Chirpify: Pay with a Tweet

1 May

Yes I know social payments is a bit of a yawn, but boy does this one have some backbone to it! There have been many social transaction models over the past couple of years from a simple Retweet to win to Facebook coins to influencer perks but the clever chaps at Chirpify have taken social payments to another level with a pretty solid purchasing model ready to further erode digital wallets all over the world (if NFC wasn’t damaging enough to our intangible savings!) 

The beauty is in simplicity. Chirpify syncs with your Pay Pal account turning your Twitter profile into an e-commerce channel. This could be used for various opportunities including selling goods, raising money for charity (click to sponsor my Snowdon climb here: http://bit.ly/IEmPmu) or to send a direct payment. The great news too is Chirpify is hear for the long-haul with $1.3m raised to help expand the Twitter platform. Back of the net!

Despite a few logistical barriers such as stock limits and determining variables such as size & colour (all I’m sure will be remedied), this is a great concept that will undoubtedly mean a lot of new opportunities for companies and artists to start making money through social media. I look forward to following Chirpify’s progress though a particular interest will lie in how the likes etsy, Facebook Commerce and GroupOn will react accordingly!

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Black Sheep

25 Apr

There are those rare moments in life where time truly stands still. A rush of blood to the head as if you’d just won that one-in-a-million jackpot. Last month was one of those occasions.

I have spent my past 14 months or so working for MEC, an incredibly advanced media agency who recognises the shifts in how we consume media and are re-positioning themselves accordingly to not just handle changes but prosper from them. I am very appreciative for the opportunity to work on some incredible projects and tasks during my time and truly believe MEC is one of the best agencies in the world for both quality of work and personal development.

As we all know, a company is only as good as the people behind it and I can categorically say I’ve been very lucky to work with an incredible and diverse range of individuals. Personally, it is simply mind-boggling the work created  by the team to help develop and evolve MEC’s Social Media and Digital Interaction offering and I have lost count of the amount of high-fives and back slaps that have happened off the back of all the incredible work produced from very demanding clients! I am eternally grateful for having the pleasure of meeting all of you and have only the highest respect, admiration and praise for you. I look forward to seeing all your names in bold letters in campaign soon!

Leaving such a great company (The Times 21st Best Company to work for in Top 100) and a great team was never going to be an easy task and it would have had to take something pretty special for me to think differently. BBH Labs is that something special. 

Everything about BBH excites me;  the thinking, the opportunity to integrate Social Media strategy deeper & earlier into campaigns, the incredible work created so far, the incredible work we will produce in the future, the energy I felt taking that first step into the office and, let’s not forget, the brilliant minds I look forward to learning from. I know this is the right decision for me and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

And with that I say to everyone at MEC: goodbye and thank you for everything! And to everyone at BBH: hello and I look forward to a very exciting future!

Where does Instagram go now?

18 Mar

As a user I frickin’ love Instagram. With its simplicity in both navigating and publishing coupled with the sheer volume of stunning content what is there not to love? Earlier this month it was reported Instagram now has 27 million users (up 15m from last year) and for a platform that’s only 2 years young it gets people very excited. What’s more, beyond making images look gorgeous its real beauty lays in its easiness to network people across the world with a growth rate pretty much unrivaled in the mobile world. A soon to be released Android app will only help rocket growth though with numbers comes the question of monetising.

This, like most social network start-ups, focus on growing a user-friend experience with the intention of integrating revenue streams at a later date. Facebook and Twitter are prime models of this. Now Instagram has a global network probably hitting the 40m+ by the this time next year and a new round of fund-raising valuing the company at an ambitious $500m where do they go now?

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Social Media: From platform to dashboard

10 Mar

“And I thought there was no more space for any more social media platforms in my life and then Pinterest comes along” sums up the current social media climate up nicely. This post came into my Facebook feed this morning and to be honest I feel the same way: despite the amount of effort it takes to feed, engage and interact with multiple communities on a plethora of platforms that already exist Pinterest has managed to somehow wiggle itself into our time-strained lives. How long this last beats me but one thing is for sure – we will all be turning to dashboards to engage very soon.

The emergence of intelligent dashboards which pulls in and decides which content is worth checking out are becoming to pop up all over the shop. From ZeeBox (championing Social TV by sourcing the most popular TV conversations on Twitter to join in)  to Flipboard (pulls in your social activity as well as your favourite blogs and news sources in such a beautiful way). However there is one dashboard out there that I think trumps all of this. Facebook.

