editorial staff TOMAS NIHLÉN -
EDITOR IN CHIEF LINDA PIERRE - EDITOR THE HASHTAG ISSUE! You might wonder what the hell the weird sign on the front cover means. Or you might recognise it from numerous places like for instance from Twitter. In fact you are completely right if you thought about Twitter. This might seem like a worn out topic, but it has become such an important part of the current media landscape that it would be impossible to write a new media trend report without giving this topic the proper attention. Many bloggers out their write tons of great advice on different Twitter apps, we are in this issue focusing mostly on how Twitter is actually used by people and how it can create value for brands. Tomas Nihlén, Editor in Chief and Linda Pierre, Editor and responsible writer. Co-founder of Urban Lifestyle. for layout & design. Co-founder and co- Since this is the first issue of 2009 I felt it was almost necessary to start off this issue Holds a very strong interest in new owner of Urban Lifestyle. She is also with a glance into the crystal ball in the first article. But since you probably already have media and how Internet is changing the marketing director for an e-commerce read quite a few of these already I only choose a few of the trends that I personally fundamentals of the whole marketing site in the travel accessories category. think are important in media production and gadget consumption. Convergence and arena. He particularly keeps an eye on Linda enjoys actually using social the evolving Internet video scene. Also media in her daily work instead of just divergence are two key words here. But this issue is so packed full of information loves podcasting both as a viewer and talking about it. She loves podcasting, and insights that you really need to poor yourself a cup of tea, or coffee, and start a creator. both practicing and consuming. cracking at this bad boy. First a few words about the future of this report though. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: email@example.com We are proud to present some new writers in this issue and we would love to find more and more writers out there who can help improve this report. So please let us know if you want to write an article or become a regular writer. INFORMATION - WHAT IS ”URBAN LIFSTYLE REPORT - NEW MEDIA”? It feels exciting to take this product from a walled garden out into the world of free content. And it is much appreciated if you help us spread the word. You ”Beyond buzz words and corporate bullshit. We write about what’s actually going on in new media and how it’s changing the marketing game. And we are always on can send our reports to friends but it would be great if you the look for talented and passionate people who want to write for us. So if you think would ask them to register their own accounts on www. you have what it takes, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org UrbanLifestyleReport.com so that they get all the latest and tell us more about who you are and what you want to write about.” information directly. This also gives us an idea of our reader base. Another way to spread the word and make this report How do I get free issues? Create an account at better is to use the hashtag #ulrnm when promoting or Editor in Chief Tomas Nihlén email@example.com +46 8 501 64 377 www.UrbanLifestyleReport.com and you’ll get an commenting on our reports on Twitter. Editor & Creative Director Linda Pierre email to download the reports. firstname.lastname@example.org +46 8 501 64 376 How often? 4-5 times per year. Now, I know you can’t wait any more so just turn the page Company behind the report: Images & illustrations: If not taken by any of our and get started already! :) Urban Lifestyle AB writers, been approved by the copy holder or free of use from Flickr Creative Commons.
writers TOMAS NIHLÉN - STOCKHOLM,
SWEDEN OLLE AHNVE - STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN Obsessed with new media but even more so if it is related to A curiosity geek at a Stockholm based PR agency who thinks ”social” moving images on a digital screen. Wanted to become a movie is the most important part of social media and enjoys diving into director in high school, and now enjoys every second spent this digital ocean every day. He thinks everybody should try Twitter in Final Cut editing video podcasts or short documentaries. at least once in their lifetime and not be afraid to try new things. Web: Urban Lifestyle Report Twitter: @tomasnihlen Web: http://jungrelations.com/blog Twitter: @oahnve LINDA PIERRE - STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN ANDERS ABRAHAMSSON - NORRKÖPING, SWEDEN A perfectionist who is addicted to keeping up to date to Sustainopreneurship facilitator and global knowledge nomad everything new, but in particular everything digital. Relives an old networking with intention and quality who runs/develops six dream to become a radio host by keeping a mic close to her at all ventures. times so that she can start a podcast episode at any given time. Web: Urban Lifestyle Report Twitter: @lindapierre Web: http://www.sustainopreneurship.biz/Twitter: @sliceonline HJÖRTUR SMÁRASON - REYKJAVIK, ICELAND NICHOLAS GILL - LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM Anthropologist who went practical. Writes, speaks and Planner with a love for digital at Lawton Communications consults on Internet marketing. He is also owner and Group but also a blogger, podcaster and general evangelist for director of a marketing consultancy in Reykjavik, Iceland innovative marketing strategies. Has previously worked as a client specializing in branding, social media and Internet marketing. partner and strategic leader for a wide range of blue chip clients. Web: http://blog.scope.is/ Twitter: @hjortur Web: http://bluurb.wordpress.com Twitter: @nicholasgill LIA DUTRA - SAO PAULO, BRAZIL DAN THORNTON - PETERBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM Passionate strategic planner at the Brazilian agency Africa 30-something Community Marketing Manager at Bauer Propaganda who believes that in hard times creativity blossoms. Media, specializing in creating content, conversation and Her thirst for knowledge never stops and her blog and articles here communities. Also experienced blogger (www.thewayoftheweb. are two outlets for her thoughts on marketing and related topics. net and www.140char.com), journalist and social media addict. Web: http://liadutra.blogspot.com/ Twitter: @liadutra Web: http://www.thewayoftheweb.net Twitter: @badgergravling
in this issue 2009.01 5.
First some mandatory crystal ball predictions 41. A crisis of convergence Music 3.0 8. A year of Value, not wealth 9. One day at a time 45. Liar liar pants on fire! 11. The New Media (and people) scenario 47. Opinion: STOP bugging us! 14. Curiosity Geek - the marketing pro of tomorrow 48. Connect with us! 16. The next phase of social networking online 49. Donations & ”Looking for Indesign Guru!” 19. Micro-blogging? All know what it is, no one knows what it is 25. Hashtags & Retweets - more than just fancy words? 30. The live web - at first glance 34. A different kind of Internet Buzz - the one that comes from drinking 36. It’s all about the brand experience - seamless but not standardised 40. Death of the anonymous web? COVER IMAGE BY: respres
5 First some mandatory crystal
ball predictions TOMAS NIHLÉN Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: http://tomasnihlen.tumblr.com/ Picture: swanksalot S ince this is the first issue of 2009 it would be almost unheard of not to do some predictions for this year. But I will keep it short and The two hottest gadgets right now seem to be smartphones and netbooks. And related to netbooks we see ultra portable laptops like MacBook Air. In fact, no matter if you are rocking a small laptop, netbook or even smartphone it’s (hopefully) sweet. Basically just some of the things cheaper and easier than ever to bring your office wherever I’m contemplating right now, in regards to new you go. media and consumer trends. But just focus on a Apple revolutionised the smartphone industry when iPhone couple of interesting things rather than everything hit the market. No doubt about that. They focused on making a great product instead of copying the competition going on right now in this field. or sticking to industry standards.
