putting against it.

The questions answer opened up, for me, a whole host of questions. As a twitter user, I think it’s an amazing platform, but are we tweeting blindly?

It’s time to #DumpShell! Greenpeace

You have to admire them – they push the boundaries. Wonder what Delia and Hestons people make of it!!

Twine

I had a WTF moment when I was reading this!
Want your basement pipes to send you a text message when they’re in danger of freezing up, or your garage door to ping you if you forget to close it? No problem: With Twine, building your own personal “Internet of things” is supposed to be easier than programming a VCR. And now that the product is available for purchase,