TheFacebook started off purely as a network to perve on stay-in-touch with your friends

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Social Strategy: Keep It Simple

4 Mar

It’s been just over a year since I began working in Social Media for MEC. An anniversary marked with Sunday Times today ranking us 21st best company to work for. This past year I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in many brand campaigns at one stage or another and if there was one learning to take from my experience so far it would be Keep It Simple.

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Growing a Facebook page: Is it more than just content and engagement?

15 Jan

Editor’s note: If you’re interested purely in what the title outlines and not another rant by me feel free to skip the next paragraph!

I’m not gonna lie, the last hour on LinkedIn has really riled me. I love a debate, a bit of thought-provoking, a bit of “out-of-the-box” intelligence. You’d think LinkedIn would be a brilliant place for facilitating that: experts in every field from all corners of the world sharing their thoughts to other like-minded professionals. Unfortunately, it seems that group members just like to regurgitate the last thing they read in a blog post. There’s nothing wrong with blog posts, especially this gem you’ve fixated your eyes on, but I believe it is important to use many sources to form an opinion, not just echoing other thoughts. *cough*

I guess it’s best by starting from the core out. What is good community management? Not broadcasting but listening to your community? yes. 2-way engagement? Yes. Enriching a page with quality and engaging content? YES! Brilliant. Now we’ve got the fundamentals out-of-the-way let’s look a little deeper into organic growth.

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Social Media predictions for 2012

31 Dec

My last week of work this year was filled with client deadline mayhem, tragic e-cards, bottles of (cheap) red wine and a presentation to the Interaction department about the wonderful work we’ve done and what we predict in 2012. After a festive break from digital it would only be fitting to be ending a great year with one last blog post.

Here are my predictions for Social Media in 2012:

Geo-Gaming

This isn’t necessarily about having a game element to geo-location technology (foursquare), but more so an incentive that provides real-time value. Services such a SCVNGR do this in its primary form; users on checking in can do challenges in exchange for points which unlock discounts and free swag. This will be stepped up a notch in 2012 with many of our smart phone holding NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology such as the Google Nexus and Nokia N7 though this will really come into it’s own once iPhone get on board too. 

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Social Media Services: Social Bakers

24 Dec

Editor’s Note: As an early start to a pro-active 2012, I have decided to give Guerrilla and Chalk some value. Personal ramblings will still be at the core, but I will now start feeding in thoughts and overviews of the many suppliers I meet up with on a weekly basis.

Social Bakers | Social Media Content Management & Analytics

You know a service is bound to be good when its recommended by Facebook and in true fashion, they are rarely wrong. Social Bakers has been growing over the years picking up a lot of its business from Eastern Europe where the company itself originates. Like SB’s there are many social content management services / platforms available, but what makes social bakers stand out is its analytics. Combined, it’s a very attractive package the likes of Buddy Media and Conversocial will not like one bit. Check the video below.

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The beginning of the end for foursquare

18 Dec

I heard a really interesting fact in 2011. Last summer I was enjoying a Melt Bakery ice cream cookie at Hester Street Fair in LES, NYE and got chatting to Kareem, co-owner of MB and global consultant at Bloomberg. We got talking about foursquare and its value after rejecting a $50m buy out from Yahoo. I also used this question during my “Any questions?” section of my interview at my current social residence MEC. But it is a good question! What value does foursquare feel it holds and where is the big revenue stream to reject a $50m buy out?

Very infrequently I see foursquare check-ins pop up in my Twitter feed. Despite questions about vulnerability and privacy (You all remember Please Rob Me?) I think the concept is brilliant, and evidently, a popular one. Unfortunately, like any spark of digital genius, Facebook and Google are likely to steal it to make it their own.

Another problem with any new service or website is we, as consumers, are not able to digest that much information. Continue reading

The QR Dilemma

18 Nov

Editor’s Note: I’ve published this so I’ll leave it up but having a few problems with the aesthetics! Bare with me!

Laura from i-robinson set down the challenge earlier this week. There has been a lot of excitement about QR codes of late with an equal dosage of the opposite. What Laura proposed in her post was QR codes ability to adopt colour and art to a pre-existing dull square, brands can now bring these graphic hot-links to life through other ways such as:

  • Hide clues within the QR code graphic and create a mobile game
  • Give audiences a choice of two QR codes to scan for different experiences/content
  • Individuals creating their own personal QR code which holds all their profile details – perhaps we will start seeing these used instead of profile pictures or added onto CV’s which direct employers to a candidates personal website?
This is a really interesting development for QR’s future and I am genuinely intrigued how brands adopt these. For one, to be more striking through colours and non 90-degree angles (to an extent) may attract a lot more attention. I believe there is a lot of opportunities for QR codes so I will watch this space …probably for not too long though.
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