6 Not smart at all
if my SonyEricsson P1 can claim that title. It’s the dumbest phone I have ever had the misfortune to use. Speaking of convergence, another interesting field with great convergence is between digital still cameras and digital video cameras. Canon Mark II for instance is a digital SLR that also shoots full HD video and has even been used to shoot this short film. These two types of products will no doubt grow into one in the future, but it will be interesting to see what the winning form factor will look like. Will it be a video Picture: P/UL camera that shoots great still images or a still camera that shoots great video? At the moment it looks like the latter alternative, but I guess time will tell. Now the other manufacturers are doing what they usually do; playing copycat and building iPhone like products. It’s We do not only see convergence in the field of obvious that the strategies vary between Apple and the digital video capturing though, we actually rest of the brands in this space. But that’s all I’m going to see both convergence and divergence say in this fanboy maner. at the same time. Let me explain what I mean. My example is the Flip My prediction here is that we will see continued growth camera, a small and super easy to in the netbook sector and we will also see more and use digital video camera. The first more netbooks running OS X, something that Apple model focused on two things; easy will need to address. Microsoft needs to watch out, to use and cheap. So it was different because I think both Linux and OS X are really attractive from many other cameras going for operating systems for these netbooks. the top end or middle range. But In the cell phone corner we will see a convergence with the new model of the Flip Mino between regular phones and smartphones. In the future HD you actually get HD in a very small this categorisation will not make sense anymore, and I’m and cheap little box. I think this type of not sure it even does at the moment. How smart does a cameras will flood the market and replace smartphone need to be, eh well to be called a ”smartphone”? regular users’ old DV cameras. Picture: Steve Keys
7 This should in fact
become the top choice for both regular consumers and average Internet users who need a cheap and easy way to shoot and publish videos to the Internet. I also see great corporate uses for these type of cameras, just send me and e-mail and I would love to talk more about this topic. I love almost everything about digital video online. So here is a summary of what I will (and you should?) keep an extra eye on during 2009: 1 Laptops; cheaper and cheaper + faster and faster 2 Netbooks; shooting for the stars 3 Microsoft getting competition in the netbook sector 4 Convergence between digital still cameras and digital video cameras 5 HD video cameras that disappears in your pocket Well that's my two cents anyway, when it comes to articles in the “new year predictions” style. At least for now. Picture: JOE M500
8 A YEAR OF VALUE,
not wealth HJÖRTUR SMÁRASON Location: Reykjavik, Iceland Blog: Marketing Safari With the slow economy, declining ad budgets and tougher markets, or followers you have marketers are going to be seeking new ways to market their products. and can spam with your Picture: buggolo Traditional opinion makers, newspapers, TV channels and other traditional ads, offers or messages. It’s media outlets are losing out while new influencers are taking over. measured in the value your words have, the value you provide Influencers in social media. Average Joes who become powerful opinion to your listeners and the quality of your network. For your makers online. Seeing the success some marketers are getting via social words to have some value for people you need to establish a media, many advertisers will try their luck using social media as a marketingrelationship with people. And to get these people to listen, you channel. So we will be looking at a lot of noise later in have to build up trust. That is a process where the year in social media. you need to invest time, energy and creativity. Don’t think you can get “Try not to be a man of success, but your way with people with your Next year, those same marketers rather try to become a man of value” first tweet. will say that social media marketing Albert Einstein doesn’t work, that it’s a waste of time. That’s because they don’t get it. They’ll never be The year 2009 will be a year of change. Change influencers. They’ll just be spammers. driven by a different economic environment, new markets and new opportunities. Let’s embrace the opportunities those changes bring. Let’s build new relationships, strengthen our You see, being an influencer is not measured by the number of friends networks and bring value to our friends and followers.
9 One day at a
time LINDA PIERRE Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: http://lindapierre.tumblr.com/ the enormous universe called the Internet is not showing any signs of running out of space due to too much information, not yet anyway. Every day thousands of pictures are being uploaded to sites like Flickr, Photobucket and not to forget the biggest ones of them all Facebook. People don’t seem to get enough of the attention a photo can give. Some do it to archive their photos, some to show their friends and family and others seek the stardom a perfect photo can give you. Back in 2004 Taylor McKnight started taking photos of himself and called it “Project 365”. We’ve seen many similar projects since then, like this girl taking a photo of herself every day for three years and then she made a video out of it. Noah Kalina took it a bit further taking a photo of himself during eight years and of course also made a viral video hit out of it with over 11 million views so far on YouTube and 49 000 on Vimeo. A few things hits me, there’s is no way you can have the exact same hairstyle two times in your life and why do they have to look so bored, isn’t this supposed to be a fun thing, right? And it seems like men tend to grow their hair longer as they get older. Middle age crises or what? Picture: erin MC hammer
10 Anyway let me get
back on the path I intended to go with this article. The phenomenon of taking your own picture everyday Picture: Noah Kalina wasn’t just a hype that went away. The photo site Photojojo urges everyone to create their own “Project 365”. You might wonder why. Well if not for your own sake, like a diary, you could do it to be able to show your kids what you did and how you looked during this period of time. There are many different ways in which you can do this, it doesn’t have to be a (boring) facial picture. You could choose to take a photo of your shoes or why not do as this Canadian photographer did and take a photo of people in your neighbourhood? People all over the world already upload their pictures to different Flickr groups doing similar things like that. EpicFu has got the list of people taking the challenge at the moment. There’s no limit to where your imagination can bring you, or your company for that matter. I mean if people like seeing things grow (like beards) or decrease (beach season closing in on us) it doesn’t have to be something on a human being... Picture: erin MC hammer Think about that all you marketers out there! And let me know if you come up with a neat idea. Also check out Photojojo’s Time Capsule, a cool way of reminding yourself what you did at the same time last year. Oh time for my daily time saver... Click!
1 1 The new media
(and people) scenario Through a world crisis LIA DUTRA Location: São Paulo, Brazil Blog: http://liadutra.blogspot.com/ Most bloggers enjoy lists – of all kinds. They love lists of websites on certain topics, lists of the top things of several issues, lists of other bloggers and so on. They enjoy lists even more if they’re on them. Since I am a blogger myself, I considered making Illustration: Wesley Fryer a list for this article, mainly due to how I wanted to write about this subject – in the predictions form. But I have to admit I find it hard writing lists of any kind, so instead, I chose a mix of a list with something of a narrative, discursive way. Hope you enjoy it.
