May 7, 2010Social media fails to make an impact on British politics

If you live in the UK you can’t have failed to notice there’s an election going on. I say going on, because for the first time in a generation, it hasn’t produced a decisive result in terms of forming a government. But that’s not the only area of indecision. Before the results were in, even leading political bloggers such as Iain Dale were reporting that the internet played a minimal role in the campaign — in stark contrast to many social media, marketing and web experts (including myself) who were confident this would be the UK’s first “internet election” with …

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March 25, 2010What’s the point of blogging?

My car is a bit of an unsung hero. I drive a beat up old Mercedes W202, and I probably love that car more than I’ve ever loved any woman. She’s never let me down and she’s no plans to leave me for a richer man. She’s survived two crashes where lesser cars have perished. Having said that, she’s looking a little rough around the edges these days and probably can’t do any better than the handsome young copywriter she’s currently hitched to.

Anyway, between personal, family and business reasons, I’ve clocked up several thousand miles in her this month. …

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February 16, 2010Caught red handed: how not to use Twitter

I’ve posted before about the perils of twitter. Twitter is a bubble used by a relatively small community of people — particularly, for some reason, politicians and web designers. But in small bubbles, news travels fast. And if you get it wrong, you get the entire self-righteous community coming down on you, as they did recently with Jan Moir and AA Gill or, more noble-mindedly, over the Trafigura case.

But it’s the fact that Twitter is so immediate that makes it so dangerous. It’s like having a gun with no safety catch. If you hold it in your hand,

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November 16, 2009How to increase your social media ROI

ROI (return on investment) = (Payback – Investment) / Investment

It’s simple. Spend less money.

But hang on — if you spend less, won’t your payback fall too? Couldn’t your ROI actually fall if you stop spending money on social media marketing?

Of course it could. But that’s where most people are missing the point of social media. I don’t think there’s any specific correlation between the size of your investment in social media and the returns you get. Of course, if you spend more money putting your face out there, the chances are you’ll get noticed more. But it’s …

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November 11, 2009The key to social media is trust.

I think it’s just a fact we’re going to have to live with. As soon as an idea gets co-opted by the advertising industry, people’s attitude toward it changes. In much the same way as I think the death-knell of Twitter was sounded by its adoption as a campaigning vehicle by the major political parties (how uncool is that?) so too is social media, in a wider sense, being corrupted by our efforts as advertisers to harness the buzz-generating power of a good viral campaign.

It’s inevitable. Most people see social media as a way of connecting with their friends. …

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October 24, 2009Social Media

I found my way to DrinkTank earlier this week. It’s a networking event for new web startups in Covent Garden. Naturally, there was a lot of networking going on. I don’t network very well, to be honest — I prefer to talk to people one on one. ‘Elevator pitches’ tend to be forgotten thirty seconds after the thirty seconds they take to deliver. When you hear sixty in a night, no one person’s voice stands out from the crowd.

So I got talking. I didn’t go to pitch my services, rather I went to brush up on the latest developments …

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September 27, 2009Mistakes and microblogging

No, not another post about why I don’t twitter. Although I would like to go over some of the things I said in my previous post. I write reasonably lengthy blogposts because providing keyword-rich, detailed, informative posts is the cornerstone of my SEO strategy. But it is good, from time to time, to keep it simple.

This post, linked to by Guido Fawkes simply as “Twitter Tsar Talks Tosh” on, sums up a lot about what’s right and wrong with Twitter. Skip to the end:

Labour is experimenting with different social media activities, including a way of using

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September 24, 2009Social Media Strategy… knowing what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve said it before. I don’t have time to twitter. Twitter is, for me, a devalued communication mechanism — I find it too time-consuming to find the few pearls in amongst the slurry which, let’s face it, is plentiful. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Twitter is useful. Of course it is. It’s the number one way of attracting social media hits to a site, fast.

I like being twittered about. It brings hits to my site. But I don’t twitter about myself. Direct tweets, linking to your own material, are virtually worthless. They’re spam. They’re a flood. They’re a …

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September 18, 2009Viral video will be the next political battleground

I try to stay out of politics. I mean, I have my opinions, but by and large, I keep them to myself. The next election is going to be interesting, though — because like the last US presidential election, the General Election next Spring is going to be the first big election in the UK fought primarily over the internet.

I blogged the General Election, back in 2005. Blogging was different then. We were mostly ignored. My blog was just an irreverant look at the campaigns, you wouldn’t have come to it for news.

Yes, we all know blogs are …

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September 11, 2009Voting with your feet

I’m really excited about Facebook Lite. It’s just the service I’ve been looking for. I don’t use a single third party application on Facebook. I can’t stand having to see all the quizzes and clutter on my friends feed.

I’m a busy man. Just give me the information.

Facebook lite promises to roll back the clock four years and give us the slim, streamlined social networking tool that made MySpace look ugly, primitive and unintuitive. I’ve had a ‘lite’ profile for a while now. No pictures. No surplus user information for third party apps to harvest. No quotes of …

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