12 I have seen lots
of people making bad predictions about how this will be a tough year – and I do agree with that in a certain way - but I also do believe it’s time for us to try to recover and stop complaining about how we won’t be able to justify not even the costs of the company paper. (As if the lack of money were an excuse for not doing good things). The thing is all about the money, as usual, but that’s not enough of a reason. Creativity does not require huge investments. I guess the money issue now can be quite a standard for not allowing bad moves – since there’ll only be a certain amount money available and that cannot be wasted. I’m very optimistic about this year. For those who haven’t been going through a good way, there’s a chance to try to do their best. It’s a brand new beginning, a lifetime chance to start over – without further explanation. As this whole crisis started, the worries concerning the global economic scene have been making companies re-think their investments in communication. But as you might have read in some publications, this is exactly the time we shouldn’t stop communicating, advertising. And I truly support that cause. Picture: miss_rogue It’s said that in a moment of crisis a lot falls apart. But also, some I guess now it’s time for brands to be clear, transparent and simple. It’s time to great things rise. And these are the ones that shine and gets highlighted in take complexity aside since no one needs it and keep it all simple without losing the spark comparison to others, especially because they have a different way of moving and the poetry. It’s time to engage people, even more than how we did in prosperous times. when compared to the rest. So I believe the key now the marketing investments have decreased is to find other ways that allow a major return. In this aspect, new media has a great opportunity to grow even more. What I like the most about these different things is that sometimes it is pretty clear that they are not just something new coming up. They are not a new rule, a new innovative practice. But yes, they’re the exception indeed. They 1 are different because they do things differently. And this is what’s related to Here’s what I believe will happen: the positive side of the crisis. They bring fresh new perspectives. One thing is for sure, despite companies' and brands' positions and their decisions in Last year I read some of the Senior Vice President and Worldwide Publisher this situation, and even if the market itself does not grow as expected, people won’t 2 for BusinessWeek, Jessica Sibley’s, predictions on the magazine market stop spending time online, nor do it less than they used to. for 2009. After reading it I realized we strongly have a common ground. In this new scenario it’ll be all about people and what (and most important, HOW) Crisis are worthy somehow, they provide an environment with room for they relate to brands. People who act and do different things will show up on stage inspiration and for motivated people who want to make a difference in these inside their professional environments. It’s their time to shine, which is why we are times – times that actually need a new attitude – and from there new things probably going to say the ‘cool’ will be growing more than ever. Talented people will with new approaches come up. Turns out, this seems to be true not only in keep hanging there, but new talents will show up. It’s time for innovation. 3 publishing, but in several – if not all – markets. In 2009 we’re still about to see great campaigns using social media - including Internet, The world is changing, in every single possible way. The economy is mobile, video (a lot of video), content generation and lots of other tools, maybe even changing, politics are changing, people are having to change. Anything could greater campaigns than some of the best we had in 2008. happen.
13 4 I believe we’ll
have both interesting and successful initiatives on social media, on multi-platform initiatives. Exploring all possibilities that multi-media can bring. 5 We’ll do even better once we start realizing that it is not all about the technologies themselves nor just about the mediums themselves, but also about the content they carry within. As Cam Brown, the King Fish Media President, wisely said: “2009 will feature the greatest redirect in marketing approach that the media industry has seen”. I believe it’ll be time to identify and guide new practices for the usage of media in a more strategic way. It’s time to notice and realize (for 6 those who still haven’t) that mediums are more than just mediums. I believe the big open television will become even less relevant for people. Traditional media will keep dropping as content and social media grow (and I 7 am not saying that just because this is a New Media Report). The whole new media growth won’t happen only for big brands and their consumers (as in the way we’re used to name them). On last June’s report Lisa Sculati wrote about the companies engagement and use of Wikis, and somehow now it suddenly bumped into my head once I strongly believe companies will 10 start making more usage of social media and networking tools for themselves internally as well as to communicate externally even more – that includes the B2B market. Picture: altemark It’s highly likely that big traditional companies that crawl mostly through big I just saw Scholz & Friends’ video the other day, describing how we came to “the traditional media will give a shot to social media efforts. In lots of the beloved social world” where everything is a dialogue and it’s more about people than the blogs’ lists with predictions for 2009 we can see people talking about the companies themselves. It was called a “dramatic shift in marketing reality”. Simple as traditional merging with the digital age, whether they are print magazines that it is, it doesn’t say anything actually new to any of us – especially to those who live will disappear or go online, television channels that will broadcast their shows and breathe the 2.0 and even 3.0 world. But it reminds us of the basics we should be 2 online, bigger media companies that will more and more work with online/social reminded of from time to time. media provider companies or even make alliances with companies or individuals 9 who offer this nature of services to build that kind of environment. Now is the time to engage. More than that, I believe there’s a great room for interaction we should not loose, concerning the philosophical and practical One of the recent moves concerning this topic is the Printed Blog, the new terms I just mentioned before. Chicago newspaper made from posts of several blogs, which WILL have local 8 advertisement and WILL be distributed for free. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot to talk about here, in details and all, but I guess the whole thing is that this crisis will leave a lot of room for social media to act. I do believe major brands will keep trying to fit and interact the best way with 12 social media. That’s why I’m so optimistic, even though I am not even a digital strategist, but am in fact passionate for it. Mostly I believe all that will happen not only in advertising and marketing itself (considering strictly the dialogue between people and brands). I think even the After our recovery, the world will not be back where it was. We’ll be OK again, but way of shopping (eCommerce) will change with more aggregating services and different from before. integrating people. All we’re going to have to do is adapt. Learn and adapt.
Picture: Kapungo 14 Curiosity Geek
The marketing pro of tomorrow OLLE AHNVE Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: Jung Relations Blog Social media is fundamentally changing the work life of the com- munications professional. While change is nothing new to the commu- nications industry, this time is different – it’s a fundamental shift both in style and direction. And it is happening faster than ever before. So how do you keep up? I have one humble advice for the communicator of tomorrow: you must be curious to learn new things. All. The. Time. Do you converse or broadcast? You know the modern way of communication is conversational style. You know it is all about two-way communication, listening and engaging by contributing to the community. But do you actually do this? Do you listen to find out what your community is interested in and engage by adding value to the community? Or do you use the same
15 old one-way communication that
has done the job historically? learn, and you must be willing to leave your zone of confidence Do you communicate with a personal voice or do you use the and try new communication styles and new tools. Sure, you old corporate kind? will display your weakness, but you will learn from experience and your mistakes. If you communicate one-way with a corporate voice – is it because you think it is the best style of communication for Are you afraid that some social media “expert” will tell you your organization? Or is it because you know the old way of that what you are doing is wrong? Don’t be! communication and that makes you feel secure? Picture: aturkus Do you dare trying? You know there is a whole new line of web technology that As long as you are transparent in all your actions and respect can help you in your communication. Blogging and micro- your community, they will guide you rather than attack you. blogging platforms, RSS reading/filtering/mixing, podcasting, vodcasting. The list of new and incredibly useful information How do I get started? technology goes on, but have you tried it? Or do you still use Being curious will get you a long way, and most of all – it will the same clipping service and report the same kind of results get you started. So, go dive into the social media sphere by that have been successful historically? trying out Twitter, blogs, RSS, social networks. Ask for help What does the future communication professional look like? when you need it, but don’t fear trying. Rest assured – you don’t need to become a tech geek. But you Trying is being curious. Being curious is good. do need to become a curiosity geek. You have to be eager to
16 The Next Phase of
social networking online TOMAS NIHLÉN Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: http://tomasnihlen.tumblr.com/ Picture: luc legay Facebook started as a small roots movement in an American What does the dorm room a couple of years ago. It was the “David” to the status message say on MySpace phenomena that was Goliath. No CEO, CMO, CTO, Facebook right now? marketing consultant or whoever would ever predict that this little web project would ever be a catalyst in a trend that is Let’s start by checking the status transforming not just marketing, but the way businesses will be of the new social networking king, built in the future. what’s really going on with Facebook. Have Facebook passed its peak and soon to be meeting the same destiny as MySpace? But today Facebook is the reigning champion and MySpace is, well Many people would like to think so, it seems to be a constant drive for many people to pass off fads more like the old heavy weight boxer struggling with health issues and to be able to be the first one to proclaim the next big thing. But the truth is that Facebook still has and possible brain damage.You don’t buy what I’m saying? Well let the magic which translates to 140 million users according to InsideFacebook.com with a growth rate of me paint out a picture of what I’m seeing as the future of social 600 000 more users per day, which is hard to beat. And it’s not like the network is losing traction, like networking, or rather the future of social businesses. Let’s use in Argentina for instance, last year can definitely be summed up as a great year for Facebook. How does Facebook as an example since I think for the foreseeable future a 2 000 per cent increase in a year sound? At the beginning of 2008 there were 100 000 registered it will be the dominating service in this area, even though many Facebook users in Argentina, but when Santa Clause was climbing down the chimney at the end of the marketers might think it has lost its coolness. year, this number had in turn climbed up to 2 000 000 users. Neighbouring countries Chile, Venezuela, and Peru have also seen impressive growth during the last time. 3768 per cent, 1277 per cent, and 328 per cent respectively to be exact. Quite impressive if you ask me.
17 Speaking of Christmas, Facebook
certainly had a merry one this year and not Illustration: Inside Facebook only in Latin America. According to CNET Hitwise it saw a big peak in traffic during the holidays. Heather Hopkins of Hitwise lists some possible theories like crediting the peak to boredom, heavy snow in key cities and/or season greetings. Maybe Facebook is just a part of peoples lives and these lives circle around some important events each year like Christmas and therefor Facebook becomes a must for all big holidays. Anyway, no matter what the real reason is, these stats provides more proof that Facebook is here to stay, at least for quite some time. And it is not just a site but rather a way to communicate. Problems on the horizon? Maybe becoming a giant makes some of the cool factor and buzz worthiness FriendFeed and similar services collect all your activity from the social web in fade? Some people think so and maybe that was the reason why Facebook tried one place and generate a “master flow” of all your public activity. Sort of what to buy the new wonder kid on the block;Twitter, late last year. According to Kara Facebook wants to do but with a totally different approach. Then there are Swisher that is what some insiders at Facebook are claiming.Twitter was offered services like Power.com that wants to collect your social networking services in $500 million worth of Facebook stock, i.e. potential value, which in all fairness one place. But wait, didn’t Facebook sue them? Yes they did, claiming it is all about might be a good deal since Twitter has yet to generate any revenue. But Twitter “copyright and trademark infringement; unlawful competition; and violation of stuck to its guns and rejected the offer, keeping to a strategy that focuses on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, CAN-SPAM Act, and the Computer Fraud growth rather than profit, at least for now. For Facebook the deal might have and Abuse Act, among other charges”, according to CNET. Power.com lets you insured a massive coolness injection and some more cred among the early- access friends and other data from multiple social networking services in one adopters growing tired of Facebook. place. For Facebook this means that it wouldn’t matter as much for the users of services like Power.com which friends are on Facebook and which are only Another area that social networking sites need to keep an eye on is all the new on other sites like MySpace and Hi5 etc. This could definitely put a dent in the aggregating sites that wants to be the hub of your social web experience. The Facebook brand since its core offer and strength is collecting and maintaining most buzzed about of these services is probably FriendFeed, which if Twitter is your social graph for you. approaching the middle of the long tail, is located at the far right of that curve.
18 Capitalising on the social
graph The future of social networking In the time up until now the whole focus and point of Facebook As I started in the paragraph to the left I think Facebook Connect is a look into the future of social has been this precious social graph, which is basically just a networking online. It’s not the only example, and it has got competition from Google. By the way fancier name for your “friend list.” But now the site enters a guess what Google calls its own service? Yes that’s right; Google Connect. Go figure... And it would phase when it need to start doing something with this graph, be a big surprise if Google wouldn’t do anything in their power to try to beat Facebook in this and something more than just being a playground for viral area. marketing, annoying games and endless invites to causes or events. Facebook Connect is an example of the future of In 2009 I predict we will see several new initiatives in this area but it remains to see which ones social networking online; bring your social graph wherever will prove to be sticky. They also have some competition in theory by an open source alternative you go online. Letting websites all over the world implement called OpenID. But the truth is that it’s not about the best alternative, the best integrity or anything this service means for instance that comment functions on else, but a matter of what service the masses will adopt. Will you want to use your already existing blogs can be integrated with Facebook. This is the first step, Facebook account or would you rather get yet another one from for instance OpenID? At this time but going forward I think we will see whole sites just build I would bet my money on Facebook and put Google as a potential runner-up, but it could end up on common interests and Facebook Connect. This is a great the other way around as well. service to website builders and a great move for Facebook So now to my prediction. I think that 2009 is all about phase two of social networking online. And strengthening loyalty and increasing its reach. in my book that means making the social graph portable and going from destination sites to an Also by integrating the service with media companies to important part of the infrastructure of the social web. This phase will also start changing the way connect news and media in general with Facebook they businesses act on the market. Smart companies will find endless new opportunities and remember can create new revenue streams. For instance there is an Urban Lifestyle’s three golden rules of social media: interesting initiative between Facebook and the social media 1. Don't suck platform Pluck. An example of this collaboration is that visitors to SFGate (the digital home of The San Francisco Chronicle) 2. Create good content who comment on articles via Facebook Connect also get their comments automatically imported into their News Flows in 3. Be a part of the conversation Facebook. This is a great service to SFGate’s visitors, drives traffic to SFGate.com and also a smart move for Facebook. It's not harder than that, no matter what so called “social media experts” will tell you. The principals This is an examples of how companies are becoming far more are easy, it's the execution that is a bit tricky. social than before and it is also a part of an increasing demand But at the end of 2009, if I was wrong about my predictions and our golden rules of social media, for transparency. you can hate all over me on Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed...
19 Micro-blogging? All know what
it is, Illustration: HubSpot Inblund Marketing Blog no one knows what it is ANDERS ABRAHAMSSON Location: Norrköping, Sweden Blog: http://sliceonline.tumblr.com/ One blog post that went up for the 24 hour-of-fame buzz on the #1 position on Twitturly (a service that tracks what is linked the most in twitterverse) a day in January 2009 was called ”Social Media ‘Experts’ are to serve and lead your life better. Yes, someone that adds value to your life, the Cancer of Twitter (and Must Be Stopped)”. A sign of the times. Yes, and thus worth your attention, and adding value back, unconditionally. I do agree that they who start to follow me and introduce themselves as such in their micro-bios at their Twitter profiles by default is an auto- Coming this far, I claim no expertise, more than applied common sense nonfollow for me – usually just another one who tries to surf the wave and humbly learning from and reflecting around my experiences as a social of a recent phenomenon, and seldom adds value beyond acting as a part media ‘learner’. Quoting the media guru, for true - Marshall McLuhan - of a big echo-chamber with few spots of original thinking. ”I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say”. In this article I want to share some short notes and noteworthy on the phenomenon of ”micro- One core aspect of the twitterverse is illustrated by this in a nutshell, blogging”, with a special focus on how to approach this conversational buzz emphasizing the social in ‘social media’ – follow or be followed. Or most bubble as a marketer for a brand or a business. Sharing is caring! preferrably, excluding “or”; the mutual follow – where some of these couples of people following their respective streams of sms-lengthy snippets in their micro-blogging actually call themselves “friends”. You Social media and the market conversation know, what it meant in LBF – Life Before Facebook: Actually someone you even happen to meet offline, and share both dinners and potentially Micro-blogging is a part of the wider game related to social media, your innermost thoughts and private secrets in hope for an honest advice concluded so far. One of the many attempts to grasp what social media
20 Illustration: Gapingvoid ”is” has
been done by Social Media Club co-founder Brian Solis through the ”Conversation Prism”. As he says; ”The conversation map is a living, breathing representation of Social Media and will evolve as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse, and dissipate.”. It is exactly of this reason there is no collected ”expertise” to find - it’s all about interpretations of a domain in constant flux and knowledge distributed among all stakeholders. So, if I choose only one thing that I want you to bring with you from this article, is this: take part of the conversation about ‘social media’ by actually joining the conversation using one of the social media services – where Micro-blogging, defined? micro-blogging would be on my number one recommendation! It is as a social media user you can have a chance to understand what it ”is”. And micro-blogging A definition is no proof, but if we turn to Wikipedia, micro-blogging is ”a in a sense actually is the lowest barrier of entry in the many arts of ‘DIY publishing form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates (say, on the web’ – posting 140 characters or less at a time. 140 characters or fewer) or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which The rest of the ‘barrier of entry’ is actually inside your forehead, and that is the can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety greatest sometimes, isn’t it? By being an active user, you take part of and influence of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, digital audio or the evolving dynamic landscape that actively gets co-developed by its users, creators the web.” It’s a story that started in July 2006 with the launch of Twitter, and and producers – and thus co-discovered, applying collective and collaborative emerged from the question answered; ”What are you doing right now?”, with intelligence. Since the Cluetrain Manifesto, celebrating its ten year anniversary in the breakthrough and rapid growth when winning a web award in SXSW07, april 2009, we have learned that ”markets are conversations”, with human spirits, March 2007. If you’re first and succeed in your new niche, you define and rule brains, hearts and emotions. With the last of the 95 Theses formulated back in the game. And they sure do. Many other services have been trying to get 1999 in response to the evolvement of Internet and its impact on markets and into the sphere of micro-blogging (these were covered in the Urban Lifestyle marketing; ”We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we Report in August 2008), but Twitter is the biggest with far beyond 3 million are not waiting.”. If you’re not micro-blogging yet, what are you waiting for? Listen, users, with somewhat around half a million messages sent per day. Twitter has participate, play, try. And learn with me (http://twitter.com/sliceonline – or more grown in traffic by 422% from August 07 to August 08 - no other social media commonly expressed nowadays, the Twitter ID format that goes with your next service has had this kind of growth. And, paradoxically, still, they actually lack a deck of business cards printed; @sliceonline) and all others in the conversation. business model soon three years after its inception, but is about to get one.
21 Who microblogs? To get
into this hive with your message, you need to know your population. Users are - among many kinds - first and foremost individuals, brands, companies and organisations, where you usually introduce yourself with your ‘@name’ – linking to http://twitter.com/’name’. Individuals range from the neighbour-around-the-corner to the super celebrity (either celebrity ‘before Twitter’ such as @BritneySpears and @BarackObama, or the new breed of ‘Top Twitterati’, the ‘Twitter Elite’ famed on the platform in itself such as Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) or Michael Arrington (@Techcrunch). There are some fictive characters as well – early on users were Borat and Darth Vader, and all fake tweets delivered by @historicaltweets blog lately, just for fun. Brands and companies constitute an increasing number, and a sample of them are listed in two blog posts (Mashable and Buzz Marketing for Tech postings). Maybe one of the most travelled stories on proactive usage to boost your brand through engaging in your customers is @ ComcastCares. And, actually a washing machine (@PIMPY3WASH – created to tell its first geeky follower and account creator when the washing machine is finished, and clothes ready to dry via an auto-sms to its Twitter account). If you compare followers vs follows numbers, you could conclude that one who follows many, but have few followers One exceptional case of excessive numbers in both follows and followers is probably is a ”twammer” or ”spitter” - a Twitter spammer – who have newly installed president Barack Obama, beyond 160 000 in numbers in both tried to get a lot of attention by random mass-quantitative following. ends. The new presidential administration in the USA is worth a separate And vice versa – a ‘guru’ profile maybe shows up to be someone who coverage and case story article in itself with an ongoing development of a follows a selected few, but is followed by many, a pattern also found with very proactive web strategy, where Twitter has a central place in the quest mainstream media news services twitter accounts, and e. g. web apps/ to be the most transparent governmental administration in US history, see services update streams/status reports. e. g. the new http://whitehouse.gov, revamped beyond inauguration.
22 What do they blog
about? It started out by the trivia following the original question of everydayness in real-time, but since then it has evolved significantly in a whole new ecosystem of communication. There is little formal academic research on the subject, but the first formal academic research covered usage patterns, with daily chatter, conversations, sharing links and commenting on news as the most frequent activities going on. A bit outdated, but the findings still apply. Some are just ”dumping” content from other places using e. g. Twitterfeed to notify when new blog posts are out, some shares more actively other stuff like media (music through Blip.FM, pictures through Twitpic, videos through TweeTube) and recent discoveries with one of the flourishing numbers of URL shorteners – where TinyURL.com was quite alone and dominant before the brief 140 character messages were common, and now you have this space filled with new services, like snURL, bit.ly, is.gd, ow.ly and tr.im to mention just a few. Notably is that Twitter works multi-purpose – some have e. g. abandoned Instant Messaging chats altogether, with the use of Direct Messages, ‘D user message’. In that sense, micro-blogging is a convergence of different communication evolution tracks. One is the ”distant communication 1x1” - roughly following a development of telegraph > telephone > telefax > email > mobile phone > instant messaging > direct messages through Twitter. One other trace is ”news dissemination” through the centuries: the Marathon Runner or Horse Courier > the priest in the church on Sundays > newspapers > radio > tv > Internet > blogs > Twitter, where news can show up before even regular news services catch them. One Twitpic from the Hudson River Plane emergency landing by an iPhone photographer from a ferry even ended up as an official AP newsdesk syndicated picture, which actually crashed the Twitpic server from the traffic at the time. We can thus talk about a special kind of ”media convergence”, where all communication, direct one to one, side by side with the one-to-many, is shared on the same platform. And you better be there – the conversation goes on, with or without you (to define your ”Twitter Acceptance” 5-stage, check Rohit Bhargavas blog on the subject)! Imagine your company getting the viral buzz that Hudson River picture had – it happens in seconds on Twitter, where it used to be hours through email before. Positive, or negative. You better let it to be positive news spreading, right? In that sense, being there with your own voice also works great for ‘crisis communication management’. Picture: jkrums
23 How to approach the
micro-blogging tweeters? For a PR/Marketing department to formulate a strategy, it is wise not to strategize care about your most valuable asset beyond your own value-creation means – the too much. In fact, it’s better to ‘get on with it’, in small scale as a pilot project, customer. Now you have naked direct contact, and if someone converses you with some individual users tweeting with their personal brands, in order to through an @reply in the public stream, be sure to respond! Remember that learn from the medium. Beyond that, a formal brand or company tweet can be an @reply in your followers stream also gets visible through their followers. To established. Mainly it is an endless loop (I owe this basic, simple outline of the simplify this procedure and making it manageable for your customer service team, Twitter Marketing and PR interactive loop to HubSpot, where I have spiced it up use applications such as TweetDeck that maximises your tracking and control. with some own references and learning bits) - 1. Building your network, 2. Engage And, you keep your followers by conversation and adding value, not to push your in your community and 3. Track and analyze, and then start all over from 1. product/service in every tweet. They can check you through Followcost to see if following you is worth the effort ;). And be sure that you have an activity in your 1. Build your network - attract qualitative followers company that actually gets tweeted beyond your own tweets and without your own prompts, from other tweeters than you! First of all, after establishing a Twitter account, important is to juice up your profile to be attractive – the first glance could be your only chance to attract a subscriber, 3. Track and analyze - monitor your brand and your core tags and keywords since many people who use Twitter only judge once by the Twitter page, and then beyond follow-click get your stream through other means (popular are client-side With TweetDeck and other tools, you can evaluate and search what’s going applications such as TweetDeck or Twhirl – see a comparison with Mashables on with buzz around your company, brand and offerings in real time, e. g. by blogpost and review on the subject). As a brand, you should let it glow in a adding a column with your tag search and get notified directly as it’s happening. nice setting with a customized background (for inspiration and how-to, see e. g. Beyond searching your own brand name, you can also trace your most important Twitter Backgrounds Gallery). Add your location. Add short bio with your tagline keywords to see if your brand is mentioned in conjunction. Check your ”status” and preferably also what to expect from the tweet stream – in two sentences or through Twitter-Grader and various stats tools, such as TweetStats, Twinfluence, less. Link maybe to your company site, but preferably if you have a company or Twitterholic and Twitter-Friends. Those who talk about you, approach them by brand blog. If it is an individual representing the company direct, add that person’s following them – they get notified when you start to follow, and thus have that avatar – otherwise use the company logo as avatar – but do add an avatar! For once-in-a-lifetime chance to have them to follow you back (for really good advice, startups it is important maybe to have both – one stream for the company/brand, check ”Twitter Follow Fail” - @ABartelby guest blog at Mashable blog). But be and separate streams for the individual team members to engage in community sure to be worth the effort to be followed. Which leads us back to one! building and sharing their stories in real-time. See e. g. Ki-work and Twingly, as two interesting startups (@kiwork ‘enabling agile businesses’ and @twingly, a blog and micro-blog search engine with Ki-work core team members father and son @ In short: Be personal. Be interesting. Be valuable. Be nice. Be michaelwolff (CEO) and @jimwolffman (COO) check their different tweet styles; colourful! Twingly CEO Martin Källström is @martinkallstrom). A strategy also applicable for established companies, such as Virgin (@virgindotcom) and Richard Branson (@RichardBranson). Now, go on register - or tweet this report and mention the articles on Twitter if 2. Engage in your community - remember, it’s a conversation, not a broadcast you’re already are a Tweet-a-holic :) - here’s the retweet copy: ‘RT @urbanlifestyle #ULRNM Urban Lifestyle Report: great Freemium Content PDF – latest issue A conversational and personal tone, with the @replies showing that you actually with micro-blogging features!’. See you there!
24 Resources: Recommended Selected Apps
and Services (linked): - On the web – directories, portals and collections; • Twitter management: TweetDeck, Twhirl, BrightKit, Twitteriffic, Ping.fm, HelloTXT, Tweetie (iPhone, paid) • A twitter wiki library – the ultimate resource base: http://twitter.pbwiki. com • Twitter mobile apps: Twitter Mobile (updates, browser), Twapper (monitoring, browser), Twitterfon (iPhone, free) • A database of twitter applications: http://twitdom.com • Twitter stats: Twitter Grader, TweetStats, Twinfluence, Twitterholic, • List of twitter tools: http://mashable.com/2007/09/29/twitter-toolbox/ TwitterFriends and follow up list http://mashable.com/2008/05/24/14-more-twitter-tools/ • Feeding your Twitter elsewhere: FeedInformer, Twitter’s own widgets and • Squidoo page on Twitter applications: http://www.squidoo.com/ badges, SpringWidget Twitter Widget, TwitStamp twitterapps • Sharing media (pictures, video, music, web quotes): TwitPic, TweeTube, BlipFM, • Twitter tools for Community and Communication Professionals: http:// TwitSnip www.briansolis.com/2008/10/twitter-tools-for-community-and.html • Shortening links: Tr.im, budURL, TinyURL, SnURL, bit.ly, is.gd, ow.ly, TwitSnip • 181 Free Twitter Buttons, Badges, Widget and Counters to Help You Find Followers: http://www.twitip.com/181-twitter-buttons-badges-widget-and- • Tracking twitter buzz: Twitturly, TweetDeck (note: add search column with counters-to-help-you-find-followers/ fixed tag and get update notification popup), Advanced Search in Twitter, Twingly Microblog Search, TweetScan, Twellow, Twittervision, Twistori, Twitscoop • Twitter groups/recommendations: MrTweet, TwittGroups • Follow Fail (to check when someone unfollows you): Qwitter Design: • Evaluating Twitters – follow or not to follow? FollowCost, Twitter Grader, • Twitter Backgrounds Gallery: http://twitterbackgroundsgallery.com Twitterholic • Creating a Twitter Background using PowerPoint: http:// theclosetentrepreneur.com/create-a-twitter-background-using-powerpoint • Creating a Twitter Background using PhotoShop: http://www.elasticmind. ca/innerpreneur/index.php/2008/09/25/download-my-twitter-background- design-psd-template/ Blog Coverage: • Directories at Alltop.com with live update headlines/feeds: Books: - GoodTweets • An updated list is found at http://books.twitdom.com/ - Twitter News: - Twitterati
25 Hashtags (#) & retweetS
(RT) MORE THAN JUST FANCY WORDS? LINDA PIERRE Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: http://lindapierre.tumblr.com/ Twitter is the micro-blogging tool I use the most out of the ones available right now. It may not be the best one if you look at functions but for me it’s the obvious choice, not only because it has most users but also because of the climate within. At this party everyone is invited and no one (well except for spammers) are left out in the cold. It’s also a fascinating environment to walk around in. People from all over the world are constantly telling each other what they read, watch, like and dislike. There are so many different ways to use Twitter (and other everybody was saying at, or about, that particular event. Since micro-blogging tools for that matter) that it would definitely Twitter isn’t famous for its structure that made sense. This was take up all the space in this report if I would let it. There are tons a way to make it easier to gather information and to see what a of applications that let you use the service in a number of ways. large amount of people were saying about a particular subject. This time though I have chosen to put the magnifying glass on two different ways of using Twitter, namely “hashtags” and The past few months the use of hashtags have grown to be much “retweets.” more than just a way to structure and/or gather information. We saw how the Twitter crowd used it at tragical events such Recently I discovered a flow, or should I say “stream”, of people as the one in Mumbai back in November for instance by using on Twitter using hashtags (#) in front of a word or, more often, an #mumbai when tweeting. The voices from within the disaster abbreviation. At first it seemed like it was mostly used related to were being heard through the megaphone of Twitter. different conferences and other events. A way to organise what
26 News about what was
going on in and around the area Not more than a few weeks ago, while there were still of Mumbai spread faster than traditional media ever a few slices of the Christmas ham left, many Swedes could catch up with. What I think is most interesting started to look for a new puppy to cuddle with in the about the use of hashtags in this way is that it’s the big world wide web. Before Christmas the choice had people, not the media, who create the news. When been the Finnish micro-blogging service Jaiku and this becomes a tool in every mans mobile phone we those of us in Sweden that preferred Twitter weren’t have a new journalist in every corner of the world, that many. Overall we were still talking about a fairly telling and showing the rest of the population what small amount of people using both these services, is going on in real time. until something happened a couple of weeks ago. All of a sudden Swedish mainstream media opened Using hashtags as a way to collaborate on a story up their eyes to this treasure of information and was exactly what these journalists did to gather registered accounts on Twitter. At the same time information about the flood in southern Washington Swedish politicians also joined and the beginning of a few weeks ago. Instead of working in their own using micro-blogging as a tool might have taken an chambers separated from each other, they chose important step towards going mainstream almost to use the hashtag #waflood. This way they could over night here in Sweden. The use of hashtags aggregate both what they as different newspapers while tweeting didn’t come far behind. Soon there were tweeting about, and what other people in the were hashtags such as #svpt (Swedes on Twitter) area could update them and the rest of the world in and #svbloggen which aggregates different types real time. One of the journalists took it a bit further of Swedish blog posts. Two Swedes took the by creating a widget to put on his website, which all opportunity to put together a site that made it even of the others also did after a while. This way their easier for you to follow everything being tagged readers could easy follow the news without having with #svpt. Hans Kullin, a Swedish blogger and PR to go elsewhere than to their favourite news site. consultant, put together a widget that aggregates Collaborative journalism became a fact. The scoop all tweets including the hashtag #svpt. By putting was no longer the main goal but to get as much this widget on your blog, you and everybody else and accurate information as possible. Then it was using that particular tag can reach out to people not up to the readers to choose where they wanted to yet using Twitter. consume the whole story.
27 I’m not sure I
think it’s such a good idea to put such a broad tag like 10 updates) this account has attracted over 25 000 followers. They are #svpt next to everything you tweet about though. For me the purpose also the ones who created the social network I mentioned earlier called of that tag was simply to show others that you exist and I don’t think hashtags.org. That number is probably that high because if you follow you should do that in every message you put out there. The more people this account, it will automatically follow you back and can then index are using any hashtag in the wrong way the more it’s destroying its your hashtags into their statistics at hashtags.org. value and going against its purpose. At least that’s what I think. Not only about news Hopefully though this will contribute to make micro-blogs more mainstream and that is something I definitely encourage. If you are There are other ways to use hashtags than just categorising news, Swedish and want to see which hashtags that are most active at the more relaxed and fun ways. One of those is when hashtags are being moment, check out this page. If you prefer keeping a wider perspective to integrated with Google Maps to for instance find fellow tweeters. Say what conversations to take part in within the Twittersphere, hashtags. you are at the airport waiting for boarding, just tweet #boarding and org is the site for you. There’s even a twitter account that is all about your tweet will appear at this Twitter Google maps mashup called hashtags simply called @hashtags. In just a month (and not more than Boarding. The idea behind the application is to find fellow stranded
28 travellers, but to do
so you must add the three letter airport code after the hashtag or no one will be able to find you and vice versa. Another way people use hashtags are to see what other people’s year resolutions are by tagging them with #resolutions. You can also find new interesting Twitter users to follow by looking up the hashtag #followfriday. Its purpose is to tip other fellow tweeters about that certain somebody you are following and think should get more attention and more followers. The list of ways to use hashtags could go on but if we stop here and think for a while. Is this fairly new way of trying to structure messages on different micro-blogging services only a good thing? Absolutely not. Almost nothing comes in just one flavour. There’s of course both good tastes and more bitter ones. An over usage of hashtags not only takes space away from those poor 140 signs you have to express yourself with, but also makes it less spontaneous and more database alike. How often you should use hashtags (if at all) and how many at the same time is of course totally up to you. Even though I think there are great potential to make good things out of this new phenomena you should think before you automatically put a hashtag next to your message. Ask yourself is this really something that would add value to that certain conversation or topic? The enormous amount of attention and the massive growth in usage of hashtags tells me though that this is here to stay, well at least for a while until something better comes along.
Picture: bitterlysweet 29 What about
Retweets? Well I guess this trend suffers from the same syndrome as the usage of hashtags. It’s becoming more and more common, which means people might be clicking on that “retweet-button” a bit too much. What is a retweet you might wonder? Think about the way we use forwarding to pass on an email to others you think might be interested as well. This is kind of the same thing but with Twitter messages instead and it’s open for every one to see. If you choose to retweet somebody’s message everybody that follows you are the receivers you could say. It’s like giving props to a message you want to help spread. Sometimes it could be a good thing. You easily see what a lot of people find important right now. But mostly I think it’s a way to clap on each others shoulders (and we all need that ones and a while) and to suck up to someone you follow. I’m not saying I haven’t done this myself but it’s important I think not only to pass along what others say but to contribute with your own opinions. As long as you do that a retweet now and then is a good thing, at least in my opinion. The worst symptom due to too many retweets is that it can send the Twittersphere into a loop, just going round and round. Like a giant eco chamber, and that is something we do not want right? We have already seen it happen in the blogosphere, please do not make the world of micro-blogs another puddle in which only a few pieces of information makes it to the surface! Most important to remember is that you can use hashtags for a good cause as well, and not only to be a part of a certain group of people. If more people would gather up and use hashtags and retweets If you want to dig deaper into the world of hashtags and retweets: for new ideas and solutions within different areas this Twitter Fan Wiki might actually make a difference. Jim Carlberg created the hashtag #peace so that you could say that you “Twitter Hashtags – open source grouping for peace”, a good start but what if that could evolve and actually mean that people around the globe would join in Why I unfollow people who use hashtags on Twitter and do something concrete instead of just talking about it. The microblogging phenomenon Retweet Think about that all you tweeters out there!
30 The live web -
at first glance TOMAS NIHLÉN Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: http://tomasnihlen.tumblr.com/ Picture: David Jones Late 2008 tickets for Barack Obama’s inauguration were reaching insane levels online a few weeks before the historical event took place. CNN reported that one ticket vendor wanted over $20,000 for a single ticket! This is indeed an historical event, but why cough up 20 grand when you can watch the whole thing online I wonder? I mean we are living in the era of the live web and our choices for what to watch at the click of a button is growing faster than algees in a summer lake.
31 Picture: ralphbijker The principals
First let’s break it down, what do I mean by “the live web”? This is a trend that started way back in the days of the Internet adolescence but we are now at a point where both the technology is there and the consumer behaviours as well. These to factors are of course the most important A new way to create collaborative spaces for covering things in real time is by ones for a trend like this to gain momentum. using FriendFeed (an aggregator of your social services) and to start a “Room” Live information or entertainment can come in many forms, there where other people can add text, links and photos. These rooms can but basically it’s all about the components of the web: then be watched in real time to get an overview of these events. But somebody needs to create an event quickly for it to be relevant. For instance web profile 1 Text Robert Scoble regrets deeply that he didn't create a room after a plane crash recently, the comments give a good motivation to the benefits of creating such 2 Images a room on FriendFeed. 3 Audio Video 4 Video We have in the past written about “life casting” where more or less insane people bring along broadcasting equipment of some sort to let the world peek 5 Other file formats into their everyday lives. These could be seen as catalysts and role-models for In this article I will focus on text, audio and video. other people to open up to the idea of starring in their own Internet soap of sorts. Justin Kan of Justin.tv and iJustine are two people who attracted massive Text attention for their life casting projects. They have both moved on and Justin. tv is now one of several services that let you put yourself out there using your Live text might not sound that exciting, but in many cases it can in fact prove computer and/or cellphone. to be very interesting. And I would actually claim that text has led the way for many consumers on the path to adapting the live web. Most important might If life casting is a more continuos project or reality show online, there are also be the Facebook mass adoption that seemed to sweep over the globe last a lot of people who just broadcast snippets of their lives at certain moments. year. One of Facebooks success factors was their news feed that presents the If you want to try some webcam/computer broadcasting I would recommend activity in your network in more or less a real time feed. At first the only way taking a look at Mogulus, Ustream and Stickam. For mobile live broadcasting I to get the real time experience was to constantly hit “Refresh” but now there recommend Qik or kyte (both mobile and computer), but you can also check is the option to watch the live feed. out Bambuser (a Swedish service).
33 Audio What is happening
in the Internet audio scene is really exciting right now. We update your Facebook status it will show up beside the video. It’s similar to what are seeing round two of digital broadcasting. In round one it was all about “on many news sites did with Twitter for the US election last year. One interesting demand” or rather record-publish-download, i.e. podcasting was king. thing is that Facebook is so much more widely adopted by regular consumers which might make it a different experience than it would by using Twitter. It was relatively easy to get going with podcasting, the listeners took to the format and some podcasting superstars were born like Leo Laporte. Laporte was Another interesting event taking place live online recently was the Sundance Film trained in the old school type of radio and even TV journalism. But his passion Festival. Sure, not at all as big a thing as the inauguration, still a pretty well-known for technology and curiosity got him hooked on podcasting. He is now the man event. This time you could follow the festival live at 24HoursAtSundance.com. behind the podcasting power house twit.tv which can take credit for popular It might not be your typical live coverage though. Ashton Kutcher and Internet shows like “This Week In Tech”, “MacBreak Weekly” and “net@night”. But what superstar Kevin Rose were hosting this extravaganza and four different reporters makes Laporte extra interesting right now is the move towards both the live and were competing during these 24 hour which means trying to complete a number video trend. Now you can listen to the recordings in his studio live, watch a video of tasks, which might not be that easy. stream of them recording, listen to recorded episodes on their blog, download separate episodes or get them automatically as a podcast in for instance iTunes. Catching everything live or later Me and Linda, the other part of Urban Lifestyle, were totally inspired by this The point to this article is that content needs to be, and more often is, available and decided to use the same philosophy when we record one of our podcasts both in some sort of live stream and for downloading afterwards. For brands on a Swedish blog/podcast about innovation and entrepreneurship called and marketers this is a new thing, they are typically used to just figuring out Innovationsbloggen.se (The Innovation Blog). We record episodes for our podcast, which channels to use for a campaign, what message etc and then blasting out the but we also broadcast them live while recording and make sure there are multiple message. Now you need to realise that it’s now all about the consumers and how ways to listen, download and participate in different ways. they want to consume content. They are picky and used to getting what they want if not they will go out and get it somewhere else. Events live forever online Sum up One consequence of these trends; live and on demand combined, means that basically all big events are recorded and published online or sometimes both We will return to this topic in future reports. But for now just remember these streamed live and published for later viewing/listening. Barack Obama’s inauguration two things if you are about to create content for the web: for instance will be (or have been when you are reading this) probably the − Go live, but only if live is relevant most heavily covered event when it comes to streaming video online. All media destination sites are working hard to get all the traffic, including CNN which is the − It must be available afterwards, and in multiple ways only news site delivering live video news broadcasting 24/7. CNN now has teamed up with Facebook to let you look at the live stream and at the same time if you
34 Picture: Richard Mackney a
different kind of internet buzz - the one that comes from drinking wine... LINDA PIERRE Location: Stockholm, Sweden Blog: http://lindapierre.tumblr.com/ As the Internet population keeps on growing the national boarders looses their value, it might sound like a cliché but that doesn’t make it any less true. I’m talking about the power of communication across the world, no matter in which country you hook up your laptop. Services like Skype makes it easy for people to stay in touch across boarders Anyway it was on Twitter I first heard about Twitter Taste Live, a community for without spending a fortune on phone bills. We use blogging tools to speak our fellow tweeters that are very interested in wine, beer or cigars. The part that got mind about political issues, share links or just upload photos. If you feel like you my attention was not that it was a niche social network, because there are plenty need an instant response to a thought or a question, try using video services like of those, but that it actually gathers people around the globe at joint tastings. 12seconds.tv or seesmic, or micro-blogging services like Twitter or Jaiku. Not the traditional wine-, beer- or cigar tastings of course but by using Twitter instead. I recently came across an interesting site called Twitter Taste Live . Yes I admit, I am a Twitter freak and should probably need to check into “twitter rehab” one of these days. But for taking the temperature on what’s going on in the world of the web at this very moment it’s just so much fun to use. And addictive.
35 All of a sudden
I saw the hashtag #ttl frequently used in my Twitter-stream. At first I didn’t get it, what was I missing (you know I just can’t handle not knowing all about these things)? Then it hit me that a live tasting event had begun and people where participating and showing it by using the same hashtag. The people over at Wine Conversation had listed three wines to the tasting called “Beyond the Trade” and the British Twittersphere eagerly participated. Normally you don’t have to be in a certain country to participate, all you have to do is to buy the wine bottles, beers or cigars listed for the tasting and just go nuts. With the glass or cigar in one hand and the other hand typing away at the keyboard. Maybe nuts is the keyword here, but you got to love people who are passionate about these things. This event though was a bit different. It is actually a physical event taking place in London and now also for the first time live on the web using social media as the tool of choice. For those sitting at home alone, or in groups, a box with all the wine bottles were home delivered so that they could participate. Richard Mackney was Picture: jpcolasso one of the eager ones trying the later version and filming it for us to see afterwards as well. What did we do for fun before the Internet I wonder... What if we could collaborate like this more? There’s no limit to what that could help people (and companies) to achieve don’t you think? World peace might be taking it a bit too far I guess, but solving problems and helping each other out in difficult times are something we see more and more of. Hm, I’m gonna think some more about this for future issues of this report. I have to wrap this up since I just spilled some red wine on my Macbook Pro and @garyvee just dissed my favourite Syrah on Twitter!
36 Picture: katmere It’s all
about the brand experience - seamless but not standardised NICHOLAS GILL Location: London, United Kingdom Blog: bluurb.wordpress.com The way users consume digital content has changed the way brands need to behave in the digital space. Where traditional media (web 1.0) is shouting, web 2.0 is about conversations. Consumers expect to be involved, engaged and invited to collaborate. They have on-demand expectations; they expect real-time dialogue and want personalised experiences. This is where digital has the advantages of relevance and context, enabling consumers to immerse as much or as little as they want, when they want, how they want.